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Worthwhile APA divisions

nerudite

Cyburbian
Messages
6,544
Points
30
Okay, here's the short story: I paid my APA invoice without looking at it. It turns out that I'm in the Western Central Chapter (Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, etc.). I paid $25 dues to this regional chapter last year and got very little out of it. Since chapter dues are optional for international members, I am trying to get APA to credit me the $25 toward some other Division dues.

Anyone out there finding any of the divisions worthwhile for the money? I'm leaning toward transportation, housing and community development, international or new urbanism. But I can probably be swayed if there are other good active divisions out there.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
34
Sorry nerudite, I dont beleive that any of the divisions are worth the extra dues!
 

SGB

Cyburbian
Messages
3,388
Points
26
The only division I've ever joined before was Small Town & Rural Planning.

I was underwhelmed.
 

Repo Man

Cyburbian
Messages
2,550
Points
25
It seems like membership will get you a newsletter and an invite to a reception at the APA conference and not much else. Basically you get some articles that relate to that division.

I wish that the APA website would be a free (to APA members) clearingouse of ideas, articles, and publications (in PDF format). Instead they nickel and dime you into bankrupcy with all of their fees for every little thing that they produce. You want to join a division, pay up. You want to read a Journal of The American Planning Association article from 3 years ago, get out your credit card. Want the latest legal updates? Land Use Law and Zoning Digest can help, but it'll cost you $315 a year. Want a 6 page article on a current topic in planning? 65 bucks a year for the Zoning News.
 

nerudite

Cyburbian
Messages
6,544
Points
30
The Western Central Chapter was so useless to me... I mean, do I really want a newsletter describing the newest redevelopment in Laramie or what legislation will affect Idaho? Ummmm... not really.

So almost anything is better. I already spent the $25... hopefully APA will honor the credit.

Maybe the transportation one would be worth it.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
34
Repo Man said:
It seems like membership will get you a newsletter and an invite to a reception at the APA conference and not much else. Basically you get some articles that relate to that division.
So what's in the GALIP newsletter?

How to make the 'planners uniform' FABULOUS!

Design review tips for gay and lesbian retirement communities

Park design for hassle free cruising
 

Richmond Jake

You can't fight in here. This is the War Room!
Messages
18,309
Points
44
Chet said:
So what's in the GALIP newsletter?

How to make the 'planners uniform' FABULOUS!

Design review tips for gay and lesbian retirement communities

Park design for hassle free cruising
rotflmfao....is their newsletter titled "Writings on the Bathhouse Wall."
 

biscuit

Cyburbian
Messages
3,904
Points
25
Repo Man said:
I wish that the APA website would be a free (to APA members) clearingouse of ideas, articles, and publications (in PDF format). Instead they nickel and dime you into bankrupcy with all of their fees for every little thing that they produce.
Ain't that the truth. The only real benefit I've looked forward to with APA membership is the conference but, due to the budget, my workplace has stopped paying for anyone but the director to go. I really don't feel like I've gotten my money's worth and have decided to not pay my dues and renew my membership this year.
 

ecofem

Cyburbian
Messages
206
Points
9
Here's a (somewhat) related question:

How many people are actually honest about their salary when they pay APA dues? Am I the only one who finds themselves in the following internal dialogue..... "Does 'salary' mean before or after taxes? hmmmm..... I'm saying AFTER."

*check box*
 

Repo Man

Cyburbian
Messages
2,550
Points
25
RichmondJake said:
rotflmfao....is their newsletter titled "Writings on the Bathhouse Wall."
Actually it is called the The Gayzette. The APA has a link on their site. Kind of clever name, but for 25 bucks a year I would want more than a newsletter that hasn't been updated since this past winter.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
34
Repo Man said:
Actually it is called the The Gayzette. The APA has a link on their site. Kind of clever name, but for 25 bucks a year I would want more than a newsletter that hasn't been updated since this past winter.
OMG OMG I hit the newsletter topics 2 out of 3!
 

JNA

Cyburbian Plus
Messages
25,063
Points
54
After paying my own dues for APA, AICP, and state chapter,

division dues are just not worth it for what you get back.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
The economic development division puts out a respectable newsletter. Small Town and Rural Planning? I can't remember the last time I received anything from them. The state chapter has had its peaks and valleys. I am hopeful that it is on the upswing. In general, though, I would agree with the statement that APA charges for everything and delivers very little in return. I belong to ULI for about the same amount of money, and the quality of Urban Land is far superior. The International Economic Development Council, again, about the same cost, delivers an electronic newsletter every week, a printed bulletin twice a month, and has several other services, as well as courses at reasonable prices. Why can't the APA deliver?
 

tsc

Cyburbian
Messages
1,905
Points
23
maybe we need to make a straight white male division to appease some... since gays, women, and blacks all have their own divisions...
 

Mud Princess

Cyburbian
Messages
4,896
Points
27
Michael Stumpf said:
The International Economic Development Council, again, about the same cost, delivers an electronic newsletter every week, a printed bulletin twice a month, and has several other services, as well as courses at reasonable prices. Why can't the APA deliver?
Is the IEDC worth joining? How are their conferences? I received something in the mail about the Sept. conference, and wondered if it would be more worthwhile than the APA conferences I've attended.
 

Seabishop

Cyburbian
Messages
3,838
Points
25
Has anyone subscribed to APA's jobmart? You pay extra money but Its the same damn thing as their website!
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
Mud Princess said:
Is the IEDC worth joining? How are their conferences? I received something in the mail about the Sept. conference, and wondered if it would be more worthwhile than the APA conferences I've attended.
I've taken several courses at $295-$395, plus travel. The price is good, but the quality is sometimes hit-or-miss. I found a couple of the core courses overly simple, but they are probably good for somebody new to economic development. The finance and redevelopment courses were excellent.

I attended last year's conference in Oakland and generally enjoyed it. Unlike APA, which has 6-8 concurrent sessions, IEDC tends to favor large sessions with high-caliber speakers. Beyond that, the most valuable aspect was the opportunity to network, particularly with a handful of the national site consultants. I will be going to the conference this September in Cincinnati.

www.iedconline.org
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
18,116
Points
63
Repo Man said:
Want the latest legal updates? Land Use Law and Zoning Digest can help, but it'll cost you $315 a year. Want a 6 page article on a current topic in planning? 65 bucks a year for the Zoning News.
I'd really like to know where the money goes. The salaries of APA employees in Chicago is quite low; I've seen the Webmaster position advertised at $30K a couple of years ago, and a PAS researcher position at the same $30K not too long ago. It's impossible to live in Chicago on that salary! Considering national conference fees, I don't think that's a loss.

My guess ... a lot of pay for lawyers, who might do research and fact-checking for some APA publications, and for lobbyists in DC.
 

geobandito

Cyburbian
Messages
509
Points
16
Moved from APA: not open to conservative planners?

Vlaude said:
APA is getting out there in my opinion... Planning in China - what the heck is that all about? Sure its growing, opportunities there, and a need for it but why the "BIG" push through the "American" Planning Association??? Second, Gay & Lesbian planning??? GET A GRIP!!! I'm still waiting for Heterosexual Planning. WHAT THE HECK does sexuality have to do with planning. I'm afraid they missed the mark on these issues and I could go on. ..... Thinking about it, I guess I am to blame along with other APA members who don't speak up. Maybe its time to start pushing back???
Plan-it said:
I do not see what issue there is for a group of people regardless if it is gay, women, african-americans, or christians to decide that they would like to expand their networking options within a larger organization. The only time groups like this even meet is during the annual conference. Not only that, but general membership dues are not going towards these groups. An individual has to pay extra money to join one of these networking venues. How is that interferring with your experience in APA if your dues are not even going to support it?
Oh dear...

First of all, Vlaude, it isn't "Gay and Lesbian Planning", it's "Gays and Lesbians in Planning." Not exactly the same thing. The division exists because there is some commonality among gays and lesbians in planning regarding challenges in the workplace and the group was established for exactly the same reasons as the divisions for females and African-Americans in planning. And there was a substantial amount of "pushing back" by folks who agree with you that took place when the division was first formed. There are always the classic retorts about why aren't there Straights in Planning or Whites in Planning divisions. And the classic response is that almost any professional planning situation you're in is predominantly white and straight (and largely male, too) already. People that fall outside of that norm sometimes have workplace issues related to that. The gay-women-black divisions exist so those things can be shared.

Plan-It is absolutely right in saying that you aren't paying for it, so it's no waste of your APA dollars (which are just wasted elsewhere, of course). And you are perfectly welcome to try to establish Fisherpeople in Planning as an official division too and you can go through the same approval process GALIP did. APA does have certain standards you have to meet as far as projected membership, etc., and GALIP did not come into existence overnight without some hashing out of those issues. (Incidentally, one of the major concerns was that the membership numbers might be too low because people would be afraid to join and have their names visible to employers - an illustration of the primary "workplace issue" when you live in a country where many states still allow an employee to be fired for no other reason than that they're gay.)

So, that said.... I was a member of GALIP for awhile and found it to be, like every other APA division I belonged to, a waste of money. Which goes further to prove that gay people are just like everyone else. :)
 
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Vlaude

Cyburbian
Messages
440
Points
13
Geobandito, same response... I understand... OK so I left the "in" out... It has NOTHING to do with planning, tell me how something you do in bed, etc. involves planning? Or how a relationship outside of work relates to APA. Come on it doesn't belong! If anyone needs encouragement maybe it is the White Male Convervative in planning, lol... This whole thing is absurd in my book.

And then to add to this discussion since it was bumped over here, I agree for the fees given the APA does little to help on an informative basis, that is unless you are willing to dig more into your pockets. Yet they spend staff time and resources to promote this other CRAP! Sorry, I'm not the type to kick a dead horse... But I don't believe its dead yet... :r:
 

geobandito

Cyburbian
Messages
509
Points
16
Vlaude said:
Geobandito, same response... I understand... OK so I left the "in" out... It has NOTHING to do with planning, tell me how something you do in bed, etc. involves planning? Or how a relationship outside of work relates to APA. Come on it doesn't belong! If anyone needs encouragement maybe it is the White Male Convervative in planning, lol... This whole thing is absurd in my book.

And then to add to this discussion since it was bumped over here, I agree for the fees given the APA does little to help on an informative basis, that is unless you are willing to dig more into your pockets. Yet they spend staff time and resources to promote this other CRAP! Sorry, I'm not the type to kick a dead horse... But I don't believe its dead yet... :r:
Yes, I see you got my point. ^o)
 

Plan-it

Cyburbian
Messages
996
Points
20
Vlaude said:
Geobandito, same response... I understand... OK so I left the "in" out... It has NOTHING to do with planning, tell me how something you do in bed, etc. involves planning? Or how a relationship outside of work relates to APA. Come on it doesn't belong! If anyone needs encouragement maybe it is the White Male Convervative in planning, lol... This whole thing is absurd in my book.

And then to add to this discussion since it was bumped over here, I agree for the fees given the APA does little to help on an informative basis, that is unless you are willing to dig more into your pockets. Yet they spend staff time and resources to promote this other CRAP! Sorry, I'm not the type to kick a dead horse... But I don't believe its dead yet... :r:
Our point here is that if you feel stongly enough that you want to network with other straight male conservatives (and there a a lot of them) in planning then by all means go for it. You can pay your additional dues to take care of the administrative part of the organization and go for it. You are part of a non-discriminated against majority. You do not have to worry about some of the issues that many minorities (women, african-americans, gays and lesbians, etc) have to. Why is it that because you do not like something it cannot exist, even when you are not paying for it!
 

Vlaude

Cyburbian
Messages
440
Points
13
Plan-it said:
You do not have to worry about some of the issues that many minorities (women, african-americans, gays and lesbians, etc) have to. Why is it that because you do not like something it cannot exist, even when you are not paying for it!
Well I disagree with you on the don't have to worry about some issues... Everybody has to deal with how they are dealt with based on appearance, yada, yada... My current employer was ribbed for not hiring a "non-white" employee as the replacement, but I'm not complaining. Think it that was reversed, not hiring a white employee, enough on that I think you get my point. We all can make issues about stuff (not sure white males with conservative tendancies are the norm in planning).

I'm not saying it can't exist... Like I said they are free to start their own group, but it belongs no place in APA. I disagree with some of APA's stance on residential design and cul-de-sacs, and how they promote such designs. But there is some validity to the design and connectivity. So I do see the advantages and in many cases makes sense. That is a function of APA I do not agree with but can support since I see that as a function of APA. Just as the Economic Development Div, the City Planning & Management Div, the Housing & Comm. Development Div, etc... Sorry I just don't think APA should create a separate Division for such issues that aren't a major part of planning...
 

Plan-it

Cyburbian
Messages
996
Points
20
It appears that we will have to agree to disagree. That is the wonderful thing about a democracy. :-D It was a fun debate and we both appear to have valid arguments supporting our own opinions, but I think we have milked this one dry.
 
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5,353
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31
Vlaude said:
Sorry I just don't think APA should create a separate Division for such issues that aren't a major part of planning...
Based on my understanding, the creation of a separate division is driven by the members, not by executive decision of APA.

I've been a member of several divisions (even held office in one of them) over the years and I can honestly say that I never saw much value in any of them, and, as a result, let my membership laspe in all of them. However, I do think that they serve a purpose that doesn't necessarily take away from APA as a whole.
 

Vlaude

Cyburbian
Messages
440
Points
13
Plan-it said:
It appears that we will have to agree to disagree. That is the wonderful thing about a democracy. :-D It was a fun debate and we both appear to have valid arguments supporting our own opinions, but I think we have milked this one dry.
Yeah I can agree to disagree, so one won't think I'm too negative! :-D I just do not see them as planning functions and could become issue that detract from how the APA is outside of the "planning realm". Yeah its good to know you can disagree with someone and not have to worry about being killed, mangled, tortured, etc... Thats something we can celebrate!
 

gkmo62u

Cyburbian
Messages
1,046
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24
They provide a forum for ideas, they are not supporting planning for gay and lesbian communities, because there are none
For what's its worth, Plan-it stated the above. In fact, according to the official newsletter it appears that GALIP is doing exactly the opposite: they are advocating planning for gays!

Its harmless, really. But I am not 100% sure that NONE of my APA dues are going to the special groups.
 

Wildono

Cyburbian
Messages
92
Points
4
Based on my understanding, the creation of a separate division is driven by the members, not by executive decision of APA.

I've been a member of several divisions (even held office in one of them) over the years and I can honestly say that I never saw much value in any of them, and, as a result, let my membership laspe in all of them. However, I do think that they serve a purpose that doesn't necessarily take away from APA as a whole.
At the World Urban Forum III in Vancouver, BC in June, I asked the Exec Director of the APA about the level of activity of the International Division. His response affirms Planderella's understanding and not just for creation of divisions...it's scattered and driven by volunteers (folks like us) who may or may not have a consistent ability to commit time. How much help does APA give to the divisions?
 

jim potter

Member
Messages
9
Points
0
I belong to the Federal Planning and Private Practice Divisions. PPD has an interesting newsletter. FPD does a great workshop just before the national conference. I can honestly say I get to meet a lot of people thru FPD. I could probably meet them by going to the workshop alone, but I think supporting the group is worth a little scratch. The main thing that any of us really gets out of the divisions is their sessions at national. They get 2 (I think) by right sessions each, so their particular bias is part of the program and allows us to tailor the experience to our whims. Of course, if you don't go to the Philly, you lose that benefit.

The ony other advantage of divisions is that they give those of us that want to devote some time to them the opportunity to spend the money as we see fit. I'm on the Exec committee for MD Chapter so I get a say in what awards are given out, where the regional conference is held, how many happy hours are sponsored, etc. Besides, they are a fun bunch of people. I bet if you get involved in them, the divisions are fun too.
 
Messages
24
Points
2
Worthwhile APA Divisions

I am also in the West Central area and feel my $25 were totally wasted, all I get is e-mails and references to the publications they have for purchase. I also would like to spend my money on beneficial activities. Also in Wyoming the state has a planning organization, WYOPASS, which is impossible to get any information about, any application forms let alone a membership in. Poor way to promote planning in the remote corner of the world.
 

tsc

Cyburbian
Messages
1,905
Points
23
I actually find the division receptions to be one of the best part of the National Conventions. In an organization that is so big..covering so many aspects of planning, it is a great way to network with people of similar focus. I am a member of GALIP. I don't care so much about recognition from APA and other members... I just really enjoy the events that GALIP holds. Great place to meet and network with other planners.

In Philly, I also went to the diversity reception and was amazed by the turnout.
 
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