This was Daniel’s position statement in the 2002 election. We’re continuing to make it available online so readers can measure any progress toward achieving the goals he proffered.

For AICP President–Elect — 2002
 ALL APA members can vote for this position because the
 AICP President sits on both the APA Board and the AICP Commission

Also see:
Making it Safe to Plan Ethically
Daniel’s full biography

Position Statement of

Gary T. Johnson

President, Planning/Communications, 1979+; Senior Planner, Oak Park, Illinois; 701 Coordinator, Illinois Department of Local Government Affairs; Research Associate, ASPO Planning Advisory Service; housing columnist, Chicago Sun-Times.

Paul Davidoff Award (April 1998 Planning), Illinois Chapter Awards of Merit: 1991, 1983.

APA President, 1985-86; APA, AICP and ASPO Director.
Created APA Amicus Committee
Created APA Planners Threatened and Planners Support Committees
Ended frequent dues increases while APA and AICP President by following sound fiscal practices
Spurred an increase in division memberships by getting APA to include division brochure with annual dues invoices
Ended membership loss by switching to salary–based dues system — previous frequent dues increases led to significant membership declines and loss of revenue to chapters as well as national APA.

Author: Winning APA amicus brief before U.S. Supreme Court, 2 APA policy guides; 5 PAS reports, 10 books including: Compleat Guide to Jobs in Planning and Public Administration; chapters in Land Reform, American Style and Challenging Uneven Development.

Masters of Urban Planning, University of Illinois–Urbana (1972); B.A. (sociology) University of Chicago, 1970; J.D. Northwestern University School of Law (1985).

Position Statement:

It’s really hard to be an effective, ethical planner these days. Most planners really want to practice the sound, ethical, inclusionary planning APA advocates. But, in the vast majority of jurisdictions, this type of planning enjoys little political or public support. APA/AICP should start building a climate in which we can practice the type of planning to which we aspire without fear of losing our jobs.

If planning is to grow beyond its Rodney Dangerfield image and get some respect, APA/AICP should start to:

Proactively build public and political support for rational, sound, ethical, inclusionary planning practices, such as "Growing Smart."

Provide greater staff and financial support to chapters and sections to forge effective public relations and lobbying efforts at the state and local levels where most laws governing planning are adopted.

Really support planners who want to plan ethically despite political pressure. APA/AICP needs to fully fund and staff the "Planners Support Committee" instead of offering only moral support.

Revive APA’s "Agenda for America’s Communities." Planners have a unique, comprehensive understanding of the actual causes of our nation’s domestic issues. Let’s put the planning community to work to begin solving these problems.

Reject premature proposals to force mandatory continuing education in order to remain AICP members. APA/AICP should first deliver high quality, affordable, and accessible continuing education locally and nationally — to which professional planners will voluntarily flock.

Listen to and address the concerns of the Ordinary Ol’ Planner. Like Norm Krumholz, I will make sure that our diversity of opinions within APA/AICP are heard and count.

Govern APA/AICP with sound planning and fiscal practices. Stop spending so much on internal politics. Stop changing by-laws and election rules to exclude independent voices from APA/AICP leadership. There’s no need for the latest vaguely defined, expensive, and massive study of organization, governance, and finances. Just spend less than you take in. While researching my Government Job Finder, I learned that other professional associations envy APA’s operations, services, and fiscal solvency. Why "fix" what’s not broken? Why squander $432,000 to develop "a brand definition that reflects [APA/AICP’s] visual, emotional, [sic] and cultural identity." Branding is a business tool for selling products, not professionalism, policies, or ideas. No wonder APA raised dues and fees again, and AICP dues are unnecessarily expensive.

Let’s elect an APA Board and AICP Commission that get their priorities straight and listen to all of us.

Every few years it seems necessary that we, the voters, call on APA/AICP’s leadership to come home. This is one of those years — when we need to elect people who will halt annual dues increases, and instead focus on our core values, on serving all members, and on opening up the decision–making the process. We do this to keep APA cost-effective, committed to putting its members first, and capable of honest debate. Yes, I am calling for change, but to be capable of coping with a changing world, an organization like APA/AICP must first be capable of changing itself.