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prairie grassroots
A group of three citizen architects during Prairie Grassroots 2017 in front of the Illinois Capitol



Dear Citizen Architects,


We regret to inform you that the Secretary of State has CANCELED all Activities at the Illinois State Capitol until further notice in an effort to limit all possibilities of transmission of the COVID-19 virus. These activities include all public and scheduled tours and organizational lobby days - including our Prairie Grassroots - in order to prevent large group gatherings on the Capitol grounds.


Currently, legislative session is delayed. They are scheduled to return on Tuesday, March 24, but have announced they are taking the decision to return on a week by week basis. We will continue to keep you informed. Right now it is hard to reschedule a lobby day without knowing if or when legislators will be back in session. More than likely we will be planning “virtual” lobby days encouraging you to make calls and send emails from the comfort of your office or home.


We sincerely thank all of you who registered to attend, and we are disappointed as we too were looking forward to a fantastic 16th year of Prairie Grassroots. However, the health and safety of our members is most important and we support the Secretary of State’s decision.


Be well,


Janeen A. Harrell AIA | NOMA | LEED AP

President of AIA Illinois 


Stacey Pfingsten 

Executive Vice President of AIA Illinois 



The event is free thanks to our generous sponsors, includes travel from the Chicago area, and will ensure that the sunset of the Illinois Architecture Practice Act, which takes place every decade, is renewed smoothly. Plus, more than 50 new legislators took office in January, who may not know how much our profession impacts our cities and our communities. Your viewpoint is an important one as they begin to analyze and vote on legislation.


Prairie Grassroots is AIA Illinois' coordinated lobby day at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield. Illinois architects have a great track record of achieving our legislative goals because of member participation in Prairie Grassroots.

It's important for architects to make their presence felt at the state capitol--because government officials listen to their constituents. Take one day out of the office to ensure new bills and policies have a positive impact on your business, and to hear from the agencies that implement the regulations and laws that affect you. 

We make it easy for you to participate:

  • Don't drive--network! Free, early morning bus/van pick-up in Chicago and Joliet

    • ​Chicago Merchandise Mart (SW Corner) – Departs 7:45a (returns appx 10:00p)

    • Joliet Park and Stop (Exit 257 on I-55) – Departs 9:00a (returns appx. 9:00p)

  • Luncheon includes a how-to-lobby lesson and guest speakers

    • Issue Briefing Luncheon 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM at Arlington's, 210 Broadway, directly SE of the AIA Illinois's offices. ​

  • Two hour window in the afternoon for coordinated group visits with legislators and agency officials

    • Capitol Visits, 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM at the Illinois State Capitol. ​

    • Walk to the Capitol from Arlington's. ​

    • An AIA Illinois table will be located at the NW section of the Rotunda for any questions you may have. 

    • Finished early with your Capitol Visits? Arlington's, JP Kelly's Pub, Buzz Bomb Brewing Company, and Cafe Moxo are all very close to Resource One. 

  • Legislator of the Year Networking & (hearty) Reception to end the day

    • 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM, Resource One Showroom, 321 East Adams St. 

    • Walk to Resource One from the Capitol. 

    • Representative Jehan Gordon-Booth, an advocate for Historic Preservation, will be honored.  

Prairie Grassroots is held annually on a weekday when legislators are in session, usually in March or April.

View pictures from last year's Prairie Grassroots on Facebook.

Thank you to our 2019 Sponsors
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AIA Illinois Prairie Grassroots

AIA Illinois Prairie Grassroots

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