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Thread: APA membership

  1. #1
    Cyburbian gicarto's avatar
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    APA membership

    Is it necessary to be a member of APA. I was a member as a student and I discontinued my membership after school was over.

    Is the APA a waste of money? Is there another accredited group that may serve a purpose?
    Trying to get my grubby hands on as much stimulus money as I can.:D

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    If you read through several of our past threads you would see that we are all enthusiastic supporters of APA and its countless relevant and affordable offerings.

    Ok, not.

    I am a member of APA and AICP because it is the professional organization of planning, and I feel it is appropriate to belong. I do not feel that I get my money's worth from it. When it comes to defining trends or introducing practices in planning, APA provides no leadership to speak of. While Planning Magazine has improved, it is still not as informative as Urban Land or several other magazines I receive. The state chapters and the divisions vary in quality, but most provide almost no benefit. APA does not offer any training programs, like other organizations, and it only has the one annual conference which is usually priced beyond the reach of the average planner.

    As to whether there are better organizations to which you might belong, I suppose it depends on your field of planning. I tend to enjoy IEDC and ULI much better.
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  3. #3
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    I'm AICP and APA....but like Cardinal mentioned.....there are issues with the organization, particularly on return of investment in the membership fees.

    State Chapters vary widely....I'm lucky that my chapter is good, but you may want to check with Planderella or Big Easy King to see what their impressions of the LA chapter are.
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  4. #4
    Cyburbian gicarto's avatar
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    If I haven't been an APA member for a while and haven't started working on my AICP, will I have a hard time trying to become a planner for the first time?
    Trying to get my grubby hands on as much stimulus money as I can.:D

  5. #5
    Cyburbian IlliniPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by gicarto
    If I haven't been an APA member for a while and haven't started working on my AICP, will I have a hard time trying to become a planner for the first time?
    I would hope that what you know as a planner has come from education and experience rather than an organization. APA should be seen as a supplement to what you have learned/experienced.
    One lot of redevelopment prevents a block of sprawl.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by NHPlanner
    State Chapters vary widely....I'm lucky that my chapter is good, but you may want to check with Planderella or Big Easy King to see what their impressions of the LA chapter are.
    The LA Chapter finally has new leadership that seems to be interested in steering the chapter in some kind of direction. For several years, the chapter has been divided because of tensions between the New Orleans section and the Capital-Baton Rouge section - the two most active sections in the state. The North LA section has recently been revived as well as the Acadiana section. Although it's kind of early to tell, but I think the chapter is improving.
    "A witty woman is a treasure, a witty beauty is a power!"

  7. #7
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by IlliniPlanner
    I would hope that what you know as a planner has come from education and experience rather than an organization. APA should be seen as a supplement to what you have learned/experienced.
    I agree. Also, being an active member of the APA is excellent for making contacts with other planners and networking which can be one of the best ways to find a planning job.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    I would have no problem with the APA if it was possible only to join the national organization, because I believe the APA does some great things at the national level (advocacy, lobbying, etc.) The requirement that members pay dues to their state organization bothers me though. I'm not really sure what exactly my state chapter does, and I know a lot of other Cyburbians feel the same way.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally posted by gicarto
    If I haven't been an APA member for a while and haven't started working on my AICP, will I have a hard time trying to become a planner for the first time?
    No, if you're looking for an entry-level position, they won't demand membership. If the group you work with (or the group you want to work with) declares their membership, you should jump in with them. Remember, you can always deduct a portion of the fees from the IRS (this most holy day of reconing).

    Personally, I like Planning magazine ok, and receive the Journal of the APA for good measure. They keep you smart, or sumpthin.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian andreplanner's avatar
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    Being a member is not a waste of money

    Quote Originally posted by gicarto
    Is it necessary to be a member of APA. I was a member as a student and I discontinued my membership after school was over.

    Is the APA a waste of money? Is there another accredited group that may serve a purpose?
    I used to tell people to join the Canadian Institute of Planners because employers see that you're active and you will hear about events and networking opportunities. Same goes for the APA and joining state chapters. Trust me, it's worth every penny. Actually I am a member of both the APA and CIP.

    Usually professional memberships are covered by your workplace or you can write it off with your taxes. Of course I can't write off my APA membership though unless I was paying Yankee taxes. LOL

  11. #11
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by andreplanner
    Of course I can't write off my APA membership though unless I was paying Yankee taxes. LOL

    Oh yeah.....and GOD save that SILLY queen of yours......he he he.....
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  12. #12
    Cyburbian andreplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by The One
    Oh yeah.....and GOD save that SILLY queen of yours......he he he.....
    FYI, We don't have a QUEEN. She's only around for historical purposes (Can't think of the right word. Have a headache). The governor general represents the queen. Doesn't matter.. our GG needs to be booted anyway. You wanna talk about taxes and abuse of money, start with her. We know you Americans would have her feathered and made her swallow some tar. LOL..

  13. #13
    Cyburbian
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    Tar and feather the Queen? For doing what?


    Sheesh people, get a grip on reality.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian PlannerByDay's avatar
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    I was an on and off member of the APA until I qualified to take the AICP exam. At that point if your not an APA member you can't take the exam. With that said I have been a full-time member of the APA member for 3 years.

    Is it worth it?

  15. #15
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    He he he....

    Quote Originally posted by andreplanner
    FYI, We don't have a QUEEN. She's only around for historical purposes (Can't think of the right word. Have a headache). The governor general represents the queen. Doesn't matter.. our GG needs to be booted anyway. You wanna talk about taxes and abuse of money, start with her. We know you Americans would have her feathered and made her swallow some tar. LOL..
    Figurehead? .....hmm.....no tar and feathering here, all we ever wanted was to be left alone and prosper

    Oh and we pay something like 45% of our APA dues for State membership!! And another $20 or so for State Section membership
    Skilled Adoxographer

  16. #16
    Cyburbian spunky2's avatar
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    If you can get your employer to pay for it, great. If not, the only reason to have it is to maintain AICP.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Employer pays my membership. Which means, now that I JUST signed up as APA, I get PLANNING magazine, which offers a nice hour at my desk read--- I mean working...

    Other than that I have not been an APA member to really know its bounty...
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
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  18. #18
    Cyburbian PlannerByDay's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by spunky2
    If you can get your employer to pay for it, great. If not, the only reason to have it is to maintain AICP.
    YUP that will be the primary reason I fork out the dough now.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    If you a student, it is cheep. Go to the conferences and training sessions, meet other planners, network, and get a job.

    I was APA for 3 years in college, then I let it drop for a year when I moved to PA. My employer (back in Michigan now) pays for it, and will pay for me to take my AICP, and then pay to maintain it too.

    Also check with your state chapter of the APA to see if they offer scholarships. I am on the committee for the Michigan chapter, and we gave out 3 last year.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  20. #20
    Cyburbian spunky2's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by zmanPLAN
    Other than that I have not been an APA member to really know its bounty...
    Is there a "bounty" of APA perks that I am missing? If you want the journal, you have to pay for it. The conferences are still expensive, even if you are a member. They are so pricey and usually inapplicable to what I do, I don't think I can convince my employer to send me... maybe when it comes to Vegas in 2008. (Everyone mark your calendars now!) My state chapter appears to be MIA. The only person in the state that I know to be in APA is a grumpy, grumpy man. Anyone else in Nevada APA?

    But its free since my employer pays for it and if I pass the quiz, I can put those extra initials after my name on my business card. Great conversation starter at cocktail parties and get togethers... having people ask me what the hell AICP means. I plan on telling people that I don't really know. See how that goes.

  21. #21
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by gicarto
    If I haven't been an APA member for a while and haven't started working on my AICP, will I have a hard time trying to become a planner for the first time?
    What most of the others have said. Employers don't really care if you are APA, or at least that is my experience. My employer pays my dues, which is why I am a member. As mentioned before, APA benefits more from your membership than you ever will.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

  22. #22
    Cyburbian andreplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by spunky2
    Is there a "bounty" of APA perks that I am missing? If you want the journal, you have to pay for it. The conferences are still expensive, even if you are a member. They are so pricey and usually inapplicable to what I do, I don't think I can convince my employer to send me... maybe when it comes to Vegas in 2008. (Everyone mark your calendars now!) My state chapter appears to be MIA. The only person in the state that I know to be in APA is a grumpy, grumpy man. Anyone else in Nevada APA?

    But its free since my employer pays for it and if I pass the quiz, I can put those extra initials after my name on my business card. Great conversation starter at cocktail parties and get togethers... having people ask me what the hell AICP means. I plan on telling people that I don't really know. See how that goes.
    I hope I am living in Vegas by then otherwise I am for sure gonna make my employer pay for it! LOL If not then I guess I am leaving on company time. Like hell I am not missing that conference. I hope what u say is true!

    VIVA LAS VEGAS!!!

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