U.S. Poverty Weekly Update January 29, 2013

Poverty exists because we have not chosen otherwise.

— Kelley Nikondeha

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

Latest from Washington, DC

Organizational Updates


Got Two Minutes? Call Your Local House Offices about Town Halls This Week

House members are on recess this week. This provides us an opportunity to push them on important issues concerning the social safety net. The reinstatement of the sequester and the expiration of the FY 2013 continuing resolution are fast approaching (March 1 and March 27 respectively) and already many members of Congress are calling for cuts to important entitlement programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security. Not to mention the fact that funding for discretionary programs such Head Start, Early Head Start, and child care assistance also hangs in the balance. Congressional recesses give you the chance to speak with members of Congress at home about protecting these vital services for low-income Americans.

TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes to call your local House office and ask if your representative is holding any town halls or public events during this week’s recess. You can find district office contact information on the RESULTS Elected Officials page. If there are no events this week, ask about any events in February and March. If there is a town hall in your area, please contact the RESULTS U.S. Poverty staff asap so we can help you prepare. Also see our Activist Toolkit for a helpful guide on asking questions at town hall events.

If there are no town halls this week, take two minutes and urge Congress to protect SNAP using the RESULTS online SNAP alert.


Got Ten Minutes? More RESULTS Groups Are Scheduling Face-to-Face Meetings, Are You? (January Action)

We’re getting off to a great start on our annual goal of meeting face-to-face with every member of Congress RESULTS covers. We’ve already had two meetings this month with seven more in the next few weeks. Here is a list of the meetings RESULTS U.S. Poverty groups have already scheduled in 2013:

  • 1/11/13: Rep. Leonard Lance (Bernardsville, NJ group)
  • 1/23/13: Rep. Jim Moran (Northern VA)
  • 1/28/13: Rep. Scott Peters (San Diego)
  • 1/29/13: Rep. Tom Latham (Des Moines)
  • 1/29/13: Rep. Fred Upton (Kalamazoo)
  • 1/30/13: Rep. John Conyers (Detroit)
  • 1/31/13: Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (Santa Fe)
  • 2/4/13: Sen. Chuck Grassley (Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Creston)
  • 2/5/13: Rep. Henry Waxman (Los Angeles)

Thank you to all of you have scheduled or continue to work on scheduling your face-to-face meetings this month. What a wonderful way to kick of 2013. Add your name to the list of groups or Free Agents who are meeting with your members of Congress.

TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes to follow up on your face-to-face meeting requests, per the January Action. The House is on recess this week and both the House and Senate will be on recess the week of February 18. It’s not too late to contact the scheduler for your members of Congress to schedule a face-to-face meeting with them on upcoming recess. If you’ve already requested your meetings, follow up with the schedulers to check on the status of your request. The more meetings you can schedule now, the more input you have on budget and deficit reduction negotiations looming on the horizon. Review our January 2013 Laser Talk for a sample conversation between a volunteer and scheduler. In addition, review Activist Milestone: Meet Face-to-Face with Your Member of Congress and our new PowerPoint for additional guidance.

You can also listen to a recording of the January 2013 RESULTS National Conference Call and download the conference call PowerPoint presentation (pdf); both contain helpful information about protecting anti-poverty programs and requesting face-to-face meetings.

Once you get a meeting scheduled, please contact the RESULTS U.S. Poverty staff to help you plan your agenda and devise the best messaging and requests to use in your meeting. Also, be sure to print off our 2013 Lobby Request Sheets to take to your meeting. We have requests on tax credits for working families, protecting nutrition programs, and investing in Head Start and child care.


Got Twenty Minutes? Complete and Send In Your Group Plans

Thank you to all the RESULTS groups and volunteers who have already completed your group or individual goal planning this month, or have it on your schedule. We cannot reiterate enough the importance of the planning process in helping us achieve our annual goals. RESULTS successes over the years are a direct result of volunteers from around the country taking time each year to articulate their goals and then put them into action. This year is no different. In the coming weeks, we’ll highlight some of the goals your groups have come up with for 2013, just to share some of the exciting things you — the volunteers — have planned.

If you have not set up your group planning meeting yet, please do so asap. Once you have completed your group planning, please make sure to copy your completed Group Planning Summary and send it to your Regional Coordinator (or Jos Linn if you are a Free Agent).

TAKE ACTION: Take twenty minutes to complete your 2013 Group Planning Summary and send it in to your Regional Coordinator. If you have not scheduled your group planning meeting yet, please do so as soon as possible. Please submit your completed plan to your RC by Monday, February 11. For Free Agents, please send in your completed 2013 Individual Planning Form to Jos Linn by the same date. You can find all the 2013 Group Planning materials on the RESULTS website.

Also, be sure to review our updated U.S. Poverty Current Campaigns Summary as you finish your plans, we well as our 2013 grassroots goals (this includes both U.S. and Global Poverty volunteers):

  1. Work with existing RESULTS groups, Free Agents, and the RESULTS Expansion Team to achieve coverage of 250 congressional districts and 45 states
  2. Meet face-to-face with every member of Congress RESULTS covers
  3. Develop and pilot an on-going Group Leader training program to build leadership throughout the grassroots
  4. Improve relationship building with conservative members of Congress
  5. Expand grassroots media by 50 percent, and increase the number of groups that generate media and have relationships with editorial writers

Finally, please do not hesitate to ask for help as you do group planning. RESULTS staff and regional coordinators are here to help you in any way we can.


EITC Awareness Day Event a Success — Tell Congress to Protect Tax Credits for Working Families

Thanks to everyone who participated in and invited congressional aides to attend the EITC Awareness Event in Washington, DC last week. The event drew 70 people, including many congressional staff. The panel at the event included an Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) recipient, a VITA program coordinator, and several tax policy experts. The panelists discussed the various benefits — health, economic and educational — linked to the EITC and why lawmakers must still make protecting and strengthening the EITC a top priority. For more information about the event, see the summary by our friends at the National Community Tax Coalition.

Even though critical improvements to the EITC and Child Tax Credit (CTC) were extended as part of the “fiscal cliff” deal, we must remain vigilant about protecting these crucial, poverty-reduction programs. The budget and deficit reduction negotiations, which are likely to begin in earnest in February, could include proposals to cut these programs. As you contact and meet with your members of Congress over the coming days and weeks, remind them of the importance of these tax credits for working families. The Center for American Programs has a very helpful infographic on how the EITC helps families. Be sure to use this graphic in your face-to0face meetings. Also, be sure to follow up with tax aides about the EITC event and forward them the graphic link as well.

TAKE ACTION: Take a few minutes and use our online e-mail alert to send a message to your members of Congress reminding them of the importance of the EITC and CTC and urge them to protect these important credits in deficit reduction negotiations. Be sure to include the following link to the CAP infographic in your e-mail: ampr.gs/XFbTar.


Join Our Upcoming Training and Outreach Calls

To continue to help support the best grassroots network around, we have the following training and outreach calls coming up in the next several weeks. Feel free to join one, two, or all of them — and invite others to join in too!

Initiating and Building Relationships with Members of Congress webinar, TONIGHT, January 29 at 9:00 pm ET. The focus of our grassroots activities so far in 2013 has been on getting face-to-face meetings with our members of Congress. Our success is not about our asks (though these are important), it’s about our relationships. Learn how you can initiate and strengthen these relationships in this webinar. To join, go to: https://www.fuzemeeting.com/fuze/f2988286/18400299. For audio, connect via the webinar or dial (775) 996-3560, passcode 796141#.

How to Have a Powerful Meeting with Your Member of Congress, Monday, February 11 at 9:00 pm ET. Not sure how to make a face-to-face lobby visit happen? Join RESULTS for this important training on how to request a face-to-face meeting with members of Congress, and then make the most of your lobby meetings. The House and Senate both will be on recess February 18-22, and many members of Congress are available before then. Whether you are an experienced RESULTS advocate or working on your first lobby meeting, be sure to join this training. To participate, dial (712) 432-3100, passcode 761262.

RESULTS Website Training, Wednesday, February 13 at 8:00 pm ET. If you want to learn how to better navigate the RESULTS website, join us for this helpful website tour. We’ll look at areas of the website that will both inform and help improve your effectiveness as an advocate. Please plan to be in front of your computer during the call. To participate, dial (712) 432-3100, passcode 761262. RSVP or send questions to Jos Linn at [email protected].

RESULTS Intro Call, Wednesday, February 13 at 9:00 pm ET. 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. To register for an upcoming Intro call, go to www.tinyurl.com/RESULTSMeetandGreet/ and sign up today.


Quick News

House Passes Debt Ceiling Extension. Last week, House leaders decided to partially defuse some of the powder keg that has been looming over the federal budget. The House agreed to raise the nation’s debt ceiling (the maximum amount of money Congress permits to cover othe federal government’s bills) though mid-May. The bill also withholds congressional pay if a FY 2014 budget resolution is not passes. Raising the debt ceiling to cover our debts has been a fairly routine matter until recently. As you know, Congress and the President had a showdown over raising the debt ceiling in 2011, which resulted in the Budget Control Act of 2011. That law mandated $1 trillion in budget cuts over ten years, which began in 2011, plus another $1.2 trillion, which are scheduled to go into effect in March (aka sequestration). Many expected another debt ceiling fight in February. The House move at least postpones that issue for a few months to let Congress deal with sequestration and the FY 2013 budget. Send a letter to the editor urging your members of Congress to protect critical safety net programs in budget negotiations.


Announcements

RESULTS is rolling into Maine! It’s the heart of winter in Maine, but what better time to talk about ending poverty? New England Organizer Jenny Martin will be talking RESULTS with people in Lewiston on February 7 and 8 in Bangor and February 9 and 10. In Bangor, she will be hosting a coffee chat on February 9 at 3:00 pm ET at Bagel Central (33 Central St in Bangor). This will be an informal discussion about RESULTS, our work to end poverty in America, and how people can get involved. Do you know anyone in Maine who might be interested in RESULTS? Let Jenny know ([email protected]) so she can connect with them on her trip. Also feel free to invite any Bangor folks you know her to the Coffee Chat.

Loss in the RESULTS Family. We are sad to announce that RESULTS Salina (KS) group leader Janet Juhnke died last Wednesday, January 23. She was 70. Janet was a fierce advocate for the end of poverty and a strong voice for the vulnerable all her life. Before joining RESULTS, Janet was an English professor at Kansas Wesleyan University in Salina, where she also served as academic dean and chair of the Humanities Division. Janet was also a member of the Kansas Supreme Court Nominating Commission and former Board member of the Kansas Humanities Council. Janet joined RESULTS in 2008 and became group leader in 2010, where she helped lead the Salina group in their consistent and meaningful advocacy work. She and her husband, Ted Hale, traveled to the RESULTS International Conference on several occasions, bringing the message of concerned Kansans to Washington, DC. All of us at RESULTS send our deepest condolences to Ted and his family — we will miss you, Janet. Cards and letters can be sent to 517 Fairdale Rd, Salina, KS 67401.

Vote for New Grassroots Board Member. This is the last full week to vote for the next RESULTS Grassroots Board member. We have 4 candidates for the open seat. Please vote for one of the candidates by Feb. 7. Candidates are: Rob Marshall of Atlanta, Mary Albertson of Detroit, Beth Wilson of Gig Harbor in Washington State, and Frank Gilbert of Louisville. Please consider their statements and bios and vote today.


Fundraising Update

Thank you to all the groups who are planning fundraising events for 2013. We’re thrilled that we have four upcoming events happening in March:

For more info on any of these fundraisers or for help planning your own, please contact Cindy Levin at [email protected].


RESULTS Activity Calendar

(See a complete calendar on the RESULTS website)

Congressional Recesses: House: January 28 – February 1, February 18-22. Senate: February 18-22. Request face-to-face meetings.

Tuesday, January 29: Initiating and Building Relationships with Members of Congress webinar, 9:00 pm ET. Join the webinar: https://www.fuzemeeting.com/fuze/f2988286/18400299. For sound, connect via the webinar or dial (775) 996-3560, passcode: 796141#.

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

Monday, February 11: How to Have a Powerful Meeting with Your Member of Congress training call, 9:00 pm ET. (712) 432-3100, passcode 761262.

Wednesday, February 13: RESULTS Website Training, 8:00 pm ET. (712) 432-3100, passcode 761262. RSVP to Jos Linn at [email protected].

Wednesday, February 13: RESULTS Introductory Call, 9:00 pm ET. (712) 432-3100, passcode 761262. RSVP for the call.

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].

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


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.