Leveraging Facebook and Twitter to Help Protect America’s Most Vulnerable Children and Families

Meredith Dodson, Director of U.S. Poverty Campaigns
November 01, 2011

If you are anything like me, you start off your day with a strong cup of coffee and a quick check of e-mail, Facebook and Twitter to learn the latest news about friends and family (and, on this morning, see pictures of adorable kids in Halloween costumes). Here is a way you can make a difference during downtime online – join the SAVE for All campaign social media day of action! RESULTS volunteers have already contacted Congress their members of Congress hundreds of times via phone, letters, town halls and face-to-face lobby meetings about protecting vulnerable Americans in deficit reduction talks. With the “Super Committee” meeting today and just a few weeks before their November 23 deadline to produce a package of budget savings, anti-poverty programs like  Medicaid, Medicare, SNAP (food stamps), the EITC, the CTC, and others could face serious cuts.  So, we're trying something new -- reinforcing our message to keep the pressure on Congress to do the right thing and not balance the budget on the backs of low-income Americans.

Here’s how you can get involved:

On Facebook, go to your senators' Facebook pages (see this handy online directory) and click the ‘Like’ button at the top. Then post a message like this to his or her wall: "Please reject any deficit reduction plan that harms lowincome people, adds to their number, and stalls our fragile economic recovery." Remember you can tailor the message – the more personal the story, the better! Be sure to pass on your morning greetings to both senators, and your representative too if you have time. We'll post sample Facebook messages today on the RESULTS Facebook page, and please add your suggestion in the Comments below.

On Twitter, post a message like one of these:
Find your senators' Twitter handle (also in this online directory) or you can use Families USA's first-of-its-kind tool) and post a message like this: Dear (@insert your Senator’s handle) Please reject any deficit reduction plan that harms lowincome people or stalls economic recovery #SAVE4All.” I'll be posting sample Tweets today as @DodsonAdvocate if you need inspiration, and please add your suggestion in the Comments below. We urge you to use the hashtag #SAVE4All so we can create more of a “buzz” – see our recent blogpost on Twitter hashtags for more information.

If you do not use social media and today's not a good day for you to start, you can send e-mails to Congress through our website on key issues like SNAP and Medicaid. As we all know, members of Congress sometimes have to hear things over and over again before they take action — this effort simply helps you be persistent and creative in doing that, and hopefully educate and engage others in your community as well. Of course, you can amplify your message by sending a letter to the editor using our online tool telling Congress to get their priorities straight by creating a balanced deficit reduction plan that protects services for low-income families and creates jobs See our recent blog post with many of the great new resources and tools to help advocates influence deficit reduction talks.

One of the great things about RESULTS is that we support each other to do new and challenging things -- and I count this campaign today as a part of this! I hope you'll join me in taking action and creating more of a buzz.

UPDATE: While the Super Committee has disbanded, you can tailor our "laser talks" and online actions to continue to communicate with policymakers on issues that are important to you. Good luck!

** For more information about RESULTS and how you can make a difference, including our work in communities across the country to create the political will to end poverty, please visit our website: www.results.org.