Domestic Weekly Update January 11, 2011
New and Urgent in This Week’s Update
Latest from Washington, DC
In the wake of the senseless shootings in Tucson over the weekend, we at RESULTS express our deep sadness over this tragedy and offer sincere condolences to the victims and their families. We also hope for a quick and full recovery for all the survivors, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.
Schedule Face-to-Face Meetings This Month to Talk about Early Childhood Issues (January Action)
Thank you to everyone who participated in last Saturday’s RESULTS Domestic national conference call. What a great start to 2011 — we had 75 people on the call representing 21 RESULTS Domestic groups. As we discussed on the call, January is a great month to seek face-to-face meetings with members of Congress. With full-time legislative business still a few weeks off, members will be in their home states ripe for a powerful meeting with RESULTS volunteers. And this month we have no shortage of things to discuss with them.
As Helen Blank from the National Women’s Law Center discussed on the conference call, early childhood development services for low-income families provided through Head Start/Early Head Start and child care assistance face serious funding shortages if Congress does not act soon. She reminded us that the economic recovery bill made significant and long-overdue investments in these programs, each program getting $1 billion per year for 2009-2010. As a result, 200,000 new low-income children and their families have received child care assistance and 7,000 Head Start or Early Head Start classrooms have opened. However, if this funding is not maintained, 300,000 children will lose these critical services. Members need to hear from constituents about the need and success of these programs and urge them to support the necessary increases to maintain these important services.
In addition, Justin King from the New America Foundation told us about the importance of building savings and assets as a means to lift families out of poverty. He specifically talked about the Saver’s Bonus. The Saver’s Bonus utilizes what we know about the Earned Income Tax Credit, namely that it is a powerful means to lift people out of poverty, to encourage savings. By using a key moment in time when people have access to extra cash — tax time — we can start to encourage savings behavior that can become habitual and long-term. This will help more families be able to lift and keep themselves out of poverty. We look forward to working with Justin and New America on this issue in 2011.
If we want to build support for these anti-poverty initiatives, we need to maintain a sustained and powerful voice in support of them. The late start to the new Congress this month gives us the opportunity to do so. Contact your Senate or House scheduler and request a face-to-face meeting with your members of Congress. Use the January 2011 Laser Talk we reviewed on Saturday for guidance in making that call. When meeting with your members, tell them why they should make ending poverty a priority in the 112th Congress, specifically focusing on early childhood issues and funding for Head Start and child care. Remember that many times, we are one of only a few voices standing up for low-income Americans. Let’s make good use of this time of the year to make our voices heard.
TAKE ACTION: Take the January Action. Set up a face-to-face meeting with returning and new members of Congress in your home state. Contact the office scheduler to see when your House and Senate members can meet before they go to Washington. Use the January 2011 Laser Talk to help you. In your meeting, focus on protecting Head Start and child care programs that help break the cycle of poverty. Temporary funding for these programs will run out in March and without adequate increases to these levels, which will simply maintain current enrollment, many low-income children and their families could lose these essential services. Once you have a meeting scheduled, please contact Meredith Dodson ([email protected]) or Jos Linn ([email protected]) to help you prepare.
If you were not able to participate in last Saturday’s conference call, you can listen to it online from our RESULTS National Conference Calls page on our website. In addition, see our 2011 Campaigns Summary for an overview of this year’s legislative campaigns.
As discussed on last Saturday’s conference call, early childhood programs such as Head Start and the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) are at serious risk of being cut this year. Remember that for years, Head Start and child care operated well below capacity due to inadequate funding. Before 2009, Head Start was only serving four out of ten eligible children and Early Head Start was only serving 3 percent of eligible infants and toddlers. In addition, while CCDBG helps 1.5 million low-income children and their families get much needed child care services, millions more have to wait.
In 2009, Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which increased funding for Head Start and CCDBG by $1 billion per year for two years. This has helped hundreds of thousands of children around the country. See this interactive map from the National Head Start Association, which lists not only how many children have been helped because of the ARRA Head Start money, but the jobs it has helped created in each state. Unfortunately, that money has now run out. Without the funding necessary to maintain these services, 300,000 children will lose out.
Congress has yet to pass a budget for FY 2011 (which began last October); 2010 funding has simply been extended through March 4. We need Congress to include $1 billion in additional funding for Head Start and $1 billion in new funding for CCDBG in the FY 2011 budget, so that low-income children enrolled in these programs are not cut out of them. We also need Congress to maintain these service levels as they begin work on the FY 2012 budget.
TAKE ACTION: In addition to meeting face-to-face with members of Congress this month to talk about early childhood funding, join advocates from across the country by calling the White House at (202) 456-1111 this Friday, January 14 and urging the administration to protect, sustain, and maintain critical funding for early childhood programs. The President plays a key role in budget negotiations and his leadership on these issues could make the difference with lawmakers. When calling, ask the Administration to:
To help prepare for this call, The National Women’s Law Center is hosting an informational call this Thursday on the legislative status of Head Start and child care. The call is this Thursday, January 13 at 3:00 pm ET. You can register for the call at http://action.nwlc.org/site/Survey?SURVEY_ID=11400&ACTION_REQUIRED=URI_ACTION_USER_REQUESTS&autologin=true.
Finally, use our new Outreach Action Sheet to engage others in your community on this issue. Ask them to use the sheet to write letters to the members of Congress urging support for Head Start and child care.
January is the time for our annual group planning process. This process gives each group the chance to look back with fondness and celebration and look ahead with excitement and anticipation. The process is designed to give you a blueprint of actions and goals your local group would like to accomplish in 2011. It is an important part of RESULTS’ success because it allows each group to create a clear vision of what they want to do while utilizing the unique creativity of each group member to make it happen. To help you, we have created some resources designed to make the process meaningful and easy. You can find each of these resources on our Group Resource and Administration page:
In addition to your legislative goals in your plan, know that we want to make a special effort this year to build the membership of our existing groups and also build on our very successful 2010 fundraising efforts. Therefore, in your planning be sure to spend some time mapping out your outreach and fundraising plans for the year. If you have any questions about 2011 fundraising, please contact our new Grassroots Development Associate Cindy Changyit Levin at [email protected].
TAKE ACTION: If you did not schedule your group planning meeting on Saturday, contact your group members as soon as possible to do so. Our legislative work will get busy sooner than we think so let’s use this relatively calm time of the year to plan out our goals for 2011. Be sure to allow for adequate time to complete the process. Also, you can listen to last Saturday’s national conference call for an overview of our 2011 campaigns, or see our 2011 Campaigns Summary. Once you have completed your planning, fill out the group plan summary form and send a copy to your regional coordinator as soon as possible. If you have questions about group planning, please contact the RESULTS Domestic staff for help.
Health Reform Repeal Vote Postponed After Arizona Shootings. Tomorrow’s House vote to repeal the 2010 health reform law has been delayed because of the assassination attempt on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ-8) over the weekend. All legislative business this week has been postponed in the wake of the shooting.
Single Payer Advocates Join Voices Opposing Health Reform Repeal. Last week, Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) joined the chorus of voices (including RESULTS) urging members of Congress to oppose efforts to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). In a statement released last Friday, PNHP called on Congress to reject GOP efforts to repeal the law and instead use the law as a vehicle to enact a national health program. “We call for a real, sustainable solution to our health care woes. PPACA should be superseded by a comprehensive health reform that provides quality, affordable care to everyone — single-payer national health insurance, an improved Medicare for all,” said PNHP President Garrett Adams. RESULTS also supports a national health program and strongly opposes these repeal efforts. Make a quick call to House and Senate members and tell them to vote NO on repeal.
New Outreach Action Sheet Available. We have a new Outreach Action Sheet available to help you engage others in your community in our anti-poverty work. The focus of this sheet is writing letters to Congress in support of Head Start and child care. Use the sheet for tabling, meetings and other event where you can get the word out to people about RESULTS and these issues.
Power Mapping Training Call Tomorrow. Join us tomorrow night, January 12 at 9:00 pm ET for a training call on Power Mapping. Power mapping is a method you can use to leverage your connections for more effective advocacy. You can see our December Action for more details about the process. To participate in the call, dial (712) 432-3100 and enter passcode 761262.
New Activist Orientation Begins in February. On February 2 and 16, March 2 and 16 at 9:00 pm ET, we will begin another 4-session series of the New Activist Orientation. This series is designed for volunteers new to RESULTS or those simply wanting to learn more (or a refresher) about our organization and our work. To RSVP or to get more information, contact Lisa Marchal ([email protected]); to participate, call (712) 432-3100 and enter passcode 761262.
(Click to see a complete calendar)
Wednesday, January 12: Power Mapping Training Call. 9 pm ET. Call (712) 432-3100, passcode 761262.
Monday, January 17: Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. All RESULTS offices closed.
Wednesdays, February 2 and 16, March 2 and 16: New Activist Orientation, 4-session series. 9 pm ET. Call (712) 432-3100, passcode 761262. To RSVP or to get more information, contact Lisa Marchal ([email protected]).
Saturday, February 12: RESULTS Domestic National Conference Call, 12:30 pm ET.
Sunday, June 19 – Tuesday, June 21: RESULTS International Conference at the Four Points Sheraton in Washington, DC (Note: start date subject to change).
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.