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Domestic Weekly Update October 5, 2010

Feeding a child at school is such a simple thing. But you can tell it works miracles.

— actress Drew Barrymore

New and Urgent in This Week’s Update

Latest from Washington, DC

Organizational Updates


Join Us for the October National Conference Call THIS Saturday at 12:30 p.m. ET

Join us this Saturday, October 9 for the RESULTS National Conference Call. Congress has adjourned until after the November election, but there is still much work to be done. With child nutrition reauthorization and extensions of tax credits still unresolved, we have to keep the momentum going the next six weeks. Join us to learn what you can do to ensure that America’s children get the food they need to grow up healthy and that working families continue to have the resources they need to take care of their kids. We look forward to an informative and inspiring call with all of you.

TAKE ACTION: Coordinate and gather with your group this Saturday, October 9 for the national conference call at 12:30 pm ET. The call-in number is (888) 409-6709. Once connected to the operator, ask for the RESULTS National Conference call. Plan to call in no later than 12:27 pm ET to give time to the operator to connect you with the call.


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

Members of Congress are now back home preparing for the November elections. They adjourned last week without address a key issue for RESULTS — child nutrition (CNR). Since tax policy will not be dealt with until later this fall, RESULTS is going to spend October focused mostly on child nutrition as the election season gives us a prime opportunity to put this issue in front of members of Congress.

As a review, 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 (see below). 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 or SNAP (formerly the Food Stamp Program).

Fortunately, the House’s Improving Nutrition for America’s Children Act of 2010 (H.R.5504) nearly doubles the Senate funding ($8 billion over ten years), which will provide better access to programs and further improve the nutritional quality of the food served. Most importantly, the House has not articulated its offsets, meaning that SNAP cuts are not part of their plan for funding the additional $8 billion . . . yet.

RESULTS and our allies feared that before leaving last week, the House would simply take up the Senate bill and pass it. Fortunately because of your calls and pushback from other organizations, anti-hunger advocates stood firm in opposing that option, primarily because of the SNAP cuts in S.3307. This is RESULTS primary objection to the Senate bill as well. 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. Congress may think it can simply raid public service programs for money without objection or consequence, but we know better. We cannot stand by and say nothing, otherwise this will just be the first of many attempts to pit anti-poverty advocates against one another all the while undermining our civic responsibility to care for those in need.

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 next Wednesday, October 13 at 9:00 pm ET. Call-in number (712) 432-3100, passcode 887871.


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

Even though the October Action focuses on child nutrition, that does not mean that our work to protect working families via low-income tax credits has waned. Congress’ decision to postpone the tax debate until after the election is still scratching heads, but we can use this time to build more pressure for them to do the right thing. We are less than three months away from the expiration date of the 2009 Child Tax Credit (CTC) and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) improvements. This could have devastating consequences. For example, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 3.3 million rural low-income children and 14.8 million low-income children in metropolitan areas will see their family’s Child Tax Credit reduced if the 2009 improvements expire. Yet many members of Congress continue to push for tax cuts for the wealthy, despite evidence that only a small percentage of people would benefit.

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

Goal setting for the 2010 Friends and Family Campaign has begun and fundraising materials are in route to you now! If you haven’t done so, please set your group or individual goals as soon as possible and be on the lookout for the 30th Anniversary Brochure, remittance envelopes, and the monthly sponsorship brochures. These materials can be used 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/.

Thanks again for your willingness to participate in the Friends and Family Campaign. As we work collectively to create the public and political will to end poverty, your support means more to us than ever!

Upcoming Fundraising Events

October 12: RESULTS Des Moines fundraiser.

October 16: RESULTS Santa Fe fundraiser.

November 16: 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 dhoward@results.org.


Welcome Our Newest RESULTS Group in Boise, ID!

On Saturday, RESULTS Domestic Outreach Organizer Jos Linn traveled to Boise, ID to start a new RESULTS group to work on U.S. poverty issues. The meeting was held at a local library with the help of local folks looking to bring RESULTS to Boise. The two-hour meeting was attended by 19 people and by meeting’s end, 9 of them signed up to form a new RESULTS Domestic group. The meeting also produced additional people to our e-mail network and nearly $400 in donations to our work. The new group will begin their new group training on October 14.

RESULTS and Jos in particular want to thank everyone in Boise who helped make this workshop a success and for being outstanding and generous hosts. Jos is already looking forward to his return trip to revisit the new group in 2011. Jos next travels to Cedar Rapids, IA for two outreach meetings today to help strengthen the RESULTS Cedar Rapids group.

We welcome these enthusiastic new activists and welcome their voices in creating the political will to end poverty. Way to go Idaho!


Quick News

Faith in Action: Join Fighting Poverty with Faith Conference Call TODAY. Fighting Poverty with Faith is a diverse coalition of national and local faith organizations dedicated to cutting domestic poverty in half by 2020. To mark the beginning of their month-long advocacy mobilization, Fighting Poverty with Faith has invited two White House representatives to participate in a kickoff conference call for interfaith participants from across the country next Tuesday afternoon. Joshua Dubois, the Executive Director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, and Martha Coven from the White House Domestic Policy Council will be the guest speakers. This will be an opportunity to hear about activism that is taking place across the country and also pose questions to our guests from the administration. The conference call is today, October 5 at 3:00 pm ET. The call-in number is (888) 690-8774. To access the conference call, simply tell the operator that you are looking for the “Fighting Poverty with Faith” call.


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 (lmarchal@results.org) or Ken Patterson (kpatterson@results.org) 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.

Campaigns Summary Page Available. For a summary of RESULTS’ 2010 U.S. poverty campaigns, see our Campaigns Summary page on the RESULTS website.


Upcoming Events

(Click to see a complete calendar)

October 5: Fighting Poverty with Faith Conference Call, 3:00 pm ET. (888) 690-8774.

October 9: RESULTS Domestic National Conference Call, 12:30 pm ET. (888) 409-6709.

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 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 (dodson@results.org); Jos Linn, (515) 288-3622 (jlinn@results.org), Ann Beltran (abeltran@results.org), and Ann Racuya-Robbins (aracuyarobbins@results.org).

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.