Domestic Weekly Update March 1, 2011

The potential impact on Head Start nationwide: 218,000 Head Start children dropped; 55,000 jobs lost; 16,000 classrooms closed. These cuts are terribly shortsighted. A nation doesn’t remain strong and healthy by depriving its children of basic health care and education — they are our future!

— RESULTS Santa Fe volunteer Lydia Pendley in a February 27 Letter to the Editor in the Santa Fe New Mexican

New and Urgent in This Week’s Update

Latest from Washington, DC

Organizational Updates


Congress Working to Avoid Government Shutdown; Let Them Know Your Priorities (February Action)

As reported last week, the House passed their FY 2011 budget, H.R.1, on February 18, which included substantial cuts to Head Start, Early Head Start, and child care assistance. As a result of these cuts, 218,000 low-income children will lose Head Start/Early Head Start services, 16,000 Head Start/Early Head Start classrooms will close, and 55,000 Head Start/Early Head Start teachers and staff will lose their jobs. In addition, 150,000 low-income children and their families will lose assistance in paying for child care.

Fortunately, the Senate has so far refused to accept this budget plan. However, if no alternative is passed by this Friday when the current continuing resolution (CR) expires, the government will shut down. Negotiations are underway to avoid that event. Yesterday, the House released a new continuing resolution proposal that would last for two weeks, in the hopes that a final FY 2011 budget could be completed. The proposal would cut $4 billion from the budget during that time. Head Start/Early Head Start will see no cuts during those two weeks and CCDBG will see a $1 million cut (the cut applies to a website and hotline to help people find local child care providers).

Fortunately, RESULTS priorities like Head Start, child care, and community health centers are spared from deep cuts in this temporary measure, and you can thank your efforts over the last two months (see below) for helping create that temporary reprieve. But the fight is far from over. This measure, if it passes, will only last a few weeks and the cuts to early learning and other important programs in H.R.1 are still on the table. And once the FY 2011 budget is done, the fight over FY 2012 will begin. That is why it is still very important we contact our representatives and senators, urging them to protect at-risk children from these reckless cuts.

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 for their next recess and keep calling their early childhood aides to advocate for protecting these programs. When contacting senators, be sure to use some of these resources available to you:

March Action note: Because of the CR deadline on Friday and the pressure we want to keep on Congress about Head Start and child care funding this week, the March Action sheet will be highlighted in next week’s Weekly Update.


RESULTS Volunteers in Action — Getting 2011 Off to a Great Start

The last two months have seen a great deal of activity in the RESULTS Domestic grassroots. Groups and volunteers are rallying around our work on early childhood development and economic opportunity by setting up meetings, making calls, writing letters, sending e-mails, and generating media: Here are some of your amazing accomplishments in just the first two months of 2011:

  • January 7: RESULTS Des Moines volunteers meet with Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Rep. Leonard Boswell (D-IA-3) at local event.
  • January 14: RESULTS Detroit volunteers meet with Rep. Gary Peters (D-MI-9).
  • January 31: RESULTS Bernardsville (NJ) volunteers meet with Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ-7).
  • February 1: RESULTS San Jose (CA) volunteers meet with Reps. Mike Honda (D-CA-15) and Zoe Lofgren (D-CA-16).
  • February 2: RESULTS Twin Cities volunteers meet with Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN-3).
  • February 8 and 14: RESULTS Southcentral PA volunteers speak with Rep. Todd Platts (R-PA-19) at local town hall meetings. These encounters also generate media in the Cumberland (PA) Sentinel on Head Start and child care funding.
  • February 14: RESULTS Des Moines volunteers help get a Des Moines Register op-ed placed in support of Head Start and child care funding.
  • February 20: RESULTS Albuquerque volunteer Marion Seymour gets a letter to the editor published in the Albuquerque Journal North.
  • February 22: RESULTS Contra Costa (CA) volunteers meet with Rep. George Miller (D-CA-7) and RESULTS Bernardsville (NJ) meet with Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ-11).
  • February 24: RESULTS volunteers from around the country participate in national call-in day in support of Head Start and child care programs.
  • February 25: RESULTS Columbus volunteer Ginnie Vogts gets a letter to the editor published in the Columbus Dispatch.
  • February 26: RESULTS Bernardsville (NJ) volunteers again meet with Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ-7).
  • February 27: RESULTS Detroit volunteers meet with Rep. John Conyers (D-MI-14).
  • February 27: RESULTS Santa Fe volunteer Lydia Pendley gets a letter to the editor published in the Santa Fe New Mexican.
  • January and February: RESULTS volunteers in Austin, Asheville (NC), Boise, Chicago, Columbus, Des Moines, and Santa Fe meet with congressional staff to discuss early childhood and/or asset development issues.

Fantastic! Congratulations to you all! These efforts, combined with your letters to members of Congress, are getting the message out: support programs and initiatives that help Americans living in poverty. Thank you all for your efforts and please keep them up. It is only our continued efforts at meeting with and influencing members of Congress that will get the job done. And if you have a milestone to highlight, please let us know. We want to make sure our entire network can celebrate your accomplishments.

In addition to our legislative activities, RESULTS groups and staff are also stepping up their outreach efforts in 2011. On Friday, RESULTS Domestic Outreach Organizer Jos Linn traveled to Boise, ID, to meet with the new RESULTS Boise Domestic group. He had a great revisit with the group, followed by a very effective outreach meeting. At the meeting, 10 new people attended and 5 of them signed up to be new volunteers in the group (and two more joined out e-mail network). Way to go, Boise! Jos then traveled to the RESULTS Northwest Regional Conference in Seabeck, WA, to do a training with RESULTS volunteers from the Pacific Northwest and Canada. It was a fun and inspirational gathering. Thanks to all who helped organize and execute that successful retreat.

Next, Jos will be traveling to Spartanburg, SC, to do a RESULTS presentation at Wofford College on March 16. Jos has been working with students at Wofford since last fall and we hope to start a new Domestic group at this event. In addition, 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. Finally, Jos 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.

TAKE ACTION: 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. We are happy to work with you on strengthening and expanding our grassroots presence around the country.

Thank you again for all the great work you are doing. Each day you bring us one step closer to a world free of hunger and poverty.


To Catch a Dollar Release Expanding to Hundreds of Theaters

As highlighted last week’s Update, on March 31, To Catch a Dollar: Muhammad Yunus Banks on America will be released nationwide. 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. RESULTS is a national partner in the release of this film.

The film will be released on at least 190 theaters around the country. To coincide with this, our March Action will focus on asset development strategies for ending poverty. We will be sending out the March Action sheet later this week. Included in that e-mail will be an updated list of screening cities and other details on how you can get involved. Also, Ted Richane, Director of Cause & Effect, will be a guest speaker on the March 12 RESULTS Domestic National Conference Call. Cause & Effect is a partner in the To Catch a Dollar campaign and he will give us more details on this unique opportunity.

TAKE ACTION: 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. Contact RESULTS Director of Domestic Campaigns Meredith Dodson ([email protected]) to begin planning. You can watch a trailer for To Catch a Dollar in our February 12 blog post on the RESULTS website.


Quick News

President Obama Gives State Single Payer Advocates Hope. President Obama has announced his support for legislation allowing states to set up their own health reform initiatives. As part of the Affordable Care Act passed last year, states were given the option to opt out of the health reform law and pass their own health reform plans so long as these plans met or exceeded the objectives of the federal law. This would include state-based single-payer plans. States could begin applying for these waivers in 2017. However, Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Scott Brown (R-MA) have introduced legislation to move that date up to 2014, when the bulk of health reform goes into effect. President Obama announced today that his administration supports this legislation. This gives hope to states like Vermont and California that are working to pass (or have attempted in the past) state-based single-payer laws.

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

RESULTS Conference: Register Today to Get the Early Bird Discount! 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. This year, we want to make it even easier for people to attend the RESULTS conference, so we have offered discounted registration of $199 if you register by March 15. This includes your registration fee and the June 21 Capitol Hill reception. We also have discounts available for first-time attendees and students. Don’t miss out on this great event. Go to our International Conference page for details and registration information. We look forward to seeing you in June!

Please Complete and Send In Your Group Plans. Thank you to all of you who have completed your 2011 group planning, This is an important part of our advocacy work so if your group has not completed your group planning, please do so asap and send in 2011 Group Plan Summary Form to your Regional Coordinator and Meredith Dodson. Please contact the RESULTS Domestic staff if you have any questions.


Upcoming Events

(See a complete calendar)

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!

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: 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.