June 2014 U.S. Poverty Action
Mobilize Your Community into Action to Expand Economic Mobility
This month, work to engage your community in pushing Congress to expand economic mobility in America. Many RESULTS volunteers will be traveling to Washington, DC this month for the RESULTS International Conference to lobby Congress to protect and expand the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC), as well as enacting the Financial Security Credit can help address the growing wealth gap. Let’s reinforce the conversations in DC by mobilizing others into action!
TAKE ACTION: Get At Least 5 People Into Action This Month
We will discuss using the upcoming RESULTS International Conference to help expand economic mobility in America on our June national conference call (June 14, 2014, at 12:30 pm ET. To participate, call (888) 409-6709 with your group by 12:28 pm ET.
Hold a Local “Debriefing” Party after the RESULTS International Conference
If you are coming to the RESULTS International Conference this month, you will come away with quite a few inspiring stories to tell. What better way to show your appreciation to people back home for the support they provided you than to share your stories and tell people how much their actions mattered.
Plan to host a RESULTS conference “debriefing” party within a week or two of your return home from Washington, DC. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy – a potluck, a gathering at your local library, or a presentation at your local faith community or community event. Make the planning simple and invite everyone you reached out to before the conference to come. At the event, tell people about your experience. Tell them what you learned at the conference. Share about your lobby meetings and about delivering their letters to your members of Congress in person. This is a great way to help people back home feel like they were a part of the conference and hopefully inspire them to come next year.
Despite the fact that 15 percent of Americans, and over one in five children, live below the poverty line ($23,624 for a family of four), Congress is considering legislation to give over $300 billion in tax breaks to large corporations while ignoring the needs low-income working families. We need to speak out forcefully to push back on policies that favor corporate tax breaks over critical anti-poverty programs, and instead urge Congress to focus on expanding economic mobility.
Tell Congress to Focus on Expanding Economic Mobility
Use these talking points to craft a letter to your members of Congress (sample also below):
Sample Letter to Congress on Expanding Economic Mobility
Dear Senator or Representative _______________,
My name is _________________ and I’m a constituent of yours from ____________________. I am writing to urge you to do all you can to expand economic mobility in America.
Right now, there are nearly 50 million Americans living in poverty, including 1 in 5 children. Instead of seeing a problem we cannot hope to fix, I see an opportunity to make a real difference in people’s lives. We should be investing in smart, effective ideas we know work – not tax breaks for corporations. For example, the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) address the crisis of low-wage work in America, going to people in jobs that pay too little to live on. The U.S. Census reports that in 2012, the EITC and CTC lifted more than 10 million people out of poverty, half of them children. Unfortunately, Congress is moving forward to extend tax breaks for corporations, while allowing critical EITC and CTC provisions to expire -- if these improvements expire, 12 million Americans, including 7 million children, will fall into poverty or deeper into poverty. We must protect these tax credits and, in addition, increasing the EITC for single workers.
But getting out of poverty is just the first step. If people don’t have savings to fall back on, they are just one financial emergency away from poverty. The Financial Security Credit would allow low-income taxpayers to create a savings account on their tax return and deposit all or part of their refund into it, receiving a partial match of their deposit. A similar program called SaveUSA has shown that when people have this kind of opportunity and incentive to save, they will do it.
Sen./Rep._________________, we can end poverty as we know it. Will you speak with House Ways and Means/Senate Finance Committee members urging them to do the following in upcoming tax legislation:
Thank you for your time and I look forward to a response from your office on my request.