U.S. Poverty Weekly Update June 18, 2013
New and Urgent in This Week’s Update (Two-Ten-Twenty Actions)
Latest from Washington, DC
This week, the House of Representatives is expected to take up H.R.1947, the House Farm Bill. This bill makes drastic cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps), amounting to over $21 billion over the next ten years. As a result, nearly 2 million people will be forced off SNAP and 210,000 children will lose access to free school meals. Many more would see their SNAP benefits reduced. SNAP is our first line of defense against hunger in America. It primarily benefits children, seniors, and people with disabilities. Congress should not be balancing the budget on the backs of those who can least afford it.
TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes and join advocates from around the country by calling your representative TODAY, June 18, and urging him/her to protect SNAP. Call (866) 527-1087 and ask to be connected to your representative’s office. When connected, leave this message with the receptionist:
My name is __________________ from __________________ and I’m a RESULTS volunteer. I am very upset that the House wants to increase hunger in America by cutting SNAP in the Farm Bill. SNAP is effective and efficient and serves mostly children, seniors, and people with disabilities. We must protect these families by protecting SNAP. During the House Farm Bill debate, please urge Rep. ______________ to support amendments that protect and strengthen SNAP and oppose amendments that are harmful to it. If the final House Farm Bill includes SNAP cuts, I strongly urge Rep. __________________ to vote NO. Will you give him/her this message today?
Calls are better and quicker but if you don’t have time to call today or if you can’t get through, use our e-mail alert to urge your representative to protect SNAP.
RESULTS greatly appreciates Feeding America offering their toll-free number for calls.
Got Ten Minutes? Keep Pushing SNAP in the Media (June Action)
The House is expected to begin debate on its Farm Bill (H.R.1947) this week. The House bill contains $21 billion in cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps). As you know, the Senate Farm Bill, which includes $4.1 billion in cuts to SNAP, passed last week. With one in four children experiencing food insecurity in America and nearly 50 million Americans living in poverty, cutting one of our most effective poverty-reduction programs is misguided and wrong.
The House Farm Bill is particularly egregious. Cuts to “categorical eligibility,” which gives states flexibility to determine who gets SNAP, would force nearly 2 million people off the program and deny free and reduced school meals to 210,000 children (a child’s eligibility to school meals can be tied to their families SNAP eligibility). In addition, cuts to “Heat and Eat” programs, which some states have to help increase SNAP benefits for low-income people getting heating assistance, would reduce SNAP benefits for 1.7 million people (850,000 households) by an average of $90 per month. While these may be just numbers to politicians, they impact real people. When the recession is still a stark reality for millions of low-income Americans, cutting SNAP is the last thing we should be doing.
President Obama agrees. Yesterday, the White House issued a statement that the President would veto any Farm Bill that contained the cuts to SNAP included in the House version. It’s unclear how this will impact the House debate. In addition, our June conference call guest Greg Kaufmann has a new blog post highlighting how the true purpose of SNAP — ending hunger and malnutrition — is being ignored. It has some great information for this month’s action.
We want to members of Congress to be reminded publicly that SNAP cuts are wrong. We want to generate 30 pieces of media over the next few weeks to urge Congress to protect hungry children and families. We’ve gotten 8 pieces published since June 1, which is a great start. Congratulations to everyone who’s been published so far and to those who have submitted pieces — we hope to see your letters, op-eds, and editorial published soon.
TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes to complete the June Action — submit letters to the editor, op-eds, and generate editorials in your local papers urging your members of Congress to protect SNAP. Here are some resources to help you as you compose your media pieces:
If you don’t have time to write your own letter to submit, use our SNAP LTE alert to send in your letter. In addition to letters to the editor, consider submitting op-eds and asking your local paper to write editorials. If you have questions or need coaching in doing this, please contact RESULTS Regional Coordinator Ginnie Vogts at [email protected] or Jos Linn at [email protected]. When you do get published, please let Jos know so we can celebrate your success.
For more information about SNAP and the Farm Bill, see our Recent Developments in Nutrition and Health Legislation page and our 2013 U.S. Poverty Campaign Summary.
Got Twenty Minutes? Share Your Story (June Action)
One of the best ways to show members of Congress that SNAP or the EITC or Head Start are programs that greatly impact and improve people’s lives is to have people share their personal experiences. Statistics and research certainly help but real life experiences can speak volumes more than just numbers alone. We are asking that anyone who has had experiences with any of the U.S. poverty issues we work on, in particular SNAP, Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit, Head Start, or child care assistance, to send us your story. This can include your own personal experiences or those of people you know (and are permitted to share).
If you do not have experiences with using the above programs but have had other experiences that deal with poverty, please share those as well. For example, some members of the RESULTS Network are taking the SNAP Challenge this month. Kathleen Duncan of Houston took it a few weeks ago, Myrdin Thompson of Louisville did it last week, as did Katja Kleine from our DC staff. You can read about Katja’s experience on the RESULTS Blog.
Our plan is to feature some of these stories in our Weekly Updates, on our website, and at the International Conference (if you do not want your story shared with a wider audience, you should not submit it).
Let’s put these issues in front of our government officials. Just calling out numbers is no longer enough. We have to show them that the laws they make have the power to make or break individuals and families. The best way to do this is through sharing our stories.
TAKE ACTION: Take twenty minutes to share your story. If you have a personal connection to a RESULTS U.S. poverty issue either directly or indirectly, please share it with us. We learn best from the stories of others. If you have a story you feel is worth sharing, please send it Errolyn Gray at [email protected]. Be sure to give us your name and where you’re from. Also, remember that your stories are also great for media pieces. Papers like to see how these issues impact people in their communities, so please consider using your story to illustrate the importance of protecting services that lift and keep people out of poverty.
The RESULTS U.S. Poverty Free Agents are meeting tonight for their monthly support call. Our Free Agents are dedicated activists making a difference on the issues we care about. They are regular volunteers who happen to live in areas where there is no existing RESULTS U.S. Poverty group. On our calls, we discuss the latest legislative news, celebrate recent successes, and review this month’s action. It’s a great way to get support on taking action and connect with like-minded advocates from around the country. We meet every third Tuesday of the month, including tonight, June 18 at 9:00 pm ET. All are welcomed. To participate, dial (218) 486-1611, passcode RESULTS# (7378587#). Contact Jos at [email protected] for more information.
For those of you who want to learn more about RESULTS before joining a group or becoming a Free Agent, consider attending one of our RESULTS Introductory Calls. These 30–45 minute calls provide a brief overview of RESULTS and information on how you can get involved. If you or someone you know would be a great advocate for the end of poverty, invite them to register for the next call on Friday, June 28, at 1:00 pm ET. People can register for this or another upcoming Intro Call at www.tinyurl.com/RESULTSMeetandGreet/.
REGISTER today for this year’s RESULTS International Conference!
We’re only a month away from the RESULTS International Conference. We have a packed agenda again this year with top-notch speakers, informative training sessions, lobbying on Capitol Hill, and lots of fun. It’s not too late to attend this year’s conference, so register today!
For those of you coming, here are some items to work on now to make your conference experience more rewarding:
The RESULTS U.S. Poverty staff is working vigilantly to grow our advocacy network. And it’s paying off. We have a number of meetings and opportunities to start new groups in the coming weeks. Help us grow RESULTS by inviting your friends, family, and colleagues to get involved with one of these potential new groups:
June 20 — RESULTS Outreach Planning Call in Burlington, VT. RESULTS U.S. Poverty Organizer Jenny Martin is working to start a new RESULTS group in Burlington, VT this summer. She is hosting conference call this Thursday to help organize these efforts with local advocates. If you or someone you know lives in the Burlington area, you are invited to participate. The call is this Thursday, June 20 at 7:00 pm ET. The call-in number is 218-486-1611, passcode 7741707. Jenny is also working with advocates in Boston, Maine and New Hampshire. Contact her to find out more and to connect people you know to her efforts.
June 24 — “Coffee Chat” in Louisville. RESULTS U.S. Poverty Organizer Myrdin Thompson is hosting a “coffee chat” to start building interest for RESULTS in Louisville, KY. This is an informal conversation about poverty and the power of advocacy. If you or someone you know live in the Louisville area, you are invited to join this conversation. The chat is Monday, June 24 at 7:00 pm CT. For more details, please contact Myrdin at [email protected]. Myrdin is also working with advocates in Memphis, Nashville, Albuquerque, and Phoenix to start new groups. Contact her to find out more and to connect people you know to her efforts.
June 26 — RESULTS Outreach Meeting in Orange County, CA. RESULTS Acting Director of U.S. Poverty Campaigns Jos Linn is helping host a RESULTS Outreach Meeting to get a new U.S. Poverty group started in Orange County, CA (suburban Los Angeles). If you know anyone in that area, please invite them to attend. The meeting is next Wednesday, June 26 at 7:00pm PT at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, 1100 S Center St, Santa Ana, CA. You can find more details on the Facebook event page or by contacting Jos at [email protected].
July 17 — RESLTS Outreach Meeting in Kansas City. Jos is also working with advocates to get a group started in the Kansas City area. He will be helping host an Outreach Meeting there on Wednesday, July 17 at 7:00 pm CT at the Plaza Library, 4801 Main St in KCMO. If you know people in the KC area, please invite them to attend. You can find more details on the Facebook event page or by contacting Jos at [email protected].
As always, if you know people near you or far away who would make great RESULTS advocates, please contact Jos Linn ([email protected]) to talk about how to get them involved.
Is Tax Reform Around the Corner? Last Friday at a Christian Science Monitor event, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT), and Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Representative Dave Camp (R-MI-4), answered questions about a potential tax reform. They didn’t give much insight, although we did learn that if reform happens, the main goal will be simplifying the tax code. Rep. Camp also said he would not support a carbon tax, which is designed to address climate change. Beyond that, there were very few indications of what the goal of the tax reform would be and whether new revenue would be a part of it. Speaking of reform, last week, Rep. Richard Neal introduced H.R.2116, which improve the Earned Income Tax Credit, including making the 2009 improvements permanent. This is a companion bill he co-sponsored with Rep. Rosa Delauro, H.R.769, which would do the same for the Child Tax Credit. The Senate also has a bill, S.836, which makes the same changes to the EITC and CTC. Urge your members of Congress to protect and strengthen the EITC and CTC using our tax credit e-mail alert.
Immigration Reform Makes the Road to Success Harder for Immigrants. Last week, the Senate began debating the immigration reform bill. This 13-year plan is designed to help over 11 million undocumented immigrants gain citizenship. Unfortunately, there have already been attempts to limit the support that we would give these families. One proposal would limit the ability for immigrants to receive the EITC and CTC. These credits are an economic stimulant for local economies and one of the best ways to reduce poverty. Another proposal would block even some legal immigrants on the road to citizenship from receiving SNAP benefits. Instead of cutting and deny eligibility and putting people at a financial disadvantage, we should working to help these hardworking families that are trying to achieve the American Dream. RESULTS has signed onto letters in support of protecting access to critical services for immigrant families on the pathway to citizenship under the proposed new law.
Learn new fundraising skills at the RESULTS International Conference! If you’re planning on joining us in Washington D.C. in July, you can sharpen your fundraising skills at two sessions designed to help you make the most of your fundraisers. "Using Your Personal Story to Inspire Support for RESULTS" will tap into our RESULTS tradition of storytelling to explain why your guests should give time and money to RESULTS. This is a great skill for fundraisers, outreach and even lobbying! "Friend to Friend Fundraising" will focus on real-life examples of online fundraising and even show novice social media users how to use their Facebook and Twitter accounts for fundraising. Bring your ideas and enthusiasm to these sessions and meet other partners dedicated to raising resources to keep us strong.
Also, remember that donations made to RESULTS Educational Fund before July 14 will receive a match, up to $1,000 total, from the Utopia Fund. Make your donation today at: http://utopiafound.org/marianne-williamson-results-education-foundation
For questions about these fundraising efforts or to plan your own fundraiser in 2013, please contact Cindy Changyit Levin, Grassroots Development Associate, [email protected], (773) 236-7758 or Jen DeFranco, Fundraising Events Associate, [email protected], (773) 688-8707.
Join RESULTS Media Training Call Tonight. RESULTS volunteer leaders will be hosting their next Media Training Call on tonight at 8:00 pm ET. RESULTS has a goal of doubling out media successes in 2013. To help us reach this goal, this group meets monthly to coach and support volunteers in expanding their media impact. We welcome all who want to improve their media skills. To participate, dial (218) 862-1300 passcode 682494.
(See a complete calendar on the RESULTS website)
Upcoming Congressional Recesses: House and Senate: July 1-5. Request face-to-face meetings.
Tuesday, June 18: International Conference Tips Call, 8:00 pm ET (712) 432-3100, passcode 761262.
Tuesday, June 18: Media Training Call on June 18, 8:00 pm ET. (218) 862-1300 passcode 682494.
Tuesday, June 18: RESULTS U.S. Poverty Free Agents Call, 9:00 pm ET. (218) 486-1611, passcode RESULTS (7378587, plus #).
Friday, June 21: International Conference Tips Call, 1:00 pm ET (712) 432-3100, passcode 761262.
Wednesday, June 26: RESULTS Orange County (CA) Outreach Meeting, 7:00 pm PT. Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, 1100 S Center St, Santa Ana, CA. Facebook event page. For more details, contact Jos Linn at (515) 288-3622, [email protected].
Friday, June 28: RESULTS Introductory Call, 1:00 pm ET. Register for this or another Intro Call at www.tinyurl.com/RESULTSMeetandGreet/.
Saturday, July 13: RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Conference Call, 12:30 pm ET. Listen to previous conference calls online.
Wednesday, July 17: RESULTS Kansas City Outreach Meeting, 7:00 pm CT. Kansas CIty Public Library — Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St., KCMO. Facebook event page. 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. Please note that RESULTS Director of U.S. Poverty Campaigns Meredith Dodson is on maternity leave until Labor Day 2013.
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.