U.S. Poverty Weekly Update July 8, 2014

 Being visible is not the same thing as being heard…. People with limited incomes have lost their place at the table of American democracy.

— Daniel Weeks, from his “Poverty vs. Democracy in America” article in The Atlantic magazine

New and Urgent in This Week's Update

Latest from Washington, DC

Organizational Updates


Got Two Minutes? Get Ready for the RESULTS National Conference Call THIS Saturday at 2:00 pm ET (Note Different Time)

Join us for the RESULTS National Conference Call this Saturday, July 12. This call will be a joint conference call with all RESULTS U.S. Poverty and Global Poverty volunteers. On the call, we will review the events at the recent RESULTS International Conference with shares from you about your experiences. We’ll also talk about how we can all keep up the momentum from the conference over the next few months. We will also provide you updates on our legislative priorities for 2014. This will be an exciting and inspiring call – plan to join us.

TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes and remind your local RESULTS group about the RESULTS monthly national conference call this Saturday, July 12 at 2:00 pm ET. Please remind them of the 2:00 pm ET start time. 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 1:55 pm ET to give time to the operator to connect you with the call.

We will have the July 2014 Conference Call Overview slides available later this week. You will find them on the RESULTS Home Page in the “Take Action” box in the top right-hand corner.


Got Ten Minutes? Read the July Action and Coordinate Lobby Requests this Weekend (July Action)

This month, we’re using the momentum created at the RESULTS International Conference to prepare for the next opportunity to push members of Congress on expanding economic mobility in America – the congressional summer recess.. The summer recess, August 5 through September 5, is an ideal time to meet with members of Congress; it catches them when they are home for a full month. Having the chance to sit down with them to talk about supporting the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Child Tax Credit (CTC), and Financial Security Credit will help raise awareness of these important issues as Congress looks ahead to its fall agenda and beyond. It also reminds them that voters care about poverty issues right as election season is gearing up.

To help you prepare for the August recess, we want you to take time this week to read the July Action. The Action has helpful how-to’s in scheduling face-to-face meetings and information to help you reach out to others in your community to be a part of those meetings. These include “real experts” – those who have experienced poverty firsthand and can educate lawmakers about poverty in your community – as well as community allies who can bring authority to the issue (service providers, faith leaders, business leaders, local advocates, etc.).

Finally, as your group meets this Saturday for the RESULTS National Conference Call, please take time before or after the call to coordinate your lobby meetings. Designate the persons who will contact each office to schedule a meeting. Be sure to provide several dates in August when your group can meet with your senators and representatives so the person scheduling the meeting has some flexibility in setting them up.

TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes to read the July Action and start preparing for lobby meetings during the August recess. The action has tips and resources to help you schedule your meetings, including links to our downloadable meeting request letter and advice for including “real poverty experts” and community allies in your meetings. At this Saturday’s National Conference Call, please designate the persons responsible for scheduling your meetings. One would assume your group’s House and Senate point persons would do this but the group can decide. It’s important to get started now – the longer you wait, the less likely you’ll get a face-to-face meeting. Also, take time on Saturday to brainstorm allies you know in your community you could invite to participate in a local lobby meeting. If you need help with scheduling meetings or connecting with allies, please contact Jos Linn ([email protected]). Once you get a meeting scheduled, please contact Meredith Dodson ([email protected]) to help you get ready.


Got Twenty Minutes? Keep Following Up on Your Recent Lobby Meetings

It has been two weeks since Lobby Day at this year’s RESULTS International Conference, where RESULTS volunteers had over 300 lobby meetings on Capitol Hill Hopefully all of you have already followed up with congressional staff, thanking them for meeting with you and reiterating the requests you made. If you have not followed up yet, please do so this week.

This week is also a good time to check in on your requests. Did your representative sign onto H.R. 769 (protects CTC), H.R. 2116 (protects and expands EITC), and/or H.R. 2917 (creates the Financial Security Credit)? Did you senator sign onto S. 836, like Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) recently did? Now that Congress is back in session, this is the time to make sure they follow through on the promises they made to you in your lobby meetings. Considering the House is already looking at expanding the Child Tax Credit but primarily for the benefit of wealthier families, your follow-up will help remind House and Senate offices to keep the eye on the ball – protect low-income working families first.

Make sure that your representatives and senators do what they say they will do. And if they didn’t agree to do anything, ask them again. Persistence is your ally.

TAKE ACTION: Take twenty minutes to follow up on your recent lobby meetings in Washington, DC or back home. Contact the aide(s) responsible for the issue(s) you discussed in your meetings to see if they have followed through on your requests. If you have additional information that helps with your issue, include that in your correspondence. Be sure to report back to your group on the response you get. If you need a refresher on our requests after a fun Independence Day holiday, our RESULTS Conference Lobby Resources page (www.tinyurl.com/2014RIC) has campaign overviews, lobby requests, and other resources we used at the RESULTS conference. Also, if you have any questions about following up with congressional offices, please contact Meredith Dodson ([email protected]) or Jos Linn ([email protected]) for help.

Finally, please remember to fill out the Lobby Report form at: http://tinyurl.com/LobbyReportForm so we know what happened at your recent lobby meetings.


Fill Out RESULTS International Conference Survey and Check Out the IC Resources Page

Thank you again to everyone who attended this year’s RESULTS International Conference. It was a great event and our only regret was that more of you could not join the nearly 500 people who came to DC to lobby Congress about poverty. We look forward to seeing you next year (we hope to have the 2015 conference dates confirmed in the next month or so).

So that we can learn from this year’s experience and make next year’s conference event better, we ask that you take a few minutes to fill out our 2014 RESULTS Conference Survey at www.tinyurl.com/IC2014Eval. Your feedback is important to us and we welcome your suggestions. Even if you did not attend the conference, we urge you to fill out the survey on why you did not come; that also helps us better plan for next year.

In addition, check out the RESULTS Conference Materials page. It contains a host of resources from the conference from lobby requests and PowerPoints to videos of Dr. Jim Kim’s presentation and pictures from the conference. Please use these resources and share them with others.


Join RESULTS Intro Call Tomorrow, Free Agents Calls Next Week

If you or someone you know is new to RESULTS, invite them to join our next RESULTS Introductory Call. These 30-45 minute calls provide a good overview of RESULTS and how you and others can get involved. The next RESULTS Intro Call is tomorrow, July 9 at 9:00 pm ET. To register for this or another upcoming Intro Call, go to: http://www.results.org/take_action/become_a_results_activist/.

Also, the RESULTS U.S. Poverty Free Agents will be meeting next Tuesday, July 15 at 1:00pm at 9:00 pm ET for their monthly support calls. If you live in an area with no RESULTS U.S. Poverty group, would like to connect with other volunteers, and get trained and supported in taking action on our issues, please join us. To participate in one of the calls, dial (443) 453-0034 and enter passcode 703096.


Quick News

Witness to Hunger to Testify before Congress. Tianna Gaines-Turner, part of Witnesses to Hunger with which RESULTS has been working the last few years, will be testifying before the House Budget Committee tomorrow at 10:00 am ET. She will be helping provide a progress report on the War on Poverty. If you are on Twitter or Facebook and follow #Talkpoverty, share this information with your friends to build support for Congress doing more to learn from the “real experts” on poverty in America. You can also watch Tianna’s testimony at the House Budget Committee website.

Join Hunger, Nutrition, and Health: A Virtual Town Hall Discussion. On Thursday, July 17 at 4:00 pm ET, our friends a Feeding America will host an interactive Virtual Town Hall discussing the connections between hunger and health. At the event, you’ll hear the latest research on the relationship between hunger and diet-related disease and learn about promising high-impact, low-cost interventions. On the call, you can also ask questions of the panel, which include Hilary Seligman, MD, Univeristy of California San Francisco, Center for Vulnerable Populations, Marydale DeBor, JD, Fresh Advantage LLC, Founder and Managing Director, and David Just, PhD, Cornell University, Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition Programs. To participate in the Town Hall, register today at: www.feedingamerica.org/townhall.

Watch Tavis Smiley on YouTube. RESULTS International Conference speaker Tavis Smiley recently spoke at a public event in California. At the event, he reiterated some of the things he spoke to us about in DC and on our and April Virtual Town Hall Event. You can watch the event at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B2rUPlpZOjM&feature=youtu.be.

Paul Ryan to Speak about Expanding Opportunity in America. On July 24 at 9:00 am ET, the American Enterprise Institute will host a conversation with House Budget Chair Paul Ryan (R-WI-1) as he unveils a new set of policy reforms aimed at reducing poverty and increasing upward mobility by reconnecting struggling Americans with their local communities and giving social-services programs the flexibility to better serve individual needs. The discussion will also include feedback from poverty and economic mobility experts about the policy implications of the plan. This is a good opportunity to understand a different perspective on eliminating poverty and hopefully reveal ways you can build bridges with unlikely allies. If you live in DC, you can register for the event at the AEI website; you can also watch it live from that page.

SNAP Error Rates Continue to Drop. Despite claims by some politicians and pundits, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) continues to shine as one of the most efficient anti-poverty programs. New USDA data shows that the SNAP error rate (amounts underpaid and overpaid to households) continues to drop. In 2013, the error rate was 3.2 percent, an all-time low (2.6 percent in overpayments, 0.6 in underpayments). The data also showed that the fraud rate continues to be less than one percent, meaning that 99 percent of SNAP benefits are going to properly eligible households. When you hear people talk about waste and fraud on government, remind them of how well SNAP works.

For updates on all our U.S. Poverty Campaigns, see our U.S. Poverty Campaigns Summary page on the RESULTS website.


Fundraising Update

Fundraiser season is in full swing! While some of our groups have already completed wonderful and hugely successful events for this year while others have dates on our calendars or plans in the works, there are still a number of groups that we haven't heard from yet.

Remember, there are various degrees of fundraisers ranging from individual friends and family events to small house parties to larger scale events in outside venues – all of which produce much needed funds for RESULTS/REF. So if you’re on the fence and are looking for ideas on how to help raise funds through an event in your area, please contact Jen DeFranco ([email protected]) to start brainstorming some ideas for your group. We are here to help you!

If your group is currently in the process of planning an event and haven't let the RESULTS Development Team know about it yet, please send an email to Jen so we can get it on the calendar and offer you support.


Announcements

Vote for Grassroots Board Members. The nominees for the two open Grassroots Board positions have been announced and voting has started. You can read about each nominee on the RESULTS website and then cast your vote at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/RESULTS2014 or sending your vote to Jack McLaughlin at [email protected]. All active RESULTS volunteers are eligible to vote.

Also, the four current RESULTS Grassroots Board Members (Heide Craig, Lydia Pendley, Ginnie Vogts, and Beth Wilson) would like to hear from you if you have questions or ideas about RESULTS and our work. Send your questions or suggestions to Heide at: [email protected].


RESULTS Activity Calendar

(See a complete calendar on the RESULTS website)

Upcoming Congressional Recesses: House and Senate: August 4 – September 5. Request face-to-face meetings.

Wednesday, July 9: RESULTS Introductory Call, 9:00pm CT. Register for this or another Intro Call at: http://www.results.org/take_action/become_a_results_activist/.

Saturday, July 12: RESULTS Joint U.S. and Global Poverty National Conference Call, 2:00 pm ET. (888) 409-6709. Note different time for the call. Listen to previous conference calls online.

Tuesday, June 15: RESULTS U.S. Poverty Free Agents Calls, 1:00 pm ET and 9:00 pm ET. (443) 453-0034, passcode 703096.


RESULTS Contact Information

Main Office: (p) (202) 783-7100, (f) (202) 466-1397, 1101 15th St NW, Suite 1200, Washington, DC 20005. 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 email 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.