Domestic Weekly Update October 12, 2010

Some people wrote letters, a few signed up for the action network, and some simply took literature and went away more educated about poverty than before. Win, win, win!

RESULTS IL volunteer Cindy Changyit Levin

New and Urgent in This Week’s Update

  • Tell Members of Congress Finish Child Nutrition the Right Way (October Action)
  • Don’t Let Congress’ Delay on Taxes Dampen Our Efforts to Protect Working Families

Latest from Washington, DC

  • Fall Fundraising Update: Des Moines fundraiser TONIGHT, Santa Fe on Saturday

Organizational Updates

  • Announcements
  • Upcoming Events
  • RESULTS Contact Information

Tell Members of Congress Finish Child Nutrition the Right Way (October Action)

Members of Congress are now back home preparing for the November elections, with child nutrition (CNR), expiring tax cuts, and many other critical issues pending. As our October 2010 RESULTS Domestic Conference Call guest, Ellen Teller from the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) outlined, the Senate passed its version of CNR back in August, the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010 (S.3307). While the bill does make some needed changes to child nutrition programs like the school lunch program, school breakfast program and WIC, it doesn’t do enough to provide the resources needed for meaningful access to these programs. It allocates $4.5 billion more in funding over the next ten years, only half as much as the House CNR bill, the Improving Nutrition for America’s Children Act of 2010 (H.R.5504). Of much more concern, however, is the fact that half of that new money is paid for by cutting future benefits to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly the Food Stamp Program).

Congress should not be looking at safety net programs as the first source of revenue to fund other programs — much less other safety net programs —when there are numerous, more appropriate sources available.

TAKE ACTION: Take the October Action. Use this time during the recess to contact members of Congress and urge them to pass the strongest child nutrition bill without cutting SNAP to fund it. Write letters to your representatives and senators using our action sheet, but don’t stop there. 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 by RESULTS TX volunteer Kathleen Duncan on Saturday’s conference call. If you cannot call, be sure to send an e-mail to your members of Congress.

Also, be sure to join our training call on pre-election bird-dogging. Crickett Nicovich of RESULTS and Kaytee Riek of HealthGap will teach us proven techniques for asking questions on our issues at town hall meetings and candidate events. The call is TOMORROW (Wednesday), October 13, at 9:00 pm ET. Call-in number (712) 432-3100, passcode 887871.

Take It to the Next Level: More Actions to Pass a Strong Child Nutrition Bill

On last Saturday’s conference call, Ellen Teller from FRAC outlined additional actions we can take to push for the strongest possible child nutrition bill. Some of her suggestions included:

  • What RESULTS is so known for is our media work: editorials, letters to the editor, which played a huge role in getting the House to raise objections.

Don’t Let Congress’ Delay on Taxes Dampen Our Efforts to Protect Working Families

Even though the October Action focuses on child nutrition, RESULTS continues to push Congress to strengthen the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). A new report from the Tax Foundation released last week bolsters our position on extending the 2009 Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) improvements before they expire at the end of this year.

Each party has its own plan. Under the Republican plan, all of the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts would be extended, and nothing else. Under the Democratic plan, all the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts would be extended for the first $250,000 of family income, plus most of the EITC and CTC improvements from 2009. The report looks at how the low-income and wealthy families compare under the various proposals. Here’s how they compare from the report:

Family Democratic Plan
(after-tax income)
Republican Plan
(after-tax income)
Change in Income
Single mother of 2 making $20,000 $26,375 $25,495 Decrease of $880
Married couple with 2 kids making $1 million $709,669 $748,308 Increase of $38,639

In other words, if all the Bush tax cuts are extended but the 2009 EITC and CTC provisions are not, our low-income mom will see her income drop by nearly $1,000 (all from a decrease in her CTC). However, her wealthy neighbors across town will see their income go up by nearly $40,000. Talk about misguided priorities.

TAKE ACTION: Let’s use this time to make sure Congress does the right thing. Once you’ve acted on child nutrition, 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 ARRA EITC and CTC provisions permanent as part of the middle class tax bill. If they have not done so, do your best to get a commitment from them to do so and follow up to make sure they do. Set up a conference call meeting between the tax aides from their offices and your local RESULT group to discuss it, per the September Action. Be sure to use this online chart of the number of children who will be impacted in your state and recent poverty data from the U.S. Census to highlight the need for these provisions to be included in the middle class tax bill. You can find the names of aides on our Elected Officials page.

Once you have a meeting scheduled, please contact the RESULTS Domestic staff for help in preparing. After you’ve had a meeting or conversation, please use our online lobby report form to let us know what happened.

Fall Fundraising Update

As RESULTS Development Director Donna Howard outlined on Saturday’s conference call,

Your involvement in fundraising is important because it allows us to spread our reach and offer a larger community of people the opportunity to learn about and invest in ending hunger and poverty in the U.S. and around the world. Your involvement is also important because institutional donors — like corporations and foundations — look toward giving by members and friends to gauge our strength and determine whether or not they’re going to support our efforts. So, it’s not just the size of the gift that matters but, the number of gifts is important too. When I work with potential funders, they often ask, what percentage of your membership participates in fundraising. When we can say that 80, 90, 100 percent of our members participate in giving and getting gifts, it shows that we believe in ourselves and it adds credibility when we’re approaching institutional donors.

By now hopefully your group has discussed how you will participate in the campaign. This week, work on your lists of potential donors to approach. Every group was mailed 30th Anniversary Brochures, remittance envelopes, and the monthly sponsorship brochures to accompany your solicitation letters to family and friends. Other materials such as sample letters, the follow-up phone script, and thank you notes may be obtained online at http://www.results.org/skills_center/fundraising_tools/.

And, we wish our groups in Des Moines and Santa Fe “Good luck!” with their fundraising events this week. Upcoming Fundraising Events:

October 12: RESULTS Des Moines fundraiser.

October 16: RESULTS Santa Fe fundraiser.

November 7: RESULTS Columbus fundraiser.

November 20: RESULTS San Jose fundraiser.

December 5: RESULTS Chicago fundraiser.

December 9: RESULTS DC fundraiser.

If you have questions or need more information, contact Donna Howard at (202) 783-4800 x124 or online at [email protected].

New Health Reform Resource: HealthCare.Gov

Find out about how Health Care Reform will affect you, your family and the lives of millions of low and moderate income Americans at http://www.HealthCare.gov. This new website is an outstanding source of information and opportunities. This website:

HHS (the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) and the Faithful Reform in Health Care will be offering guided walk-through of HealthCare.gov this Thursday, October 14, at 2 pm ET. RSVP for the call-in details.

For those interested in engaging further, we suggest you also join Faithful Reform in Health Care’s “What I like about Health Care Reform” Campaign. “By sharing information about how the Affordable Care Act contributes to our vision of health, wholeness, and human dignity for all, we are claiming our role in moving toward a more compassionate and just health care future.”

Announcements

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 remaining calls will be October 13, October 27, and 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.
  • Pre-election Bird-dogging: Getting Our Issues on the Radar. Want to know how to get candidates to make a public commitment on your issue (aka bird-dogging)? Kaytee Riek of HealthGap will be with us to talk about great bird-dogging techniques, useful as you attend town hall meetings and seek to get our issues talked about in the run-up to the election! The call is October 13 at 9:00 pm ET. Call-in number (712) 432-3100, passcode 887871.
  • 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)

October 13: Pre-election Bird-dogging Training Call. 9:00 pm ET. Call-in number (712) 432-3100, passcode 887871.

October 13: New Activist Orientation Training Series Call, 9:00 pm ET. (712) 432-3100, passcode 761262. The subsequent NAO training calls will be on October 27, and November 3.

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.

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.