President’s Message: December

Planners focus on the future.
Your Board met mid-month to approve our annual work program and budget. We wrap up the year in sound financial position, with a look toward growing our membership, increasing our influence, and improving chapter management. 

Planners should be the example.
Our chapter joins several APA components to question the SIGNIFICANT proposed changes to our national By-Laws including our elections and governance. We are concerned by both the amendment process, which limited member input and review, as well as the proposed changes themselves. The changes include eliminating the member petition option for Board candidates and nominating an uncontested slate of candidates for at-large Board of Directors by a Nominating Committee – among other significant changes.

TAKE ACTION! Please review the proposed bylaws revisions. WPD has also prepared a guide to the changes for your use. Send your comments to  with the subject line “Bylaws Updates” by Thursday, December 14, 2023 – please include your name, member ID, bylaws reference number (e.g., section x.x) and a concise statement with your comments on the proposed amendment.

Planners can lead the zoning reform movement.
#ItTakesAPlanner to increase housing choice in our community. As we prepare for the upcoming General Assembly session, we are focused on the need for zoning reform to drive attainable, quality housing supply. Local decision making matters. And as planners, we are on the front line of the housing crisis across our state. Join the Policy and Advocacy Committee in our work to promote solutions that ensure a home for every budget. Email us to support our work.

More to come.
It has been a true honor to serve as Georgia Planning Association President. I hope that the dedication of our volunteer leaders inspires you, as it does me, to do more. Because #ItTakesAPlanner to build vibrant communities throughout Georgia. 

Happy holidays, and all my best wishes for a healthy, happy new year.

Whitney Shephard, PE
GPA President