Policy and Advocacy Conference Education and Event Lineup

September 18–20 | Washington, D.C.

CM I 15.25

Member Lauren Driscoll advocating for critical transportation issues at APA's 2015 Policy and Advocacy Conference.

What's in Store

Join APA for a timely look at the issues. Learn what changing policies mean for your community, and get to know the people and the politics driving the decisions.



Intensive daylong training for leadership and conference attendees on topics including state advocacy, communications and social media, and leadership training.

Morning Training Concurrents:

Preparing for the 2017 State Legislative Session
9–10:15 a.m.; Hamilton Room

Using the Planning Message
9–10:15 a.m.; Constitution Room

Leadership Basics
9–10:15 a.m.; Adams Room

Mid-Morning Training Concurrents:

Working with Newly Elected Officials
11 a.m.–Noon; Hamilton Room

Social Media: Tips, Trends, and Best Practices
11 a.m.–Noon; Constitution Room

Best Practices in Engaging Universities and Students
11 a.m.–Noon; Adams Room

Leadership Luncheon and Open Discussion
Noon–12:50 p.m.; Dolley Madison Room

Mobile Bike Tour
12:30–1:30 p.m.

Participants must meet in the lobby of the Loews Madison Hotel at 12:15 p.m.

Join APA VA YPG leaders on a tour of the bike infrastructure throughout northwest Washington, D.C. Learn about the city’s challenges and successes in growing cycling as an affordable transportation alerternative. Bikes and helmets will be provided. Participants should have previous experience cycling in the city.

Spaces are limited. Advanced registration is required.

Afternoon Training Concurrents:

Creating Effective State Legislative Events and Programs
1–2 p.m.; Hamilton Room

Get Strategic: Preparing your message for National Community Planning Month
1–2 p.m.; Constitution Room

Policy Forum and Planners' Day on Capitol Hill Pre-Briefing
2:15–3:15 p.m.; Dolley Madison Room

Keynote: Winning at the State House: Issues, Trends and Advocacy
3:30–4:30 p.m.; Dolley Madison Room

Opening Plenary: Prosperity Playbook: Strategies for Inclusive Growth
5:30–7 p.m.; Dolley Madison Room

Join the American Planning Association for a panel discussion about the results of HUD’s Prosperity Playbook Initiative and examples of planning for equitable growth from city leaders around the country. Be among the first to see and learn about HUD’s new digital toolkit for local officials and planners — a toolkit which will arm cities with new ideas for creating a broad, shared prosperity in America’s cities, towns and regions.

Confirmed Speakers: Harriet Tregoning, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Community Planning and Development, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; The Hon. sly james, mayor, city of kansas city; and The Hon. Kasim Reed, Mayor, City Of Atlanta
Partners: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, National League of Cities, and Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.

Opening Reception
7–8 p.m.; Constitution Room


Breakfast Event: Federal Agency Roundtable
7:30–8:30 a.m.; Mt. Vernon Room

Plenary Session: Smart Cities, Data & Innovation
8:30–9:30 a.m. ET; Dolley Madison Room
Webcast available

Confirmed Speakers: Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, NOAA; Rohit Aggarwala, Sidewalk Labs

Plenary Session: New Research in Equity and Placemaking
9:45–11 a.m. ET; Dolley Madison Room
Webcast Available

Confirmed Speakers: Aden Van Noppen, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy; Stockton Williams, Urban Land Institute Terwilliger Center for Housing; Clarence Anthony, national League of Cities

Concurrent Sessions:

Next Steps in Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing
11:15 a.m.–12:30 p.m. ET; Hamilton Room
Webcast Available

Confirmed Speakers: Manuel Ochoa, Enterprise Community partners;  Adam Norlander, US Department of Housing and Urban Development; Vicki Watson, National Community Development Association

Lessons from Health & Aging Advocacy
11:15 a.m.–12:30 p.m. ET; Adams Room

Confirmed Speakers: Robert (Bob) Blancato, Matz, Blancato & Associates; Barbara Gordon, M.A., The Kentuckiana Regional Planning & Development Agency; Terri Lynch, City of Alexandria

Policy Luncheon: Street Fight
12:30–2 p.m. ET; Dolley Madison Room
Webcast Available

Confirmed Speakers: Secretary Julián Castro, U.S. Department of housing and urban Development; Janette Sadik-Khan, Bloomberg Associates

Concurrent Sessions:

FAST Act Implementation & the Future of Infrastructure Funding
2:15–3:30 p.m. ET; Dolley Madison Room
Webcast Available

Confirmed Speakers: Brian Tynan, AECOM; Deron Lovaas, Natural Resources Defense Council; Gloria Shepard, Federal Highway administration

The Future of Federal ‘Place-Based’ Policies
2:15–3:30 p.m. ET; Hamilton Room
Webcast Available

Confirmed Speakers: Patrick Pontius, US Department of Housing and Urban Development; Tara McGuinness, US Office of Management and Budget;  Amy Cotter,  Lincoln Institute of Land Policy;  Georgi Banna, National association of Housing and redevelopment officials

Concurrent Sessions:

Land Use Law Review
3:45–5 p.m. ET; Dolley Madison Room
Webcast Available

Confirmed Speakers: John Baker, Green Espel; Michael Wolf, University of Florida Levin College of Law

Hot Topics Lightning Round
3:45–5 p.m. ET; Hamilton Room
Webcast Available

Confirmed Speakers: William Anderson, FAICP, AEcom; Philip Bane, Smart Cities Council; Tony Hake, Federal Emergency Management Agency

Evening Plenary:

Election 2016 – What's Ahead and Implications for Local Communities
5–6 p.m. ET; Dolley Madison Room
Webcast Available

Confirmed Speaker: Mara Liasson, NPR

Optional Evening Outdoor Reception: An Evening in Canal Park

Sponsors: APA and the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District
6:30–8:30 p.m.; Canal Park located at 200 M St SE, Washington, DC 20003

Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement DistrictJoin us outside in Canal Park to experience some of the best of what Washington has to offer. Enjoy drinks and food from local vendors while you learn about the transformation of Canal Park from canal to bus parking lot to popular urban park space.

Your unique, behind-the-scenes look at the planning and partnerships that went into revitalizing this community treasure will be led by staff of the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District. Learn how Canal Park is bringing together the residents of this diverse riverfront neighborhood.


Planners' Day on Capitol Hill
Starts at the Loews Madison Hotel and moves to Capitol Hill at 10 a.m.

Breakfast Briefing & Orientation
7:30–8:45 a.m.

Beginner Advocacy Training
9–10 a.m.

Meetings on Capitol Hill
10:30 a.m.–Noon

Make your voice heard! APA will coordinate meetings for you with your congressional representatives. Speak with your representatives about what matters most to planning. Establish relationships with congressional staff and become your community's go-to resource for on-the-ground planning issues.

Capitol Hill Group Photo
11:30 a.m.

We are proud of our planning advocates. Meet us in front of the Capitol Building for a group photo.

Congressional Luncheon
Noon–1 p.m.; HVC-201AB

Hear directly from APA Legislators of the Year about the latest development on Capitol Hill.

Confirmed Speaker: U.S. Representative Kathy Castor

Meetings on Capitol Hill (continued)
1–4 p.m.

Congressional Briefing: Planning and Public Health
1-2 p.m. HVC-201AB

Optional Celebration and Debriefing
5 p.m. – Cancelled


Thank you to this year's attendees for their enthusiasm, passion, and advocacy! 

A Great Places in America honorary certificate presentation with, from left, Whit Blanton, FAICP, Melissa Zornitta, AICP, and Rep. Corrine Brown (D-Fla.). Photos by Ben Zweig of Zweig Photography.