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U.S. Poverty Weekly Update April 22, 2014

Since it is well known that the wealth gap has grown worse in the past 25 years, [the Financial Security Credit Act] will help to stop that trend.

— RESULTS Santa Fe volunteer Ann Morgan in an April 17 letter to the editor in the Santa Fe New Mexican

New and Urgent in This Week's Update (Two-Ten-Twenty Actions)

Latest from Washington, DC

Organizational Updates


Got Two Minutes? Aggressively Spread the Word about the April 29 Tavis Smiley Event (April Action)

We are only one week away from the RESULTS Tavis Smiley National Town Hall event. This is going to be an exciting call where you’ll get to hear from a national renowned speaker talking about the importance of ending poverty. We are also pleased to announce that author, activist, and RESULTS Board member Marianne Williamson and Angela "Nike" Sutton from Witnesses to Hunger, who both spoke at last year's RESULTS International Conference, will also be featured guests.This means not only people in your local communities, but also people you know around the country. If we can engage just a fraction of the new people who dial in, we can magnify our voice to deafening levels. Do you part today to help make that happen.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The RESULTS Tavis Smiley National Town Hall will be a conference call only. Circumstances changed last week that prevent us from doing a webinar. We apologize for the confusion but anticipate a great event.

TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes to let people you know about the April 29 RESULTS Tavis Smiley event and invite them to participate. If they live in your local area, invite them to do the conference call with you and/or your local group. If they live out of town, invite them to register and participate on their own (feel free to contact Jos Linn if you’d like to connect your out-of-town friends to a RESULTS group in their area). Use Facebook, e-mail, Twitter, raven, semaphore, skywriting, and other useful formats to spread the word. Our Tavis Smiley Outreach Event page has resources to help you, including sample flyers and e-mails.

BE SURE TO REGISTER: The dial in number for the Tavis Smiley Event is (888) 409-6709, Conference ID: 30892577. We encourage every site/person calling register for the call at: https://engage.vevent.com/index.jsp?eid=3826&seid=12 so we can follow up with participants after the call. Be sure to include the link in your invitations for those not attending a local event. People who register will get a confirmation e-mail with the dial-in number.


Got Ten Minutes? Finalize the Agenda for Your Local Tavis Smiley Event (April Action)

With only one week to go before our big National Town Hall Event with Tavis Smiley, it’s time to firm up all the details of your April 29 event. Is your location confirmed? Do you have access to a telephone line/cell phone and speakerphone? (Because this is now just a conference call, you will not need internet access to participate in the call) Do you have RESULTS materials for your event? Please make sure these and other local logistics are worked out this week and use our Tavis Smiley Outreach Event page for resources to help you. That way you can spend the last few days before next Tuesday inviting people to come and confirming your attendees.

A very important component of your planning this week is finalizing the agenda for your local event. As we have noted numerous times over the last several weeks, the Tavis Smiley Town Hall is a great opportunity to engage new people in your local RESULTS group. The call itself will go a long way in inspiring people to get involved. However, you also want to make sure there is a local component to your event as well. At your event, build in time to talk about the work your local RESULTS group has done to help end poverty in America. Share about a recent action you’ve taken, a success you’ve helped create the last few years, talk about meetings you’ve had with members of Congress and their staff. Connecting the national event with your local efforts will help entice and inspire new people to join your work.

TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes to finalize plans for your local events on April 29, in particular the agenda for your event. Our sample meeting agenda has ideas for making your local Tavis Smiley outreach event a success. It includes links to resources including sign-in sheets, a “What is RESULTS” PowerPoint presentation, our new “Everyday Heroes” video, and RESULTS participation forms. It even includes various versions of an agenda depending on what time zone you live in. The April Action and our Tavis Smiley Outreach Event page also have tips and resources to help you have a powerful event. As always, the RESULTS staff is here to help you as well. Please contact Jos Linn (jlinn@results.org) or Meredith Dodson (dodson@results.org) if you have questions or need help.

BE SURE TO REGISTER: The dial in number for the Tavis Smiley Event is (888) 409-6709, Conference ID: 30892577. We encourage every site/person calling register for the call at: https://engage.vevent.com/index.jsp?eid=3826&seid=12 so we can follow up with participants after the call.


Got Twenty Minutes? Invite and Confirm People for Your April 29 Event with Tavis Smiley (April Action)

We are in the final week before the RESULTS National Town Hall with Tavis Smiley and this is the most important week of all. In the sections above, we’ve highlighted important activities to do this week including spreading the word about the event and finalizing your event details. However, inviting and confirming people come is the most obvious and important activity for this week. Remember, it is never too late to invite someone to come to your event. RESULTS is replete with instances where someone found out about an event the day before or the day of and showed up. So if you’re worried that a week is not enough notice, don’t. Invite them anyway.

So what makes for good inviting, especially in this last week? Here are some tips RESULTS volunteers and staff have used for successful inviting over the years. Try to use these techniques as you reach out this week:

  • Make it personal. Don’t send a mass e-mail or blind Facebook post inviting someone to your event. Reach out personally – talk to them in person, call them, or send a personal e-mail and then call them. Make them feel that you want them there, not just anyone there.
  • Make it brief (but not too brief). Just like an EPIC Laser Talk, make your invitation engaging, direct, and short. You don’t give your entire history with RESULTS as a preamble to inviting someone to your event. Inviting someone to a conference call should take no more than a few minutes. If you don’t know what to say, use our Outreach Laser Talk as an example (be sure to make it personal to you).
  • Make it relevant. If you want someone you invite to ultimately get involved with RESULTS, they need to know why. They need to know why their voice is important. In your invitations and again at your meeting, tell people that this is an important time to be involved in anti-poverty advocacy. Remind them of what almost happened to SNAP last year or that the Ryan Budget proposes huge cuts to anti-poverty programs. Tell them their voice is an important part of creating the political will to end poverty. When you show people the important part they play, the more likely they are to sign up.
  • Follow Up. Almost as important to inviting someone to come to your event is following up with them before April 29. If someone was not sure if they were coming, call them this week to invite them again. Make it personal, brief, and relevant as to why you want them to come. For those who have confirmed their attendance, send them a reminder this week with the time and location details for next Tuesday. Then, next Monday and Tuesday, call them with one last reminder (“Hey John, I’m looking forward to seeing you tomorrow night at 7:30 at Helen’s place. Do you have any questions?”) If you don’t follow up and do reminders, your attendance will suffer. It only takes a few minutes but it makes a huge difference.

TAKE ACTION: Take twenty minutes to invite and follow up with guests for your April 29 outreach event. Use the techniques above to help make your event a success. The April Action and our Tavis Smiley Outreach Event page have helpful resources to help you invite people, including flyers, laser talk, sample e-mail, and more. If you have questions about inviting people to your April 29 event, please contact Jos Linn (jlinn@results.org) or Meredith Dodson (dodson@results.org) for assistance.

BE SURE TO REGISTER: The dial in number for the Tavis Smiley Event is (888) 409-6709, Conference ID: 30892577. We encourage every site/person calling register for the call at: https://engage.vevent.com/index.jsp?eid=3826&seid=12 so we can follow up with participants after the call.


Contact Your Local NPR/PRI Station about Tavis Smiley Town Hall

Does the Tavis Smiley Show already air on your local radio station? Let them know that you’ll be joining a live conversation with him on April 29! Check out this list of stations where his show airs, then get in touch with the most relevant producer. Forward the Tavis Smiley Event media advisory, with a short cover note, saying:

“Dear [PRODUCER],

As an avid listener of [YOUR LOCAL STATION] and the Tavis Smiley Show, I wanted to make sure you saw that a group of us here in [YOUR CITY] will be joining a live conversation with Mr. Smiley on April 29. Together with the national anti-poverty organization RESULTS, we’re working with Mr. Smiley on tackling the root causes of poverty here in the United States. We’d love to have you join us for this special event.

If you’re ever interested in covering local poverty issues, I’d be delighted to stay in touch, and I’d be happy to provide resources or background information.

Best,

[YOUR NAME]”

You can also use the media advisory to generate media in your local newspapers about the event. You can find local media contacts at in the RESULTS Media Guide. If you need help in your media outreach, please contact RESULTS Deputy Director of Communications Colin Smith at csmith@results.org.


Last Week to Meet Face-to-Face with Representatives and Senators at Home

This is the last week of Congress’ April recess. We know of at least one face-to-face meeting last week, where RESULTS volunteers in Austin, TX met with Rep. Roger Williams (R-TX-25). It’s not too late to get on their calendar for this week. Even if you cannot get on their calendar this week, your request increases the chance of getting a meeting later on. As many of you know all too well, sometimes it takes multiple requests to get a meeting. Being politely persistent is the key to success. In addition, representatives and senators may be having town hall events in your area that you can attend and ask a question. Don’t pass up the opportunity to create the political will to end poverty and strengthen our democracy at the same time – make your meeting request today!

TAKE ACTION: Contact your House and Senate schedulers today (find contact info on our Elected Officials page) and request a meeting with your members of Congress as soon as possible. If you need something in writing, use our downloadable meeting request letter or our online version to make your requests. If you already made a request recently, call the scheduler to check on the status. Also, please ask the scheduler about any public events or town halls your members of Congress may be holding during the recess and plan to attend to ask a question. You can find questions on our U.S. Poverty Town Hall Questions page, see our U.S. Poverty Campaigns Summary for an overview of our 2014 issues, and download our Economic Mobility and Early Childhood lobby request sheets to take to your meetings.

Once you get a meeting or town hall scheduled, please contact Meredith Dodson (dodson@results.org) for individualized coaching on issues and messages to discuss in your meeting.


Invite People You Know to Attend the RESULTS International Conference

The 2014 RESULTS International Conference is only two months away. Two months! What an exciting time we’re going to have in DC this year. Marian Wright Edelman, Dr. Jim Kim, Tavis Smiley, David Bornstein, Michael Gerson will all be there. We’ll have top-notch advocacy skills and policy sessions planned, as well as a whole lot of fun. We’re excited so many of you have already registered to attend. For those who have, we’ll be in touch with you in the coming weeks with details to help you get ready. If you haven’t, register for the conference today. It’s not too late. The registration fee is only $240 through June 2.

In the meantime, why not help others join you in DC this summer? If you’re coming to the conference or wish you were but can’t, invite people you know to attend. As many of you know, the RESULTS conference can be a life-changing experience. Help others have that kind of experience. We even have a sample script you can use for these conversations:

My involvement with RESULTS has been a total gift to me — I’ve tapped into power I never knew I had — and instead of complaining about problems I’m actually doing something about them. I know that what I'm doing is really saving and improving lives. I feel I owe it to people like you to offer you the same gift that someone gave me. And one of the best ways to fully experience what RESULTS has to offer is to come to the International Conference in Washington this summer. Can I give you some more details?

You could also send people a recent testimonial from RESULTS Baltimore volunteer Jami-Lin Williams. Give it a listen at: http://www.results.org/uploads/media/2014FemPowerICJamie.mp3. Help us make this year’s conference the biggest and best RESULTS has ever had. Invite someone you know to register today!

Submit Nominations for the Cameron Duncan Media Award. It's time to submit nominations for the Cameron Duncan Media Award. This award, which will be presented at the International Conference in Washington, D.C., is given each year to a journalist who has demonstrated outstanding reporting of issues related to poverty. While there is no requirement for the journalist to accept the award in person, we will invite the winner to D.C. for the International Conference. Along with a one to two paragraph nomination letter/email, please submit relevant clips from the past 12 months that demonstrate the journalist's dedication to our issues. If you have any questions, please contact Colin Smith at csmith@results.org. The deadline to submit nominations is May 4.

REAL Change Applications Being Processed. Thank you to everyone who applied for the RESULTS REAL Change Fellowship this year. Applications are going through the final review process this week. If you applied and have not already been accepted, you should receive notice about the status of your application in the next week.


Quick News

New Resource Shows High Cost of Child Care. In 2013, Child Care Aware released a study showing that child care cost more than public college in-state tuition in many states. For low-income families, child care costs can create a Catch-22 – if parents don’t have safe, affordable child care, they must forego work to care for their children; if they cannot work, they cannot earn more to help their family get out of poverty. Based on this report, the Washington Post has created a helpful interactive map comparing child care and college tuition costs in your state. Use this information to send a message to Congress urging increased funding for child care assistance in the FY 2015 budget.

Join NWLC Webinar on Making a Difference in an Election Year. The National Women’s Law Center is hosting a webinar this month “ to look beyond the early learning community to look at tangible examples of what other communities have done to elevate their issues during elections.” The webinar will feature guest speakers who will share examples from their experience running advocacy campaigns and share the latest on what works, including successful online advocacy. The webinar is this Thursday, April 24 at 2:00 pm ET. Go to the NWLC registration page to register today.

Map the Meal Gap. If you would like to see what hunger looks like in your community, check out Feeding America's Map the Meal Gap tool that documents hunger by state, county, and congressional district.

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


Fundraising Update

Grab some friends and run/walk any distance to earn an Everyday Hero Medal with RESULTS. We'll be doing an actual run/walk in Washington, DC at our International Conference in our superhero capes, but you can participate in our virtual event anywhere, anytime you want. Register for $25 to benefit RESULTS Educational Fund.

Not going to the IC? This can be a fun event to do at home...gather your allies and take a walk/run/bike ride around your favorite route! Medals will be mailed out the first week of July. Register officially at www.tinyurl.com/2014EDH and visit our Facebook site to chat with others who are going and see pictures from last year's Everyday Hero Dash!


Announcements

Join Friday's RESULTS Intro Call. if you are new to RESULTS or know someone who might like the work we do, plan to join our next RESULTS Introductory Call. These 30-45 minute calls provide a good overview of RESULTS and how you and others can get involved. The next RESULTS Intro Call is this Friday, April 25 at 1:00 pm ET. To register for this or another upcoming Intro Call, go to: http://www.results.org/take_action/become_a_results_activist/.

Give Feedback to Grassroots Board Members. The four RESULTS Grassroots Board Members (Heide Craig, Lydia Pendley, Ginnie Vogts, and Beth Wilson) 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: April 14-25, May 12-16, 23-27; Senate: April 14-25, May 26-30. Request face-to-face meetings.

Saturday, April 26: RESULTS Southern California Regional Conference, 9:30 – 5:30 pm PT in Laguna Hills, CA. You can RSVP at our Facebook page or contact Jos Linn for more information (jlinn@results.org).

Tuesday, April 29: RESULTS National Outreach Event with Tavis Smiley, 8:00 pm ET. Register for the webinar here. Find out more at our Tavis Smiley Outreach Event page.

Saturday, May 10: RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Conference Call, 12:30 pm ET. Listen to previous conference calls online.

Tuesday, May 20: RESULTS Media Support Call, 8:00 pm ET. (712) 775-7399, passcode 954747#.

Tuesday, May 20: RESULTS U.S. Poverty Free Agents Calls, 1:00 pm ET and 9:00 pm ET. (443) 453-0034, passcode 703096.

Saturday, June 21 - Tuesday, June 24: RESULTS International Conference, Washington, DC. REGISTER TODAY!


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.