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U.S. Poverty Weekly Update October 14, 2014

"This latest [Census] data reminds us there is more to be done to end poverty in America, and it's time those that represent us make it a priority.”

 — RESULTS Coastal Connecticut Free Agent Lucinda Winslow in an October 8 letter to the editor in the Stamford Advocate

New and Urgent in This Week's Update

Latest from Washington, DC

Organizational Updates


Got Two Minutes? Contact Candidates about Town Halls You Can Attend (October Action)

As mentioned on last weekend’s U.S. Poverty National Conference Call, one way you can connect with candidates this month per the October Action is to attend town halls and candidate events in your area. With the election fast approaching, public events might be your only chance to interact with candidates face-to-face. Use the EPIC Laser Talk you drafted on Saturday’s call to ask them questions about poverty and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC), or the Financial Security Credit (FSC). Help make the end of poverty a part of the election discussion!

TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes to contact your local House and Senate candidates and ask their campaign staff if the candidates will be holding any town hall meetings or public events in your area. Use the October Action as a guide for reaching out to campaigns and preparing for these meetings. You can find candidate websites and other information on the RESULTS Election page. You can also see our 2014 sample Laser Talks on the EITC/CTC and FSC and find Sample Town Hall Questions on the RESULTS website. Once you know you plan to attend a candidate event, please contact Meredith Dodson (dodson@results.org) to set up a call to help your prepare. Be sure to also print out our Economic Mobility Lobby Meeting Request Sheet to take to your meeting and give to the candidate or his/her staff.


Invite People to Tavis Smiley “Ending Poverty” Events in NC and PA This Week

RESULTS ally Tavis Smiley, who appeared on our national Town Hall meeting and at this year’s RESULTS International Conference, is continuing his Ending Poverty: America’s Silent Spaces tour this month. He is holding town hall meetings around the country to raise awareness of poverty and recruit new people to take up the fight against poverty in America. In particular, RESULTS NC volunteers have been working hard to bring some momentum to the area in conjunction with Tavis Smiley's town hall this Friday evening at Shaw University. They've done great work to secure meetings with The News and Observer and they are reaching out to several legislator/candidate offices.  In addition, RESULTS organizer Kristy Martino and local RESULTS volunteers will be holding an informal outreach/informational gathering before the Tavis Smiley event Friday evening. If you are interested, or know someone who might be curious about fighting poverty and getting involved in RESULTS, come join us at Benelux Coffee in Cameron Village at 5pm. 

Together, RESULTS and Mr. Smiley will be urging the media and congress to make sure we are talking meaningfully about poverty and making sure our national policies put working families first. 

TAKE ACTION: If have connections in Raleigh, NC (Oct. 17) or Philadelphia, PA (Oct. 18), or live nearby, please plan to attend the Ending Poverty Town Hall there. You can find information and RSVP at: http://www.endingpoverty.net/town-halls/. Questions? Contact RESULTS organizer Kristy Martino at kmartino@results.org.


Got Twenty Minutes? Contact Campaigns and Get Ready for Meetings with Candidates (October Action)

We mentioned above that with the election only three weeks away, it may be difficult to schedule a face-to-face, sit-down meeting with congressional candidates. However, that does not mean that it’s not worth the effort to try. You never know when the timing will work out perfectly for you to meet with a candidate. Building those relationships now will create valuable dividends down the road, even if the candidate is not elected. Furthermore, you can ask to meet with campaign staff if the candidate is unavailable. As we have mentioned before, campaign staff many times become congressional staff if the candidate gets elected. You know well the value in your relationships with congressional aides so again, getting those connections solidified early will help you be successful in your work.

On last Saturday’s U.S. Poverty National Conference Call, our guest speaker Sister Marge Clark of NETWORK and one of the “Nuns on the Bus” reiterated the importance of these meetings, calling them “terribly important.” She said many of these candidates and members of Congress are unaware of the poverty in their districts; that they sometimes live in a “bubble” and don’t venture outside of it enough to see what’s happening to low-income families in their own back yard. That’s where you come in. Many times, you – advocates working to make ending poverty a national priority – are bringing these stories to them, stories they need to hear. Sister Marge had even more to say about engaging candidates, the current Nuns on the Bus tour, and NETWORK’s important work on “mending” the wealth gap. To hear what she had to say, listen to a recording of Saturday’s call on the RESULTS website.

There are also new resources available to help with your candidate/staff meetings this month:

  • The Center on Budget has a new interactive EITC/CTC calculator that allows you to see the impact of letting the 2009 improvements expire. You can calculate the impact based on family size, tax filing status, and income. This is a great tool for providing real world examples of congressional policy decisions.
  • On Thursday, the U.S. Census will release its 2013 Supplemental Poverty Measure. Unlike the official poverty measure, this measure will factor in the impact of government programs like the EITC. This will give us an even clearer estimate of how the EITC and other programs are helping American families.
  • A new report from the Center for American Progress highlights how the EITC can be used to promote financial stability and economic mobility. Read and use the information to urge candidates to expand and protect the EITC and CTC.

TAKE ACTION: Take twenty minutes to contact campaigns about setting up meetings with candidates and their staff and start prepare for your meetings. You can find candidate information at: http://results.capwiz.com/election/home/ and information on current members of Congress on our Elected Officials page. The October Action has information to help you reach out and prepare for these meetings. Also see our Got Twenty Minutes section from last week’s Update for additional tips to candidate outreach. Once you get a meeting scheduled, please contact Meredith Dodson (dodson@results.org) immediately to set up a call to prepare you.

If you have questions or need help, please contact Jos Linn (jlinn@results.org) or Meredith Dodson (dodson@results.org). We also deeply thank Marge Clark for speaking on this month’s National Conference Call. She provided some great insights and we look forward to working with NETWORK to enact policies that will support low-income families and strengthen democracy. Listen to a recording of the National Conference Call and download the slides and summary of the call on our National Conference Calls page. Also, the Nuns on the Bus will be in Louisiana, Georgia and Colorado over the next two weeks. Find an event near you and plan to attend.


Use New Poverty Data to Reach Out to Editorial Writers One More Time

On Thursday, the U.S. Census will release its 2013 Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM). The SPM provides a more accurate view of poverty in America. As the Census describes it, the SPM measure is a “more complex statistic incorporating additional items such as tax payments and work expenses in its family resource estimates. Thresholds used in the new measure will be derived from Consumer Expenditure Survey expenditure data on basic necessities (food, shelter, clothing and utilities) and will be adjusted for geographic differences in the cost of housing. Unlike the official poverty thresholds, the new thresholds are not intended to assess eligibility for government programs. Instead, the new measure will serve as an additional indicator of economic well-being and will provide a deeper understanding of economic conditions and policy effects.”

Two of the factors the SPM will take into account are the EITC and CTC. When the data comes out, you’ll be able to see how the EITC and CTC are helping people around the country get out of poverty. On Thursday, we will send out an e-mail to you with data from the SPM that you can then use in your candidate outreach this month. In the meantime, use this new data release as an opportunity to reach out to editorial writers one more time.

TAKE ACTION: If you didn’t get an editorial published last month, use Thursday’s 2013 Supplemental Poverty Measure to reach out to editorial writers once more, urging them to write an editorial about poverty and the EITC/CTC. We will send an e-mail on Thursday this week with some of the findings from the release and links to where you can find more information. If you have questions, please contact Jos Linn at jlinn@results.org.


Invite People to Outreach Events in KS, MO, and UT

Over the next two weeks, RESULTS staff will continue its fall outreach push and have exciting news.

Louisville. We want to congratulate RESULTS U.S. Poverty Organizer Myrdin Thompson for helping start a new group in Louisville, KY. The group will combine students from the University of Louisville, Bonner program students, and community members. Their new group training begins on October 15 and welcome others who want to get involved. If you know people in the Louisville area, please contact Myrdin at mthompson@results.org. Welcome Louisville!

Lawrence, KS. Next week, RESULTS U.S. Poverty Grassroots Manager will be doing a joint RESULTS Global-U.S. Poverty group start meeting in Lawrence, KS. We look forward to attracting new people who care about eradicating poverty here in the U.S. and around the world and helping them become empowered and active citizens. If you know people in east-central Kansas, please invite them to attend. The meeting is this Sunday, October 19 at 1:00 pm CT at the Lawrence Visitor Information Center, 402 N 2nd St. For more information, contact Jos at jlinn@results.org. People can also RSVP for the event via Facebook.

St. Louis, MO. Our great volunteers in St. Louis are hosting an outreach meeting on October 20 to grow and strengthen the St. Louis U.S. Poverty group. This will be an exciting event as new leadership for the group is looking to make a big splash in eastern Missouri. Jos Linn will also be there. The event is next Monday, October 20 at 7:15pm CT at Schlafly Bottleworks 7260 Southwest Ave, Maplewood, MO. If you know people in the St. Louis area, please invite them to attend (they can RSVP via Facebook). For more information, contact Jos at jlinn@results.org.

Salt Lake City, UT. Moving westward, RESULTS Director of U.S. Poverty Campaigns Meredith Dodson continues to work with advocates in Salt Lake City, UT to start a new group there. Utah is a key state for our U.S. Poverty work; Sen. Orrin Hatch is the Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee (and could become Chair if Republicans win the Senate in November), which oversees tax policy for the Senate. He has tremendous influence over the future of the EITC, CTC, and Financial Security Credit. Having active volunteers in Utah pushing him to protect and expand these credits could make a big difference. The SLC team is having a planning call on October 25 at 2:00 pm MT at (866) 503-7713, Conference code: 4091413579. If you know people in the Salt Lake City area or other parts of Utah, please contact Meredith at dodson@results.org to get them connected to our work there.

North Carolina. In addition to attending and doing outreach at the Tavis Smiley event this week in Raliegh, NC, RESULTS U.S. Poverty Organizer Kristy Martino will be presenting at the Fall 2014 Bonner Congress at Guilford College in Greensboro, NC. In the past, Bonner students have proven to be great allies in our work, helping start a number of RESULTS groups around the country (including the new Louisville group). This is a great opportunity to introduce and connect more Bonner students to RESULTS. For more information about Kristy’s work in North Carolina or Alabama, please contact her at kmartino@results.org.


Join Free Agents Call Next Tuesday at 1pm and 9pm ET

The next RESULTS U.S. Poverty Free Agents calls are next Tuesday, October 21 at 1:00pm and 9:00pm ET. The call-in number is (857) 232-0476, passcode 703096. On this month’s calls, we’ll check in on your media outreach from last month, celebrate any recent successes from our Free Agents, and talk about the October Action, outreach to congressional candidates about RESULTS and the EITC and CTC. If you or someone you know wants ongoing support in taking action but don’t live near an active RESULTS U.S. Poverty group, please join us as a Free Agent. If you’d like to learn more about the Free Agents group, please contact Jos Linn at jlinn@results.org.


Quick News

Watch Tomorrow’s Webcast about Investing in Children to Combat Inequality. The Center for American Progress (CAP) will be hosting an event tomorrow, October 15 at 10:00 am ET. From CAP: “While rising inequality and racial and ethnic diversity have played prominently in national policy discussions, the population most impacted by these changes has been largely absent from the conversation: children younger than 3 years old, collectively referred to as infants and toddlers. Infants and toddlers already experience poverty at the highest rate of any group. The current cohort is also leading the demographic shift toward a nation that is a majority people of color. In light of the convergence of these two trends, Center for American Progress will release a report positioning this group as an important bellwether for the future of the country. We will explore the patchwork of federal programs serving infants and toddlers and recommend a set of strategies to better align these services to make sure all children have a strong start.” You can participate in the report’s release and panel discussion by bookmarking this link to watch the live webcast.

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


Announcements

Save the Date for the 2015 International Conference. The next RESULTS International Conference will be held July 18-21, 2015 at the Washington Court Hotel. Plan to join us in DC next summer for another great conference. We will have more details and registration information for you soon.


Debunking the Top 5 Reasons Not to Fundraise

Did you read this great blog post from our new RESULTS Board Member and former fundraising coach Cindy Changyit Levin? It’s a great reminder of the power of fundraising as we enter this season of giving.

“Fundraising for RESULTS is one of the best ways to share our mission and passion with your community. Yes, it brings in money to sustain RESULTS, but it’s also a very effective way to grow support for your local group. Most partners agree that grassroots fundraising is a critical part of growing our organization to hasten us to the end of poverty, but many of our groups and free agents are not yet involved with fundraising activities. If you haven’t yet taken the step to get involved with an event or an online campaign…” Read more from Cindy’s Blog post to learn what might be holding you back.

If you need further inspiration to help us fundraise this fall, here’s a list of groups and individuals who already have fundraising events or online campaigns planned. Click on the links to learn more about them.

Please contact Jen DeFranco at jdefranco@results.org to talk how you can get started on your fall fundraiser today!


RESULTS Activity Calendar

(See a complete calendar on the RESULTS website)

Upcoming Congressional Recesses: House and Senate: September 22 – November 11. Request face-to-face meetings.

Sunday, October 19: RESULTS Outreach Meeting Lawrence, KS, 1:00 pm CT. Lawrence Visitor Information Center, 402 N 2nd St, Lawrence, KS.

Monday, October 20: RESULTS Outreach Meeting in St. Louis, MO, 7:15 pm CT. Schlafly Bottleworks 7260 Southwest Ave, Maplewood, MO.

Tuesday, October 21: U.S. Poverty Free Agents Call, 1:00 pm and 9:00 pm ET. (857) 232-0476, passcode 703096.

Friday, October 31: RESULTS Introductory Call, 1:00 pm ET. Register at: http://www.results.org/take_action/become_a_results_activist/#Introductory%20Call.

Saturday, November 8: RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Conference Call, 12:30 pm ET. Listen to previous conference calls online.

Thursday, November 27 – Friday, November 28: All RESULTS offices closed for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Saturday, July 18 – Tuesday, July 21, 2015: RESULTS International Conference, Washington Court Hotel, Washington, DC. Details coming soon!


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.