U.S. Poverty Weekly Update February 19, 2013

My prayer is that this will be a call to action and that each reader becomes compelled to feed a child, clothe a homeless person or contact elected officials.

— RESULTS Free Agent Tezurra Gooding in a February 2 letter to the editor in The News & Observer (Raleigh, NC)

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

Latest from Washington, D.C.

Organizational Updates


Got Two Minutes? Call about Town Halls during This Week’s Recess

The House and Senate on are recess all this week. Many of them will be holding town hall events or public meetings during this time. With the sequestration cuts less than two weeks away and other key budget decisions approaching fast, this is a key opportunity to talk to them about protecting services for low-income Americans.

TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes to call your local or D.C. schedulers to find out if your representatives and senators are holding any town halls or public meetings during this week’s recess. You can also check their congressional websites to see if they have any events listed there. You can find D.C. scheduler names, local contact information, and website links on our Elected Officials page. If you plan to attend a town hall, see our Sample Town Hall Questions and our Activist Milestone: Asking a Question at a Town Hall.

Please feel free to contact the RESULTS U.S. Poverty staff for assistance in preparing for an event. You can find more resources for meeting with members of Congress this week in our Got Twenty Minutes section below.


Got Ten Minutes? Use Budget and SOTU Stories in Your Letters to the Editor (February Action)

Thank you to everyone who has already taken the February Action on generating media to protect anti-poverty programs and services. RESULTS has a goal of doubling our media successes in 2013. With you (RESULTS U.S. Poverty volunteers) getting 49 letters, op-eds, editorials, and other media hits last year, we’re shooting for at least 100 this year. And we’ve gotten off to a good start. We’ve already had three letters to the editor published this month alone — and amazingly all from the same person. Tezurra Gooding, one of our RESULTS Free Agents from North Carolina got letters published in the Raleigh News & Observer, Indy Week, and the Greensboro News-Record between February 3 and 16. Congratulations, Tez! What a great act to follow!

Getting letters published now should be easier this week, as there are a plethora of “hooks” out there to use. The sequestration budget cuts, which could force 70,000 children out of Head Start and Early Head Start, and more losing child care assistance, are set to begin in just over a week (March 1). Many newspapers are reporting stories about these looming cuts, which are great ways to introduce a letter to the editor (“In response to your story about looming budget cuts…”). Also, in last week’s State of the Union address, President Obama talked specifically about poverty in the U.S. He outlined several ideas on how to address poverty in America, including raising the minimum wage to $9 per hour and investing more resources in early childhood education. Papers reported extensively about his speech last week, which again provide great hooks for your letters (“I am thrilled that President Obama talked expanding access to preschool in his speech last week. The first step is making sure we protect what we already have…”). When you can link your letter to something in the paper and/or the local impact of these cuts, you increase the chance of getting published.

There are more details about President Obama’s preschool proposal on the White House website.

TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes to draft and submit a letter to the editor urging Congress to protect America’s children in upcoming budget negotiations. February Action sheet provides talking points, background information, and a sample letter you can use when drafting your piece. Use recent stories in your local paper and how these issues impact people in your state in your letters. National Women’s Law Center has a state breakdown of how many children are at risk of losing early childhood services and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has state fact sheets on SNAP you can use. You can find a list of media outlets in your state in our Media Guide.

If you don’t have time to draft your own letter, submit one use our online letter to the editor action, which was updated this week. You can also find other media tips in our Activist Toolkit under “Working with the Media” and review our new PowerPoint for additional guidance. Please contact the RESULTS U.S. Poverty Staff for any help you need in your media advocacy.

You can amplify your media message by also sending an e-mail to Congress urging lawmakers to protect Head Start and child care services.


Got Twenty Minutes? Time for Recess — Remind Members of Congress Who Owns the Playground

Congress is on recess all this week and many members of Congress are back home doing face-to-face meetings and town hall events. We thank all of you who have submitted face-to-face requests for this recess, as well as those who have already had meetings. And it’s not too late. Perhaps your representative has a last minute cancellation. Maybe your senator is holding a town hall nearby. We know it can be hard to secure these meetings but your persistence in getting in person makes a big difference. You never know when that one question, one request, one meeting will be the tipping point that moves that lawmaker to act. And not only are you making a difference in the lives of people in poverty, you’re strengthening our democracy at the same time. When citizens like you make your voice heard, you fulfill the democratic intent of our country’s founders and give true meaning to the words “We the People”.

TAKE ACTION: Take twenty minutes to contact your local House and Senate offices to set up a last minute face-to-face meeting. If you cannot secure a meeting this week, see if there is time available during the spring recess (March 25–April 5). The January Action has information to help with your meeting requests and the January 2013 Laser Talk provides a sample follow-up call with a scheduler. Also, be sure to see if your representatives and senators are holding any public meetings this week. We have a number of resources available to help you:

Once you get a meeting scheduled or plan to attend a town hall, please contact the RESULTS U.S. Poverty staff to help you prepare.


Build Our Network: Join the Free Agents Call Tonight and Invite Others to Friday’s RESULTS Intro Call

RESULTS U.S. Poverty Staff are always on the prowl for new leads to expand the RESULTS network. If you know someone interested in RESULTS, help us build our network and amplify our voice for the end of poverty. Here are a few ways you can do so.

If you’re taking action on our issues but don’t have an active RESULTS U.S. Poverty group near you, we invite you to join the U.S. Poverty Free Agents Group. These calls are a great way for you to connect with other advocates around the country, learn about what’s happening in Washington, D.C., and get support in taking action on our U.S. poverty issues. And we celebrate great successes too. For example, RESULTS Free Agent Tezurra Gooding got three letters to the editor published this month — way to go, Tez! Consider joining in the fun. We meet once per month via conference call. The Free Agents call is tonight, February 19 at 9:00 pm ET; (218) 486-1611, passcode 7378587#. RSVP for the call to Jos Linn at [email protected].

If you’re 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 next RESULTS Intro Call is Friday, February 22 at 1:00 pm ET. To register for an upcoming Intro call, go to www.tinyurl.com/RESULTSMeetandGreet/ and sign up today.

RESULTS is also back on the road in the coming weeks working to strengthen our grassroots network. On Friday, RESULTS Director of Domestic Campaigns Meredith Dodson will be traveling to New Mexico for the IMPACT Conference. IMPACT is “historically the largest gathering in the country focused on the civic engagement of college students in community service, service-learning, community-based research, advocacy and other forms of social action.” Meredith will be presenting at the conference. She will also be meeting with the RESULTS Santa Fe group on Sunday. If you know people in the Albuquerque and Santa Fe areas and want to connect them with Meredith while she is there, please contact her at [email protected].

RESULTS Senior Associate Jos Linn will also be on the road this weekend, traveling to St. Louis to do an outreach meeting with the RESULTS St. Louis group. He will be presenting at First Unitarian Church in St. Louis (5007 Waterman Blvd) on Sunday at 12:15 pm CT. All are welcomed to attend. For more information, please contact Jos at [email protected].

Finally, RESULTS New England Organizer Jenny Martin is already planning her revisit to Maine after her last trip was cut short by Winter Storm Nemo. She will be heading north on March 6 and will be in Bangor and other areas for several dates. She will have more definitive times and locations in the next week. If you know people in Maine, connect them with Jenny on her trip there in a few weeks. Her e-mail is [email protected].


Quick News

Senate Democrats Unveil Sequestration Alternative. Before going on recess, Democrats in the Senate outlined a proposal to avert the sequestration cuts set to begin on March 1. The American Family Economic Protection Act pinpoints $120 billion of savings, split evenly between cuts and revenues. The revenue will come from imposing a minimum 30 percent tax rate for incomes above $1 million, as well as closing tax loopholes on specific business income and certain oil subsidies. The cuts would be divided between defense programs and agricultural subsidies. Senate Majority Leader Reid is planning to bring up the plan for a vote next week, although Republicans have already said they would not support it. Most expect that Congress will not undo the sequestration before March 1. Tell Congress to get its act together and stop putting low-income children in the budget crosshairs using our online action alert.


Announcements

RESULTS International Conference Registration Now Open! Have you registered for the biggest RESULTS event of the year? We’re only a few months away from the RESULTS International Conference. The conference is July 20–23 in Washington, D.C. We have an exciting agenda lined up, including keynote speaker Nobel Peace Prize winner Prof. Muhammad Yunus. We’ll have more highlights about the conference in the coming weeks. Register now and take advantage of our Early Bird Registration at only $165 (a steal for D.C. conferences). It’s only good until April 15 (after that, the rate goes up to $240). We also have discounts available for students and a small scholarship fund for those needing financial assistance to attend. Go to our RESULTS International Conference page for more details and REGISTER TODAY!


Fundraising Update

Thank you for all our groups who have reached out to us to say that they are planning their 2013 fundraisers! Houston, Columbus, Bremerton/Kitsap, and Seattle are all in the planning stages. Check out our fundraising blog for ideas about how your group can participate in one of our fundraising campaigns this year. Be sure to help us publicize our upcoming events in VA, MD, IL and UT to anyone you know in those regions.

If you have any questions or want assistance in planning an event, please contact RESULTS Grassroots Development Associate Cindy Changyit Levin at [email protected].


RESULTS Activity Calendar

(See a complete calendar on the RESULTS website)

Congressional Recesses: House and Senate: February 18-22, March 25-April 5. Request face-to-face meetings.

Tuesday, February 19: RESULTS Free Agents group (U.S. Poverty) call, 9:00 pm ET. (218) 486-1611, passcode 7378587# (RESULTS#). For more information, contact Jos Linn at [email protected].

Friday, February 22: RESULTS Introductory Call, 1:00 pm ET. (712) 432-3100, passcode 761262. RSVP for the call.

Friday, February 22 – Monday, February 25: RESULTS Director of Domestic Campaigns Meredith Dodson doing outreach in New Mexico. For details, contact Meredith at [email protected].

Sunday, February 24: RESULTS St. Louis outreach meeting with RESULTS Senior Associate Jos Linn, 12:15 pm CT, First Unitarian Church, 5007 Waterman Blvd, St. Louis, MO. Contact Jos at [email protected] for more details.

Wednesday, February 27: From Zero to Hero - Moving Your Lawmakers Up the Champion Scale, 9:00 pm ET. For the webinar video, go to http://tinyurl.com/RESULTSZero2Hero. For the audio, dial (775) 996-3560, passcode 796141# or log into Skype at: fuzemeeting

Monday, March 4: Building Bipartisan Champions conference call, 8:00 pm ET. (712) 432-3100, passcode 761262.

Wednesday, March 6: RESULTS New England Organizer Jenny Martin travels to Maine for outreach. For more details, contact Jenny at [email protected].

Saturday, March 9: RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Conference Call, 12:30 pm ET. Listen to previous conference calls online.

Saturday, July 20 - Tuesday, July 23: 2013 RESULTS International Conference, Washington, D.C.


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 D.C. 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.