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U.S. Poverty Weekly Update July 15, 2014

 We need to get back to where no matter where you come from, you can achieve the American dream.

— Tianna Gaines Turner of Witnesses to Hunger

New and Urgent in This Week's Update

Latest from Washington, DC

Organizational Updates


Got Two Minutes? Submit Your Face-to-Face Meeting Requests (July Action)

If you participated in last weekend’s Joint U.S. and Global Poverty National Conference Call, you know that all RESULTS volunteers – both global- and U.S. poverty-focused – are working to schedule face-to-face meetings with members of Congress during the upcoming August recess. The August recess is a great opportunity to meet with members of your congressional delegation, as they will be back in their home states for a month. At last weekend’s call, hopefully you divided up responsibilities for contacting House and Senate offices to set up meetings. Having different people reach out to different offices (if at all possible) makes the process go quicker and easier. As mentioned on the conference call, RESULTS has a 2014 goal of meeting face-to-face with each House member and one-third of senators we cover. We do this not as a goal in and of itself, but because we know that the more members of Congress who hear from constituents about making the end of poverty a national priority, the better chance we have to making it happen. Each and every member of your state delegation needs to hear from you. Let’s make sure August is the time when we can get it done.

TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes to submit face-to-face meetings requests for August, per the July Action. Find the scheduler names on our Elected Officials page (under the staff tab for your members of Congress) and call or e-mail them with a request for a meeting. Use our downloadable meeting request letter or online form if you’ve never submitted a request before. Be sure to include dates your group can meet (be as flexible as you can), how many people will attend, and the topic you’d like to discuss. If you need help with scheduling meetings or connecting with allies, please contact Jos Linn (jlinn@results.org). Once you get a meeting scheduled, please contact Meredith Dodson (dodson@results.org) to help you prepare and share resources for your meeting.

For more information about the July Action and to hear inspiring stories from this year’s RESULTS International Conference, listen to a recording and download resources from last Saturday’s National Conference Call on the RESULTS website.


Got Ten Minutes? Reach Out to “Real Experts” and Community Partners for your August Lobby Meetings (July Action)

While some members of Congress may see the upcoming August recess as an opportunity to rest, we have something very different in mind. We want their month out of DC to be filled with talk of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Child Tax Credit (CTC), and Financial Security Credit. You can make that happen. By setting up face-to-face meetings with your House and Senate members in August, you can keep these issues and the need to expand economic mobility in America front and center.

But it’s not enough just to schedule the meeting – you want your meeting to have an impact. Remember, members of Congress meet with thousands of people each year, all with different agendas. If you want your meeting to stand out in their mind, you have to make it memorable. The easiest way to do that is to include powerful stories illustrating the issues as part of your meeting. Data shows that stories are 22 times more likely to be remembered than facts and data alone. Including people who know poverty in your community firsthand will make the biggest difference in your meetings. This was on display just last week when Tianna Gaines Turner, one of the Witnesses to Hunger, testified before the House Budget Committee about her experiences living in poverty and the help she has received from anti-poverty programs. She used her testimony to put a face on the issue of poverty in America and pushed back against stereotypes and assumptions that many Americans – and many politicians – have about people in poverty. Tianna even laid out the three steps we can take as a nation to solve poverty – living wage, strong safety net, and community solutions run by those who understand poverty. Watch Tianna discuss her congressional testimony on MSNBC’s Melissa Harris Perry Show.

Stories from people like Tianna take your advocacy to a whole new level. They take issues and data that can seem abstract and sometimes difficult to grasp and make them real. By including these stories in your August lobby meetings, you dramatically increase the chance of your issue being remembered and acted upon by your members of Congress.

TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes to research and reach out to “real experts” on poverty in your community. If you don’t know anyone who has experienced poverty or who works with people living in poverty, there are many resources in your community to help. Potential allies to contact include Circles USA affiliatesWitnesses to HungerCommunity Action agencies, local Voluntary Income Tax Assistance (VITA) programs, food banks and food pantries, Head Start programs, faith communities, etc. Chances are you won’t have to go far to find someone to connect with. The July Action has resources to help with scheduling your meetings and reaching out to local allies.

In addition, RESULTS is offering a training call to about the importance of telling your own story in lobby meetings. The conference call training will empower participants to share their expertise on poverty in their community to policymakers by reviewing the “public narrative” framework and how to create a short version using RESULTS’ EPIC Laser Talk. The training will be co-lead by RESULTS Director of U.S. Poverty Campaigns Meredith Dodson and LaNae Havens of Circles and RESULTS Albuquerque. LaNae spoke at last month’s RESULTS International Conference. The call is Tuesday, August 5 at 9:00 pm ET. To participate, dial (712) 432-3100, passcode 761262.

If you need help with scheduling meetings or connecting with allies, please contact Jos Linn (jlinn@results.org). Once you get a meeting scheduled, please contact Meredith Dodson (dodson@results.org) to help you get ready.


Got Twenty Minutes? Once Again, Keep Following Up on Your Recent Lobby Meetings

How is the follow-up going from your lobby meetings at the RESULTS International Conference? If you have not had the chance to follow up about your meetings, please do so this week. The longer you wait, the less chance the aide or member of Congress will remember your meeting. Remember, the key request at the conference were as follows:

Please speak directly and/or write to Congressional Leadership, and in particular House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp and Ranking Member Sander Levin or Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch, urging them to:

  • Help families save for the future by including innovative asset development strategies for low-income Americans such as the Financial Security Credit (FSC) in any tax reform legislation. House Members: please co-sponsor the Financial Security Credit Act of 2013 (H.R. 2917).
  • Ensure families can meet their basic needs by protecting and strengthening tax credits for low-income Americans. House Members: please co-sponsor the Child Tax Credit Permanency Act of 2013 (H.R. 769) and the Earned Income Tax Credit Improvement and Simplification Act of 2013 (H.R. 2116). Senators: please co-sponsor the Working Families Tax Relief Act (S. 836).

Here is where we stand on co-sponsors of the above legislation:

  • H.R. 2917: 28 co-sponsors as of this morning (see list).
  • H.R. 769: 166 co-sponsors as of this morning (see list).
  • H.R. 2116: 52 co-sponsors as of this morning (see list).
  • S. 836: 33 co-sponsors as of this morning (see list). Top targets for co-sponsorship are Mark Pryor (D-AR), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Mark Udall (D-CO), Thomas Carper (D-DE), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), John Walsh (D-MT), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Tom Udall (D-NM), and Kay Hagan (D-NC).

Use this information in your follow up on your lobby meetings. Check in to see if your House and Senate members have spoken to tax leaders about the EITC, CTC, and FSC. If your members of Congress have yet to so-sponsor one of the above bills, ask when they will. Remember, it is up to us to hold them accountable.

TAKE ACTION: Take twenty minutes to follow up on your recent lobby meetings in Washington, DC or back home. Contact the aide responsible for the issue you discussed in your meeting to see if they have followed through on your requests. Be sure to report back to your group on the response you get. Use the materials on our RESULTS Conference Lobby Resources page (www.tinyurl.com/2014RIC) to help you in your follow-up. Also, if you have any questions about following up with congressional offices, please contact Meredith Dodson (dodson@results.org) or Jos Linn (jlinn@results.org) for help and please let us know if you get new information in your follow up calls.


Please Fill Out the Lobby Meeting Report Form

Thank you to everyone who has filled out the lobby report form for your meetings in Washington, DC. We’ve had over 200 responses so far. However, we know there more are out there. If you have not filled out a report for your Conference Lobby Meetings, please take a few minutes to do it. This information is important in keeping track on the progress of our issues. Please go to http://tinyurl.com/LobbyReportForm and fill out the form today.

Also, we want your feedback about the conference. Please fill out our 2014 RESULTS Conference Survey at www.tinyurl.com/IC2014Eval.


Join RESULTS Free Agents and Media Support Calls Today

The RESULTS U.S. Poverty Free Agents will be meeting today, July 15 at 1:00pm and 9:00 pm ET for their monthly support calls. We will be sharing stories from the recent RESULTS International Conference, celebrating successes since our June call, and talking about ways to make the most of the August recess. If you live in an area with no RESULTS U.S. Poverty group, would like to connect with other volunteers, and get trained and supported in taking action on our issues, please join us. To participate in one of the calls (dial into whichever call is most convenient), dial (443) 453-0034 and enter passcode 703096.

Also, the RESULTS Media Support Team will be meeting tonight (July 15) at 8:00 pm ET. They will be discussing the huge wave of media generated by our global groups right before the RESULTS conference and the possible impact it will have. They’ll also share about the success of the media sessions at the conference, what’s next for our media work, and making good use of Twitter. If you are the media point person for your group or you just want to learn how to do more with your media advocacy, plan to join this call by dialing (712) 775-7300, passcode 954747.

Finally, invite someone you know to join the next RESULTS Introductory Call on Friday, July 25 at 1:00 pm ET. These 30-45 minute calls provide a good overview of RESULTS and how you and others can get involved. To register for this or another upcoming Intro Call, go to: http://www.results.org/take_action/become_a_results_activist/.


RESULTS Outreach Update

The RESULTS U.S. Poverty Team continues to work on expanding our reach and impact on domestic poverty issues. We are actively working to start new groups around the country to take our message of ending poverty to new members of Congress and their staff. Here are the places we are currently working:

Myrdin Thompson will be traveling to Indianapolis, IN on July 17 to meet with new advocates there. Myrdin is also working to start new groups in Louisville, KY, Oregon (Oregon is a top priority for us), Arizona, Tennessee, and West Virginia. For details, contact Myrdin at mthompson@results.org.

Meredith Dodson will be meeting with people in New England (NH, ME, MA, VT, and RI) the week of August 11-14. Meredith is also working to start new U.S. Poverty groups in Detroit and Utah (Utah is a top priority for us). For details, contact Meredith at dodson@results.org.

Finally, Kristy Martino is working to start new U.S. poverty groups in the south, specifically working on Birmingham, AL, Little Rock, AR, North Carolina, and Mississippi. For details, contact Kristy at kmartino@results.org.

If you know people in any of these areas, or know people in other areas who would be interested in getting involved, please contact the appropriate person involved (if you know someone in an area not listed above, please contact Meredith).

Also, if you would like to get trained on helping us expand our coverage into new areas by starting new RESULTS groups or growing existing ones, join our Expansion Team leaders for a conference call training next Tuesday, July 22 at 9:00 pm ET. To participate (712) 432-3100, passcode 761262. Thank you for your help is making RESULTS better and stronger!


Quick News

Join Hunger, Nutrition, and Health: A Virtual Town Hall Discussion. This Thursday, July 17 at 4:00 pm ET, our friends a Feeding America will host an interactive Virtual Town Hall discussing the connections between hunger and health. At the event, you’ll hear the latest research on the relationship between hunger and diet-related disease and learn about promising high-impact, low-cost interventions. To participate in the Town Hall, register at: www.feedingamerica.org/townhall.

Webinar to Highlight Issues Impacting Children. From the humanitarian crisis facing immigrant children to the importance of school nutrition programs and early childhood education, children’s advocates and allies have an excellent opportunity to raise the visibility of key children’s issues during this election year. On July 22 at 2:00 pm ET, the Children’s Leadership Council will host a webinar discussing the importance of advocates raising the visibility of child and youth issues with the public, elected officials, and candidates in 2014. The speakers will discuss why advocates need to speak out on behalf of children and youth; how 501(c)(3) organizations can legally engage in election-year activities; and opportunities for individuals and organizations to get active. Speakers include Randi Schmidt, executive director of the CLC and 2014 RESULTS International Conference speaker) and Nayantara Mehta, attorney with the Alliance for Justice. Space is limited so register today

Paul Ryan to Speak about Expanding Opportunity in America. On July 24 at 9:00 am ET, the American Enterprise Institute will host a conversation with House Budget Chair Paul Ryan (R-WI-1) as he unveils a new set of policy reforms aimed at reducing poverty and increasing upward mobility in America. The discussion will also include feedback from poverty and economic mobility experts about the policy implications of the plan. This is a good opportunity to understand a different perspective on eliminating poverty and hopefully reveal ways you can build bridges with unlikely allies. Register for the event at the AEI website.

For updates on all our U.S. Poverty Campaigns, see our U.S. Poverty Campaigns Summary page on the RESULTS website.


Fundraising Update

The Friends & Family and event websites will be transitioning to a new platform beginning August 1, 2014. The Development Team is asking that all F&F campaigns that are currently open to accept funds be finalized with your last fundraising push by July 28. We are also asking that no new campaigns begin again until August 15, after the new platform is up and running. This is a transition that is required by our vendor, so we appreciate your support and patience as we move the process to a new platform that should be easier to use and more appealing overall.

Many, many thanks to our groups who hosted ACTION partners this past week at their events: Tacoma/Olympia, WA and Prince George’s County‚Äč, MD. They were all hugely successful and brought in valuable funds for RESULTS and RESULTS Educational Fund!


Announcements

RESULTS Gets Award for Work with Community Action. Last Friday, RESULTS and RESULTS staff member Jos Linn were awarded the State Partnership Award by the Iowa Community Action Association (ICAA). The award was given for RESULTS partnership with Community Action in Iowa in raising awareness of poverty and working to strengthen anti-poverty programs, in particular Head Start and Early Head Start. As stated in the award summary, “RESULTS has exemplified our mission of helping people, changing lives and ICAA Board of Directors believes that RESULTS should be recognized for their partnership in our efforts.” Congratulations RESULTS in Iowa!

Vote for Grassroots Board Members. Please vote for new Grassroots Members of the RESULTS Board. We have two vacancies to fill this fall. You can read about each nominee on the RESULTS website and then cast your vote at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/RESULTS2014. You can also send your vote to Jack McLaughlin at jmclaughlin@results.org. All active RESULTS volunteers are eligible to vote. Voting ends August 5. Also, the four current RESULTS Grassroots Board Members would like to hear from you if you have questions or ideas about RESULTS and our work. Send your questions or suggestions to Heide at: HCraig@results.org.


RESULTS Activity Calendar

(See a complete calendar on the RESULTS website)

Upcoming Congressional Recesses: House and Senate: August 4 – September 5. Request face-to-face meetings.

Tuesday, June 15: RESULTS U.S. Poverty Free Agents Calls, 1:00 pm ET and 9:00 pm ET. (443) 453-0034, passcode 703096.

Tuesday, July 15: RESULTS Media Support Call, 8:00 pm ET. (712) 775-7300, passcode 954747.

Tuesday, July 22: Growing RESULTS Training Call, 9:00 pm ET. (712) 432-3100, passcode 761262.

Friday, July 25: RESULTS Introductory Call, 1:00 pm ET. Register for this or another Intro Call at: http://www.results.org/take_action/become_a_results_activist/.

Tuesday, August 5: Telling Your Story Training Call, 9:00 pm ET. (712) 432-3100, passcode 761262.

Saturday, August 9: RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Conference Call, 12:30 pm ET. Listen to previous conference calls online.


RESULTS Contact Information

Main Office: (p) (202) 783-7100, (f) (202) 466-1397, 1101 15th St NW, Suite 1200, Washington, DC 20005. If mailing a donation to our DC office, please address the envelope to the attention of Cynthia Stancil.

RESULTS U.S. Poverty Legislative and Grassroots Support Staff:

The RESULTS U.S. Poverty Update is sent out every Tuesday via email to RESULTS volunteers and allies all over the country. The purpose of these updates is to inform and activate RESULTS activists to take action on our U.S. poverty campaigns.