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U.S. Poverty Weekly Update August 26, 2014

"It is time to raise our voices to let Congress know that so much hunger in the world’s richest country is a tragedy.”

 — RESULTS Snohomish, WA (global) volunteer Willie Dickerson in an August 18 letter to the editor in the Monroe Monitor & Valley News

New and Urgent in This Week's Update

Latest from Washington, DC

Organizational Updates


Got Two Minutes? Send a Note to Your Local Action Networks Urging Them to Take Action

RESULTS groups and volunteers are masters at outreach. You invite people to events, you encourage people to give to RESULTS, and you ask people to take action. As a result of your efforts, many of you have create “local action networks” of people, who may not be part of your local group but are willing to take quick, easy actions. Some of you asked what you can do to keep these folks engaged and RESULTS has answered. Beginning this month, we are dedicating a section of the monthly Action Sheet to your local action networks. It is a short paragraph that you can simply cut and paste into an e-mail to send out to your network members, urging them to take action. It is a good way to let people in your community know what you’re working on and also generate important actions on our issues.

TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes to copy and paste the message below into an e-mail and send it to your local action network. Tell them to e-mail to Congress about protecting tax credits for working families.

Congress is at it again. At the end of July, the House passed another tax cut for wealthier families while cutting over 5 million children out of the Child Tax Credit. Congress should be working to help individuals and families who need it, not passing costly tax cuts for those who don’t. Send a message to your representatives and senators this month, telling them to protect and expand tax credits for hard-working Americans. Use the RESULTS e-mail action to send your message today! Also, remember that Congress is on recess all this month. If there is a town hall in your area, plan to go and ask a question. Read the RESULTS August 2014 Action for tips on what to do and what to say at these town halls.

Each month, you can find an Action Network Action in our monthly U.S. Poverty Action Sheet.


Got Ten Minutes? Make One More Push for Face-to-Face Meetings as August Recess Winds Down (August Action)

There’s les that two weeks left in the August congressional recess. We want to make we take advantage of each opportunity left to meet with legislators this month. We know you’ve heard it over and over again but if you have not contacted your House and Senate schedulers about setting up a face-to-face meeting and to check about town halls in your area, please do so now. If you have made your request but have heard nothing back, contact them again to check on the status. If you simply wait to hear back, you might be waiting a while. Instead, be proactive and ask again. And remember, if you cannot get any meetings this month, Congress will be back home again in late September and most of October. Ask to get a meeting then.

TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes put in your request for a face-to-face meeting or ask about town hall events this month. The RESULTS Elected Officials page has contact information for both the local and DC offices of your members of Congress. See the August Action for very helpful information on preparing for and doing town hall meetings. To help you; here’s a checklist and links to resources to help you:

1.Contact the scheduler by phone or use our downloadable meeting request letter or online form.

2.Draft draft and practice your EPIC Laser Talk for upcoming meeting and town halls. Focus your talk on the on the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Child Tax Credit (CTC), and Financial Security Credit (FSC). For a starting point, use our Sample Town Hall Questions.

3.Call or e-mail the scheduler to follow up on your request.

4.Once you have a meeting scheduled or plan to attend a town hall, contact Meredith Dodson (dodson@results.org) to set up a lobby prep call.

5.Gather your materials for your meeting or town hall, including a Lobby Planning Sheet, Economic Mobility Lobby Request, and Early Childhood Lobby Request and listen to the August National Conference Call for helpful information about town halls.

6.Have a great meeting and town hall experience.

7.Celebrate your success by filling out the RESULTS Lobby Report Form.


Got Twenty Minutes? Take a Breather and Then Get Ready for Big Media Push in September (September Action Preview)

You’ve all had a very busy and productive summer. A great media push in May, a blockbuster RESULTS International Conference in June, and doing face-to-face meetings and town halls in July and August. Thank you to all the amazing work you’ve done to put the issue of poverty and economic mobility in front of your members of Congress and their staff this summer. You deserve a breather. While we still want you to push for meetings and town halls these last 10 days of the summer recess, we also want you to take a few minutes for respite and reflection. You’ve earned it.

TAKE ACTION: Take twenty minutes to sit and reflect on your very busy and productive summer. Celebrate your successes, tie up any loose ends (including filling out the Lobby Report Form for your recent meetings), and relax. Advocacy work is a marathon – not a sprint – and we all deserve a break from time to time.

But don’t get too comfortable. Congress will be back in Washington in September, which is also the month when the U.S. Census will be releasing the official U.S. poverty and income data for 2013. The annual poverty data release is a giant hook for media outlets to write about poverty. RESULTS is taking advantage of the releaser to push local papers to write editorials about U.S. poverty issues. After Labor Day, we’ll need your help in reaching out to your local papers and here are the resources we’ll provide to help you.

  • September Action. Next month’s action will provide helpful tips and resources for reaching out to editorial writers. The Action will be available after Labor Day.
  • U.S. Poverty Data Editorial Packet. RESULTS will make an editorial packet available after Labor Day. This packet will contain helpful information about poverty in America and our economic mobility issues you can send to local editorial writers.
  • RESULTS Media Training webinar. RESULTS will hold a webinar on Monday, September 8 at 8:00 pm ET, where we’ll cover best practices for reaching out to local editorial boards and working with editors to get the EITC and CTC into their coverage of the new poverty data. Register for the webinar here: https://www.fuzemeeting.com/webinar/register/1028546.
  • CHN Poverty Data Preview. Our friends at the Coalition on Human Needs will be holding a webinar on Thursday, September 11 at 2:00 pm ET to preview the poverty data release. Jared Bernstein, economist and former advisor to Vice President Joe Biden, will share his predictions on what the data will show. Tune in for more details in the coming week.
  • RESULTS Poverty Data Webinar. The official 2013 poverty data will be released the morning of September 16. RESULTS will hold webinar on that day (September 16) at 8:00pm ET to review what the actual Census report shows, how to use it with local editorial writers, what to expect from future data releases later in September. Register for the webinar here: https://www.fuzemeeting.com/webinar/register/1028550.

We’ll have more details about the September media push next week.


Use Your New Twitter Account to Spread the Word about Ending Poverty

A few weeks ago, we noted that the RESULTS Media Support Team to help you become a Twitter advocate this month. We posted instructions on how to get started on Twitter in a previous Weekly Update. But once you’ve signed up, now what? Fortunately, U.S. Poverty Organizer Myrdin Thompson is a Twitter guru, using it to post all kinds of things related to her RESULTS work. She drafted the section below to help you take the next step and use your Twitter account to advocate.

From Myrdin Thompson: Don't you love all the information you get in our RESULTS weekly updates? I sure do, but at times I'm not always sure how to share that information on my social media channels that will get others excited to be engaged with anti-poverty advocacy work. As someone who uses Twitter frequently, I am often frustrated by the 140 character limit, as it does impede one's ability to share a story-something we emphasize in our role as advocates. I've learned a few simple ways to help get the message out and connect with people who are interested in what we do. 

1.First, after I've read the update I highlight the key points. Is there an action? Is there a link to connect me to that action? For example, here is a tweet I use to share about our introductory calls:

Want 2 learn more abt @Results_Tweets & #talkpoverty w others? R nxt RESULTS intro call is 2morrow, 8/22 at 1PM EST http://www.results.org/take_action/become_a_results_activist/

You can then modify this, substitute "this wk" for "2morrow" if you are tweeting it on a Monday for example. Or "2day" if you post the day of the event. 

2.Second, it's important to have consistency in your tweets. Always find a way to use @RESULTS_Tweets as part of the tweet, not just tagged on at the end. You do want to keep it conversational:

Don't 4get after u read abt what is happening (or not) in DC w @RESULTS_Tweets #EITC #CTC & #talkpoverty take action www.results.org

3.Third, and by no means final, if you are participating in a call, whether it is with RESULTS or one of our ally organizations, and you are "live tweeting" (which means you are sharing the conversation on twitter as it happens in real life), I find it much easier to jot down a few notes, or a quote from a speaker, on a piece of paper, then create the tweet:

Gr8 point! Talk w media at the MOC event-share what u learned (or didn't) & get the word out! @kristymartino @RESULTS_Tweets #talkpoverty

Thanks to Myrdin for her insights in using Twitter. If you have any questions about using Twitter in your RESULTS advocacy, please contact Meredith Dodson (another Twitter guru) at dodson@results.org.


Quick News

RESULTS Blog Posts Highlights Building Champions in Meetings. This week, we continue our RESULTS Blog series on face-to-face meetings. This week, Lisa Marchal, RESULTS Senior Global Grassroots Associate, has a RESULTS blog post about how face-to-face meetings aren't just an opportunity to speak directly with a member of Congress. They are an opportunity to help build your member of Congress into a champion for the end of poverty - and exercise some champion-level leadership ourselves. Find out what you can do to make that happen with your members of Congress. And don’t forget to also read our August 11 and August 18 on face-to-face meetings. Tune in next week for the final installment in our series.

Last Week to Join Reclaiming Our Democracy Book Discussion. If you’d like to join the Reclaiming Our Democracy book discussion with RESULTS founder Sam Daley-Harris, this is your last chance. The final call in the series is tomorrow, August 27 at 9:00 pm ET. If you’d like to join the discussion (even if you missed the first two calls), sign up here. You can listen to recordings of the first call and the second call through the RESULTS website.

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


Fundraising Update

Friends & Family campaigns are one of the easiest ways to raise funds to support RESULTS/REF. The new and improved Friends & Family pages will be up and ready for new teams to register on September 1. Start planning your team challenges and campaign ideas NOW so you can get a jump start on your 2014 fundraising before the busy fall holiday season hits!

However, if you prefer to wait until the holiday time to take advantage of the giving spirit, we will again be hosting our Virtual Thanksgiving Feast! Just let Jen DeFranco (jdefranco@results.org) know if you plan to participate in any F&F event so we can help get your pages set up to take donations.


Announcements

Join Call on Building and Maintaining Your Action Network. Have people stopped into one of your RESULTS meetings and you're not sure how to engage them? Did you host a table at a RESULTS-related event and now you have a sign-in sheet full of names? Are you an Action Network Manager in your group? Cultivating folks who have shown interest in RESULTS and your group is time well spent. On this half-hour call, get some quick tips on how to engage these visitors to become more deeply enrolled in the work of RESULTS! The call is Thursday, September 18, 2014 at 1:00 pm ET. To participate, dial (712) 432-3100, passcode 761262.

Please Fill Out the Lobby Report Form. If you have not filled out a report for your recent lobby meetings, please take a few minutes fill out our online Lobby Report form at: http://tinyurl.com/LobbyReportForm. Please fill out the form for lobby meetings you have at home and in DC.


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.

Wednesdays August 27: Reclaiming Our Democracy book discussion with Sam Daley-Harris, 9:00 pm ET.‚Äč Sign up to attend here.

Monday, September 1: Happy Labor Day! All RESULTS offices closed.

Monday, September 8: RESULTS Media Training webinar, 8:00 pm ET. This webinar will train you on reaching out to local editorial writers about the upcoming 2013 poverty data release. Register for the webinar here: https://www.fuzemeeting.com/webinar/register/1028546.

Wednesday, September 10: RESULTS Introductory Call, 9:00 pm ET. Register for this or another Intro Call at: http://www.tinyurl.com/RESULTSMeetandGreet.

Saturday, September 13: RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Conference Call, 12:30 pm ET. Listen to previous conference calls online.

Tuesday, September 16: RESULTS Poverty Data Webinar, 8:00 pm ET. This webinar will review the data from the U.S. Census on poverty in 2013. Register for the webinar here: https://www.fuzemeeting.com/webinar/register/1028550.

Thursday, September 18: Training call for Building and Maintaining Your Action Network, 1:00 pm ET. (712) 432-3100, passcode 761262.


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.