Domestic Weekly Update March 15, 2011

In a world where you need a dollar to catch a dollar, that first dollar is never given to (the poor). So you need to have something to help the bottom people lift themselves up.

— Grameen Bank founder, Nobel laureate, and RESULTS Board member Muhammad Yunus, in the film To Catch a Dollar

New and Urgent in This Week’s Update

Latest from Washington, DC

Organizational Updates


Plan to Promote To Catch a Dollar and RESULTS in Your Local Area; Attend Media Training Call Tomorrow Night

The nationwide premier of To Catch a Dollar is just over two weeks away. We want to make sure as many of us as possible participate in this unique event. RESULTS is grateful to Ted Richane of Cause & Effect for appearing on our March 2011 RESULTS Domestic national conference call last Saturday to give as overview of the To Catch a Dollar campaign.

As Ted mentioned on the call, the film will give moviegoers not familiar with the microfinance model an idea about how it works around the world and how that model has been used here in the U.S. It also gives us the opportunity to engage others in the work to end poverty in America. He urged all of us to plan to attend a local screening ourselves and invite as many others as possible to attend. The To Catch a Dollar website has an online list of all the theaters by state. In addition, contact the theaters in your area showing the film and see if your RESULTS group can host a table and/or make a brief statement about our partnership in To Catch a Dollar and our work in ending poverty. As Ted explained, these theaters are looking to get new customers out of these showings and may be eager to work with local groups who can increase turnout.

Ted also described what will happen after the March 31 premier. As the premier is only the beginning of a longer campaign, each week in April will focus on a specific topic around domestic poverty and asset-building strategies. Topics include women in the U.S., the “unbanked” in America, financial literacy in the U.S., and policy solutions. Each week there will be events to help bring attention to these topics, including several hosted by RESULTS during the policy week of April 25.

Our March Action focuses on asset development strategies for ending poverty, which fits right in with the message of To Catch a Dollar. Specifically, we urge you to draft an EPIC Laser Talk that highlights the importance of building savings and assets and our focus of our assets campaign this year, the Saver’s Bonus. The purpose of drafting a laser talk about this issue is to help in your outreach during the To Catch a Dollar campaign, whether you are hosting a table at a theater, making a brief presentation before or after the film, or simply encouraging others to attend a screening. As Domestic Outreach Organizer Jos Linn explained on the call (from the new book Tell to Win), remember to tell a story in your laser talk. Find a way to draw people into a conversation emotionally — where people can identify themselves in your story — so as to better engage them.

Finally, Director of Domestic Campaigns Meredith Dodson and RESULTS media consultant Jove Oliver will be hosting a media training call tonight. The training is designed to help you promote To Catch A Dollar and RESULTS in your local media. Be sure to call in TONIGHT, March 15 at 9:00 pm ET. To participate, call (712) 432-3100 and enter passcode 761262.

TAKE ACTION: Here are some action steps to take in preparation for the March 31 To Catch a Dollar nationwide screening:

  1. Look to see if there is a To Catch a Dollar screening near you and if so, contact RESULTS Director of Domestic Campaigns Meredith Dodson ([email protected]) for support and materials. Please contact her by March 23 so we can get you materials in time for the screening. Also, please see our new To Catch a Dollar resources page for information and materials you can print and use for your events, including a promotional poster and newsletter announcement.
  2. Take the March Action. Draft an EPIC Laser Talk that will help you connect your RESULTS work with others in your community at a local To Catch a Dollar event.
  3. Join tonight’s training call to help you engage the media in your To Catch a Dollar activities. The call is tonight at 9:00 pm ET. To participate, call (712) 432-3100 and enter passcode 761262.
  4. Visit our Building Assets and Savings page and EARN’s financial empowerment webinars for more information about the Saver’s Bonus and matched savings accounts.
  5. Listen to a recording of the March 2011 national conference call if you missed it or need to hear part of it again.

Congress Set to Pass Three-Week Budget Extension; Your Early Childhood Advocacy Is Working

Congress will try to pass another continuing resolution this week that would extend finding for the government through April 8. The House proposed the three-week extension last Friday and Senate Democrats have indicated support for the plan. However, some conservatives in the House are threatening to vote against the bill, which could be voted on today. Without the extension, a government shutdown will occur this Friday.

The proposed extension would cut FY 2011 budget by $6 billion over that three week period. Fortunately, Head Start, Early Head Start, and Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) funding is not cut in this plan. The absence of Head Start and CCDBG cuts demonstrates that your 268 contacts with congressional offices in 2011 on early childhood issues (as reported on Saturday’s national conference call) is working! In fact, the New York Times reported last week that lawmakers are getting significant pushback in their districts from constituents about the proposed cuts to Head Start.

As you know, H.R.1, would cut Head Start and Early Head Start funding by over $1 billion and the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) by $39 million. Couple that with the loss of ARRA money and Head Start stands to lose over $2 billion and CCDBG over $1 billion this year, resulting in 368,000 low-income children and their families losing services, not to mention thousands of people losing their jobs. Fortunately, the Senate rejected H.R.1 by a vote of 56-44, but also rejected an alternative budget bill that would have helped maintain current Head Start and child care services. It is imperative that we keep the pressure on the House and Senate to protect early learning funding and finalize the 2011 budget. If we don’t, those 368,000 kids are the losers. See this chart from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities that highlights how deep H.R.1’s cuts are:

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities H.R.1 Cuts Chart

TAKE ACTION: Coordinate with your group to write letters to and call your members of Congress in support of Head Start, Early Head Start, and the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG). Tell them now that the Senate has soundly rejected the House budget, it is time to pass a budget that is fiscally and morally responsible. Part of that must include continued funding for early learning programs for children, our most important long-term investment. Specifically, urge them to sustain the funding levels in FY 2011 and FY 2012 necessary to protect existing Head Start and child care services for children and families. You can also use our new Early Childhood Laser Talk and talking points from the February Action sheet to help draft your letters, in your face-to-face meetings with legislators and/or staff. You can also use our online e-mail alert to contact congressional offices.

When talking with staff, send them copies of this Youtube video, which provides a great visual representation of what these cuts will mean to children and families: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNniruEh-cU. In addition, ask them to watch the 60 Minutes report “Hard Times Generation: Homeless Kids” from March 6 evening about child poverty in the U.S.

And keep trying to set up those face-to-face meetings with your members of Congress. They need to hear from constituents about the importance of early childhood programs and what they mean for jobs in your community. Both the House and Senate will be on recess the week of March 21.


RESULTS Conference: Last Day for the Early Bird Discount!

Planning to attend the 2011 RESULTS International Conference? If so, remember that the today is the last day to get the discounted registration fee of $199. After today, it goes up to $250. The RESULTS conference is our biggest event of the year and we want as many of you as possible to share in this great experience. There is no better way to connect with fellow volunteers from around the world, get educated on the most pressing issues of poverty, and meet with members of Congress and their staff than the RESULTS conference. We hope you plan to join us.

TAKE ACTION: Go to our International Conference page and register for the conference today. And remember that we have discounts for new attendees and students as well. Be a part of RESULTS’ biggest event of the year. We look forward to seeing you in June!


Quick News

Sign Your RESULTS Group on to the SAVE For All campaign Statement of Principles. The Strengthening America’s Values and Economy For All campaign or SAVE for All is “committed to preserving and strengthening our federal capacity to expand opportunity and enable all Americans to obtain economic security.” This coalition has released a Statement of Principles and is looking for your local RESULTS group’s support. Be sure to sign on your group today at the SAVE for All website and urge other local organizations to do the same. See an excellent overview of the broader budget battles in Congress and our work with SAVE for All on the RESULTS Blog.

“Medicare for All” Bill Reintroduced in the House. Rep. John Conyers (D-MI-14) recently reintroduced H.R.676, the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act. This bill would establish a national health program (aka single-payer system) in the U.S. National health care is a publicly-funded, privately-delivered health system, much like Medicare, that covers every person residing in the United States with coverage for all medically necessary care, including prevention services. Patients will still have the freedom to choose their doctors and hospitals. The system would be paid for by reallocating current health care funding, modest tax increases on wealthy taxpayers and unearned income, and an increase in payroll and self employment taxes. RESULTS urges members of Congress to co-sponsor H.R.676 so as to build support for this type of health care system.

Sen. Kerry Introduces Bill to Strengthen the EITC. On March 3, Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) introduced the Strengthen the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Act of 2011, S.467. This bill would make permanent the 2009 improvements to the EITC by expanding the credit for married couples and families with 3 or more children; these improvements are currently set to expire in 2012. S.467 would also double the EITC for workers without children from $464 to $929 in 2011, allow them to earn more income before losing the credit, and lower the eligibility age for childless workers from 25 to 21. The bill also simplifies some of the filing rules of the EITC. RESULTS urges members of Congress to cosponsor this bill to build support for this legislation.

Briefing Highlights Importance of Early Learning for Business Success. It’s not every day that you hear an economist, a banker, and a businessman talk about the importance of early childhood education. However, on Friday, March 10, the First Five Year Fund had a briefing on “The Business Imperative for Improving Early Childhood Education.” By investing in early childhood education such as Head Start, we are not only helping the parents to be able to work, but we are also insuring that future generations will have the skills they need when they enter the workforce. The briefing was a great way to engage other voices in advocating for early learning. See a more detailed summary of the event from Congressional Hunger Fellow Rebecca Van Maren on the RESULTS Blog later this week.

1st Anniversary of Health Reform Next Week. March 23 marks the one-year anniversary of the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. RESULTS worked heavily in 2009 and 2010 to pass health reform that included health coverage and access for low-income Americans through Medicaid and community health centers. Celebrate this milestone by signing Faithful Reform and Health Care’s “What I like about Health Reform” petition. In addition, FamiliesUSA will be hosting a conference call tomorrow, March 16 at 2:00 pm ET about the anniversary. You can go to their website to register for the call.


Announcements

RESULTS Workshop Tomorrow in South Carolina. Domestic Outreach Organizer Jos Linn will be traveling to Spartanburg, SC, to do a RESULTS presentation from 6:30 to 8:30 pm in the McMillan Theatre at Wofford College. If you know anyone in the Spartanburg/Greenville area, please invite them to attend. You can contact Jos at (515) 288-3622 or [email protected] for more details.

Upcoming Outreach Events. Director of Domestic Campaigns Meredith Dodson will be traveling to Spellman College in Atlanta for an advocacy training on March 18 and at the end of the month, she will travel to Stetson College in Florida to present at the IMPACT conference; she will also meet with RESULTS volunteers in the Miami area while in Florida. In addition, Jos Linn will be traveling to Kansas City to present at the National Head Start Association conference and also helping our Kansas volunteers with outreach in early April. If you know anyone in these areas, or if you are looking to grow your own group or help start a new RESULTS Domestic group, please contact Jos or Meredith for details and support.

Please Complete and Send In Your Group Plans. Please send in your 2011 Group Plan Summary Form to your regional coordinator and Meredith Dodson as soon as possible.


Upcoming Events

(See a complete calendar)

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

Tuesday, March 15: To Catch a Dollar Media Training call with Jove Oliver. 9:00 pm ET. Call (712) 432-3100, passcode 761262.

Wednesday, March 16: Wofford College (Spartanburg, SC) group start presentation. 6:30-8:30 pm ET. Contact Jos Linn for details.

Wednesday, March 16: Final session of the New Activist Orientation, 4-session series. 9 pm ET. Call (712) 432-3100, passcode 761262. To register or to get more information, contact Lisa Marchal ([email protected]). You can listen to the February 2, 16, and March 2 sessions on the RESULTS website.

Friday, March 18: Expiration of the current continuing resolution (CR) for FY 2011 spending.

Friday and Saturday, March 18-19: RESULTS training at Spellman College (Atlanta, GA). Contact Meredith Dodson for details.

Thursday, March 31: To Catch a Dollar film is released nationwide.

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:

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.