Senator Suzi Oppenheimer named AIANYS Legislator of the Year

The American Institute of Architects New York State (AIANYS) has named Senator Suzi Oppenheimer as its “2010 Legislator of the Year”. The award recognizes outstanding contributions in advancing the legislative priorities of AIANYS. Senator Oppenheimer is receiving the award for her sponsorship of the Smart Growth Initiative, which was recently signed into law.

In announcing the award, Edward C. Farrell, Executive Director of AIANYS noted, “Senator Oppenheimer has demonstrated proved leadership in securing the enactment of this critical legislation, which was a legislative priority of AIA New York State. The use of existing infrastructure for new development is in line with AIA’s strategy for sustainable design and construction. We commend her for her dedication and are honored to present her with this award.”

“It’s an honor to be recognized with this award from the American Institute of Architects of New York State,” said Senator Oppenheimer. “I applaud their efforts to encourage sustainable design and look forward to continuing to work with them on other important issues.”

The new law, the Smart Growth Public Infrastructure Policy Act, establishes smart growth criteria in state law, requires several state agencies to create smart growth infrastructure investments based on the smart growth criteria, and requires such infrastructure investments, to the extent practicable, to meet the criteria.

Stuart Markowitz, President of AIA Westchester/Mid-Hudson added, “We are proud that Senator Oppenheimer has taken the lead on this important issues. Westchester and the Hudson Valley will benefit from economic development occurring as the result of sound, sustainable planning.” The Westchester/Mid-Hudson AIA Chapter has been in existence since 1936 and has 579 members.

The Legislator of the Year Award was established in 1977 to recognize outstanding legislative contributions to the profession and the practice of architecture by a New York State Legislator. The Legislator of the Year has demonstrated leadership and an active role in advancing the legislative priorities of AIANYS. The last legislator from Westchester to receive this award was former Senator John Flynn in 1979.