National APA Sites

Useful Links

In addition to its own offerings, California Chapter brings you the wealth of programs and services available through its parent organization, the American Planning Association.

Based in Washington, D.C. with offices in Chicago, the American Planning Association now numbers more than 36,000 members. Whether you are a professional or lay planner, elected official, citizen activist, student or academician, there’s valuable information available by simply contacting APA or visiting its exciting website.

APA’s wide array of programs, many of which are available through links on the APA website, include:

  • Conferences
  • Training Classes
  • Audio/Video Training
  • Planning Commissioner Training
  • Books
  • Magazines (Planning, Journal of the American Planning Association, and others)
  • On-Line Publications (Practicing Planner, Planning and Environmental Law, and others)
  • Research (Planning Advisory Service)
  • Legislative Access (Planners’ Legislative Action Network)

For legislation, policy, and for APA’s professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners, contact:

American Planning Association
Headquarters Office
1030 15th Street NW, Suite 750 W
Washington, DC 20005-1503
Phone (202) 872-0611
Fax (202) 872-0643

For membership services, training, the Planners Bookstore, research, and the Planning Advisory Service, contact APA’s Chicago office:

APA Chicago Office
205 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 1200
Chicago, IL 60601
Phone (312) 431-9100
Fax (312) 431-9985

APA California and the National Organization

California Chapter members have held a long and proud tradition of involvement in the national affairs of APA. California joined APA’s predecessor as a chapter in 1948, before which the California Planning Association represented the interests of planners in the state.

While the national organization is registered as a 501 (c) 3 organization, the California Chapter carries a 501 (c) 6 tax status, which permits it to conduct legislative advocacy on behalf of planners and communities.

When the current American Planning Association was formed in 1978 by the merger of the American Institute of Planners and the American Society of Planning Officials, the newly merged association chose Californian Dorothy Walker as its first president. Californians have also served in the leadership of the American Institute of Certified Planners: Californian Margarita McCoy, AICP, served as President of AICP from 1990-94.

Today, with over 5,000 members, California is proud to be the largest APA chapter in the nation, and one of the few with professional staff and a legislative advocacy program. In addition, California is the home to the largest number of Fellows of AICP — the highest honor available within the profession — of any state.

How are California Members Represented Nationally?

California belongs to Region VI, one of six regions nationwide. Every four years, California APA members elect representatives from Region VI, which includes California as well as Nevada.

Those individuals carry the interests of California and Nevada planners to the national board of directors, which meets quarterly. In addition, Californians help elect two at-large board members who represent members across the country without regard to geography.

How Can Californians Help Shape National Policy?

Members of APA California can exert a direct influence on national planning policies and priorities by attending the annual Chapter Delegate Assembly at the National Planning Conference each spring. It is here that APA members from across the country meet to adopt policies used to advance planning in Congress, in the state legislatures, and in local communities.

California members can also participate in PLAN, the Planners’ Legislative Action Network, for a direct role in helping shape federal policy. To learn more about the Chapter Delegate Assembly, you can contact the Chapter president, or contact APA’s Policy Department. Or go to Policy and Legislation on the APA website at

Who Represents Us? Who Can Help Me?

Having a problem with a product or service provided by National APA? Or do you just have a good idea you would like to share with your elected leaders? Your current representatives in National APA affairs include:

APA Board of Directors
William R. Anderson, FAICP
National Board Director, Region VI
[email protected]

AICP Commission (elected by AICP members only)
Lance Schulte, AICP
AICP Commissioner, Region VI
[email protected]

Student Representative (National)
Danica Ann Garva
Cal Poly Pomona
[email protected]

In addition, the President of the California Chapter serves on the Chapter Presidents Council, an advisory body to the APA Board of Directors which also operates a host of programs to benefit and develop members in APA’s 46 chapters.

How Does APA Govern Itself?

Most authority is vested in the APA Board of Directors; professional certification and ethics issues within the certified profession are handled by the AICP Commission.

Three additional bodies advise the Board of Directors: the Chapter Presidents’ Council, representing the 46 APA Chapters nationwide; the Divisions Council, representing the 16 APA Divisions; and the Student Representatives Council, representing student members in planning schools across the country.

The board meets four times per year, and in alternate years conducts formal retreats. All the leadership groups listed above meet together twice a year: in the spring at the National Planning Conference, and in the fall at the Fall Leadership Meetings, which are usually conducted in connection with a regional planning conference.

For more information about representation in national APA — or how you can become involved in national affairs through your organization, call Mike Welch, Leadership Affairs Manager, at (312) 431-9100; or e-mail him at [email protected].