Domestic Weekly Update November 2, 2010

Voting is a civic sacrament.

— The Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, former president of the University of Notre Dame

New and Urgent in This Week’s Update

Latest from Washington, DC

Organizational Updates


Today Is Election Day 2010 — Remember to Vote!

While RESULTS’ work focuses more on the legislative process than the election process, elections are by no means less important. One of the great freedoms we have as a people is our freedom to cast the ballot for who we want to represent our beliefs and our hopes in government. Abstaining from the process, because our choices are not ideal or our disgust with political campaigns, only serves the status quo. Only when we act do we make a difference.

TAKE ACTION: If you have not voted already, please be sure to get out there today and cast your ballot. Most states keep polling places open through the early evening. If you are not sure of your polling place, go to http://www.vote411.org/pollfinder.php to find it, along with a map. Also, call your friends and family and urge them to vote as well. Regardless of who you vote for, this is a day when we can all be proud as Americans. Today is what America is all about.


Fall Fundraising Update: Keep Up the Momentum and Make Sure to Track Your Success

Many thanks to all who are participating in Fall Fundraising. Your willingness to spread the word about RESULTS to your inner circle and to invite them to participate financially in our work has always made the difference in helping us maintain the independent voice we need to call on Congress to act powerfully, effectively, and strategically. Your support has allowed us to navigate through economically turbulent times, and to take advantage of in-the-moment opportunities, all while raising the RESULTS profile within the community. Whether you’re holding events or sending donation requests to friends and family, we thank you.

Last week, you should have drafted your Friends and Family letters and sent them out to your potential donors. However, some of you have been very active in election activities that might have taken up much of your time last week. If so, it’s not too late. Simply make it a goal to send out your letters by the end of this week. Once your letters have gone out, set aside time in your schedule to do follow up calls a few days later. These calls can make the difference between confirming a donor and not, so plan to make them over the next week to 10 days.

Once your letters are done, please make sure to track your success. We have a handy tool ready that can help with this process. Our Donor Tracking Form can be used to record contact information, date letters were sent, date follow-up phone calls were made, and date and amount of the gift. It’s an easy way to keep up with all your great fundraising efforts. You can download the form in either MS Excel or MS Word format.

When all donation requests have been fulfilled and sent back to you, batch the checks and donor envelopes together and send them directly to our bank at:

RESULTS Educational Fund, Inc.
P.O. Box 10413
Uniondale NY 11555-0413

Please send your batch of donations no later than Wednesday, December 1. Keep a copy of the Donor Tracking Form for your records and send a copy to Cynthia Stancil at RESULTS headquarters in DC (see below). You can find all your fundraising resources online, including sample letters; just go to our Fundraising page on the RESULTS website. Furthermore, if you have questions or need more information, please contact our Development Director Donna Howard at (202) 783-4800 x124 or [email protected].

Finally, we want to thank all those groups out there doing fundraising events this fall as well. Your efforts are critical in helping us reach our $25,000 Domestic goal for this fall and we wouldn’t make it without you. Already we’ve had successful events in Santa Fe, NM, and Des Moines, IA, this fall. And this coming weekend, our fabulous volunteers in Columbus, OH, will be holding an event for people in central Ohio. RESULTS Director of Domestic Campaigns Meredith Dodson will be traveling to Columbus for this event. If you know people in the Columbus area who might be interested in attending, please Ginnie Vogts at [email protected]. Thank you, Columbus and good luck!

Upcoming Fundraising Events:

November 7: RESULTS Columbus, OH fundraiser

November 20: RESULTS San Jose, CA fundraiser

November 30: RESULTS Minnesota fundraiser

December 5: RESULTS Chicago, IL fundraiser

December 9: RESULTS Washington, DC fundraiser

Thanks to everyone for supporting RESULTS and RESULTS Educational Fund during our annual Fall Fundraising Campaign. Your work in garnering these resources is critical to our organization!


Let’s Welcome Congress Back with a Tax Credit Letter Tidal Wave (November Action Preview)

After today, action on our main 2010 priority will again heat up. Congress will return to Washington on November 15 to begin the lame duck session. The session is expected to run well into December (with a week off November 22–26 for Thanksgiving). A tax bill dealing with the middle-class tax cuts, including an extension of the 2009 Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) improvements will likely hit the Senate and House floors in December. However, key decisions on what this tax bill will look like will be made the week of November 15. Therefore, if we want to ensure that these provisions are part of that bill, we have to act that week.

We want to make sure that members of Congress get the message clearly that allowing the expansions of the EITC and CTC this year is not an option. Therefore, our November Action will focus on sending letters to re

tives and senators about the EITC and CTC. However, we are going to take a unique approach to doing this to maximize our impact. Here is the plan:

As you know, the next RESULTS Domestic National Conference Call is Saturday, November 13. Since RESULTS groups will be gathering for this call just two days before Congress returns, we will set aside time that Saturday for groups to write their letters right then. The call will provide updates on the tax issue, as well as implications of today’s election on our agenda this year and next. Once the call is done, groups will continue to meet to draft their letters to representatives and senators that day (we will end the call a little early to allow time for letter-writing). Once the letters are complete, one person in each group will take responsibility for faxing in the letters to Congress first thing on Monday, November 15 (and send them also to their local offices to ensure they are received). That way, Congress will return to Washington on November 15 with a nice gift of hundreds of letters telling them to put working families first.

Other groups working on progressive tax policy are also sending in letters and e-mails for the week of November 15 so RESULTS will be working in concert with other allies in this work to make sure Congress does the right thing on tax policy this year.

The November Action sheet will be available no later than Friday afternoon, November 5. The sheet will provide talking points and background information for you and your group to draft a short, targeted, powerful letter for members of Congress after the conference call. This is going to be a great way for us to amplify our voices in this process on behalf of working families. Start preparing now for our conference call letter-palooza now!

TAKE ACTION: Let your groups know this week about our plan to hit the ground running when Congress comes back on November 15. Tell them of our plan to flood their offices with letters on that Monday that we’ll write on Saturday, November 13 (you’ll be writing letters to both senators and your local representative). To ensure success, please alert your group to plan on a few extra minutes for the November national conference call to write the letters per the November Action sheet. Plan to bring copies of the action sheet plus pen and paper to the November 13 call.

In the meantime, if you have not done so lately, please follow up with House and Senate tax aides to find out if their bosses have spoken with House Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committee leaders about making the 2009 Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) improvements permanent as part of the middle class tax bill. See the September Action for details. Be sure to use this online chart of the number of children who will be impacted in your state and the new report from Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ) with new data on the impact of 2009 EITC and CTC changes.


Child Nutrition Reauthorization: Let Congress and the President Know that Hungry Kids Come First (October Action)

For the last month, RESULTS volunteers across the country have been pushing for a strong child nutrition bill. Given the limited time available during the lame duck session, the House is expected to vote on the Senate’s child nutrition legislation, the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010 (S.3307). As we have noted, S.3307 does make some much needed policy changes to child nutrition programs that will improve expand access, streamline participation, and improve nutrition, with $4.5 billion in new funding over ten years. Unfortunately, half of this new money in the Senate bill is paid for by cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly the Food Stamp Program). Unfortunately, it’s unlikely the House will enact any changes to the S. 3307, so it is key that we keep up the pressure for President Obama and Congress to both finish the job on child nutrition AND restore cuts to the SNAP program ASAP. While simply passing the Senate bill is not ideal, passing a child nutrition bill with billions of dollars in new investments is a step forward for hungry kids in America. A House vote will likely come the week of November 15.

TAKE ACTION: If you haven’t yet done so, take the October Action. Write letters to your representatives and senators urging them to pass a strong child nutrition bill and restore cuts to SNAP. Also, use public appearances and meetings during the recess to put this issue in front of legislators, using the Congress Should Pass a Strong Child Nutrition Bill laser talk reviewed on the October 9 conference call. If you cannot call, be sure to send an e-mail to your members of Congress. We also strongly urge you to contact the Obama Administration with the same message, since it is key that they engage in efforts to restore SNAP cuts. See our e-mail action alert that allows you to send an e-mail message directly to the White House.

We also have some additional resources you can use to build support for a strong child nutrition reauthorization:


Set Up Meetings with (Old and New) Members of Congress to Talk about Our Priorities

Even though tomorrow will bring the end of the election season, our work will just be getting re-started. The lame duck session in Congress coming up is going to be critical in ensuring that working families and hungry kids get priority in the final days of the 111th Congress. Members of Congress will still be home for another 10 days before going back to Washington to begin the lame duck session. They will return home a week later for the week of Thanksgiving. These are critical times in making your voice heard. Don’t let this opportunity pass by.

Furthermore, 2011 will bring in some new members of Congress; some may be in your state and district. Get in touch with these representative-elects and senator-elects and schedule a meeting with them before the end of this year (call their campaign offices). Introduce them to RESULTS and our work, and talk about the importance of putting low-income individuals and families first in the legislative process. What a great way to get your names in their field of vision right off the bat.

TAKE ACTION: Set up face-to-face meetings with members of Congress, both old and new, and urge them to put low-income individuals and families first. For current members of Congress, again push them to talk to House and Senate leaders about low-income tax credits and child nutrition reauthorization. For incoming members of Congress, introduce them to RESULTS and your work in your community; be sure to push them to put the needs of low-income Americans first.


Quick News

Asset Development: How Does Your State Rate? The Corporation for Enterprise Development has released its 2009-2010 Assets & Opportunity Scorecard. The scorecard is a comprehensive look at wealth, poverty and the financial security of families in the United States. The Scorecard assesses the 50 states and the District of Columbia on how well residents are faring and what states can do to help residents build and protect assets. You can use this information when talking to members of Congress and the media about the effects of poverty locally in your state and the need for strategies that help families build the savings and assets needed to lift themselves out of poverty.


Announcements

The 2009 Annual Report is online! Check out the 2009 RESULTS/REF Annual Report, titled “Taking Leadership in Extraordinary Times.” The report proves that RESULTS/REF staff and volunteer activists have the courage to change the things that are not acceptable and to inspire their leaders to do the same. See what your efforts created at http://www.results.org/about/annual_report/.

Join Upcoming Training Calls with RESULTS Staff. To better equip you in your advocacy work with RESULTS, we periodically offer training calls in various areas for volunteers. Here are the upcoming training calls we have scheduled this fall:

  • New Activist Orientation. For people new to RESULTS, this training call series is a great opportunity to learn more about RESULTS and build up your advocacy skills. The final training call is this Wednesday, November 3 at 9:00 pm ET. The call-in number is (712) 432-3100, passcode 761262. Contact Lisa Marchal ([email protected]) or Ken Patterson ([email protected]) for more information.
  • Researching Your Member of Congress. Have a new representative or senator? Don’t yet know enough about the positions of a continuing legislator? Join Allison Gallaher for this popular training to learn how to effectively research your own members of Congress for more effective advocacy. The call is November 18 at 9:00 pm ET. The call-in number is (712) 432-3100, passcode 761262.

Upcoming Events

(Click to see a complete calendar)

November 2: Election Day — Please vote!

November 3: New Activist Orientation Training Series Call, 9:00 pm ET. (712) 432-3100, passcode 761262.

November 13: RESULTS Domestic National Conference Call, 12:30 pm ET. (888) 409-6709.

November 15: Target date for congressional post-election session (“lame duck” session) to begin.

November 18: Researching Your Member of Congress. 9:00 pm ET. (712) 432-3100, passcode 761262.

November 25–26: RESULTS offices closed for the Thanksgiving holiday.

June 18–21, 2011: RESULTS International Conference at the Four Points Sheraton in Washington, DC (Note: start date subject to change).


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]), Ann Beltran ([email protected]), and Ann Racuya-Robbins ([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.