Understanding How Policy Works in WIPP
- WIPP is a national policy organization. Its focus is exclusively on the economic issues that affect women and minority business owners. Broader issues are not relevant to its mission.
- WIPP is issue-driven, not party-driven. While WIPP has members that include Democrats, Republicans and Independents with a wide range of political thought, what brings everyone together is the common focus on small business issues. This focus is what makes WIPP powerful and a recognized and reputable organization in Washington.
- The organization has in its employ a professional Government Relations team in Washington, DC that represents WIPP's interests and knows how to effectively communicate these issues to elected officials. The team maintains solid relationships with both parties. It's because of these relationships that WIPP is able to work effectively, ensure that its positions are recognized and included in legislation, and ultimately have many of its positions become law.
- Only the Government Relations team speaks and works on the Hill representing Board-approved positions. No member, executive, or other paid staff speaks or sets policy unless so directed by the Board of Directors.
- WIPP's Board puts a great deal of thought in how to effectively communicate the issues to members. WIPP specifically reports on the facts surrounding an issue, legislation, or law. WIPP does not report on interpretations from opinion-makers, pundits or from think tanks. This factual reporting allows members to understand how an issue may impact them, and decide how they may respond to it as a business owner.
- While many legislative issues extend far beyond the small business perspective, WIPP only officially responds to the business provisions of legislation. WIPP encourages members who have a position that extends beyond a small business perspective to engage directly with their elected official.
- WIPP has carefully documented the process for developing a position. It is published on our website and in our Annual Report. Simply put, the process is as follows:
- Member input: issue committees, annual/pulse surveys, member-wide teleconference briefings, local Instant Impact Teams and national Team meetings, and weekly legislative reports.
- With member input, the Government Relations team drafts a position statement.
- Draft statement is reviewed by the pertinent issue committee.
- The Government Relations team then finalizes the position statement and presents it to the Board of directors for final approval.