U.S. Poverty Weekly Update April 16, 2013

The first thing I did on that April 1st morning was at 9:15, I picked up my telephone and phoned my representative and my two senators and said ‘Hey, guess what? Because of sequestration, I’m laid off. This is what I want you to do — I want you to protect low-income people.’

— RESULTS Boston volunteer Roxanne Reddington-Wilde on the April 2013 RESULTS National Conference Call

New and Urgent in This Week’s Update (Two-Ten-Twenty Actions)

Latest from Washington, DC

Organizational Updates


Got Two Minutes? E-mail Congress about Protecting the EITC and CTC

In April, we are working to ensure that the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit are protected. Leaders of the tax-writing committees — House Ways and Means and Senate Finance — are meeting to discuss various ways to reform the tax code. This week, the Senate Finance Committee will be discussing tax provisions that concern families and education. The EITC and CTC will most certainly be part of the discussion. It’s important that members of Congress weigh in with tax committee members urging them to strengthen and protect these vital tax credits for working families. Take action today — your voice could make the difference.

TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes and send an e-mail urging your members of Congress to protect the EITC and CTC. Tell your representatives and senators to weigh in with House Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance Committee members and tell them to make the 2009 improvements to the EITC and CTC permanent and reject any attempt to cut eligibility or benefits for the credits. Use our online tax credit e-mail alert to send your message today. Be sure to personalize your e-mail by sharing your name, location, and a personal story (personal experience with this issue, why you care about it, etc.).


Got Ten Minutes? Tell Tax Committee Leaders to Protect Tax Credits for Working Families (April Action)

This could be an important week for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC). On Thursday, the powerful Senate Finance Committee, led by Chairman, Max Baucus (D-MT) and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-UT), will meet to discuss ideas for tax reform. This week’s meeting will focus on how the tax code impacts children, families, and education. Because the EITC and CTC lift more children and families out of poverty than any other federal programs, these credits will be part of the discussion. Unfortunately, some members of Congress would like nothing more than to cut or eliminate the EITC and CTC and will use this opportunity to move their agenda forward. We cannot let them be the only voices in this debate.

On Saturday, Sean Noble of the National Community Tax Coalition (NCTC) appeared on the April 2013 RESULTS National Conference Call. Sean provided us an excellent overview of what’s at stake in these tax negotiations and why it is so important that you and your communities urge your members of Congress to protect these important, poverty-reduction tools. Sean reminded us that the recent extension of the 2009 improvements to the EITC and CTC in the fiscal cliff deal shielded 13.1 million low-income families from an average tax increase of $843. But there’s more work to be done. These improvements were only extended for five years, while tax cuts for wealthier families were made permanent. In addition, the EITC, while a huge financial boost for families, is of little help to adults without children. To help protect and expand these credits, NCTC has created the “13 for ‘13” — thirteen important talking points about the importance of the EITC and CTC you can use with policy makers.

Make sure members of these committees get an earful from constituents and colleagues before, during, and after these discussions.

TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes to take the April Action. The Senate Finance Committee is meeting THIS WEEK so if you can contact your senators before Thursday, please do. Write letters to senators and representatives urging them to talk to Senate Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus (D-MT) and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and House Ways and Means Chair Dave Camp (R-MI-4) and Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI-9) about protecting and strengthening the EITC and CTC. Specifically, urge them to:

  1. Make the 2009 EITC and CTC improvements permanent.
  2. Reject any tax reform proposals that would cut eligibility or benefits for the EITC and CTC

The April Action and NCTC’s tax credit 13 for ‘13 has all the information you need to make a powerful case. In addition to letters, make sure your senate point people for your group call the senate tax aides to make the case over the phone before Thursday’s meeting. You can find the name of your senate tax aides on our Elected Officials page. If you would like help or coaching with making these calls or writing your letters, please contact the RESULTS U.S. Poverty staff for assistance.

We deeply thank Sean Noble for being on our call and giving us an excellent overview of the tax credits and how we can protect and expand them. Listen to all of Sean’s presentation on a recording of Saturday’s conference call and download the PowerPoint slides (pdf) from the call on the RESULTS Conference Call page.


Got Twenty Minutes? Be a Part of the End of Poverty through the Friends & Family Fundraising Campaign

Thank you to everyone who has participated in the RESULTS Friends & Family campaign this month. Your donations and the donations you raise are so important in our effort to end poverty around the world. RESULTS uses your donations to help leverage enormous resources that literally change lives. Imagine a little boy in Mississippi getting the healthy food he needs to grow up right because RESULTS volunteers worked tirelessly to increase SNAP benefits in 2008 and 2009. Or a single mom in Minnesota getting proper care for her asthmatic child because RESULTS volunteers helped protect and expand Medicaid in health reform. Or a working couple in Detroit being able to afford a better home for their children in a safer neighborhood because RESUTS volunteers helped expand and protect the EITC for low-income couples.

Your donations matter. And we appreciate all you do to support this important work.

TAKE ACTION: Take twenty minutes to keep up your fundraising work — or get started — with the RESULTS Friends & Family campaign. We are halfway through the campaign and we’re excited to report that we are nearing the $10,000 mark. Congratulations to Marty White of Dallas and RESULTS staffer Lisa Marchal who have reached their fundraising goals in just two weeks! Keep going and help us can reach $35,000 by the end of April. If you’re looking for creative ideas to participation and tips to make your efforts successful, here are some ideas to help:

  • Make your fundraiser real to your donors by asking for dollar amounts tied to poverty numbers. U.S. Poverty advocates can ask people to donate the amount a SNAP recipient would use to eat for a week (about $1.30 for each meal comes to about $17 per person).
  • Do you have an April birthday? If so, please consider making a fundraising page so that people can donate to RESULTS as a special gift to you and the world!
  • Follow up! Keep tweeting and writing Facebook posts with creative pictures. Also, a friendly reminder call is always the most personal and powerful reminder you can do.

Also, remember the F&F Campaign is also a great reminder to donate ourselves. If you have not made a contribution to RESULTS in 2013, donate this month and add your donation to our campaign success!

Please contact Cindy Levin at [email protected] for help starting your own fundraising campaign and promoting it. If you are participating by soliciting donations through the mail, be sure to send the checks you receive to: Cynthia Stancil, RESULTS, 1730 Rhode Island Ave, Ste 400, Washington, DC 20036.


Early Bird Registration Extended for the RESULTS International Conference — Register Today!

We’re excited to announce that the Early Bird Registration fee for the RESULTS International Conference has been extended to April 30! Now you have two more weeks to register for the conference at the $165 Early Bird rate. If that weren’t enough reason to register, this year’s conference will something special — made even more so with your there. Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus, Executive Director of UNICEF Tony Lake, and author and activist Marianne Williamson will all be featured speakers at the conference. In fact, Marianne Williamson will hold a full day seminar on Saturday, July 19 called The New Activism: Combining Spirit and Action. There is no additional fee for this seminar, so plan to be there on Saturday to participate.

REGISTER TODAY for the RESULTS International Conference!

Also, if you or someone you know are 18–27 years old, be sure to apply for the conference REAL Change Scholarship. This scholarship provides the opportunity for young RESULTS activists and potential new activists to attend the RESULTS International Conference 2013 for a fraction of the overall cost. The deadline to apply is May 15. You can find more information about the REAL Change Program on the RESULTS website. Download and submit your application today!

The Karen McQuillan Fund provides financial support for those who would otherwise be unable to participate in the conference due to costs. Unfortunately, the amount we have to give can’t meet the need for assistance. If you are able, please consider making a donation to the KMF to help others share in the conference experience. If you plan to come to the conference, you can donate to the KMF on the conference registration form. You can also donate online to RESULTS Educational Fund and in the Additional Notes section at the bottom of the form, put “Karen McQuillan Fund”. Thank you for your support.

We’re now accepting applications for people who would like to volunteer at the conference. Volunteers get their registration fee waived. The application is on the RESULTS IC page. The deadline to apply is Monday, April 22, and will notify chosen volunteers by Thursday, April 25.

Don’t forget! REGISTER TODAY for this year’s conference!


Senate Could Begin Work on Farm Bill Next Week — Urge Them to Protect SNAP

Despite our focus on the EITC and CTC this month, we also want keep you updated on what’s happening with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps). We just learned that that the Senate Agriculture Committee could begin debating a new Farm Bill (which authorizes SNAP) as soon as next week. It is imperative that if and when a Senate Farm Bill makes it out of the committee, SNAP is protected. We assume that any Farm Bill from the House will include deep cuts to SNAP. The House cut SNAP by $16 billion in last year’s Farm Bill proposal and cuts it by $135 billion in their new budget. That’s why a strong Senate Farm Bill is so important. If the Senate bill also includes cuts, the debate will no longer focus on whether to cut SNAP but how much to cut SNAP. Let’s send a strong message to senators (and House members) — protect and strengthen SNAP!

TAKE ACTION: Contact both your senators and urge them to sign onto the “Dear Colleague” letter being circulated by Sen. Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY). The letter urges the Senate Agriculture Committee to fully fund SNAP. There are currently 13 cosponsors. Call Senate offices this week or use our updated Senate SNAP e-mail alert to send your message today.

Also, urge your House members to sign onto House Resolution 90, which urges the House to reject any cuts to SNAP. There are currently 100 cosponsors. Urge your representative to sign on. If he/she already has, thank them and urge them to ask their colleagues to sign on as well. Call House offices or use our updated House SNAP e-mail alert to send your message today.


RESULTS Outreach — Expansion Team Meets, Upcoming Meetings in ME, MA, TN, and CA, Free Agents Call Tonight

This weekend, RESULTS staff members of our Expansion Team met in Washington, DC to strategize on new ways to engage people in the work of ending poverty. It was jammed-packed agenda and, working with former RESULTS staff member and current consultant Melanie Vant, we learned some great new strategies and techniques to expand our network. We will be working in the coming weeks and months to implement these tools and develop more new ones to help grow RESULTS.

In fact, you can soon see these new tools in action. RESULTS New England Organizer Jenny Martin is traveling to Bangor, Maine and Boston, Massachusetts in April and May to start new U.S. poverty groups. Jenny will host the RESULTS Bangor outreach meeting on Sunday, April 28, 2:00–4:00 pm ET, at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 120 Park St in Bangor (Facebook page). Then on Thursday, May 9, 6:30–8:30 pm ET, Jenny will host the RESULTS Boston outreach meeting at the Weymouth Public Library, Tufts Branch, 46 Broad St, Weymouth, MA (Facebook page). If you know people in Maine, Boston, or other parts of New England, please let Jenny know at (413) 774-1707, [email protected].

Also, RESULTS Southern Region Organizer Myrdin Thompson has a RESULTS outreach meeting in Nashville, TN, tentatively set for May 7.She is also looking for leads in Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky. If you have leads in these places, please contact Myrdin at (502) 295-1315, [email protected].

In addition, RESULTS Director of U.S. Poverty Campaigns Meredith Dodson and RESULTS Senior Associate Jos Linn are working with advocates in Orange County, CA, to start a new RESULTS U.S. Poverty group. We have a RESULTS outreach meeting tentatively set for Thursday, June 6. We’ll have more details in the coming weeks but if you know anyone interested in helping us start this group, please contact Jos at (515) 288-3622, [email protected].

Finally, the RESULTS U.S. Poverty Free Agents Call is TONIGHT. If you are an active RESULTS volunteer but you live in an area with no active RESULTS U.S. Poverty group, RESULTS Free Agents get together each month for a support call where we celebrate recent successes, review current actions, get legislative updates, and provide you support with your advocacy work. Plan to join us for our next call tonight, April 16 at 9:00 pm ET. To participate, dial (218) 486-1611, passcode RESULTS# (7378587#). Contact Jos for more details at (515) 288-3622, [email protected].


President Calls for New Investments in Early Childhood

Last week, the Obama Administration released its fiscal year (FY) 2014 budget. In it, the president makes some aggressive and welcomed investments in early childhood programs. Here are some of the details of his proposal:

  • The proposal overrides sequestration cuts — Head Start and Early Head Start would see a combined increase of $200 million in FY 2014 and the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) would see a $500 million increase in mandatory funding and $200 million to fund child care quality initiatives
  • The proposal expands voluntary home visiting programs ($15 billion)
  • The proposal expands high-quality care for infants and toddlers through partnerships between Early Head Start and child care ($1.4 billion)
  • The proposal would create a universal pre-K program, where all low- and moderate-income families would have access to high-quality pre-kindergarten programs through mandatory funding funded from an increase in the tobacco tax ($75 billion)

For more information about the president’s early childhood proposal, see this detailed fact sheet from the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC). Also, NWLC will be hosting a national call tomorrow, April 17 at 4:00 pm ET to go through the president’s proposal and review steps you can take to move this idea forward. You can register for the call at the NWLC website.

TAKE ACTION: Tell your members of Congress to follow the president’s lead by investing in our children. Tell them to protect Head Start and child care funding and invest more resources in early learning. Use our updated online e-mail alert to contact them today.

We also encourage you to listen to last Saturday’s national conference call to hear Roxanne Reddington-Wilde share about her experience working for community action in Boston and the impact sequestration has had on her and her agency.


Announcements

Attend an Upcoming RESULTS Regional Conference. This weekend, RESULTS volunteers in the Midwest and Northeast will be gathering for regional RESULTS conferences. These regional conferences are a great way for people to come together to learn from each other and improve their advocacy skills. The RESULTS Heartland Regional Conference is Saturday, April 20 at First United Methodist Church in Evanston, IL (516 Church St). For details and to RSVP, contact Lisa Marchal at [email protected]. The RESULTS Northeast Regional Conference is also on April 20 at the New Brunswick Public Library in New Brunswick, NJ (60 Livingston Ave). For details and to RSVP, contact David Burns at [email protected]. RESULTS Texas groups will also be holding a regional conference on Saturday, May 11 in Austin, TX. Contact Anne Child ([email protected]) for more details.

Invite People to RESULTS Intro Call. If you are new to RESULTS or know someone who might be interested in learning more about our work, please invite them to an upcoming RESULTS Introductory Call. These bi-monthly 30–45 minute calls are great for learning more about RESULTS and how you can get involved. The call is Friday, April 26 at 1:00 pm ET. To register for this or another upcoming Intro call, go to www.tinyurl.com/RESULTSMeetandGreet/ and sign up today.


RESULTS Activity Calendar

(See a complete calendar on the RESULTS website)

Upcoming Congressional Recesses: House and Senate: April 29 – May 3, May 27 – 31. Request face-to-face meetings.

Tuesday, April 16: RESULTS U.S. Poverty Free Agents call, 9:00 pm ET. (218) 486-1611, passcode 7378587#. For more information, contact Jos Linn at [email protected].

Friday, April 19 – Saturday, April 20: RESULTS Heartland Regional Conference, First Methodist Church, 516 Church St, Evanston, IL. For details, contact Lisa Marchal at [email protected]. (Friday night is dinner only)

Saturday, April 20: RESULTS Northeast Regional Conference, New Brunswick Public Library, 60 Livingston Ave, New Brunswick, NJ. For details, contact David Burns at [email protected].

Friday, April 26: RESULTS Introductory Call, 1:00 pm ET. Register for this or another Intro Call at www.tinyurl.com/RESULTSMeetandGreet/.

Sunday, April 28: RESULTS Bangor outreach meeting, 2:00 – 4:00 pm ET. Unitarian Universalist Church, 120 Park St, Bangor ME. Facebook Event: www.facebook.com/events/523709807667501. Contact Jenny Martin at [email protected] for more information.

Tuesday, April 30: Last day to get Early Bird Registration discount for the 2013 RESULTS International Conference. Register today!

Tuesday, May 7: RESULTS Nashville (TN) outreach meeting. For more details, contact Myrdin Thompson at (502) 295-1315[email protected].

Thursday, May 9: RESULTS Boston outreach meeting, 6:30 – 8:30 pm ET, Weymouth Public Library, Tufts Branch, 46 Broad St, Weymouth, MA. Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/507478945980252. Contact Jenny Martin at [email protected] for more information.

Saturday, May 11: RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Conference Call, 12:30 pm ET. Listen to previous conference calls online.

Thursday, June 6: RESULTS Orange County (CA) outreach meeting. For more details, contact Jos Linn at (515) 288-3622, [email protected].

Saturday, July 20 – Tuesday, July 23: 2013 RESULTS International Conference, Washington, DC. Register today!


RESULTS Contact Information

Main Office: (p) (202) 783-7100, (f) (202) 466-1397, 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 U.S. Poverty Update is sent out every Tuesday via 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 U.S. poverty campaigns.