U.S. Poverty Weekly Update May 14, 2013

The consequences suffered by our nation’s poor children are far scarier than delayed flights.

– Cindy Changyit Levin, RESULTS St. Louis volunteer, in a May 9 letter to the editor in the Washington Post

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

Latest from Washington, DC

Organizational Updates


Got Two Minutes? Call your Representatives TODAY about Protecting SNAP in the Farm Bill

Tomorrow at 10 am ET, the House Agriculture Committee will meet to finalize a new Farm Bill, which includes reauthorizing the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps). Unfortunately, the House bill cuts SNAP by $20 billion over ten years, which will impact millions of low-income Americans, including many children.

SNAP is our first line of defense against hunger in America. It primarily benefits children, seniors, and people with disabilities. Congress should not be asking America’s most vulnerable to shoulder the burden of deficit reduction.

The Senate Agriculture Committee met earlier today and passed the Farm Bill out of committee with $4.1 billion in SNAP cuts. See more details on our Recent Developments in Nutrition and Health Legislation page.

TAKE ACTION: Call you House offices today and urge them to protect SNAP by opposing cuts to it in the Farm Bill. Call (800) 826-3688 and ask to be connected to your House office. When connected, leave this message with the receptionist:

Message for Representatives: My name is __________________ from __________________ and I’m a RESULTS volunteer. I want Rep. ________________ to oppose cuts to SNAP in the Farm Bill. SNAP is the first line of defense against hunger in America. We should not be targeting children, seniors, and people with disabilities to shoulder the burden of budget cuts. Please urge Rep. ______________ to talk to House Agriculture Committee members TODAY and tell them to vote YES on amendments that protect SNAP benefits in the Farm Bill and vote NO on the House Farm Bill if it includes SNAP cuts.

For more information about SNAP and the Farm Bill, see the May 2013 RESULTS U.S. Poverty Action. You can also find out information about SNAP in your state with fact sheets from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

RESULTS thanks Bread for the World for sharing their toll free number for making calls.


Got Ten Minutes? Make a Bigger Impact on SNAP and Other Issues at the RESULTS International Conference

For the last several months, we’ve been urging you to register the upcoming 2013 RESULTS International Conference. We’ve highlighted great speakers who are attending, excellent policy sessions and advocacy training you’ll get, and the chance to interact with fun, exciting, enthusiastic people from all over the world. But the most important reason for coming is what your voice can do. Your voice makes a difference.

Imagine hundreds of advocates armed with stories, data, and passion marching up Capitol Hill in the searing July sun with one thing on their mind – make poverty history. It is an awe-inspiring sight. Now imagine you’re one of these people, meeting with your members of Congress and their staff, talking about the importance of SNAP to families in your community. Talking about the lifeline the Earned Income Tax Credit the Child Tax Credit  provide working families. Sharing the struggles low-income children and their families face as their local Head Start classroom closes. Only you can do that. Only your voice can share that unique story of why you’re there and why they should listen. You can be a part of this unique and empowering experience. Join us in DC this summer – our chorus of voices is not complete without you!

REGISTER TODAY for this year’s RESULTS International Conference!

TAKE ACTION: Take twenty minutes to register for the 2013 RESULTS International Conference. The end of poverty is within our grasp but we need people like you to close the gap. Join advocates from across the country and the globe this July 20-23 in Washington, DC and help make the end of poverty a reality.

See our International Conference section below for other important announcements about the conference.


Got Twenty Minutes? Rep. Lujan Grisham Reminds Us We Must Remain Vigilant in Protecting SNAP (May Action)

RESULTS greatly appreciates Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM-1) for speaking on the May 2013 RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Conference Call last Saturday. Congresswoman Lujan Grisham sits on the House Agriculture Committee. She overviewed the draft Farm Bill Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK-3) and Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-MN-7) released last week. It contains about $40 billion in program cuts, half of those cuts coming from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps). The majority of those cuts come from eliminating categorical eligibility (“Cat El”) and cutting state “Heat and Eat” programs (see details about these cuts below). Under the House plan, the Cat El cut would force nearly 2 million people off SNAP and deny 210,000 children access to free school meals. In addition, the House Heat and Eat cut would cut SNAP benefits for 1.7 million people by an average of $90 per month.

Congresswoman Lujan Grisham stated that she and others on the House Ag Committee would support amendments to the House bill restoring these planned cut, but she was no optimistic that they would pass. However, she noted that having as many no votes on the final bill would provide the Senate leverage to minimize any SNAP cuts in a final Farm Bill.

She urged us to stage a full court press. While the Farm Bill debate is far from over even after the House and Senate mark-ups this week, we need to be pushing lawmakers now to protect SNAP. If SNAP advocates are not engaged from the outset, that will only strengthen the hand of those who want to cut. Congresswoman Lujan Grisham ended the call reminding us that this is about children. Nearly half of all SNAP recipients are children and poor nutrition in children is linked to obesity and poor health later in life. SNAP can help avert those outcomes if and only if we protect SNAP benefits in the Farm Bill.

The Senate Agriculture Committee met today and quickly marked up its Farm Bill. It contains $4.1 billion in SNAP cuts to Heat and Eat programs. Amendments were offered to restore the SNAP cuts, as well as amendments to cut SNAP further, but they were either defeated or withdrawn before vote. It is expected that there will both good and bad SNAP amendments offered when the debate moves to the Senate floor later this month. For more details about the House and Senate SNAP cuts, see our Recent Developments in Nutrition and Health Care Legislation page.

TAKE ACTION: Take twenty minutes to initiate that “full court press” Congresswoman Lujan Grisham spoke of by calling your House agriculture aides about protecting SNAP. Ask them to weigh in with House Agriculture Committee members, urging committee members to support amendments that protect SNAP benefits and to vote NO on the final House Farm Bill if the SNAP cuts are not restored. The May Action has all the talking points and background information you’ll need for your calls. You can also view the May Laser Talk, which is a sample conversation with an agriculture aide. You can find the names of agriculture aides on the RESULTS Elected Officials page.

For Senators, call agriculture aides urging their bosses to support amendments on the Senate floor to restore the SNAP cuts in the Farm Bill.

If you cannot call today, send an e-mail or letter to the aide and follow up with a phone call later this week. You can use our House and Senate email alerts to contact them. You can keep up with the latest developments on our SNAP Campaign on our Recent Developments in Nutrition and Health Care Legislation page and our current U.S. Poverty Campaigns Summary.

RESULTS sincerely thanks Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham for speaking on the conference call last Saturday and for her leadership in helping Americans living in poverty. You can listen to a recording of the May conference call and download the conference call slides on the RESULTS conference call page.


Leverage Your Gift to RESULTS – giveBIG Tomorrow

Tell the world to giveBIG tomorrow, May 15! Don’t forget that for one day only – Wednesday, May 15 midnight-midnight (Pacific Time) – donations to RESULTS Educational Fund (REF) are stretched on “giveBIG” Day hosted by The Seattle Foundation. Your gift that day will be multiplied by a prorated portion of matching funds from foundations and sponsors. It’s easy! Just visit our official giveBIG site on May 15 and click "donate now!" Watch for our social media posts about it and forward them on. By donating, you could even win a “Golden Ticket” to receive an additional $1,000 donated to REF; a round-trip airline ticket donated to REF; and a $100 gift card for YOU to Starbucks!

Congratulations to all our Friends & Family Fundraisers! Thanks to dozens of volunteers fundraising nationwide, the Friends and Family campaign brought in over $15,000 to support our poverty-fighting work. We are thrilled to report that our volunteers inspired 117 new donors to give who had never donated to RESULTS before. Kudos to our contest winners who will each receive a free registration to the RESULTS International Conference! 

  • Winner #1: Teresa Rugg (Snohomish, WA) the most individual donors: 31 
  • Winner #2: Margaret Smith (Dallas, TX) for highest total raised: $2,431 

Thank you to all our fundraisers and donors. If you were not able to participate, but would like to do this type of fundraiser later in the year, please contact Cindy Levin at [email protected].


Important RESULTS International Conference Announcements

REAL Change Deadline Extended. We are pleased to announce that the deadline to apply for the RESULTS REAL Change Scholarship has been extended to June 10. This scholarship provides the opportunity for young RESULTS activists and potential new activists to attend the 2013 RESULTS International Conference for a fraction of the overall cost. Because of finals and graduations this month, we wanted to give young leaders a little extra time to take advantage of this unique opportunity. On last weekend’s national conference call, RESULTS Outreach and Advocacy Associate Carly Pildis overview helped us brainstorm ideas on how to enlist more young people to apply for the REAL Change Scholarship. See her blog post outlining her ideas, as well as last week’s update which includes a draft em8 8 8 8 ail you can send to someone inviting them to apply for REAL Change. If you or someone you know is 18-27 years old, please urge them to download and submit their application today.

Invite Members of Congress to Lobby Day Reception. At the end of our conference Lobby Day on July 23, we’ll again be hosting a reception on Capitol Hill. Prof. Muhammad Yunus will join as our special guest. We’d like to have as many members of Congress also attend as possible. We find that those invitations are best sent by constituents so, as in years past, we urge you to invite your representatives and senators to attend. And we’ve made it easy. We have a customizable invitation on the RESULTS International Conference page.

Submit Nominations for Cameron Duncan Media Award. It’s time to again submit your nominations for the 2013 Cameron Duncan Media Award. This award is given each year to a journalist who has demonstrated outstanding reporting on issues related to poverty and hunger. While there is no requirement for the journalist to accept the award in person, we will invite, and cover all costs, for the winner to attend our conference and receive the award in person. If you would like to nominate a journalist for the award, please submit two relevant clips from the past 12 months that demonstrate the journalist's dedication to our issues, along with a one to two paragraph nomination letter/email. Send nominations to Blair Hinderliter ([email protected]) by Friday, May 24. You can also contact Blair if you have any questions.

REGISTER TODAY for this year’s RESULTS International Conference!


RESULTS Outreach – New Group in Boston!

RESULTS is pleased to announce that RESULTS has started a new U.S. Poverty group in Boston, MA. Last Thursday, RESULTS New England Organizer Jenny Martin and a handful of local advocates met to discuss the importance of anti-poverty advocacy with RESULTS. In the end five people signed up for the new group, with the potential to add a few more members who could not make the meeting. The group will begin their “new group training” soon and it’s not too late for more people to get involved. If you know anyone in the Boston area, please contact Jenny at [email protected], (413) 772-9596. Congratulations to Jenny for her efforts and welcome Boston!

Jenny is also working on starting groups in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont in the coming months. If you know people in the areas, please let Jenny know so she can connect with them.

Also last week, RESULTS Southern Organizer Myrdin Thompson met with advocates in Memphis about starting a new RESULTS group. She got them hooked. The group wants to hold a RESULTS Outreach Meeting the week of June 10. Myrdin is also working on start groups in Cincinnati, Nashville, and Albuquerque. If you know anyone in these areas, please contact Myrdin at [email protected], (502) 295-1315.

Acting Director of U.S. Poverty Campaigns Jos Linn is working with advocates in Orange County, CA to start a new RESULTS group there as well. Jos will be hosting a RESULTS informational and planning call tomorrow night, May 15 at 7:30 pm PT. If you or someone you know would like to participate, dial (218) 486-1611, passcode 7837100#. Please contact Jos with questions at [email protected], (515) 288-3622.


Quick News

New Report Highlights Challenging Times for Pre-School Programs. According to a new report from the National Institute for Early Education Research, The State of Preschool 2012, funding for students in state pre-school programs dropped to the lowest level in a decade during the 2011-2012 school year. According to the report, of the 40 states offering pre-K programs, total funding decreased by more than $548 million. State pre-K funding has decreased by $442 per child, making it harder and harder for programs to provide the teaching and resources children need. Urge Congress to protect early learning services by funding Head Start and child care programs at the highest possible levels. Use our online early childhood alert to send your message today. You can keep up to date on what’s happening with Head Start and child care on our Recent Developments in Early Childhood Development Policies page.

Early Childhood Advocates Make Big Delivery to White House. Yesterday, early childhood advocates delivered 30,000 letters and pictures to President Obama in support of his new preschool expansion initiative. Thanks to everyone who sent a letter in in support of providing at risk children access to quality preschool programs such as Head Start, Early Head Start, and child care.


Announcements

Join the Media Training Call on May 21. RESULTS volunteer leaders will be hosting their next media training call on May 21 at 8:00 pm ET. Plan to join us for an excellent discussion, tips, and stimulating ideas for getting editorial writers to listen to you, finding the right person for an op-ed, or letting us know your latest success. We welcome all who want to improve their media skills. To participate in the call, dial (218) 862-1300, passcode 682494#.

RESULTS Free Agents Call on May 21. If you have no active RESULTS U.S. Poverty group in your area and would like support in taking action on our U.S. poverty issues, plan to join the next RESULTS U.S. Poverty Free Agents call next Tuesday, May 21 at 9:00 pm ET. To participate, dial (218) 486-1611, passcode RESULTS# (7378587#). Contact Jos at [email protected] for more information.

RESULTS Intro Call on May 31. If you or someone you know would like to learn more about RESULTS, invite them to attend one of our RESULTS Introductory Calls. The calls generally last 30-45 minutes and include a brief overview of RESULTS and how you can get involved. If you know someone who would be a great advocate for the end of poverty, invite them to register for the next call on Friday, May 31 at 1:00 pm ET. People can register for this or another upcoming Intro Call at www.tinyurl.com/RESULTSMeetandGreet/.


RESULTS Activity Calendar

(See a complete calendar on the RESULTS website)

Upcoming Congressional Recesses: House and Senate: May 27 – 31. Request face-to-face meetings.

Tuesday, May 21: RESULTS Media Training Call, 8:00 pm ET. (218) 862-1300, passcode 682494#.

Tuesday, May 21: RESULTS U.S. Poverty Free Agents Call, 9:00 pm ET. (218) 486-1611, passcode 7378587#.

Monday, May 27: Memorial Day. All RESULTS offices closed.

Friday, May 31: RESULTS Introductory Call, 1:00 pm ET. Register for this or another Intro Call at www.tinyurl.com/RESULTSMeetandGreet/.

Thursday, June 6: RESULTS Orange County (CA) outreach meeting (tentative). For more details, contact Jos Linn at (515) 288-3622, [email protected].

Saturday, June 8: 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, DC. Register today!


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:

  • Meredith Dodson, Director of U.S. Poverty Campaigns. Meredith is on maternity leave until Labor Day 2013.
  • Jos Linn, Acting Director of U.S. Poverty Campaigns, (515) 288-3622, [email protected]
  • Jenny Martin, U.S. Poverty Grassroots Organizer, New England, (413) 772-9596, [email protected]
  • Myrdin Thompson, U.S. Poverty Grassroots Organizer, South, (502) 295-1315, [email protected]
  • Ann Beltran, U.S. Poverty Volunteer Lobbyist, [email protected]
  • Cindy Changyit Levin, Grassroots Development Associate, (773) 236-7758, [email protected]

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.