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2010 Actions and Successes

RESULTS Activists Inspire Action for Health Care, Education, and Economic Opportunity

RESULTS and RESULTS Educational Fund (REF) are “part of a great historical tradition of ordinary citizens organizing and demanding change,” as RESULTS/REF Executive Director Joanne Carter says. Over the course of 2010, our activists met repeatedly with members of Congress and their aides, generated powerful pieces of media, and wrote countless letters and e-mails to legislators and the Obama Administration. We raised our voices repeatedly to ensure that the least fortunate among us are afforded dignity and a decent life. All told, we put in thousands of hours to this effort.

In the process, we inspired ourselves and inspired those who make decisions that affect millions of people’s lives. We took a lead role in getting members of Congress to write and cosponsor legislation, cosign letters, and speak powerfully in support of critical anti-poverty programs and legislation.

The hundreds of steps and thousands of actions we took led to lives saved, kids educated, and families moving out of poverty. Below is a description of some of the ways that our actions translated into real outcomes.

Global Poverty Campaigns

Global Health: When it seemed the administration would shrink funding for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria rather than expand funding to meet the need, we took a bold stand.

  • We amplified our message with a media drive that included a multi-city tour by four African health activists and dogged efforts by RESULTS grassroots. These combined efforts resulted in over 80 media clips.

The result: The administration made its first-ever three-year pledge — $4 billion for 2011-2013, a 38 percent increase over the preceding three-year period. Many thought a multi-year pledge impossible just a few months earlier.

Education for All: To meet the goal of Education for All Children by 2015, we rallied support for a Global Fund for Education as well as increased bilateral funding for global education.

  • A month of events in April, which included teaching the Global Campaign for Education’s “Lesson for All” in classrooms across the country and a media call, culminated in Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY) introducing the Education for All Act, which calls for new policies to expand and improve basic education and supports U.S. funding for multilateral education initiatives, including a new Global Fund for Education. Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA) became the Republican lead at the urging of local RESULTS activists. As of December 1, there were 68 cosponsors. New York RESULTS activists and RESULTS staff secured Senator Kristin Gillibrand’s leadership for the Senate version, which was introduced September 16.

The result: An additional one million children will go to school over the next five years, while the Education for All Act represents the promise that one day all children will be educated.

Microcredit: When it seemed that the goal of passing legislation to give Muhammud Yunus the Congressional Gold Medal was lost, we got into higher gear.

  • And because better World Bank investment in microfinance for the very poor is needed, we persuaded 33 senators to sign a letter to World Bank President Robert Zoellick urging the Bank to act on a set of initiatives to expand microfinance for the very poor in Africa.

The result: Muhammud Yunus will receive the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor, while members of Congress and the World Bank received the message that investing in microfinance is the right thing to do right now, particularly to mitigate the impact of the financial crisis. The World Bank is now in the process of creating a new microfinance grant facility for Africa. We continue to monitor and track this new development.

U.S. Poverty (Domestic) Campaigns

Health Care Reform: RESULTS embraced the plight of low-income Americans during the health care reform debates and created a constant drumbeat for reform from our advocates.

  • RESULTS activists made an estimated 1,300 contacts with congressional offices regarding health care reform, calling in particular for increasing the number of low-income people eligible for Medicaid and more funding for community health centers, which mostly serve low-income populations.

The result: 16 million uninsured people will receive Medicaid coverage by 2019. Funding for community health centers will increase by $11 billion from 2011 to 2015 to serve an additional 20 million people.

Early Childhood Development and Child Nutrition: One in five children in the U.S. lives in poverty. These kids go to bed hungry and struggle to learn. To give them a better start:

  • We called on Congress to increase investments in Head Start, child care, and child nutrition programs.
  • When the Senate passed a child nutrition reauthorization bill that allocated only $4.5 billion in new funding and paid for it with cuts from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP (formerly called food stamps), we pressed the House to pass a bill with higher funding levels and to restore the SNAP funding.

The result: Congress passed the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010 on December 2, 2010, which will expand and improve child nutrition programs. Congress and the President vowed to restore the SNAP cuts in a subsequent bill. Senate appropriators increased FY11 funding for Head Start by $990.3 million and for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) by $1 billion. The House Appropriations Subcommittee included an $866 million increase for Head Start and a $700 million increase for CCDBG. Final legislation for these programs is still pending. 

Economic Opportunity: As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) were expanded to help working parents. Because the changes were set to expire at the end of 2010, meaning that 7 million people could lose all or part of their credits, we demanded that these long-overdue improvements be made permanent.

  • Throughout the year, activists wrote letters and made phone calls to congressional offices, held conference call meetings with House and Senate tax aides, made site visits to Volunteer Income Tax Assistance sites (which serve low-income clients), wrote letters to the editor on the importance of these credits to working families, and held face-to-face meetings with members of Congress.

The result: Members of Congress heard our concern, and several communicated their support for expansions of the CTC and EITC directly to tax committee leaders. The final tax legislation included a two-year extension of the 2009 improvements to CTC and EITC.

RESULTS has spent three decades convincing people that they can make a difference. It’s once again clear that our voices really do matter.

View a retrospective of 30 years of RESULTS: