Beauty Store Business

DEC 2014

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58 December 2014 | beautystorebusiness.com Beauty Store Business : Please tell us about your background and why you became involved with the PBA. IRIZARRY REDDY: Prior to joining the PBA, I had the opportunity to serve as a staff member for both state and federal elected officials. In addition to my bachelor's degree in government, a master's degree in criminology and another master's degree in political sci- ence, I have 17 years of experience in government affairs and advocacy. I truly enjoy writing campaigns and educating elected officials about the importance of the professional-beauty industry. I find our legislative process at the state and federal levels to be extremely fascinating; it is amazing how advocacy can influence policy. It's exciting to learn what campaigns have an impact and learn why some attempts ultimately fail. Please give us an overview of the PBA's government affairs & industry relations team. Grassroots activity, advocacy and lobbying all have the goal of educating and shaping an issue. Our goal as a government affairs & industry relations department is to edu- cate, participate and influence policies and regulations on behalf of the professional- beauty industry. Policies and regulations shape nearly everything we do during our day. Some regulations are more obvious than others. An individual may never real- ize the regulations or compliance that a business owner may experience; instead, she may only focus on personal taxes and obligations. Through government affairs and advocacy, we express our point of view and shape policy through our collec- tive influence regarding an issue. Educating others helps us achieve our goals; educating elected officials about our industry and concerns influences issues that impact the professional-beauty indus- try. Without our influence and the advo- cacy efforts of our volunteers, elected officials would not know the impact and importance our industry carries throughout the United States. We educate elected officials and agency representatives about the importance of licensing, safety and sanitation, tips and taxes, and the impact government has on businesses within the beauty industry. Staying informed and asking questions ensures as an individual or as a business that you are in compliance with regula- tions in your state. PBA's government affairs team monitors and researches changes in regulations to provide the best possible information to industry profes- sionals. When issues arise or are brought to our attention, we actively research information to seek a solution. I create programs that facilitate the advocacy process to move our industry forward. We seek ways to push forward progressive change that will help build a stronger industry. Our work is on behalf of our members, who are our No. 1 priority, and we build strategic alliances and relation- ships to effectively influence change. We listen to our members and their concerns. What strides have you made in your position with the PBA? Just a few years ago I was a depart- ment of one. When I joined the PBA, we did not have a tracking system for legislation or broad programs that provide opportunities for beauty industry profes- sionals to participate and be engaged in advocacy efforts. I asked for funding, found resources and began to write pro- grams. We found that industry profes- sionals want to engage and support their own industry. Our government affairs programs began to grow and became resources—not only for our industry, but also to state agencies, elected officials [and trade media] as well. Today, we are a team of three [with Bridget Sharpe and Kati Porter], and we work tirelessly to cover a broad range of topics. The GA team works on multiple projects and issues in addition to legislation, including: • IRS resources specifically for the professional-beauty industry • Healthcare-reform information and resources • I AM Licensed campaign • Independent contractor project • Proposition 65 and Green Chemistry resources • Legislative tracking and campaigns • Nail Manufacturer Council on Safety • Government Affairs Committee • Voter resources • Data and surveys • Federal manufacturing and oversight legislation • Federal tax-fairness legislation • Working Group in Support of Licensing and Regulations Our GA team knows, understands and is experienced in government advocacy and the legislative processes. How does the PBA influence policy? There are many different ways to influ- ence policy, and we work with a variety of options, including lobbying, testifying at hearings, mass letter writing, phone calls, social-media posts, articles, polling and building strategic alliances. Our efforts add credibility to the industry by allowing elected officials to see the influence we can create when we come together to col- lectively take action. Tracking and analyzing legislation for all 50 states allows my GA team the opportu- nity to evaluate which bills may actually be of concern. We carefully consider the sponsor of the bill and that person's poten- tial influence over her peers. We look at the partisan makeup of the committee of referral, and both the House or Assembly, and the Senate. We have reviewed more than 200 bills in 2014 alone! Meeting with elected officials to pro- mote areas of interest to the professional- beauty industry requires the participation of our volunteers. If you choose to be an advocate—a real advocate who par- ticipates in the legislative and regulatory process—then you have an opportunity to shape that issue. What types of legislation have you witnessed that affect the industry? Legislation has been introduced that includes chemical bans, cosmetology licensing, salon safety, product bans, air quality, education, state boards and sales restrictions. Industry professionals will begin to notice legislation that is either introduced in their home state or that has been introduced in multiple states, such as the ban on plastic microbeads. If a beauty professional wonders why she should care about a bill that is introduced or passed in another state, it's because it is much easier to adopt a bill when it has already gone through the legislative process and has passed in one or more states. What changes are occurring as a result of the Safer Consumer Products Program in California? There is a growing amount of information— good and bad—that has consumers, as well as beauty professionals, confused and wondering if their products are safe. When you read about everything—from "How can you advocate for deregulation of an entire industry when you know absolutely nothing about the impact of doing so?" Images courtesy of the Professional Beauty Association

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