Domestic Weekly Update March 22, 2011
New and Urgent in This Week’s Update
Latest from Washington, DC
Thank you all for your strong efforts in promoting To Catch a Dollar in your local communities. Many RESULTS groups and volunteers already have plans set up for the nationwide premier of the film on March 31.
If you have not yet made plans to do outreach around your local screening, it is not too late. Please contact Director of Domestic Campaigns Meredith Dodson ((202) 783-7100 x116, [email protected]) as soon as possible for support and materials. Also, if you would like to get in touch with you local theater showing the film to discuss outreach possibilities, you can contact Annie Hung at Cause & Affect ([email protected]) (if you have already contacted the theater directly, just continue working with them). As you know, Ted Richane, the Director of Cause & Affect was a national conference call guest speaker on our March 12 call. In addition, we have a wealth of resources available at our new To Catch a Dollar Resources page. Here are just a few to help you:
In addition, 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.
TAKE ACTION: Here are some action steps to take in preparation for the March 31 To Catch a Dollar nationwide screening:
Finally, if you missed the March 15 In-Depth Media & Outreach Training for Release of To Catch a Dollar, you can listen to it on the RESULTS website. It provides some great tips on how to make the most of this opportunity. Also, if you missed the March 2011 national conference call with Ted Richane, you can also listen to a recording on the RESULTS website.
Last week, Congress passed another temporary continuing resolution (CR), extending funding for the government through April 8. As mentioned in last week’s update, this extension included about $6 billion in budget cuts but fortunately Head Start, Early Head Start, and Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) were spared. You can bet that your efforts in 2011 to protect Head Start and child care programs had something to do with this.
Unfortunately, we are not out of the woods yet. Although the House’s budget plan, H.R.1 (which would cut Head Start/Early Head Start and CCDBG services for 368,000 low-income children) was rejected by the Senate, these kinds of cuts are still on the table. Both Democrats and Republicans in Congress have said that this current CR will be the last temporary extension. That means a FY 2011 budget deal will have to pass by April 8 or the federal government will shut down. In addition, with a vote to raise the federal debt limit approaching in the coming weeks, there will be added pressure to cut the budget to reach a deal on that vote (see an excellent overview of the broader budget battles in Congress and our work with SAVE for All campaign on the RESULTS Blog).
What all this means is that our efforts to maintain current Head Start and child care services are still vitally important. Congress is on recess this week, so use this opportunity to let members of Congress know that the budget must include the necessary resources to protect America’s children.
TAKE ACTION: Contact your local congressional offices to see if you can set up a last minute face-to-face meeting with your members of Congress, or to see if they have public events scheduled during this week’s recess. If so, plan to attend these events and ask for their support of early learning programs. Tell them now that it is time to pass a budget that is fiscally and morally responsible; this includes the necessary funding for early learning programs like Head Start, Early Head Start and CCDBG. 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 use our updated Early Childhood Laser Talk to help prepare.
If you could not get a meeting or cannot attend an event this week, 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). You can use our February Action sheet to help draft your letters. You can also use our online e-mail alert to contact congressional offices.
RESULTS staff acknowledges that this month has been very busy wjuggling our budget advocacy and To Catch a Dollar events at the same time. Unfortunately, the timing of each was out of our control. Fortunately, you all have responded wonderfully, for which we are very grateful. In April, things will somewhat return to normal as we again focus our primary efforts on protecting Head Start and child care funding in the FY 2011 and FY 2012 budgets.
Last Wednesday, Domestic Outreach Organizer Jos Linn traveled to Spartanburg, SC, to do a presentation at Wofford College. Jos first spoke to students during a political science class which included a lively discussion about NGOs and politics. Later that evening, Jos facilitated a RESULTS “Group Start” workshop for about 25 students and faculty. The meeting included an overview of RESULTS, showing our “Everyday Heroes” video, and taking action on Head Start and child care funding. By meeting’s end, we had 10 people (8 students, 2 faculty) form a new RESULTS group to work on U.S. poverty issues. We also had others join our e-mail network and also express interest in joining the local RESULTS Global chapter in Spartanburg. The group begins its new group training this Friday.
Jos deeply thanks the tremendous help of Wofford students and faculty who have worked for months to prepare for this meeting. The new group is a tribute to their efforts. Thanks also to everyone who attended the meeting and particularly those who have chosen to use their voices in the effort to end poverty. Welcome, Wofford!
Upcoming Outreach Events. Director of Domestic Campaigns Meredith Dodson will be traveling to Stetson College in Florida to present at the IMPACT conference at the end of March. She will also meet with RESULTS volunteers in the Miami area while in FL. In addition, 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. 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.
1st Anniversary of Health Reform is Tomorrow. March 23 marks the one-year anniversary of the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. In 2009 and 2010, RESULTS volunteers worked hard to include expansions of Medicaid and community health centers as part of reform. Although not a primary campaign this year, RESULTS is still monitoring the health reform debate, in particular efforts to cut or redesign the Medicaid program as part of deficit reduction. If and when action is needed on this issue, we will be sure to let you know. In the meantime, celebrate this week’s milestone by signing Faithful Reform and Health Care’s “What I like about Health Reform” petition or sending an Anniversary Card to members of Congress.
Tony Hall Begins Hunger Fast Highlighting Poverty on Monday. RESULTS long-time friend Ambassador Tony Hall will begin a fast on March 28 to call attention to the condition of hungry and poor people in the U.S. and around the world. He hopes to focus national attention on the human impact some of the proposed cuts in Congress, and invite those sharing this common concern to join in reflection, personal sacrifice and action on behalf of those most threatened. A new website www.HungerFast.org has been launched to serve as a resource on the fast. The website includes background information about Ambassador Hall’s 1993 fast, the motivation behind the fast this time around, and a place where individuals can join the effort.
Briefing Highlights Importance of Early Learning for Business Success. On Friday, March 10, the First Five Year Fund had a briefing on “The Business Imperative for Improving Early Childhood Education.” The briefing was a great way to engage other voices in advocating for early learning. See a more detailed summary on the RESULTS Blog.
New Early Learning Bill Introduced. On Thursday, March 3, Senator Casey (D-PA) introduced S.470, the Supporting State Systems of Early Learning Act. The bill would establish an $350 million Early Learning Challenge Fund to help states build and strengthen early learning by raising the bar on program quality, improving workforce qualifications, and creating a seamless system of early care and learning that working families and children can rely upon.
Marian Wright Edelman to Speak at the 2011 RESULTS Conference! We are very pleased to announce that Children Defense Fund founder and RESULTS Board member Marian Wright Edelman will be a keynote speaker at the 2011 RESULTS International Conference. Ms. Edelman has been a tireless advocate and leading voice on behalf of the world’s children for decades. Her passion, commitment, and energy in helping low-income children and families are an inspiration to us all. We are very excited to have her speak at this year’s conference. So don’t waste any time reserving your spot today. 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!
Great Turnout on This Month’s Conference Call. Thanks to all of you who were able to be on the March 12 RESULTS Domestic National Conference Call. We had at least 72 volunteers on the call from 18 difference communities. Of those on the call, you reported that you’ve made at least 260 contacts with congressional offices on Head Start and child care funding in 2011 and you pledged to contact at least 1,036 people about attending a local To Catch a Dollar screening on March 31. Congratulations to you all on your great efforts!
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.
(See a complete calendar)
Thursday, March 31: To Catch a Dollar nationwide screening.
Thursday, March 31 – Sunday, April 3: RESULTS presenting at the IMPACT Conference in DeLand, FL.
Thursday, April 7: RESULTS presenting at the National Head Start Association conference in Kansas City, MO.
Friday, April 8: Expiration of the current continuing resolution (CR) for FY 2011 spending.
Tuesday, May 3: Deadline to register for the RESULTS International Conference at normal rate of $250 (rate increases by $50 after May 3).
Sunday, June 19 – Tuesday, June 21: RESULTS International Conference at the Four Points Sheraton in Washington, DC.
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.