U.S. Poverty Weekly Update April 9, 2013
New and Urgent in This Week’s Update (Two-Ten-Twenty Actions)
Latest from Washington, DC
Join us this Saturday, April 13, for the RESULTS National Conference Call. This month, we’re using “tax month” to revisit our old friends the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit. With the president’ budget coming out tomorrow, which will propose new tax revenue, as well as key committee chairs working on a tax reform plan, we need to remind Congress to protect these important anti-poverty provisions in any budget, tax reform, or deficit reduction deal. To help us, Sean Noble of the National Community Tax Coalition (NCTC) will be our guest speaker on the call. NCTC works with many Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites around the country helping low-income tax filers take advantage of the EITC and CTC. They also advocate for protecting and expanding these tax credits for working families. We’ll also talk about the April Action, the Friends & Family Fundraising Campaign, and the International Conference on the call. We hope you will join us.
TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes and remind your local RESULTS group about the RESULTS monthly national conference call this Saturday, April 13 at 12:30 pm ET. Coordinate with your group where you will meet for 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 12:27 pm ET to give time to the operator to connect you with the call.
We will have the April 2013 Conference Call Overview slides available later this week. Go to our national conference call page on the RESULTS website to download the presentation before the call.
Got Ten Minutes? Tell Congress to Protect the EITC and CTC in Tax Reform (April Action)
Congress returns to Washington this week and will be there until the end of April. Many items will be on the agenda from gun control to immigration to taxes. This latter issue is of course very important to RESULTS. Over the last few years, making sure the tax code remains progressive and more supportive of low-income working families has been a top priority for RESULTS. As you know, your advocacy in 2012 helped ensure that key improvements to the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC) were extended for five years in the recent “fiscal cliff” deal. These credits and these improvements have helped millions of families get and stay out of poverty each year. Now we have to make sure they remain protected.
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (D-MI-4) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) have both been working on a possible tax reform proposal. No details are available, which means nothing is safe. We need to make sure that Rep. Camp and Sen. Baucus don’t undermine working families in an effort to get any tax deal possible. After working so hard to protect important gains in using to tax code to reduce poverty, don’t let Congress undo it one fell swoop.
TAKE ACTION: Take the April Action. Write letters to your members of Congress about protecting the EITC and CTC. Urge them to tell House and Senate leaders that they oppose cuts to the EITC and CTC in tax reform and instead urge leaders to make the recently extended EITC and CTC improvements permanent. You can also send a note using our online tax credit action alert.
Got Twenty Minutes? Register for the RESULTS International Conference THIS WEEK and Urge Others to As Well
We need you in Washington this July for the RESULTS International Conference because the risks and the opportunities have never been greater for our work. We need your advocacy and inspiration, and the impact of our collective action to drive congressional priorities. We cannot afford to stand still on our fight against poverty, nor can we undermine the basic domestic programs that help families transition from poverty to opportunity - programs like SNAP and the Earned Income Tax Credit. We are impatient about ending poverty - join us in Washington, DC this July to accelerate action now!
If you haven’t registered for the RESULTS International Conference, take a few minutes to register today. Our “Early Bird” registration fee of only $165 only last until next Monday, April 15. Be sure to register before Monday to get your registration discount. And remember to make your hotel reservation as well. RESULTS has only a certain number of rooms available at the discounted room rate. Be sure to reserve your room before they fill up. After you REGISTER TODAY, encourage others you know to do so as well.
Also, if you or someone you know are 18–27 years old, be sure to apply or encourage someone to apply for the conference RESULTS REAL Change Scholarship. The REAL Change 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!
Finally, the Karen McQuillan Fund provides financial support for those who would otherwise be unable to participate in the conference due to costs. If you feel you qualify, be sure to submit your application. The KMF has very limited resources so please be sure to submit your application as soon as possible; the deadline to apply is this Monday, April 15. Also remember that some groups do local fundraising to help send some of their members to the conference each year. Some of our groups are already considering this option for this year’s conference. If you have questions about exploring this option so more of you can come, please contact the RESULTS U.S. Poverty staff.
RESULTS Outreach — Welcome Chicago, Help us in New England and the South, Join Intro Call Tomorrow Night
Good times in the Windy City. This past weekend, RESULTS Senior Associate Jos Linn traveled to Chicago for a group start meeting there. Ten new people attended the meeting, along with RESULTS Chicago volunteers Cindy Levin and Richard Smiley. It was a very good meeting with a lively discussion. In the end, four of the attendees formed a new RESULTS U.S. Poverty group (with others who could not attend the meeting also wanting to join) and one person joined the RESULTS Chicago global group. The group begins its new group training this Friday afternoon. If you know of anyone in the Chicago area who might be interested in joining the new group, please contact Jos Linn at [email protected]. New people are always welcome. Thanks also to Cindy, Richard, and Marcelo Gonzalez for all their help in planning and running the meeting — we couldn’t have done it without them. Welcome back Chicago!
Building Groups in Boston and Maine. 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. These meetings are great opportunities for RESULTS to expand our network in New England and engage more people in our work to end poverty. Jenny will host the RESULTS Bangor meeting on Sunday, April 28, 2:00–4:00 pm ET, location TBD (Facebook page). Then on Thursday, May 9, 6:30–8:30 pm ET, Jenny will host the RESULTS Boston meeting at the Weymouth Public Library, Tufts Branch, 46 Broad St, Weymouth, MA (Facebook page). Jenny is also working with leads in Lewiston and Presque Isle. If you know people in Maine, Boston, or other parts of New England, please let Jenny know at [email protected] so she can connect with them.
Help Us in Memphis, Thank You Very Much. RESULTS Southern Region Organizer Myrdin Thompson is already working on leads to start a U.S. poverty group in the Elvis Presley’s hometown of Memphis, TN. She is also looking for leads in Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky. If you have leads in these states, please contact Myrdin at [email protected] or (502) 295-1315.
Invite People to RESULTS Intro Call Tomorrow Night. 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 minute calls are great for learning more about RESULTS and how you can get involved. The call is tomorrow, April 10 at 9:00 pm ET. To register for this or another upcoming Intro call, go to www.tinyurl.com/RESULTSMeetandGreet/ and sign up today.
As Congress returns to Washington this week, there are lots of items on the House and Senate agendas. One major item Congress must address this year is renewal of a new Farm Bill, which reauthorizes U.S. agricultural policy typically every five years. The current Farm Bill expired last fall but was extended to September 2013. Congress must either pass a new Farm Bill by that time or extend the current one again. It seems the House and Senate Agriculture are aiming for the former and have already begun work on their respective Farm Bill proposals.
The Farm Bill is of great significance to RESULTS because the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) is authorized in it. As you know, last summer the House and Senate tried to pass a new Farm Bill that included significant cuts to SNAP. Fortunately, those proposals did not become law, but that was due more to election year politics than anything else. This time around, cuts to SNAP could be much worse. The recently-passed House Budget cuts SNAP by over $100 billion over ten years, potentially forcing 12-13 million people off the program and hurting our economy. We must remind Congress that taking food away from hungry children and families is not the way to balance the budget.
TAKE ACTION: Contact your House and Senate members urging them to oppose cuts to SNAP in their Farm Bill proposals. You can find contact information on our Elected Officials page. Urge House members to sign onto House Resolution 90, which urges the House to reject any cuts to SNAP. There are currently 73 co-sponsors to H.Res. 90. 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.
In the Senate, Sen. Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY) is circulating a “Dear Colleague” letter urging senators to fully fund SNAP in a new Farm Bill. This letter will be sent to the Senate Agriculture Committee so the more signatures there are, the stronger the message to protect SNAP. Urge your senators to sign onto the Gillibrand letter in support of SNAP.
We’re so happy to report that we’ve raised over $5,500 in donations in the first week of our Friends & Family Campaign. Great job! We now have 30 volunteers fundraising with us for through the Friends & Family Website or doing physical challenges with our Race to End Poverty page. Join in the online fun or get tips on how to run mailed campaign with our Friends & Family Toolkit. Our campaign runs until April 30, so there is still time to get started and participate. And remember, you can also participate by contributing to one of your fellow volunteers.
Do you have an April birthday? In recent years, some RESULTS volunteers have used their birthday celebrations as fundraising opportunities, asking friends and family to forego personal gifts for donations to RESULTS. If you’d like to try this yourself, use our RESULTS Celebrations page to help spread the work.
Please contact Cindy Levin at [email protected] for help with your online fundraising or fundraising events.
President’s Budget Releases Tomorrow. On Wednesday, President Obama will release his FY 2014 budget proposal to Congress. Normally, the president’s budget is due in February but because of recent tax changes and sequestration, the deadline was extended to this week. It is expected that the President will include new investments in early childhood programs, as outlined in his State of the Union address in February (we’ll know the details tomorrow). RESULTS is pleased that the President plans to include these new investments. Because of sequestration, Head Start, Early Head Start, and child care are already experiencing budget cuts that undermine our existing early childhood infrastructure. Congress must make up for these cuts and include new investments in early learning services so more low-income children and families can participate. Tell Congress to follow the president’s lead by protecting and expanding early childhood services using our online early childhood e-mail alert. For more information on the sequestration cuts, go the Coalition on Human Needs (CHN) sequestration page, which includes state fact sheets and weekly updates on the impacts of these cuts.
RESULTS Free Agents Call Next Tuesday. If you are an active RESULTS volunteer but you live in an area with no active RESULTS U.S. Poverty group, consider joining the RESULTS Free Agents. 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. The next call is next Tuesday, April 16 at 9:00 pm ET. To participate, dial (218) 486-1611, passcode RESULTS# (7378587#). Send questions and RSVPs to Jos Linn at [email protected].
Attend an Upcoming RESULTS Regional Conference. This month, RESULTS volunteers in the Midwest and Northeast will be gathering for regional RESULTS conferences. These regional conferences are all volunteer-organized and run. It’s 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].
(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 9: RESULTS Media Training Call, 8:00 pm ET. (218) 862-1300, passcode 682494#. For more information, contact Ginnie Vogts at [email protected].
Wednesday, April 10: RESULTS Introductory Call, 9:00 pm ET. Register for this or another Intro Call at www.tinyurl.com/RESULTSMeetandGreet/.
Saturday, April 13: RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Conference Call, 12:30 pm ET. Listen to previous conference calls online.
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].
Sunday, April 28: RESULTS Bangor Informational Meeting, 2:00–4:00 pm ET. Location TBD. Facebook Event: www.facebook.com/events/523709807667501. Contact Jenny Martin at [email protected] for more information.
Thursday, May 9: RESULTS Boston 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.
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.