This month the APA San Diego Board held our annual retreat where we put together our plan for the year and I am so excited for the programs and learning events we have in store. Already in 2020 we had a lunch program focused on the future of Mission Valley where I got to share the updated Mission Valley Community Plan, along with a very interesting tour of the Legacy Center development project. We also held the first of our new breakfast series “Better Buzz” where we discussed Planning for Arts and Culture with some local thought leaders. On February 7, we will be holding an all-day training focused on communications, where we have brought together some fantastic trainers to give you valuable skills to help you to do your job better.


This is just in the first six weeks of 2020… and we have much more on deck throughout the year. We want to build on the success of last year’s work including innovative lunch programs, in-depth trainings, high-quality awards program, active learning environments, fun social events, mentorship opportunities, and we hope to bring you another book club. For AICP membership, we are committing to delivering enough opportunities to meet Certification Maintenance credits for the year, locally and at a low cost. We also want to be your go-to place to connect with other professionals in the region and find new and exciting opportunities to advance your career.


The Board welcomed two new members Tara Lake (as Incoming Section Director) and Leslie Keaveney (as Treasurer). I know both ladies well and I am so excited they were elected to join our team. We also sadly said goodbye to Rachel Hurst, Dahvia Lynch, and Renee Yarmy. All three of these women had a profound impact on the organization and have left big shoes for our incoming leaders to fill. Please be sure to thank them for their hard work when you see them at future events. 


When I began my professional career, many jurisdictions were drafting plans with their eyes on 2020 as the future (including Santee, the Regional Comprehensive Plan, and others). With it now being 2020 it is interesting to reflect how our plans have laid the groundwork for our region. Were our estimates about population accurate? Were our communities actually built as envisioned? How has technology solved problems or fallen short of our expectations? I think it is important to look at the effectiveness of our plans over time to learn how we can continue to better shape change into the future.


This is a unique time for the planning profession. The State legislature has taken a keen interest in planning policy at the local level and new coalitions have formed to rethink how we view housing, design, and environmental protections. APA San Diego will continue to engage in these conversations over the coming year about these and other pressing issues. Please reach out to me if you have an idea for a program or training you’d like to see us bring to the membership.

Thank you for all you do both in your work and with APA San Diego.


Nancy Graham, AICP