U.S. Poverty Weekly Update April 30, 2013
New and Urgent in This Week’s Update (Two-Ten-Twenty Actions)
Latest from Washington, DC
Have you registered for the 2013 RESULTS International Conference yet? We hope you will join us in Washington, DC for this year’s conference. There will be something there for everybody — dynamic speakers like Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus, author Marianne Williamson, and UNICEF’s Tony Lake; helpful skills trainings to help you improve your advocacy skills; first rate lobby preparation sessions to get your ready for Lobby Day; grassroots trainings sessions on how to make your group bigger and better; and an empowering and important Lobby Day on Capitol Hill. During our U.S. poverty-focused sessions, we’ll hear from first-hand experts on the struggles facing low-income families — those who have experienced poverty first-hand, via our work with coalition partners at Circles USA and Witnesses to Hunger. And, we’ll make sure we are prepared for our important and timely meetings on Capitol Hill to protect SNAP, the EITC, and build support for early childhood initiatives, with sessions to understand the latest research (including local data) and tips on how to message to different audiences. Don’t miss out on RESULTS’ biggest event of the year.
REGISTER TODAY for this year’s conference!
TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes and register for the RESULTS International Conference TODAY! This is the last day to get the Early Bird Registration of $165. After today, the registration fee increases to $240. Don’t miss out on your chance to save some money for your trip.
Also, REAL Change Scholarship applications are due on May 15. This scholarship provides the opportunity for RESULTS activists and potential new activists 18-27 years old to attend the conference for a fraction of the cost. Download and submit your application today!
Thank you to all of you who have been writing, e-mailing and calling members of Congress this month about protecting the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC). The credits are critical supports for low-income working families. Congress must be listening. On April 25, Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Richard Durbin (D-IL) introduced the S. 836, the Working Families Tax Relief Act of 2013. This bill strengthens and the EITC and CTC by making the 2009 improvements permanent, expanding the EITC for full-time workers and workers without children, lowering the EITC eligibility age from 25 to 21, and simplifying the EITC rules for certain claimants. The bill was introduced with 30 original co-sponsors, including Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT). We thank Sens. Brown, Durbin, and all the co-sponsors for their leadership. Build on this momentum by taking action to put working families first.
TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes to send a letter using the April Action about protecting the EITC and CTC. If you already wrote letters earlier this month, follow up with the tax aides in your House and Senate offices asking them if they received your correspondence and what actions their offices have taken on the tax credits. You can use our updated laser talk on talking to tax aides about the EITC and CTC. You can also send your message using our online tax credit action alert.
NOTE: In an effort to build a broader range of support for S.836, we urge you NOT to ask your senators to co-sponsor the bill unless you have been contacted by RESULTS staff directly.
You can keep up with the latest developments on our Economic Opportunity Campaign on our Recent Developments in Economic Opportunity Legislation page.
Both the House and Senate are on recess this week. These recesses give you the unique opportunity to interact with your members of Congress personally, either at local town hall events or sit-down, face-to-face meetings. RESULTS U.S. Poverty volunteers have done a great job at getting these coveted face-to-face encounters in 2013. Already you’ve had 29 meetings with representatives and 3 meetings with senators in 2013 (last year at this time, we were at 9). Our goal is to have 50 House and 30 Senate face-to-face meetings this year, and we’re well on our way. But we won’t get there if we don’t keep pushing for these meetings at every opportunity.
These meetings matter. When the Congressional Management Foundation polled congressional staff in 2011, 97 percent of them said that in-person meetings with constituents were the best way to influence lawmakers. In other words, meeting face-to-face with members of Congress is our clearest path to the end of poverty.
TAKE ACTION: Take twenty minutes to call your local or DC schedulers to find out if your members of Congress are having any public events this week. You can find DC scheduler names, local contact information, and website links on our Elected Officials page. If there is a meeting, plan to go and ask a question. Use our updated Sample Town Hall Questions to help you draft a question for the event and review our Activist Milestone about town halls to make the most of your experience.
Also, be sure to ask the scheduler about scheduling a sit-down, face-to-face meeting at the next available opportunity. If they cannot schedule a last-minute meeting this week, ask to schedule one during the Memorial Day recess, May 27-31. Use our January Action for tips on scheduling a meeting and our January Laser Talk for follow up calls to schedulers.
Once you have a meeting scheduled or plan to attend an event, please contact the RESULTS U.S. Poverty staff. RESULTS staff can give you insights and coaching on your particular members of Congress and help prepare for these meetings.
Congratulations to all of our Friends & Family fundraisers! Thank you so much for your participation. While the campaign officially ends today, we want everyone to have a chance to reach their personal fundraising goals. Therefore, the online Friends & Family webpage will remain open through May for those who still need a bit more time, and everyone is welcome to submit donations by mail. However, donations eligible towards the free IC registrations contest must be made online or postmarked by April 30. We’ll announce those winners on the May 11 conference calls. Thank you again for supporting our work through your donations and fundraising efforts. We couldn’t do this without you.
May is likely to be another busy month in Washington. While we will continue to keep our eye on progress around tax reform efforts, protecting hungry children and families will again move to front of the line in May. Both House and Senate Agriculture Committee leaders have said that their committees will meet in May to begin work on a new Farm Bill, which includes reauthorizing the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps). We anticipate that cuts to SNAP will be proposed in both chambers, making our advocacy all that more important. We will have more details in the May Action later this week. In the meantime, you can use our House and Senate online SNAP alerts to send a message to your members of Congress about protecting nutrition assistance in the Farm Bill.
As always, you can review our 2013 U.S. Poverty campaigns on our Current U.S. Poverty Campaigns Summary. You can also read the latest developments about SNAP on our Recent Developments in Nutrition and Health Care Legislation page.
This weekend, RESULTS took another step forward in creating a larger and stronger voice for the end of poverty. Jenny Martin met with advocates in Bangor, Maine — a new and important state for RESULTS — to start a new group. Those in attendance were all inspired to sign up and Jenny is currently working to engage others in the Bangor area in the group. If you know anyone in the Bangor area or in other parts of Maine, please contact Jenny at (413) 774-1707, [email protected].
Here are other opportunities you have to connect new people to RESULTS. If you know anyone in these areas, please invite them to attend one or more of these local events:
April 30 — New York City. Jos Linn is hosting a RESULTS informational meeting/conference call TONIGHT, April 30 at 9:00pm ET. A small group is meeting in person for the meeting at the Berkli Parc Café, 63 Delancey St in NYC. If you cannot make it in person, you can participate by conference call: (218) 486-1611, passcode 2883622#. For more details, please contact Jos at (515) 288-3622, [email protected].
May 9 — Boston. Jenny Martin will be traveling to Boston for a RESULTS Outreach meeting on Thursday, May 9 from 6:30–8:30 pm ET at the Weymouth Public Library, Tufts Branch, 46 Broad St, Weymouth, MA. Share the RESULTS Boston Event Facebook page with your family and friends in the Boston area. For more details, contact Jenny Martin at (413) 774-1707, [email protected].
May 7 — Memphis. Myrdin Thompson is working with advocates to start new group in Memphis and Nashville. She has a RESULTS Memphis outreach meeting tentatively set for May 7. If you know people in Tennessee, please contact Myrdin Thompson at (502) 295-1315, [email protected].
June 6 — Orange County, CA. Jos Linn and Meredith Dodson are working with advocates in Orange County, CA to start a new U.S. Poverty group. They have a RESULTS Orange County outreach meeting tentatively set for Thursday, June 6, 7:00–9:00 pm PT. For more details, please contact Jos Linn at (515) 288-3622, [email protected].
In addition, we are looking to start new groups in Albuquerque and Vermont. Also, our new group in Chicago is doing great with their new group training and welcomes others in the Chicago area to get involved.
Finally, if you know someone who would be a great advocate for RESULTS, invite them to a RESULTS Introductory Call. These bi-monthly 30-45 minute calls are great for learning more about RESULTS and how to get involved. The next call is this Wednesday, May 8 at 9:00 pm ET. Urge people you know to register for this or another upcoming Intro Call at www.tinyurl.com/RESULTSMeetandGreet/.
NYT Article Argues For More Investments in Children and Families. In his New York Times opinion piece “No Rich Child Left Behind,” Stanford professor Sean Reardon shares important insights about school performance of wealthy, middle, and low-income children. He argues that the growing gap in school achievement results in great part from income inequality, namely that with the growing incomes of the wealthy, they have more resources to invest and maintain in their children’s school readiness. By contrast, low-and middle income families, with stagnant or declining incomes, are finding it harder and harder to keep up. Prof. Reardon believes the solution is not only to invest more in high, quality preschool programs for lower-income children, but also provide more resources to help parents better support their children. You can keep up with RESULTS’ work to expand access to early learning on our Recent Developments in Early Childhood Legislation page. Tell Congress to protect and expand Head Start, Early Head Start, and child care using our online early childhood action alert.
Sequestration Resources Available. Last week, Congress decided to carve another exception to sequestration by undoing recent furloughs of air traffic controllers. Unfortunately, they did nothing about the “furloughs” of children and families from Head Start and child care programs around the country. You can find out more about the broader impacts of sequestration and take action to undo it from our friends at Half in Ten and the Coalition on Human Needs.
Join the Building Bipartisan Champions Call. Do you have a member of Congress who seems not to be open to our issues? Feel blocked at every turn? Join our new working group to change this. Building champions from all political backgrounds is one of RESULTS top grassroots goals for 2013. This group meets every other month by phone. The calls are designed to help you get the tools you need to empower your members of Congress to be catalysts for a world without poverty. Come be part of this important effort. The next call is Monday, May 6 at 8:00 pm ET, (712) 432-3100, passcode 761262.
Attend the Texas Regional Conference. RESULTS Texas groups will be holding a regional conference on Saturday, May 11, 9:30 am–5:00 pm CT. It is being held at the Coronada Hills Club House, 1801 Coronada Hills in Austin, TX. To RSVP or to get more details, please contact Kathleen Duncan at [email protected].
(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.
Monday, May 6: Building Bipartisan Champions call, 8:00 pm ET. (712) 432-3100, passcode 761262.
Tuesday, May 7: RESULTS Memphis (TN) outreach meeting (tentative). For more details, contact Myrdin Thompson at (502) 295-1315[email protected].
Wednesday, May 8: RESULTS Introductory Call, 9:00 pm ET. Register for this or another Intro Call at www.tinyurl.com/RESULTSMeetandGreet/.
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.
Monday, May 27: Memorial Day. All RESULTS offices closed.
Thursday, June 6: RESULTS Orange County (CA) outreach meeting (tentative). For more details, contact Jos Linn at (515) 288-3622, [email protected].
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.