Domestic Weekly Update February 22, 2011

Abigail Newberger, a local education consultant, read a statement urging the congressman to do whatever he can to keep [Head Start] intact. Some members of Congress have talked about cutting 200,000 children from Head Start programs. “The negative ramifications are endless,” she said, also noting the short-term impacts of lost tax revenue and higher unemployment by cutting classrooms and teachers.

February 15 article from the Cumberland (PA) Sentinel quoting RESULTS volunteer Abigail Newberger at a town hall meeting for Rep. Todd Platts (R-PA-19)

New and Urgent in This Week’s Update

Latest from Washington, DC

Organizational Updates


House Passes Budget with Deep Cuts to Head Start and Child Care; Urge the Senate to Protect Services for 368,000 Children and Their Families (February Action)

Last Friday evening, the House passed its version of the FY 2011 federal budget, 235-189. This budget, H.R.1, is drastic change in priorities for federal spending compared to the last few years. Rather than increasing long-overdue investment in programs that help low-income Americans, this budget moves to slash them. In particular, investments in Head Start, Early Head Start, and child care assistance are significantly cut. Head Start and Early Head Start will see a $1.083 billion cut plus an additional $1 billion of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding not renewed, for a total cut of over $2 billion over current levels. The Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) is cut by $39 million plus an additional $1 billion in lost ARRA money, for over $1 billion in cuts.

If enacted, these cuts will be devastating:

  • 218,000 low-income children will lose Head Start/Early Head Start services
  • 16,000 Head Start/Early Head Start classrooms will close
  • 55,000 Head Start/Early Head Start teachers and staff will lose their jobs
  • 150,000 low-income children and their families will lose assistance in paying for child care

Obviously, these cuts will impact not just the 300,000 children who stand to lose services because of the loss of ARRA services; a total of 368,000 children will lose services under the House spending levels. The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) has a fact sheet with state-by-state estimates of the number of Head Start participates that will lose services.

Other critical safety net programs are also cut, including deep cuts to Community Health Centers. The National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) estimates 11 million patients will lose services over the next year with the deep cuts in H.R.1.

The House vote was along party lines. All but three Republicans voted in favor of H.R.1; all Democrats voted against it. The bill now moves to the Senate, where it faces a significant uphill battle. Senate leadership in both parties have indicated that they will not pass H.R.1 as is. However, we cannot assume that they will restore funding to these important programs. Without a strong push from the grassroots, the Senate could very well preserve all or part of these cuts. Remember that Congress must pass the FY 2011 budget (or another temporary extension) by March 4 or face a government shutdown, i.e. there will be a lot of pressure on the Senate and House to finish the budget quickly. Therefore, our actions over the next two weeks are critical.

The House and Senate are in recess this week for the President’s Day holiday. Use this opportunity to meet with them while they are home. Contact their offices to see if they have a few minutes this week to meet with your group this week. You can also contact their local offices to see if they’re holding any town hall meetings or public appearances where you might get a few minutes to ask them about funding for early learning programs. At the very least, be sure to write letters to senators at your RESULTS group meetings this month, urging them to maintain current Head Start and child care services that are so vital to at-risk children around the country.

TAKE ACTION: Take the February Action. Write letters to and call your senators in support of Head Start, Early Head Start and the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG). Urge them to protect funding for child care, Head Start, and Early Head Start to help us build a smarter, healthier, and stronger America. Specifically, ask that they work to sustain funding for Head Start/Early Head Start and child care so that 368,000 children do not lose these valuable supports, as proposed by the House. Also, keep requesting those face-to-face meetings and look for public appearances for your members of Congress while they’re are back home this week. You can also call their early childhood aides to advocate for protecting these programs.

When contacting senators, be sure to use some of these resources available to you:

In addition, RESULTS will participate in a national call-in day THIS Thursday, February 24. We will send an email alert you can forward to your own action networks urging others to take call in. And, for those who are free midday tomorrow, we urge you to participate in the National Head Start Association’s National “Stroll-in” Day on February 23.


Start Making Your Outreach Plans Around the March To Catch a Dollar Release

As mentioned last week, RESULTS is going to have a unique opportunity in March and April to raise awareness of permanent solutions to poverty. On March 31, To Catch a Dollar: Muhammad Yunus Banks on America will be released nationwide. RESULTS is a national partner in the release of this film, and this is a ready-made outreach opportunity for your RESULTS group. The film follows women borrowers who are participating in domestic microfinance programs here in the U.S., pioneered by Nobel laureate and RESULTS Board member Muhammad Yunus. The films follows these women and the change these programs create over the course of a year. As noted on the film website, “Working with borrowed money for the first time, they begin to realize their own potential and the power that comes with it.”

The film is part of an 18-month nationwide campaign to correct misperceptions and myths about the working poor in the U.S and illustrate concrete solutions to poverty. The campaign will also provide tools and resources the general public can use to improve their own financial well-being and inspire the grassroots into action. Finally, it is hoped that the film and campaign will help expand domestic microfinance services around the country.

The event is a great opportunity for you to begin and perhaps fulfill your outreach goals for 2011. Hopefully all of you have or will soon complete your group planning this month, with your outreach goals clearly articulated. Outreach is a big focus for RESULTS this year and the release of To Catch a Dollar will be a great opportunity for you to expand your RESULTS presence in your community. For the March 31 event, be sure to invite your local network (allies, donors, and local congressional staff) to attend the film screening. In addition, look into opportunities to host a table at the theater or even do a short announcement to those in attendance after the event.

After the March 31 film release, there will be four intense weeks of online educational events and other activities, which will be marketed to all those who go to the film screenings. RESULTS is co-organizing the policy week, April 25–May 1, and will lead several webinars on advocacy training, innovative policies to create economic opportunities through asset building, and the potential impact of budget cuts on families living in poverty.

TAKE ACTION: Plan to take part in this great outreach opportunity to connect your RESULTS work with others in your community by hosting an event in your city around the March 31 To Catch a Dollar film release. We’ll post details on activities you can engage in on our website’s blog. Get the process started by contacting RESULTS Director of Domestic Campaigns Meredith Dodson ([email protected]) to begin planning; she is getting regular updates on which cities are involved in the screenings. You can watch a trailer for To Catch a Dollar in our February 12 blog post on the RESULTS website.

Hopefully, your group has included plans to do outreach as a part of your 2011 group planning, Also, if you have not completed your group planning, please schedule your group planning meeting as soon as possible and send in 2011 Group Plan Summary Form to your Regional Coordinator and Meredith Dodson as soon as possible.


RESULTS International Conference Registration Now Open — Register Today to Get Your Early Bird Discount

It’s that time of year again! Registration for the 2011 RESULTS International Conference is now open! The conference, which is June 19–21 in Washington, DC, is the biggest event of the year for RESULTS and this one promises to be another must-attend experience. To get a taste of the conference experience, see the highlights from last year’s conference.

The conference will include a great kickoff event on June 19, followed by education and training sessions on June 20, including the latest legislative updates on pertinent legislation. On Tuesday, June 21, we will all go up to Capitol Hill to meet with legislators and their staff on our 2011 issues, once again putting solutions to poverty in front of decision-makers face-to-face. The conference will culminate with a reception on Capitol Hill Tuesday evening with members of Congress and other guests.

This year, we want to make it even easier for people to attend the RESULTS conference, so we have some important numbers to remember so you can maximize this opportunity:

  • $199 — Register by March 15 and pay this discounted “early bird” registration fee. This amount includes your conference registration and the concluding Capitol Hill reception on Tuesday.
  • $250 — Register by May 3 and pay the standard registration fee, which includes your registration and the Tuesday reception. After May 3, the registration fee increases to $300 and conference registration closes on June 3.
  • $175 — If you are coming to the RESULTS conference for the first time, pay this “first-timers” registration fee. You can’t beat that deal.
  • $275 — How would you like your entire conference experience to only cost $275? You only need to be a college student and apply for our Campus for Change Program. Those accepted will enjoy a $275 conference charge which includes the full cost of 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. If you would like to apply, please fill out the application form available on our International Conference page. RESULTS will then follow up with you.

The RESULTS International Conference is always a memorable event. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to connect with other RESULTS volunteers, hear from the experts on solutions to poverty, and making your voice heard on Capitol Hill. Go to our International Conference page for registration details. We look forward to seeing you in June!


Quick News

Sign Up CHN Budget Webinar This Friday. In the wake of the House’s vote on the FY 2011 budget, our partners at the Coalition on Human Needs is hosting a webinar this Friday, February 25 at 2:00 pm ET. The webinar will look at the impact of the House budget and the president’s FY 2012 budget on all of us and how we can be persuasive in defense of federal investments and protecting vulnerable people. The webinar coincides with CHN’s release of their new report: A Better Budget for All: Saving Our Economy and Helping Those in Need. CHN’s webinars are always informative and inspiring and we urge to register for the webinar at the CHN website today!

Sign Your RESULTS Group on to the SAVE For All (Strengthening America’s Values and Economy For All) campaign Statement of Principles. This is a chance for your RESULTS group to show your support for preserving and strengthening our federal capacity to expand opportunity and enable all Americans to obtain economic security. Please urge other local organizations to do the same.


Announcements

Help with Upcoming Outreach Meetings in ID and SC. RESULTS Domestic Outreach Organizer Jos G. Linn will be traveling to Boise, ID, this Friday, February 25 to meet with the new RESULTS Boise Domestic group and conduct an outreach meeting. Also, on March 16, Jos will be traveling to Spartanburg, SC, to do a RESULTS presentation at Wofford College. Jos has been working with students at Wofford since last fall; we hope to start a new Domestic group at this event. If you know anyone in the Boise or Spartanburg areas, please urge them to attend these meetings. You can contact Jos ([email protected]) for more details. Also, if you are looking to grow your group or help start a new RESULTS Domestic group, please contact Jos or Meredith for help. We are happy to work with you on strengthening and expanding our grassroots presence around the country.


Upcoming Events

(See a complete calendar)

Monday, February 21 – Friday, February 25: House and Senate President’s Day recess.

Friday, February 25 at 2:00 pm ET: CHN Budget Webinar. Register for the webinar at the CHN website today!

Wednesdays, March 2 and 16: New Activist Orientation, 4-session series. 9 pm ET. Call (712) 432-3100, passcode 761262. You can join in even if you missed the February 2 call. To RSVP or to get more information, contact Lisa Marchal ([email protected]).

Friday, March 4: Expiration of the current continuing resolution (CR) for FY 2011 spending.

Tuesday, March 15: Early bird registration for the RESULTS International Conference ends. Register today!

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, (202) 783-7100 x116 ([email protected]); Jos Linn, (515) 288-3622 ([email protected]), and Ann Beltran ([email protected]). Grassroots Development Associate, Cindy Changyit Levin, (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.