Gaelic Wolf Consulting
241 Sand Road
Port Townsend, WA 98368

Jefferson County Courthouse in Port Townsend, Washington
Jefferson County Courthouse in Port Townsend, Washington, © Norman MacLeod

Government relations

When working on natural resource policy issues, you will more than likely be spending some time working with legislators, agencies, and their officials.  Yours will not be the only voice they hear, and likely not the only opinion they will need to consider when formulating the policies that will ultimately affect your opportunities and activities.

Developing and maintaining good working relationships with elected and appointed officials at all levels is essential to making your voice heard and influencing the shaping and outcome of legislation and policy development and implementation.  While you may come to the table with a great deal of experience in the necessary skills, it's more likely that you will need some help in this area of public policy involvement.

A government relations program for your organization is about much more than lobbying elected officials in an effort to influence a particular policy-making process.  It's about developing ongoing and long-term relationships with not only elected officials, but also with key agency employees at all levels.  When you want your voice heard and the information you bring and your opinions valued, those working relationships count for a great deal.

Making a difference

Large member organizations usually have a government relations staff, including registered lobbyists, who work with legislators and state or local government agencies to help guide and influence legislation and policy-making processes.  Smaller organizations only rarely have those services directly available to them, and are often left to fend for themselves in the halls of the legislature and when dealing with the agencies whose policies affect their activities.

Fortunately, members of smaller organizations and individuals can act as "citizen lobbyists" on their own behalf without having to become registered lobbyists.  There are limits on this type of participation, but they are usually not at all onerous.

If you haven't done this kind of work before, there is a bit of a learning curve, but don't let that discourage you in any way.  Legislators at all levels are often more open to listening to everyday citizens who take the time to come to testify before committees than they are to hearing from the professional lobbyists they see more frequently.

It takes time to research an issue, learn the information that supports your position, and then to effectively articulate your advocacy in writing, committee settings, and one-on-one.  Because so few people do, it's well worth your time and effort.

How we can help

Gaelic Wolf Consulting provides professional government relations services for businesses and organizations needing assistance with legislative activities and working with agencies on a case-by-case basis.  If you would like our assistance on this level, please contact us today.

We also provide a range of services designed to help businesses, organizations, and individuals to become effective advocates as citizen lobbyists.  These include, but are not limited to:

  • Citizen lobbyist training
  • Government relationship training
  • Legislative process training
  • Rule-making process training
  • Training for your membership in the "do-and-don't" of advocating for your interests
  • Training in how to build an effective public record for anticipated litigation

Our goal is to help you develop a comfort level with the legislative and administrative processes of government that will allow you to become the most effective advocate for your issues possible.  We are your partner in improving government at all levels.