Domestic Weekly Update October 19, 2010

Pound for pound, RESULTS is one of the best organizations in the country.

— Former U.S. Congressman and U.N. Ambassador Tony P. Hall at the October 12 RESULTS Des Moines fundraiser

New and Urgent in This Week’s Update

Latest from Washington, DC

Organizational Updates


Help Build Support for the End of Poverty by Fundraising for RESULTS — Congratulations Des Moines and Santa Fe on Successful Events!

The last seven days have been very successful in RESULTS fall fundraising campaign. Our groups in Des Moines and Santa Fe held events last week that have not only raised critical funding for RESULTS/REF but, also increased our visibility and helped spread the word about ways in which everyday citizens can make extraordinary change in the world. The Des Moines event featured Ambassador Tony P. Hall and raised some $3,055 in conjunction with other fundraising activities. The Santa Fe event raised a total of $1,965; this on top of $3,100 raised during the summer! Thanks and gratitude to Des Moines and Santa Fe for delivering successful high quality events!

Goal setting for the 2010 Friends and Family Campaign has begun and you should have fundraising materials in your hands now. If you haven’t done so, please set your group and individual goals as soon as possible. Start by making a list of people you plan to solicit, then assign a prospective gift to each person on your list, finally add the list of prospective gifts together with your own to develop your goal. Gather the support materials you will need to conduct fundraising, including the 30th Anniversary Brochure, remittance envelopes, and the monthly sponsorship brochures.

Once you have a list of prospective donors, your goal and your support materials, begin writing your letters! Ask those who are most likely to give or increase their gift to give first, and then continue asking until you’ve gone through your entire list. Please have your letters ready to go out next week (the week of October 25) and then follow-up with phone calls to be complete by the week of November 8th. Our RESULTS Domestic goal is to raise $25,000 by the end of the year and with your help, we’ll meet and exceed that goal!

TAKE ACTION: Draft your Friends & Family solicitation letters and have them ready to send out next week. Once your letters have been sent, follow them up with a personal phone call to your prospective donor to answer questions and confirm whether they intend to give. Use the materials on our RESULTS Fundraising page, including sample letters, the follow-up phone script, and thank you notes to help with your work. If you have questions or need more information, please contact Donna Howard at (202) 783-4800 x124 or [email protected].

Thanks to all who are helping RESULTS/REF reach out to communities across the country. We couldn’t do it without you.

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


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

It’s only two weeks until Election Day and less than four before Congress returns to Washington to complete unfinished business. We know that one of those unfinished items needs to be dealing with expiring tax provisions for working families (see below). However, the other important issue is the reauthorization of child nutrition programs. These programs, like the School Lunch Program, the Child and Adult Care Feeding Program, and WIC, are important in ensuring that children get the meals and snacks they need for their health and development. Failure to renew and strengthen these programs is not an option.

As you know, the Senate passed the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010 (S.3307) back in August. The bill does make some good and needed changes to child nutrition programs that will improve expand access, streamline participation, and improve nutrition. However, it only allocates $4.5 billion in new funding over the next ten years. Most experts agree that this is not enough to meet the President’s goal on ending childhood hunger in the U.S. Furthermore, the bill cuts $2.2 billion in future benefits to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly the Food Stamp Program) to pay for this new funding . Congress should not be looking at safety net programs as the first source of revenue to fund other programs when there are numerous, more appropriate sources available (see this new report from the Congressional Research Service on the effect of the cuts on SNAP benefits).

The House, on the other hand, has yet to vote on child nutrition reauthorization. The House bill, the Improving Nutrition for America’s Children Act of 2010 (H.R. 5504) allocates almost double the amount in new funding ($8 billion over ten years) and does not cut SNAP. RESULTS supports the House passing its own bill and doing so without cutting other anti-poverty programs to pay for it.

Despite having a better bill, the Senate and the White House are pressuring the House to simply accept the Senate bill, primarily because they don’t believe anything better can pass the Senate. However, House progressives and anti-poverty advocates are resisting those efforts, mainly because of the SNAP cuts. Now, there are rumors that perhaps a compromise can be reached whereas the SNAP cuts could be restored as part of a final bill or in some other bill (with adequate assurances on that commitment). RESULTS is monitoring these developments and will keep you informed as new information comes in. However, an acceptable compromise to everyone will not happen if Congress does not hear what we want and don’t want for child nutrition programs.

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. 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 on the October 9 conference call. If you cannot call, be sure to send an e-mail to your members of Congress.

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


Tax Debate Highlights Misguided Priorities — Help Set Them Straight

The Center for American Progress released a new report at the end of last month that points out the absurdity of the current tax cut debate. Looking at recent data, CAP shows that every income level except those in the top one-fifth saw their income decline between 2007 and 2009. For the top-fifth, however, after a decrease in 2007-08, their incomes began to increase again in 2008-09. In other words, for the wealthiest Americans, things are getting back on track; for everyone else, the train is still derailed.

Despite these figures, many members of Congress (both Republicans and Democrats) want to extend the tax cuts for the wealthiest despite a $700 billion cost and clear evidence that extending them will do little to promote economic growth. The CAP authors state it best: “Instead of focusing on a policy that would exclusively benefit those who make more than $250,000 a year we should be discussing how to get wages and middle-class incomes rising again, the best ways to bring people out of poverty, and what we can do to address the ever-widening disparities between the super-rich and everyone else. Our priorities are indeed skewed when the dominant argument over economic policy pertains to $100,000 tax cuts for millionaires while our middle class is barely treading water.”

The White House has also released a 2-minute video that clearly illustrates who benefits from the two tax plans (President Obama’s plan v. congressional Republicans’ plan).

This issue will be one of the most contentious issues after the election. If we want to ensure that Congress puts working families and the middle class first, we need to remind them before and after November 2 that Americans want a tax policy that is fair and equitable for everyone, not a policy that serves to entrench the status quo.

TAKE ACTION: Let’s use this time to make sure Congress does the right thing. Once you’ve acted on child nutrition this month, 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. 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 (see contact information below). After you’ve had a meeting or conversation, please use our online lobby report form to let us know what happened.


Quick News

Struggling Economy Means States Are Cutting Medicaid. According to a recent Kaiser Health News (KHN) report, as many as 20 states reduced or restricted Medicaid benefits in 2010, more than twice the number in 2009. Thirty-nine states cut or froze reimbursements for doctors and hospitals. At the same time, in fiscal year 2010 enrollment in the state-federal program rose by 8.5 percent. Both doctors’ fees and coverage benefits are being cut in response to the struggling economy which has reduced state tax revenues and increased enrollment and spending in health insurance. Cuts in coverage and physicians’ fees will have ripple effects on the health and well being of Medicaid patients and the number of physicians willing to accept Medicaid patients.

Sign Petition to Extend the Federal Unemployment Benefits. From our friends at the Coalition on Human Needs: “Economists rank unemployment benefits among the most effective ways to boost the economy, and the U.S. Census Bureau data reports that 3.3 million more people would have fallen below the poverty line in 2009 without unemployment benefits. However, millions of Americans will be cut off from unemployment insurance starting November 30 unless Congress acts to reauthorize and continue the federal jobless benefit programs. Congress reconvenes on November 15 -- and will only have a short time to continue the federal unemployment benefits program before the November 30 deadline. The unemployed cannot afford another lapse in benefits, and neither can our economy.” Go to http://www.nelp.org/page/s/Sign_the_Petition_to_Congress to sign the petition.


Announcements

Find All Your Fundraising Resources at the RESULTS website. Just remember, as you reach out to friends and family or hold an event this fall to ask for financial support for RESULTS’ work, all the resources you need to help you can be found on the Fundraising page of the RESULTS website.

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

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.