Domestic Weekly Update March 8, 2011

We found a lot of families are making a choice between food and electricity. When asked how many of them had the lights turned off at their house, nearly all students [in a group of 25 whose families live at the poverty line] put their hands up. . . . Ashley Rhea raised her hand to add something that we didn’t expect: “I kind of feel like it’s my fault that we don’t have enough money. I feel like it’s my fault that they have to pay for me. And the clothes that they buy for me.”

March 6, 2011, 60 Minutes report on increasing child poverty in the U.S.

New and Urgent in This Week’s Update

Latest from Washington, DC

Organizational Updates


Join March National Conference Call THIS Saturday

This Saturday is the March RESULTS National Conference Call. On this call, we will highlight our work this month helping low-income Americans build savings and assets. Our guest speaker will be Ted Richane, Director of Cause & Effect. Cause & Effect is spearheading the To Catch a Dollar campaign. Ted will discuss the importance of the movie and campaign in raising awareness about poverty in America and how we can make a difference by participating at the local level. We will also update you on the latest around Head Start, Early Head Start, and child care funding. It should be another great call and we look forward to talking to you on Saturday.

TAKE ACTION: Coordinate with your group where you will listen to the RESULTS Domestic national conference call this Saturday, March 12, at 12:30 pm ET for the national conference call. To join the call, dial (888) 409-6709. Once connected to the operator, ask for the RESULTS National Conference call. Plan to call in no later than 12:27 p.m. ET to give time to the operator to connect you with the call.


Government Shutdown Averted for Now; Senate to Vote TODAY on House Budget Plan

Last week, Congress averted a government shutdown by passing another temporary continuing resolution (CR) that funds the government for another two weeks. This new CR, which expires on March 18, did include $4 billion in budget cuts over that period of time. For now, funding for Head Start, Early Head Start, and child care assistance were spared serious cuts (the Child Care Development Block Grant or CCDBG was cut by $1 million for these two weeks, which eliminates a website/hotline that helps families find local providers). However, the fight is certainly not over.

Today the Senate will take up H.R.1, the House budget plan for FY2011 passed on February 18. As you know, H.R.1 cuts over $1.083 billion in funding from Head Start/Early Head Start and $39 million from CCDBG. This, along with the lost ARRA money from 2009 and 2010 ($1 billion per year for each program) will result in 218,000 low-income children losing Head Start/Early Head Start services, 16,000 Head Start/Early Head Start classrooms closing, and 55,000 Head Start/Early Head Start teachers and staff losing 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 and we must make sure they officially vote it down today. In addition, the Senate will also vote on their own “alternative” budget bill, which actually includes increases of $300 million for CCDBG and $340 million for Head Start/Early Head Start. Neither H.R.1 nor the alternative are expected to pass, but a solid vote against H.R.1 will send a strong message to budget negotiators that Americans reject these draconian cuts.

See this Youtube video for a great visual representation of what these cuts will mean to children and families: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNniruEh-cU. In addition, watch the 60 Minutes report “Hard Times Generation: Homeless Kids” from last Sunday evening about child poverty in the U.S. Every member of Congress needs to see this story.

TAKE ACTION: Call Senate offices toll free at (888) 245-0215 and voice your support for Head Start, Early Head Start and the Child Care Development Block Grant. When calling, ask for the aide who handles early childhood development programs, specifically Head Start and child care. When talking to them (in person or in a voicemail):

  1. Tell them that you are a constituent (and anything about why you care about these programs).
  2. Urge them to protect funding for child care, Head Start, and Early Head Start to help us build a smarter, healthier, and stronger America.
  3. 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.
  4. Tell them you want the senator to VOTE NO on H.R. 1 and YES on the Senate full-year FY 2011 bill.

When done, please thank them for listening, and then call back and speak to your other senator’s staff. See our online call-in alert for more information, as well as additional talking points from our February 2011 Action. Calls today and tomorrow are critical, so be sure to send the link to our call-in alert to others you know; be sure to send along the Youtube video and 60 Minutes links as well.

If for some reason you cannot call, use our early childhood e-mail action alert to send a message instead.

Thanks to the Coalition on Human Needs for providing the toll-free number.


To Catch a Dollar Release Provides Great Opportunity for Outreach

The countdown to the To Catch a Dollar movie release has begun. Tomorrow night, RESULTS Director of Domestic Campaigns Meredith Dodson will attend the New York premier of the film, which will be released nationwide on March 31. To Catch a Dollar 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.

To help with the promotion of the film and subsequent campaign, To Catch a Dollar has officially launched its website at www.tocatchadollar.com. The film will be released on at least 190 theaters around the country. The website now has an online list of all the theaters by state. To coincide with this, our March Action focuses on asset development strategies for ending poverty. Specifically, the action asks volunteers to draft an EPIC Laser Talk that highlights the importance of building savings and assets as a means to get and stay out of poverty. The Action also highlights our main 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, you laser talk will help you make the case for our work and these efforts succinctly and powerfully. Don’t pass up this great opportunity to engage others about RESULTS and the importance of anti-poverty advocacy!

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. Look to see if there is a screening near you and if so, contact RESULTS Director of Domestic Campaigns Meredith Dodson ([email protected]) for support and materials. You can also find a number of RESULTS promotional materials on the RESULTS website, including:

In addition, RESULTS media specialist Jove Oliver will be hosting a media training call on next week to help with volunteers with To Catch a Dollar events. The training is designed to help you promote To Catch A Dollar and RESULTS in your local media. This is a great opportunity to learn some great techniques from a media expert. The call is Tuesday, March 15 at 9:00 pm ET. To participate, call (712) 432-3100 and enter passcode 761262.


Welcome Rebecca Van Maren, RESULTS’ 2011 Congressional Hunger Fellow

RESULTS is please to Rebecca Van Maren, our newest Congressional Hunger Fellow. Each year, the Congressional Hunger Center (CHC) sponsors the Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellowship. The fellowship is a “unique leadership development opportunity for motivated individuals seeking to make a difference in the struggle to eliminate hunger and poverty.” Each year, the CHC selects twenty individuals for the eleven-month program. Fellows spend the first half of their service term with urban and rural community-based organizations that are working to end hunger at the local level. Next, the fellows move to Washington, DC, to complete the year with national organizations involved in the anti-hunger and poverty movement.

Rebecca is a native of Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah in 2010 with a degree in human development and family studies and community and consumer studies and a minor in nutrition. She has served as a Service-Learning Scholar, a Residential Advisor, and held leadership positions in the Lowell Bennion Community Service Center. Rebecca interned at the Northwest Arkansas Food Bank and worked with the Community Food Co-op of Utah to establish mobile markets in food deserts in Utah’s Salt Lake County.

Rebecca began her term last fall working with community agencies in Seattle to determine which federal child nutrition program is the most feasible and efficient for Food Lifeline to begin offering through a pilot program. She also worked to create an implementation plan for the future program utilizing best practices from around the nation.

At RESULTS, Rebecca will focus her efforts on our Early Childhood Development campaign. We are thrilled to have her on the RESULTS team for the next few months and are grateful to have her skills and talents on staff. Welcome, Rebecca!


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 of national and local advocacy groups, service providers, faith-based organizations, labor, civil rights groups, and policy experts has released a Statement of Principles and is looking for your support. By signing your local RESULTS group onto the Statement, you will show your support for preserving and strengthening our federal capacity to expand opportunity and enable all Americans to obtain economic security. So far, not many RESULTS groups have signed up. Be sure to sign on your group today at http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/125/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=5703. Please urge other local organizations to do the same.

Join Half in Ten Webinar on Using Person Stories in Your Advocacy. On March 14, the Half in Ten campaign, of which RESULTS is a sponsor, will host “Stories Behind the Cuts: Practical Tips for Effective Storybanking.” This online training is for advocates across the country interested in using personal stories to put a human face on the budget cuts and impact the policy debate. To register, go to https://halfinten.peachnewmedia.com/store/seminar/seminar.php?seminar=7240#blank.


Announcements

RESULTS Conference: Only One Week Left for 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!

RESULTS Group Building and Outreach. Domestic Outreach Organizer Jos Linn 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 hopes 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. 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. 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)

Saturday, February 12: RESULTS Domestic National Conference Call, 12:30 pm ET. (888) 409-6709.

Monday, March 14: Half in Ten storybanking webinar. 2:00 pm ET. Register at the Half in Ten website.

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 RSVP 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, March 18 – Saturday, March 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: 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.