U.S. Poverty Weekly Update April 10, 2012

To be the leading catalyst of rapid progress toward a world where extreme poverty no longer exists.

— RESULTS' Vision as part of our new Strategic Plan

New and Urgent in This Weeks Update (2-10-20 Actions)

Each week, we highlight specific actions you can take based on how much time you have available. We call them our 2-10-20 Actions (if you have two minutes, ten minutes or twenty minutes available). Click on the links below for details about each action.

Latest from Washington, DC

Organizational Updates


Remind Your Local Group about the RESULTS National Conference Call THIS Saturday at 2:00 pm ET (note different time)

Join us this Saturday, April 14 for the RESULTS National Conference Call. We are excited about this month’s call, as it is a joint call with our RESULTS Global volunteers from around the country. To do so, this month’s call will start at 2:00 pm ET. The focus of this month’s call is RESULTS’ new Strategic Plan. RESULTS staff and volunteers have spent more than a year working on a new Strategic Plan to expand our reach and impact in building the political will to end poverty. This includes plans to expand our grassroots network, find innovative ways to engage and support activists, and maximize our power in pushing elected officials to do the right thing. It is an exciting plan and we look forward to sharing the details with you on Saturday.

To help with our Strategic Plan overview on the call, we have created a PowerPoint presentation you can download to use during the call. You can find it on the monthly conference call page of the RESULTS website. Be sure to download it and have it open before the call begins on Saturday.

TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes and remind your local RESULTS group about this RESULTS monthly national conference call this Saturday, April 14 at 2:00 pm ET. Coordinate with your group where you will meet for the call. Also, please be sure to download the Strategic Plan PowerPoint presentation for your group to watch during the call. To join the call, dial (888) 409-6709 and once connected to the operator, ask for the RESULTS National Conference Call. Plan to call in no later than 1:57 pm ET to give time to the operator to connect you with the call.


Use Education for All to Do Outreach in Your Community (April Action)

RESULTS Global and U.S. Poverty Groups are joining the Global Campaign for Education’s Global Action Week for Education, April 22-28. This year’s Global Action Week theme, "Rights from the Start! Early Child Care and Education NOW!", focuses on the importance of quality early childhood development services for children around the world. Building on our successful work to build support in Congress for early childhood development  (our March Action), with 120 members of Congress signing on to letters supporting Head Start and child care funding, this month we will focus on engaging and mobilizing others in our communities by participating in Global Action Week.

Our April Action sheet includes suggestions for planning an event and links to a sample agenda to help you begin your planning. The first step in having a successful event is choosing the type of event and the location at which you want to have it. To help you get started, here are a few ideas of the type of event you can hold:

  • Hosting a house party or potluck
  • Doing a RESULTS presentation at a local community center, library, school, or faith community
  • Hosting a screening of a film or select videos on education and hold a discussion
  • Using social media to bring people together by hosting a Tweetup for Twitter users and share facts about Early Childhood Development over Facebook or Twitter!
  • Organize a site visit to a Head Start, Early Head Start, or Child Care Center for your RESULTS group, community members or members of Congress
  • Connect with a local school and teach the “Lesson for All” curriculum to spread awareness among children

TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes and connect with your RESULTS group this week to decide what kind of event you want to have this month and where you want to have it. Be sure to choose an event that best fits the needs of your group and community. Use the April Action sheet to help you plan.


Start the Inviting Process for Your April Event (April Action)

Once you have decided on an event and location, you’ll next want to create a list of potential attendees. The guest list is the most important aspect of your outreach event, because quite frankly, with no guests, there is no event. Therefore, you want to be strategic about who you include on your list. We know that doing an outreach event can be time consuming and you only have so much time you can devote to it, so you’ll want to spend your time wisely. Being strategic means targeting people and groups who are more likely to attend and more likely to get involved. Here are some ideas of groups you can include in your guest list:

  • Former RESULTS volunteers in your area, as well as current or past RESULTS donors in your area
  • Members of your local action network (people who are not in your group but take action on RESULTS issues from time to time)
  • Friends and family who live near you, including people with whom you work or worship
  • Local community groups, e.g. social justice-minded groups, faith community groups, local Peace Corps alumni
  • Community allies, e.g. parents, teacher, or staff from local Head Start or child care centers (build on the alliances you created last year); VITA volunteers, heath care advocates

Once you have decided on your list of invitees, you’ll want to develop a message for inviting them. For 30 years, RESULTS has perfected the art of personal inviting, building on the power one-on-one conversations create. Personal invitations are not as easy as a quick email or flyer, but they are far more productive. Fortunately, we have a great tool to help you have those conversations — the EPIC Laser Talk. The EPIC format is perfect for having a conversation with a friend, family member, or colleague about coming to your event. Components of a good laser talk include what the event is designed to do, why RESULTS is important to you and why you think they should attend, and the time and location of the event. The great thing about drafting your EPIC Laser Talk in this context is that you can use it not only for the conversations you will have, but also as a template for emails, Facebook posts, and other invitation tools to get the word out to a broader group of people.

TAKE ACTION: Take twenty minutes to finalize your invitation list and draft your EPIC Laser Talk invitation. Use the April Action sheet to help with your planning. The Action sheet also includes other logistical planning tips, background on the issues you can highlight, and a sample agenda, and script for your event. Be sure to use all of these tools to help you have a great outreach meeting. Finally, if your group would rather devote your energy this month building and strengthening relationships with “grasstops” leaders in your community, the April Action has tips to help you maximize those opportunities as well.


Use This Last Week of the April Recess to Get Face Time with Legislators

The House and Senate have one more week in recess; they will return to Washington next week. Use this opportunity to talk to them about our 2012 U.S. Poverty campaigns by contacting their offices to schedule a face-to-face meeting. If you cannot get a meeting set during this recess, push to schedule one the next time your representatives and senators are home. Use our Activist Milestone for tips on scheduling face-to-face meetings.

In addition, ask schedulers if your members of Congress will be hosting any town hall meetings or public events during the recess. These events are another opportunity because they can lead to your elected officials to publically take a stand on our issues. If they are hosting events, plan to attend. You can use our Activist Milestone as a guide to help you prepare town halls and public events.

TAKE ACTION: Contact congressional schedulers to see if you can meet with your representatives during the April recess. You can find schedulers’ names and contact info on our Elected Officials page. The February Action has tips on scheduling a meeting, as well as talking points for each of our major issues. If you cannot get a meeting, find out if they are hosting any town halls during the recess and plan to attend.

At your meetings or events, be sure to have our one-page “leave behinds” covering low-income tax credits, the Saver’s Bonus, and Head Start and child care with you. Also, if you get a meeting scheduled or plan to attend a town hall, or need coaching on requesting a meeting, please contact the RESULTS Domestic staff . We are here to help you.


Join RESULTS “Free Agents” Group Next Week

Are you taking regular actions on RESULTS’ issues but don't have a chapter nearby (yet)? Do you care about poverty but are not sure how to get involved in anti-poverty advocacy? We have just the thing for you. Starting next week, we will offer you a new means of support through our new "RESULTS Free Agents" group! This "virtual" group will meet monthly by phone for relationship-building, information, and support. Members of the group will also be encouraged to participate in the monthly national conference call with other RESULTS volunteers around the country.

We have two options available for you. If your interest is U.S. poverty issues, join our RESULTS Free Agents (U.S. Poverty) group call on Tuesday, April 17 at 9 pm ET. Dial in at (218) 486-1611, passcode RESULTS# (7378587#). For more information about the U.S. poverty group, contact Jos Linn at [email protected].

If your interest is global poverty, join our RESULTS Free Agents (Global Poverty) group call on Monday, April 16, at 8 pm ET. Dial in at (218) 486-1611, passcode RESULTS# (7378587#). For more information about the global poverty group, contact Lisa Marchal at [email protected].

Please plan to join us for one (or both) of these calls. We look forward to connecting and working with you on making poverty history!


Friends & Family Fundraising Contest Winners Announced

Thank you to everyone who participated in the 2012 Friends & Family fundraising campaign. We are grateful that so many of you reached out to your social networks and urged them to give to RESULTS in support of our work to end poverty. We reached the official end of our RESULTS Friends & Family Campaign on March 31. The campaign was very successful but you’ll have to wait a few more days for the final totals—we’ll announce the amount we raised on this Saturday’s RESULTS monthly national conference call.

In the meantime, we have some winners to announce. Remember, that the top individual online fundraiser and top group online fundraiser each receive one free registration to the RESULTS International Conference, July 21-24. Congratulations to Margaret Smith of Dallas and the whole Dallas RESULTS group for sweeping both the individual and team contests! Honorable mention goes to Phyllis Behlen and Nancy Gardiner, both of Coastal Connecticut RESULTS group, who ranked high as well. The Coastal Connecticut and Kitsap County (WA) teams were second and third place in the group totals. Thank you everyone who used the online tool to help build support for our work.

If you still have donation requests in the pipeline, please note that the online fundraising pages will remain active until April 30th to catch any last minute donors. Make sure to do those follow-up calls today. As this year’s Friends & Family campaign winds down, we are turning our attention to many exciting fundraising events around the country. If you are holding an event this year (or are thinking about holding one), please contact Cindy Levin [email protected] for support with any aspect of planning your event.


Quick News

Tax Day Brings Action on Various Tax Issues. There’s only one week left before Tax Day, and DC is abuzz with talk of budgets, poverty and the wealth gap – from President Obama’s call for a balanced approach to deficit reduction, to the expected action in Congress on the Buffett Rule on Tax Day itself. Check our blog soon for more reflections on tax season and tax policy. In the meantime, visit out 99spring.com for information on this and next week’s nation- economic justice and direct action campaign trainings, and to find a training near you. Support tax fairness by urging your members of Congress to protect the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit.

The House Republican Budget, Education, and the One Percent. Campaign for America’s Future recently highlighted how education, a key instrument in fighting poverty, is under grave attack at all levels in the House Republican Budget. Early childhood care, which is primarily funded by the federal government, would see drastic cuts, which would result in an estimated 200,000 children losing the chance to participate in Head Start in 2014. That number would grow to 2 million over the next decade. Ultimately, education is costing families from the early education level all the way to college, and is a cost families continue to bear even in tough economic times. The National Women’s Law Center has created a handy chart that shows the stark contrast in priorities contained in the  House Republican Budget, choosing between a $143,000 tax cut per millionaire and support services for children, families, and seniors. Take action by sending a letter to the editor to your local newspaper opposing the House Republican Budget.

USDA Report Highlights Anti-Poverty Impact of SNAP. In a report entitled “Alleviating Poverty in the United States: The Critical Role of SNAP Benefits,” the USDA reviews the recent role the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has played in lifting families above the poverty line, as well as reducing the depth and breadth of poverty for households around the country. The report also reviews the impact of the stimulus extension of the program in 2009: as a result, SNAP ensured that the depth and severity of poverty increased only slightly from their 2008 levels, despite worsening economic conditions around the country. Download the report at or read the Center on Budget’s summary. Take action by sending a letter to your members of Congress in support of SNAP.


RESULTS International Conference — Last Week to Register at the Discounted Rate!

You now have six days to get your discounted registration for the most exciting event of the year — the RESULTS International Conference! Right now, if you register for the International Conference, you registration fee is only $150. That is quite the bargain, considering what it includes. Amazing speakers like Marianne Williamson, David Beckmann, and Yvonne Chaka Chaka; an ambitious agenda designed to deepen your knowledge of the issues and train you on the latest advocacy techniques; the chance to connect with RESULTS volunteers and advocates from around the world; an inspiring day on Capitol Hill pushing lawmakers to invest in ending poverty; and a congressional reception on Capitol Hill where lawmakers will thank and congratulate you for your work.

Now isn’t that worth $150? Once the “early bird” registration period ends, the conference registration price will go up to $225. Don’t miss out and register TODAY!

Also, don’t forget about the REF's Emerging Activist Leaders (REAL) Change Scholarship for 18-25 year olds, the Karen McQuillan Scholarship Fund if you financial assistance to come to the conference, and opportunities to volunteer at this year’s conference and get your registration fee waived.


Announcements

RESULTS is Hiring to Help with Expansion. RESULTS is working to start new activist groups in New England. To help us with this work, RESULTS is looking to hire a part-time organizer. This person will be responsible for generating and working with leads in New England to start at least two new RESULTS U.S. Poverty groups by the end of the year. A job description is listed on the RESULTS website. If you or someone you know is interested in applying for this position, please send a cover letter, resume, and short writing sample to Jos Linn at [email protected].


RESULTS Activity Calendar

(See a complete calendar on the RESULTS website)

Upcoming Congressional Recesses: House recess, March 30-April 15. Senate recess, April 2-13. Request face-to-face meetings!

Saturday, April 14: Joint RESULTS U.S. and Global Poverty National Conference Call, 2:00 pm ET. Note the different time. Download the PowerPoint presentation and listen to previous conference calls online.

Monday, April 16: RESULTS Free Agents group (Global Poverty) call, 8:00 pm ET. (218) 486-1611, passcode RESULTS (7378587). For more information about the U.S. poverty group, contact Lisa Marchal at [email protected].

Tuesday, April 17: RESULTS Free Agents group (U.S. Poverty) call, 9:00 pm ET. (218) 486-1611, passcode RESULTS (7378587). For more information about the U.S. poverty group, contact Jos Linn at [email protected].

Saturday, July 21 – Tuesday, July 24, 2012: RESULTS International Conference, Washington, DC. Start planning today to attend our 2012 conference!


RESULTS Contact Information

Main Office: (p) (202) 783-7100, (f) (202) 783-2818, 1730 Rhode Island Ave, NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20036. If mailing a donation to our DC office, please address the envelope to the attention of Cynthia Stancil.

RESULTS U.S. Poverty Legislative and Grassroots Support Staff:

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.