Domestic Weekly Update January 24, 2012

In today's economic times none of us is immune to economic challenges and downturns... What is the solution? More of us need to stand up for policies that close the income gap and create economic opportunity.

— RESULTS Denver volunteer Sharon Hwang in the January 2012 Washington Park Profile

New and Urgent in This Weeks Update

Latest from Washington, DC

Organizational Updates


Meet with Your Group to Complete Your Group Plan by January 31 (January Action)

Thanks to all the RESULTS groups that have already completed group planning this month, as well as to those that have scheduled their planning meetings. We cannot say enough how important group planning is to our work creating the political will to end poverty. Volunteer activism has the gift of limitless passion and energy, whatever the issue. However, if that passion and energy is not focused and channeled properly, it can become diffuse and scattered. This not only becomes frustrating to the individual activist, it is also undermines the goals of activism itself — change.

Sadly, some in power count on activism being scattered and unfocused because it helps preserve the status quo. We all know that if the status quo were sufficient, we would not be here. That’s why group planning can be so powerful. By taking a little time to map out our activities for the year and find the best areas of leverage in which to channel our energy, we make ourselves all that more formidable and effective.

As you plan, be sure to help us reach these goals for 2012:

TAKE ACTION: Please set your 2012 group planning meeting so we can meet our goal of completing group planning by January 31. Use the January Action sheet to help with your planning, as well as the 2012 Group Planning resources, including the 2012 RESULTS U.S. Poverty Campaign Summary, Group Planning Guide, and Group Plan Summary Form. Once complete, please be sure to send a copy of your Group Plan Summary Form to Meredith Dodson at [email protected].

Also, once your group planning date is set, please contact Meredith Dodson ([email protected]) to schedule time to meet with her about your group plan. Her institutional knowledge from DC is a great resource to take advantage of. If you cannot meet with her as a group, schedule a time for Meredith or Jos Linn and your local group leader to strategize for 2012.

Finally, if you were not on the January 2012 RESULTS national conference call, which included an overview of group planning and the legislative outlook in Congress for 2012, you can listen to a recording of the call on the RESULTS website. Also, be sure to add the RESULTS DC office to your Skype contacts list (Skype name: Results.cf) as we will try to have a Skype video feed available for groups for the February 11 national conference call.


Urge Tax Staffers to Attend this Thursday’s EITC Event in Washington, DC

This is a good week to kick off our 2012 Economic Opportunity for All campaign as advocates promote EITC Awareness Day, which is this Friday, January 27. EITC Awareness 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. We are sponsoring a policy briefing this Thursday, January 26 for congressional staff. The briefing will provide them the opportunity to learn more about the importance and effectiveness of the EITC for low-income working families. We can use your help. Please contact the tax aides for your members of Congress and invite them to attend this policy briefing. The more staff that are there, the stronger support we can build for protecting the EITC in 2012.

TAKE ACTION: Use our Elected Officials page to find the name of your representative’s and senators’ tax aides to invite them to the EITC event. The briefing, Promoting the Security of America’s Working Families: A Review of the EITC’s Value and Discussion of 2012 Policy Implications is this Thursday, January 26, 10:00-11:30 a.m. ET in room 121 of the Cannon House Office Building. You can download a PDF of the invitation from the RESULTS website to send to them.

Contact tip: Phone call invitations are best with a follow-up e-mail. For e-mails, all House and Senate staff (unless they are specific committee staff) use standard e-mail formats. For House staff, the format is “[email protected]” (e.g. [email protected]). For Senate staff, the format is “[email protected]” (e.g. [email protected]).


Use Tonight’s State of the Union Speech to Leverage Action on Poverty

The Senate returns to Washington, DC this week after its month-long recess for the holidays, joining the House which returned last week. The next debate in Washington will center on extending the payroll tax cut and long-term unemployment insurance (UI). In December, Congress passed a two-month extension of these provisions; that extension ends on February 29. This is anticipated to be another vocal and contentious debate. Already the House has proposed requiring UI recipients to take drug tests and get a GED before receiving benefits, among other ineffective and dangerous reforms. We’ll keep you updated on any significant developments in the next few weeks.

However, the first item on the agenda this week is the president’s annual State of the Union address to the nation. The speech will outline President Obama’s agenda for 2012, including his priorities for the 2013 federal budget (he will release his proposed FY 2013 budget on February 13). It will also give us a preview of the likely 2012 election debate. RESULTS will be following the SOTU this evening via Twitter and we encourage you to follow our tweets and tweet yourself during the speech and then use it as a hook to generate media on RESULTS’ anti-poverty priorities.

TAKE ACTION: If you use Twitter, please join RESULTS and @First_Focus for a live tweet chat during President Obama’s State of the Union Address, starting at 9:00 pm ET. We will be using the hashtags #SOTU #SAVE4All, and #InvestInKids to engage the president on important issues for low-income working families. Here are some sample tweets you can use tonight (PDF version):

  • #HeadStart only reaches ½ of eligible kids: http://ow.ly/8DxUa. Hope @WhiteHouse will fight for #earlychildhood #SAVE4All #SOTU
  • Hope the @whitehouse will make #HeadStart a priority during #SOTU. Via @CoalitiononHN: Jeana's Story bit.ly/wettav #SAVE4All
  • @HNMatthews: Working poor moms pay average of 40% on #childcare. Will @whitehouse help families afford child care? #SOTU
  • In 2010, #EITC & #CTC helped lift 9.3 mil Americans out of #poverty. @RESULTS_Tweets tool to get media: http://ow.ly/8Dxlk #SOTU #SAVE4All
  • @mboteach: most #SNAP households have children, elderly, disabled, or are working: awe.sm/5dscW. Must fight hunger. #SOTU #SAVE4All
  • Via @fractweets: 77% polled say cutting #SNAP is wrong way to reduce spending bit.ly/w922TU. Speak out after #SOTU! #SAVE4All
  • Register 4 @CoalitiononHN @HalfinTen @civilrightsorg @ChildrensLC 1/31 webinar on 501c3s & elections bit.ly/zEhFDC #SAVE4All
  • Article from @theHill says Obama will shift strategy on healthcare in 2012. Can’t miss opportunities 2 help families in need http://ht.ly/8DBeI
  • What are your priorities 4 the #SOTU? Weigh in on #earlyed #EITC & #HeadStart. Tell @WhiteHouse to fight for families in need! #Save4All
  • @First_FocusHave a ? for the#whitehouseabout how the U.S. will#InvestInKids? Ask#SOTUfollow-up ?s after the speech. Use#WHChat

The speech will be carried live on most major networks and you can live stream it at www.whitehouse.gov. After the speech, use the speech as a hook to send a letter to the editor to your local paper about our 2012 priorities. We have two online LTE actions to help you: one focuses on the importance of tax credits for low-income families; the other on the importance of early childhood programs. Take action to build support for these priorities in 2012.


Schedule Face-to-Face Meetings for February Recesses

Even though Congress is in Washington the next few weeks, it is still a good time to call the schedulers for your representatives and senators and request a face-to-face meeting. Congress is already working on their agenda for 2012 and so now is the time to weigh and tell them what we think their 2012 priorities should be. Both the House and Senate will be on recess in February (see our Activity calendar below for dates), so get your request in now to meet with them when they are home. You can find scheduler names and contact info on our Elected Officials page. See our January 2012 U.S. Poverty Laser Talk for a sample conversation with a scheduler to set up a meeting and/or 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 and your group prepare.


Fundraising Update — See our New Internet Fundraising Tool

Great news! We are now in the test stages of our RESULTS online fundraising sites. We made two different kinds of fundraising pages to help us decide how to create our Friends and Family Campaign websites. As an example, see the RESULTS Runners team site, where caring souls are braving the winter weather to end poverty. Check out long-time RESULTS staffer Jen Maurer asking for sponsors for her Half Marathon. Also, see 8-year-old Yara's heartfelt appeal for donors for her two-mile run. 

Also, RESULTS volunteer Nancy Gardiner has generously "donated" her birthday to RESULTS’ life-saving mission. Using her new birthday fundraiser page, Nancy can ask her loved ones to give a gift to RESULTS in honor of her birthday! 

We urge you to visit these webpages to preview what we'll have in store for all RESULTS volunteers/groups to use this year. You can experiment with sharing them over social media and even make a donation if you are inspired. Note: these sites are a work in progress; please contact Cindy Levin at [email protected] with feedback on using them.


Quick News

Register for Webinar on Election Year Do's and Don'ts for Nonprofits. The Coalition on Human Needs, the Half in Ten Campaign, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the Children’s Leadership Council have partnered to provide a valuable resource to our local partners, members, and allies about what not-for-profit organizations (501C3’s) can do during election years. During the webinar, the Alliance for Justice will educate you and your organization about what actions are legally permissible during an election year, especially as you plan possible activities and opportunities to lift the anti-poverty frame. You’ll get AFJ’s advice about allowable activities during this election year and practical examples of things your organization can do. The webinar is next Tuesday, January 31 at 2:00 – 3:15 pm ET. You can register for this FREE webinar at the CHN website.

Polling Data Find Broad Support for SNAP among Voters. Last week, the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) released new polling data showing that voters have serious concerns about hunger in America and strongly support for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps). For example, 77 percent of voters say cutting food stamps is the wrong way to reduce spending, which is up from 71 percent in November 2010. 81 percent of voters say that low-income families and children not being able to afford enough food to eat is a serious problem. You can read more about the polling data at FRAC’s website.

Religious Groups Look to Widen Circle of Protection . In 2011, RESULTS, including RESULTS Faith in Action, stood in solidarity with the Circle of Protection movement. The movement began with a 28-day hunger fast by former Ambassador and long-time RESULTS friend Tony Hall, which was meant to draw attention to policies that would have cut programs and services that primarily benefit low-income individuals and families, e.g. SNAP, unemployment insurance, foreign aid, etc. The effort has continued since, with religious leaders and organizations working to broaden the Circle of Protection around society’s most vulnerable. RESULTS strongly supports this effort and will work in concert with religious and non-religious groups in 2012 to ensure that America maintains and strengthens its commitment to care for “the least of these.” To learn more about the Circle of Protection’s current efforts, see the recent statement from David Beckmann, President of Bread for the World.


RESULTS International Conference — Win a Free Conference Registration with Your Creative Video

As we announced last week, registration for the 2012 International Conference is now open. Please plan to join us in Washington, DC, for what we hope will be the most powerful conference so far (July 21–24), particularly because it will coincide with the International AIDS Conference.

Our goal is to have 400 attendees this year, and we are committed to having everyone there who wishes to attend. To help us reach that goal, we have a fun competition you can join. We want to you to submit a video testimonial telling us why you think the IC is a great experience and why you think everyone should attend. The videos will then be used to promote the Conference on our website and in other media. If your video is chosen as the winner, you’ll get one free conference registration!

Here are the guidelines for the competition:

  • The testimonial must be less than one minute.
  • Questions you can answer include: Why would you invite someone to attend the IC? What difference did the IC make in your life? What’s a high point of your IC experience?
  • Your submission can be filmed on any camera (including a cameraphone) but it must be audible and clear.
  • Once submitted, you give RESULTS permission to post your video on our IC event page.
  • RESULTS staff will judge the videos.
  • Deadline to submit your video is February 15. The winner will be informed by March 1 (if you have already registered, RESULTS will reimburse you; the registration is transferable).
  • Send your video submission to Jennifer Maurer. In the subject line, please write IC 2012 Video Testimonial.

Good luck with your entries and we look forward to seeing your creative videos! If you have questions about the conference and need a hand in making sure you can join us, please contact your group leader, your regional coordinator, and/or RESULTS staff.


Announcements

RESULTS Doing in Outreach in CA and LA. This week, RESULTS Director of Domestic Campaigns Meredith Dodson will be traveling to California for several events. She will travel to meet with volunteers in San Jose on January 24, followed by an advocacy training for tuberculosis advocates on Jan 25 in Los Angeles. She will then do a workday with volunteers from southern CA on Jan 28 in Orange County before heading home. To learn more about this trip or to connect with Meredith while she is there, please contact her at (202) 263-9108 or at [email protected]. Then on February 7, RESULTS Domestic Outreach Organizer Jos Linn will travel to New Orleans, LA to help host a meeting to start a new RESULTS group. The meeting is Tuesday, February 7 at 6:30 pm CT. If you know anyone in the New Orleans area, please contact Jos Linn ([email protected]) ASAP.

Invite People to upcoming RESULTS orientation calls in February. Remember to urge folks to attend our RESULTS orientation calls. Our bi-monthly RESULTS Introductory Calls are going well. These calls are great call for people wanting to get a basic understanding of RESULTS and our work. The next call is Wednesday, February 1 at 9pm ET. People can register at http://tinyurl.com/RESULTSMeetandGreet. Contact Jos Linn ([email protected]) if you have questions about the call. Also, the next New Activist Orientation series begins in February. These calls are great for new activists in your group or people wanting to learn more about RESULTS beyond the Intro call. This series is two calls, which will be on February 13 and 27 at 9pm ET. You can contact Lisa Marchal ([email protected]) for details.


RESULTS Activity Calendar

(See a complete calendar on the RESULTS website)

Upcoming Congressional Recesses: House recesses, Feb. 10-13 and 18-26, March 9-18. Senate recess, Feb. 20-24. Request face-to-face meetings!

Thursday, January 26: EITC Awareness Day event in Washington DC. Invite staffers to attend.

Friday, January 27: National EITC Awareness Day.

Tuesday, January 31: CHN Election Year Activities webinar, 2:00 – 3:00 pm ET. Register at the CHN website; Target date to complete 2012 Group Planning (please send a copy of your plan to your Regional Coordinator or Meredith Dodson).

Wednesday, February 1: RESULTS Introductory Call, 9:00 pm ET. RSVP at http://tinyurl.com/RESULTSMeetandGreet.

Tuesday, February 7: RESULTS Group Start Presentation in New Orleans, 6:30 pm CT. Contact Jos Linn for details.

Saturday, February 11: RESULTS Domestic National Conference Call, 12:30 pm ET. Listen to previous conference calls online.

Monday, February 13 and 27: RESULTS’ New Activist Orientation series, 9:00 pm ET. Contact Lisa Marchal ([email protected]) for details.

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.