February 2015 U.S. Poverty Action
Make the Most of RESULTS Nicholas Kristof Event
Nicholas Kristof is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist for the New York Times and a best-selling author. Over the years, Mr. Kristof has written extensively on issues impacting people in poverty in the U.S. and around the world. In his new book A Path Appears, written with his wife Sheryl WuDunn, Mr. Kristof speaks of RESULTS, using words like “persistent,” “convincing,” and “transformational” to describe RESULTS volunteers and their work. To highlight our work together and help others engage in RESULTS advocacy, Mr. Kristof will participate in a webinar discussion with RESULTS on Saturday, February 14 at 2:00 pm ET. Invite others to watch the webinar with your local RESULTS group and to inspire potential new advocates and engage existing ones. Here are some tips to help:
- Find a location. Local libraries, churches, meeting rooms, etc. are great places for meetings. This event will be a Fuze Meeting video discussion; you’ll need a computer and internet access to participate. If you cannot do video, we’ll have a call-in option as well.
- Invite others. Make a list of people in your community to include in this event. Reach out to them personally and invite them to attend the webinar with your local RESULTS group. Ask for a confirmation from each person as to whether they will attend or not. Make reminder phone calls to those who have confirmed 24-48 hours in advance of the event. See our Kristof Event Materials Guide for a Laser Talk on how to talk to others about the event.
- Publicize your meeting date and time. Use our customizable flyers on the RESULTS website to publicize your local event. Be sure to include the start and finish times, location, and local contact person. Send the flyers to your local networks and use the text to advertise on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media. If available, advertise in your local paper as well.
- Test your equipment. Log into the Fuze meeting here with RESULTS staff on February 11 at 8 pm ET, February 13 at Noon ET, or February 14 at Noon ET to test your equipment.
- Create an inspiring agenda. Plan to start your event about 1:30pm ET on February 14 to give your group time to do introductions and talk about your local RESULTS group before the webinar. Log into the webinar a few minutes before 2:00pm ET. Once the webinar is done, invite people to discuss what they heard and take a few minutes to take action on a RESULTS issue (see our Action Sheet on protecting nutrition programs you can use (below)).
- Invite people to participate with RESULTS. Before people leave, make a specific invitation for the new people to join your local RESULTS group. Highlight the importance of their advocacy and ability to make a difference. Be sure to your next meeting (give date and location). Make sure to have RESULTS Participation Forms available for people to fill out.
- Follow up. A few days after the event, send a thank you to everyone who attended and invite them again to your next meeting. Do reminder calls to those interest a few days before your next meeting.
For more outreach resources for this event, including log in information, invitation laser talk, and sample meeting agenda, go to: http://tinyurl.com/KristofMaterials.
Tell Congress to Protect Hungry Families
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) is the first line of defense against hunger in America. Currently, over 46 million people — almost half of them children — receive SNAP benefits. SNAP lifted almost 5 million people out of poverty in 2013 (US Census). SNAP has also been found to significantly reduce hunger and poor health in children. Finally, SNAP is also one of our most effective programs, with 96 percent success rate.
Despite the success and continued need for SNAP, hungry families are facing serious hardship at the hands of Congress. The last few years, House leaders have proposed drastic changes to SNAP. The so-called “Ryan Budget” proposed in 2014 put forward $137 billion (18 percent) in cuts to SNAP, along with many other anti-poverty programs. These changes would have forced millions of children and families off the program. As seen in the chart (right), nearly 70 percent of the cuts in last year’s Ryan Budget came from programs like SNAP that serve low-income Americans. Unfortunately, with new Republican leadership in Congress, we could see similar or even deeper cuts proposed in 2015, putting SNAP at even greater risk. Congress is working on their budget proposals now, so it is important that we make our voices heard!
Write a letter to your members of Congress telling them to protect Americans living in hunger and urging them to protect SNAP. Use these talking points for your letter:
- Introduce yourself as a constituent who cares about poverty and also a RESULTS volunteer.
- Inform them that in 2013, more than 1 in 5 children in the U.S. were at risk of going to bed hungry every night (21 percent). Studies show that children who are regularly hungry suffer from weakened immune systems, slowed and abnormal growth, and anemia.
- Remind them that SNAP has been critical in helping low-income families out of poverty. The U.S. Census reports that SNAP lifted 4.8 million people out of poverty in 2013. SNAP is also very effective, with a 96 percent accuracy rate.
- Explain that despite this success, Congress is again looking to make deep cuts to SNAP. This would force millions of children and families deeper into poverty.
- Urge your member of Congress to stand up for hungry Americans and strongly oppose cuts to SNAP during budget negotiations.
Note: Find contact information for your members of Congress on the RESULTS Elected Officials page at http://capwiz.com/results/dbq/officials/. For additional tips on working with Congress and the media, check out our Activist Toolkit at http://www.results.org/skills_center/activist_toolkit/.
Download the PDF version of this Action Sheet to use at local outreach events.