As practicing engineers we are charged by our licensing rules and the building code "to safeguard life, health, property, and public welfare". However, in our daily efforts we often focus stringently on the safeguarding of life through code-based "life-safety" standards, while letting the other charges of protecting property and public welfare settle into our subconscious as after thoughts of the first.
Monday's announcement by Mayor Garcetti in Los Angeles, could be seen as a call to our SEAOSC membership to provide our engineering expertise beyond the building footprint and into the domain ofprotecting the public welfare of greater Los Angeles. As the Mayor states, "the known risks - to life, property and our overall economy - are too great", for us to limit our solutions to a single building project. Instead we should prepare ourselves to participate in a growing dialogue which recognizes that single buildings, standing alone, do not make a city.
As many of you may know, SEAOSC is actively participating in the conversations led by Dr. Lucy Jones regarding building earthquake performance. We will continue to engage and support the decision making process as this moves from mayoral initiative to effective City policy. The linked articles will help you get up to speed with where the process stands today. Over the coming weeks and next few months we will keep you informed of additional developments as they unfold. We encourage you to attend the January 7th SEAOSC Dinner meeting, "Resilience By Design: The City of Los Angeles Plan to Reduce Seismic Vulnerability" which will be on the current status of City of LA Ordinances.
SEAOSC's participation in activities such as this provides a clear example of how the association endeavors to add value to your membership by enhancing the profession of Structural Engineering in the State of California and providing a portal for the public to find structural engineers. But don't forget, your Association is only as strong as the participation of its membership...so, check back with us often for more info, updates, and ways to get involved to support this and other important activities.
Sincerely, Kevin O'Connell, SEAOSC President
& all of the SEAOSC Board of Directors