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Workspace: Public policy


The Public Policy Committee (PPC) is a chapter committee to develop expertise and consensus on public policy matters and advise the board. The committee coordinates with experts, co-hosts public forums on policy topics, and recommends public policy stances to the Board and the movement. The chapter is a nonprofit organization, and tax rules on such organizations requires that only small amounts of chapter money may be allocated to lobbying and other public policy efforts.

Members of the committee are listed here. As of Oct 2018 they are Peter Meyer, Dominic Byrd-McDevitt, Robert Fernandez, Jim Hayes, Kevin Payravi, and John Sadowski.

Issue areas and activities

Other areas

Background, and other topics of interest

Our role and constraints

  • The Wikimedia DC board must approve any public document from the committee representing the chapter, before release
  • Committee members may self-identify as members of Wiki DC but should not claim to represent Wiki DC without board approval of specific positions.
  • Generally Wiki-DC and this group should take stances that are in the public interest of free knowledge, not stances advocating narrow interests of the organization
  • /Reports to the Wikimedia DC board

Connections and affiliations

  • Our chapter may wish to join the Congressional Data Coalition
  • The chapter held events at Cato Institute, the Sunlight Foundation and American University's Washington College of Law
  • Advocacy page on meta
  • In April 2012, Wikimedia DC partnered with the Washington European Society and the Estonian Embassy in Washington to present a panel on Internet Freedom & Open Government: An International Conversation, featuring speakers Danny Weitzner, Deputy CTO for Internet Policy at the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy; Chairman Marko Mihkelson, Chairman of the Estonian Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee; Ian Schuler, Senior Manager for Internet Freedom Programs at the State Department; and Rebecca MacKinnon, Bernard L. Schwartz senior fellow at the New America Foundation and a member of the Wikimedia Foundation Advisory Board. Adam Kushner, Deputy Editor of the National Journal, moderated the discussion.

Answers from the PPC on behalf of the chapter

  • How can our chapter advocate for public policy without violating not-for-profit rules? Our answer (Feb-Mar 2014)
  • How should copyright rules be changed to allow more use of orphan works? Our published answer (May 2014)
  • Should our chapter join the Congressional Data Coalition? Overwhelmingly our committee said YES. (June 2014, in board meeting minutes)
  • How should our chapter prepare to give a prize to an international recipient? WMF legal counsel Villa advised (June 2014) that (a) For issues related to chapter status/agreement, ask Stephen LaPorte of WMF legal; (b) Please check with trademarks@wikimedia.org regarding use of trademarks before using them in a contest; (c) WMF-Legal "can't" give us legal advice regarding our 501(c)3 status or money transfers out of the country. Econterms is following up with WM-NYC and can contact LaPorte.
  • Should our chapter sign on to these declarations and manifestos? (July 2014) (1) Public Domain Manifesto; (2) Berlin Declaration; (3) Washington Declaration. We'll recommend something by the July 26 meeting.