Domestic Weekly Update January 10, 2012

It pays to plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark.

— Unknown

New and Urgent in This Weeks Update

Latest from Washington, DC

Organizational Updates


Join Us for the January National Conference Call This Saturday at 12:30 pm ET with Indivar Dutta-Gupta

Join us this Saturday, January 14 for the RESULTS National Conference Call. With the advent of the new year, this month’s call will focus on group planning for 2012. As part of that process, we are pleased to have Indivar Dutta-Gupta from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities as our guest speaker. Indivar will speak to us about the legislative outlook for 2012, particularly in reference to tax policy. 2012 promises to be a big year on the tax front and we appreciate Indivar’s time in giving us a heads up on what to expect. We will also spend time on the call going over the group planning process and the materials available to help you plan. For this section of the call, we’ll be looking for your help. We want to hear what excites you about your RESULTS work in 2012. What goals or breakthroughs would you like to accomplish as an individual or a group? Be thinking about those this week and during the group planning shares section of the call, please plan to share your vision for the year. We look forward to a great call.

TAKE ACTION: Coordinate and gather with your group this Saturday, January 14 at 12:30 pm ET for the national conference call. To join the call, dial (888) 409-6709. Once connected to the operator, ask for the RESULTS National Conference call. Plan to call in no later than 12:27 pm ET to give time to the operator to connect you with the call.

Please make sure to have your group planning date set before Saturday's call. Our Roll Call section will include asking about the date of your group planning meeting.


Create an Inspiring and Bold Group Plan for 2012 (January Action)

2012 promises to be an exciting and interesting year. Election years always produce surprises, victories, defeats, and plenty of drama. While much of what we will see politically will be more theatre than substance, we can never forget that the policies our elected leaders adopt have real-world impacts on all of us. That is why it is important to have a plan in place to set ambitious goals and maintain focus throughout the year.

RESULTS is one of the few, if not the only, organization(s) that urges its volunteers to make a plan for the year. RESULTS prides itself on having an active and creative grassroots base that brings many talents to the table. And we want to make sure we are using that wisdom, knowledge and energy in the most effective ways. The group planning process is integral in doing that. By having our groups evaluate their expertise and set goals both at the individual and group levels each year, we are keeping this work fresh and alive. That is essential in any advocacy work. Advocacy is hard, repetitive and frustrating at times, which is part of any attempt at change, whether individual or systemic. But that’s not the whole story. And it is not our story.

Advocacy is also alive, inspiring, and powerful. And in our experience, that is because of you — the volunteers. Our successes — expanding access to health care via health reform, supporting families through expanded tax credits, protecting the future for at-risk children with Head Start — are because of you and your passion for justice. Therefore, while we don’t know what the end of 2012 will look like, we know what it should look like. Group planning helps put that vision into action.

What would you like to accomplish this year with your members of Congress? With the media? In your communities? Now is your opportunity to put that vision down on paper and talk about how to achieve it. Also, because of the value we place on this process, our January 2012 U.S. Poverty Action sheet overviews the group planning process and provides tips for having a good planning meeting. We also have resources to help on the Group Resources and Administration page of the RESULTS website.

As always, RESULTS staff is here to answer any questions you have about the planning process. Also, Regional Coordinators can provide planning support during group leader calls this month. Finally, if you are conducting your group planning meeting right before Saturday’s conference call, RESULTS Director of Domestic Campaigns Meredith Dodson will be available via Skype to talk to groups doing their group planning that day. This support is designed to help you create specific legislative strategies for your group’s members of Congress. Or, if you would like RESULTS Domestic staff to meet separately with your groups via Skype or phone during your January group planning meeting, please contact the RESULTS Domestic staff to schedule a time to meet.

TAKE ACTION: If you haven’t yet set the date for your January group planning meeting, please set it ASAP so you can finish your group planning in January. Once scheduled, use the January Action sheet to help with your planning as well as these resources:

You can find these and other helpful tools on our Group Resources and Administration page. Finally, if you want staff support during your planning meeting, please be sure to contact RESULTS staff as soon as possible.


Put in Your Requests for Your Face-to-Face Meetings

Congress has a few more days of recess before heading back to Washington, DC. The House will return on January 17, while the Senate will not come back until January 23. This gives us a few more days to put in those face-to-face requests for meetings. In addition, some members of Congress will be holding town hall meetings. Contact your representative’s and senators’ local office or their websites to see if they have any public events scheduled (see our Elected Officials page for contact and website info).

Even if you cannot get a face-to-face meeting for the current recess, ask for a time to meet the next time your representative or senator is home and be sure to follow up with all your requests. We all know how challenging it can be at times to get meetings when members of Congress are home so it is always important to get in your requests early and often.

TAKE ACTION: Request a face-to-face meeting with your representatives and senators. See our 2012 Campaigns Summary for details on our 2012 priorities. Get in early to meet with members of Congress to push them early on these important issues. If you cannot get a meeting now, ask for a time to meet the next time your representative or senator is home. Use our online e-mail to contact their offices about setting up a meeting. Once you get a meeting scheduled, please contact the RESULTS Domestic staff to help you prepare. We are here to help.


Be Sure to Include Fundraising in Your 2012 Group Plan

Happy New Year from the RESULTS Fundraising Team! First, we want to again congratulate all of you who participated in RESULTS’ grassroots fundraising efforts in 2011. Your hard work resulted in $216,000 in fundraising last year. Thank you for all your hard work in securing the financial resources to continue this important work.

Looking ahead, as you work on your 2012 group plans, please make space in your meetings to talk about what fundraising efforts your group will take on in 2012. If you are planning a fundraising event, RESULTS Grassroots Development staff members Beth Wilson and Cindy Levin stand ready to help you with new tools like on-line ticketing and Save-the-Date graphics for your events. Choosing a date now for your event will give you the most time to prepare and make your fundraising event a total success.

Also in 2012, we look forward to our upcoming Friends and Family Campaign, which will run February 20 - March 31. Friends and Family is when we will reach out to our personal networks and invite everyone to donate to our life-saving successes. And this year, every grassroots partner will have the opportunity to have a personal on-line fundraising page! It will allow up-to-the minute tracking of your donors and goal progress. Of course, those who prefer to use paper and envelopes have our full support. Either way, we hope to make this our most successful Friend and Family fundraiser yet! We will have more about the Friends and Family Campaign in the coming weeks. In the meantime, please contact Cindy Levin ([email protected]) with any questions.


Invite Congressional Staff to EITC Awareness Day Event

Our primary 2012 Campaign will focus on Economic Opportunity for All. This will include educating lawmakers, the media, and our communities about the importance of and the need to protect low-income tax credits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC). We will also move forward in generating support for asset-building policies like the Saver’s Bonus.

To help kick the year off right, EITC Awareness Day is Friday, January 27. This day is designed to raise awareness of the EITC and its life-changing impact for recipients and policymakers. RESULTS is working in partnership with the National Community Tax Coalition to promote events around EITC Awareness Day both in Washington, DC and around the country. A policy event around the EITC is set for the morning of Thursday, January 26, which will be an excellent opportunity for congressional staff to learn more about the importance of the EITC for low-income working families. Details are still being finalized, which we should have by the end of the week. We want to urge congressional staff to attend this event.

TAKE ACTION: Do your part by contacting your House and Senate tax staffers and urge them to save the date to attend the event on the morning of the 26th. You can then follow-up with details when they become available. Use our Elected Officials page to find the name of your representative’s and senators’ tax staffers so you can contact them.

Also, take a few minutes to take our online tax credit media action. Send a letter to the editor today educating readers about the importance of the EITC and CTC and urging lawmakers to protect and expand them.


Quick News

Study Shows the Impact of Head Start on Parental Involvement. A new study from the University of Pennsylvania demonstrates that parents with children enrolled in Head Start “spend more hours investing more deeply in their children and continue to do so after leaving Head Start.” These parents increased their time helping their children with math, reading, and following their development. This is one of the many reasons securing adequate funding for Head Start in the FY 2012 budget was so important. If you have not already, please thank Congress for supporting Head Start and child care in the FY 2012 budget. Write a letter to the editor to your local paper telling readers of the importance of early childhood funding for low-income families and thanking Congress for continuing these investments in 2012. You can use our updated online LTE action to send letters to your local papers.

New Child Poverty Data Available. As you prepare for upcoming meetings with members of Congress, be sure to look at this data from the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) outlining child poverty data by state.

“The Nation” to Highlight Poverty in America Each Week in 2012. The Nation magazine began a year-long blog series last week highlighting poverty in the United States. “This Week in Poverty” will track the vital statistics, provide updates on legislative efforts, report on community efforts to combat poverty, summarize ideas, studies, and proposals to end poverty, and find opportunities for action, and more. Last week’s blog post focused on the five things learned in 2011 around poverty. The series will appear each Friday at thenation.com.

New White House Chief of Staff Named. Yesterday, White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley announced his resignation after one-year in the position. He is being replaced by Jacob Lew, currently the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Lew is seen as a defender of programs that help low-income Americans. According to Politico, “Democrats and progressives are cheering Office of Management and Budget Director Jack Lew's promotion to White House chief of staff, saying he has a decades-long history of protecting entitlement programs — especially Medicaid — from devastating cuts.“


Announcements

RESULTS Intro Call on January 20. We continue to have success with our bi-monthly RESULTS Introductory Calls. Last week, we had five attendees for our first call of 2012, who are now getting connected to RESULTS groups in their area. Let’s keep this up throughout the year. The next RESULTS Intro Call is next Friday, January 20 at 1:00 pm ET. Take a few minutes this week to invite a friend or family member to register for the next call (or sign up yourself). In particular, if you know people in Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, or New Orleans, please invite them to participate. We are actively looking to start groups in those areas. Simply send this link http://tinyurl.com/RESULTSMeetandGreet and urge them to sign up. Contact Jos Linn ([email protected]) if you have questions about the call.

New Activist Orientation Calls Begin in February. RESULTS will begin the next New Activist Orientation series in early November. This is a two-session series of conference calls designed to give people a more in depth overview of RESULTS’s work. It is perfect for new members of your local RESULTS group or anyone interested in learning more about us (beyond the RESULTS Intro Call). The calls are February 13 and 27 at 9:00 pm ET. Urge your new members or others you know to attend. To RSVP, please contact Lisa Marchal at [email protected].

Save the Date for January 31 CHN Webinar. Later this month, the Coalition on Human Needs will be hosting a webinar to highlight activities available to advocates in this election year. CHN webinars are always informative and fun so please plan to participate. The one-hour webinar will be Tuesday, January 31 at 2:00 pm ET. Registration information will be available in the next few days.


Upcoming Events

(See a complete calendar)

Saturday, January 14: RESULTS Domestic National Conference Call, 12:30 pm ET. (888) 409-6709. Listen to previous conference calls online.

Monday, January 16: Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. All RESULTS offices closed.

Tuesday, January 17: House returns to Washington from holiday recess.

Monday, January 23: Senate returns to Washington from holiday recess.

Friday, January 20: RESULTS Introductory Call, 1:00 pm ET. RSVP at http://tinyurl.com/RESULTSMeetandGreet.

Thursday, January 26: EITC Awareness Day event in Washington DC. Details coming soon.

Friday, January 27: National EITC Awareness Day.

Tuesday, January 31: CHN Election Year Activities webinar, 2:00 – 3:00 pm ET. Details coming soon.

Tuesday, January 31: Target date to complete 2012 Group Planning (please send a copy of your plan to your Regional Coordinator).

Monday, February 13: RESULTS’ New Activist Orientation series begins, 9:00 pm ET. Contact Lisa Marchal ([email protected]) for details. The second call in the series will be on Monday, February 27 at 9:00 pm ET.

Saturday, July 21 – Tuesday, July 24, 2012: RESULTS International Conference, Washington, DC. Start planning today to attend our 2012 conference!


RESULTS Contact Information

Main Office: (p) (202) 783-7100, (f) (202) 783-2818, 1730 Rhode Island Ave, NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20036. If mailing a donation to our DC office, please address the envelope to the attention of Cynthia Stancil.

RESULTS Domestic Legislative and Grassroots Support Staff:

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.