Pending State-wide Design Policy Needs Your Help

Given the interest in the Baltimore Innovation Village and Open Works, there is no better time than now to contact your delegates and senators to support design-driven initiatives on a state level. This week, we need your help contacting Annapolis legislators (e-mail, in person or by phone) to sign on as a sponsor for the Maryland Design Excellence and Innovation Commission.

Scheduled to be introduced during the 2017 Maryland General Assembly Session, the Commission’s mission is:

  • To distinguish design in all its manifestations for innovations in both the public and private sectors.
  • To further the evidence of how design impacts innovation in government and industry.
  • To measure discrete economic, social and educational benefits of design activity in all its manifestations.
  • To apply economic, social, and educational outcomes of design activity to important public policy issues for Maryland including but not limited to: best practices for the natural and built environment, accessibility, and the delivery of public sector services.

The Commission has been endorsed by IDSA and AIGA Baltimore, and is currently developing partnerships with Open Works, Baltimore Innovation Village, Morgan State University, MICA, and Stanley Black and Decker. 

Do your part to get the Maryland Design Excellence and Innovation Commission Legislation approved by the Maryland General Assembly.


Take action now

Please take 15 minutes to call or send an email to your Maryland state senators and state delegates. This is vital in order to secure sponsors to support and introduce the legislation before February 24, 2017 in the Senate finance committee.

You can quickly find contact information for your district’s representatives by visiting the General Assembly of Maryland website. Simply click “who represents me?” in the upper right-hand corner and enter your address.

Here’s a sample message you can use:

“Greetings, ________________! I’m __________, a constituent calling/writing to ask for you to sponsor the Maryland Design Excellence and Innovation Commission in the 2017 legislative session. The commission aims to distinguish design in all its manifestations for innovations in both the public and private sectors. which can apply to the fields of (specific examples: industrial design, architecture, engineering)  Federal funds can be used to secure services and programs such as _____________________________________________ that promote sustainability and accessibility and support careers such as _______________________________. This will impact my field of interest by providing ______________________ Thank you for your time.”


Please CC with all correspondence so we can track verifications!
To learn more, visit 

Thank you for taking action to advance the value and practice of design in Maryland.

Stephanie Yoffee is currently working to establish the Maryland Design Excellence and Innovation Commission to serve as an intermediary between the sectors of design, state government, non-profit, and business. She is collaborating with policy-makers on MarylandByDesign, a design policy platform.

Kathleen Mazurek serves on AIGA Baltimore’s Innovate Committee, working to create an online national resource for design policy. She has worked with Stephanie Yoffee on the Design Excellence Commission since 2015. Kathleen is a Program Coordinator for the Tech Kids After School Program at Liberty Elementary School.



By Kathleen Mazurek and Stephanie Yoffee
Published February 15, 2017