Domestic Weekly Update April 19, 2011
I strongly urge members of Congress to say “no” to the 2012 Ryan budget and proposed future cuts that will harm the poor and vulnerable in the United States and around the world.
— RESULTS Des Moines activist Andrea Addington in a April 16 letter to the editor in the Des Moines Register
New and Urgent in This Week’s Update
Latest from Washington, DC
Use Spring Recess to Push Members of Congress about Head Start and Child Care (April Action)
Last Thursday, the FY 2011 federal budget was finally passed by the House (260-167) and Senate (81-19). Although the plan cuts $37.8 billion in spending from now until the end of September, Head Start, Early Head Start , and Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) were for the most part protected. Head Start/Early Head Start will receive a $340 million increase in this budget, which will allow the program to maintain current service levels, including slots that were created in 2009-10 from the economic recovery bill (ARRA). CCDBG will receive an increase of $100 million, plus some addition funds to improve quality. This will allow some but not all of the CCDBG children served with ARRA funds to continue services. Again congratulations on your hard work. Had it not been for your advocacy on these issues, these programs would have suffered a far worse fate.
Since Congress has finished the FY 2011 budget, we can now finally focus our efforts on the FY 2012 budget. Unfortunately, the process has not gotten off to a good start. As you know, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI-1) has proposed a FY 2012 budget that radically changes the role of government in American life. It upends social programs like Medicaid, Medicare, and SNAP, repeals health reform, and slashes the part of the budget that includes Head Start, child care, and hundreds of other important programs. Yet his budget also cuts taxes for the wealthy and for corporations. Despite strong public opposition to these radical changes, the House passed the Ryan budget last Friday 235-193. All but 5 Republicans voted for the budget; all Democrats voted against it.
Thank you to everyone who made calls in opposition to the Ryan budget last Tuesday. While its passage was expected, your calls helped send a message that America deserves better that abandoning the social compact that has made this country great. In addition, thank you to everyone who participated in the RESULTS Hunger Fast Day last Wednesday in protest over these radical budget cuts. However you may have participated, you joined thousands of others around the country telling Congress to get its priorities straight. You can read the RESULTS Blog posts about the Hunger Fast from Director of Domestic Campaigns Meredith Dodson and Emerson Hunger Fellow Rebecca Van Maren.
In addition, RESULTS signed on to a national letter co-signed by 173 national organizations, including faith groups, service provider organizations, labor, civil rights, policy experts, and many other groups opposing passage of the House FY 2012 budget proposal. It was delivered the Congress last week.
Congress is now on recess for the next two weeks. This is a great opportunity to let senators know that you reject the draconian House budget and what it stands for, and to urge them to do better. It is also a good opportunity to either thank your representative for voting against it or remind him/her of what this budget really means to everyday Americans. Take advantage of it by making your voice heard during this critical time.
Take Action: Contact your Senate and House offices and request a face-to-face meeting with your senators and representatives during the recess to talk about investing in America’s children. Specifically, meet with them and urge them to fund Head Start, Early Head Start, and CCDBG in FY 2012 at the levels necessary to maintain existing services. Remind them that Congress has done the right thing in 2011 and we must continue that momentum in 2012. Also, contact their offices or check their websites for town hall meetings in your area where you can go and ask a question. If you cannot meet with members of Congress during the recess, write letters to senators and representatives urging these important investments.
Please note, we have updated the online April Action and April Outreach Action to reflect last week’s budget activity. Use these resources, as well as our April 2011 Laser Talk, for talking points, background information, and to encourage others to take action. See also our updated Early Childhood Development PowerPoint presentation for more background.
If you have not signed up your local RESULTS group to the SAVE for All principles please do so at http://tinyurl.com/3g2hwq2. Also, to learn more about the FY 2012 budget fight and some of the broader implications, listen to a recording of the March 2011 RESULTS national conference call.
Sign Up for RESULTS "To Catch a Dollar" Webinars; Encourage Newcomers to Join New Activist Orientation
To continue our work on the "To Catch a Dollar" campaign, RESULTS will be presenting three webinars next week during Policy Solutions Week to help educate the public about microfinance, advocacy, and the budget. Plan to join these informative presentations. Here are the topics (from the "To Catch a Dollar" website):
- The State of Microfinance in America, Monday, April 25, 5:00 pm ET. RESULTS staff will co-facilitate a discussion on the connection between microenterprise and job creation and policies that will enable more individuals to use entrepreneurship and asset development as a pathway out of poverty, particularly for populations facing multiple barriers to economic success. Presenters will discuss innovative new policy concepts that can break the cycle of poverty for the next generation nationwide screening last month. Register today.
- Advocacy 101, Tuesday, April 26, 5:00 pm ET. Join this webinar led by RESULTS on advocacy strategies that can make a difference, how to communicate with policymakers, and present resources and tools that can be used to approach them. Register today.
- The Budget Debate, Wednesday, April 27, 2:00 pm ET. Join this webinar led by RESULTS staff on how some deficit reduction proposals will actually make it harder for people in poverty to make ends meet. Register today.
In addition, immediately following Wednesday’s Budget webinar, join RESULTS for a “Twitter Party” at 3 pm ET. Join us in discussing the issues raised in the week’s webinars as well as the “To Catch a Dollar” themes, including poverty and financial literacy. Use the hashtag #TCAD and be sure to follow @tocatchadollar (www.twitter.com/tocatchadollar).
Finally, please continue to follow up with leads from your “To Catch a Dollar” outreach efforts. To help welcome new activists to your group, invite newcomers to attend RESULTS’ New Activist Orientation series. This is a series of conference call trainings designed to provide an easy and fun orientation of RESULTS to new activists. It is great resource to get new folks to your group up to speed on our work. The calls in this series are April 13 and 27, May 11 and 25 at 9:00 pm ET. And no worries if you missed the first call; you can still join the training. See below for call-in details.
TAKE ACTION: Continue your “To Catch a Dollar” work by:
- Registering for next week’s webinar, which will be presented (or co-presented) by RESULTS. Go to http://www.tocatchadollar.com/the-cause/policy-solutions/ to register for each of the three webinars.
- Joining the Twitter Party after the April 27 webinar at 3:00 pm ET.
- Contacting persons who expressed interest in RESULTS at your local “To Catch a Dollar” screening. Invite them to your next meeting and provide more information about RESULTS to them. See our “To Catch a Dollar” Resources page for follow-up resources.
- Inviting new activists to participate in our spring New Activist Orientation series. The calls are April 13 and 27, and May 11 and 25 at 9:00 pm ET. To participate, call (712) 432-3100, passcode 761262. RSVP for the series or get more information by contacting Lisa Marchal. And remember if you missed the April 13 call, you can still join the series.
Sign Up for the RESULTS International Conference TODAY
The 2011 RESULTS International Conference (June 19-21) starts two months from today. Have you registered yet? If you haven’t, do so today. We have quite an event planned. Marian Wright Edelman, founder of the Children’s Defense Fund (and RESULTS Board member), will be our keynote speaker. The conference agenda also includes include presentations from some of the world’s foremost experts on international and U.S. poverty, small-group sessions with congressional staff to learn how to increase your impact in meetings with members of Congress, Lobby Day meetings with your senators, representatives, and/or their staff on Capitol Hill, and supplementary skills sessions like become a more powerful advocate, use social media for outreach, coach others to be effective, and much more. Finally, the conference will culminate with Lobby Day reception on Capitol Hill, where you’ll hear from members of Congress about the important work of ending poverty.
TAKE ACTION: To get your conference experience started:
- Register for the conference online today! You have until May 3 to get the standard conference registration rate. Go to our International Conference page for more information. Please note: We have almost filled our block of rooms at the Four Points Sheraton — register today to ensure your discounted rate.
- If you need financial assistance to attend the conference, RESULTS offers very limited funding through the Karen McQuillan Memorial Fund to assist with registration fees, lodging fees, and travel. To apply, download and fill out a copy of the application. Applications are due this Friday, April 22. Please contact Rebecca Van Maren at (202) 783-7100 x113 or at [email protected] with any questions.
- Whether or not you can come to the conference, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Karen McQuillan Fund to help others attend. You can make your donation online (write “Karen McQuillan Fund” in the “Other comments” box at the bottom of the donation form) or make a check payable to, and mail to, RESULTS Educational Fund, 750 First St. NE, Ste 1040, Washington, DC 20002, Attn: Cynthia Stancil.
- Nominate a journalist for the Cameron Duncan Media Award for outstanding reporting of issues related to poverty and hunger either domestically or worldwide. The award honors Cameron Duncan, a former associate executive director of RESULTS, and is presented each year at the RESULTS/REF International Conference. E-mail your nomination to Blair Hinderliter at [email protected]
- College Students, apply for the Campus for Change Program. This scholarship program covers the full cost for travel, accommodations for four nights hotel, conference registration fee, and other conference costs. Students accepted receive additional advocacy training the Saturday before and Wednesday after the conference. As a participant you will be reimbursed up to $150 of your placeholder fee. The deadline to register for the program is April 30.
Thank you all and we look forward to seeing you in June!
Not All Good News in Budget Deal. Although the FY 2011 budget deal passed last week protects children in Head Start and child care programs, not all worthy programs were so lucky. RESULTS’ 2009-10 Health Care for All campaign included support for community health centers (CHCs) as part of health reform, and the final health reform bill included substantial funding increases for CHCs. Unfortunately, the budget deal cuts CHC funding in FY 2011 by $600 million. While no CHCs will have to close due to this cut, the expansion as envisioned in health reform is dramatically scaled back. This means that the goal of serving 20 million new patients, mostly low-income, from the CHC expansion in health reform will not be met unless the funding is restored in future years. RESULTS is deeply disappointed Congress chose to scale back this key component of health reform in the final deal.
More Than One Budget Was Voted on Last Week. While most of the attention last week focused on Rep. Paul Ryan’s FY 2011 budget, there were other proposals voted on as well. One such proposal, called “The People’s Budget” was put forth by the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Proponents say this budget would balance the budget by 2021, create jobs by investing in infrastructure and education, and restore tax fairness to the tax code. The budget would also end the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and bring the troops home. The budget failed on Friday, 77-347.
Post Tax Day Asides. Now that everyone has hopefully filed their federal taxes, there are a few new reports that shine a little light on how our tax code really works. First, an AP story yesterday revealed that the 400 wealthiest taxpayers have seen their effective tax rate (the amount they actually pay) drop from 26 percent in 1992 to 17 percent in 2007. The average income for those taxpayers in 2007 was $345 million. Second, our friends at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities have a new report on how tax expenditures can be reformed to make the tax code more efficient and fair.
Sign Up for “Spotlight on Poverty” Audio Conference. Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity and the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law will co-sponsor a national audio conference featuring Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL-9) offering an insider’s perspective on the latest budget developments in Congress. The conference is May 9 at 4:00 pm ET. Reserve your spot by signing up today.
(See a complete calendar)
Monday, April 18 – Sunday, May 1: House and Senate spring recess.
Monday, April 25: The State of Microfinance in America webinar, 5:00 pm ET. RESULTS is co-presenting this webinar as part of the “To Catch a Dollar” campaign. Register today.
Tuesday, April 26: Advocacy 101, 5:00 pm ET. RESULTS is hosting this webinar as part of the “To Catch a Dollar” campaign. Register today.
Wednesday, April 27: The Budget Debate, 2:00 pm ET. RESULTS is hosting this webinar as part of the “To Catch a Dollar” campaign. Register today.
Wednesday, April 27: New Activist Orientation series, 9:00 pm ET. Call (712) 432-3100, passcode 761262. RSVP for the series (April 13 and 27, May 11 and 25) or get more information by contacting Lisa Marchal. If you missed the first call, you can still join the series.
Tuesday, May 3: Deadline to register for the RESULTS International Conference at normal rate of $250 (rate increases by $50 after May 3).
Saturday, May 14: RESULTS Domestic National Conference Call, 12:30 pm ET.
Monday, May 16 – Sunday , May 22: House of Representatives is on recess.
Monday, May 30 – Sunday , June 5: Senate is on recess.
Monday, June 6 – Sunday , June 12: House of Representatives is on recess.
Sunday, June 19 – Tuesday, June 21: RESULTS International Conference at the Four Points Sheraton in Washington, DC.
RESULTS Contact Information
Main Office: (p) (202) 783-7100, (f) (202) 783-2818, 750 First Street NE, Suite 1040, Washington DC 20002. If mailing a donation to our DC office, please address the envelope to the attention of Cynthia Stancil.
Domestic Legislative and Grassroots Support Staff:
- Meredith Dodson, Director of Domestic Campaigns, (202) 783-7100 x116, [email protected]
- Jos Linn, Domestic Outreach Organizer, (515) 288-3622, [email protected]
- Ann Beltran, Domestic Volunteer Lobbyist, [email protected]
- Rebecca Van Maren, 2011 Emerson Hunger Fellow, [email protected]
- Cindy Changyit Levin, Grassroots Development Associate, (773) 236-7758, [email protected]
The RESULTS Domestic Update is sent out every Tuesday over e-mail 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 domestic campaigns.