U.S. Poverty Weekly Update May 15, 2012
New and Urgent in This Week's Update (Two-Ten-Twenty Actions)
Latest from Washington, DC
RESULTS is looking to expand in New England and we need your help. As announced last week, RESULTS has hired a new part-time grassroots organizer, Jenny Martin, to help start new groups and strengthen our presence in that area. She is already connecting with her contacts in that area and would love to connect with people you know in that area. RESULTS has always based our outreach on existing relationships, knowing that this is the best way to make strong connections. If you know people in Maine, Massachusetts, and Connecticut, please send their contact information to Jenny. She would welcome your help.
TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes to connect your friends, family, and colleagues in Maine, Massachusetts, and Connecticut with Jenny Martin as we look to expand our presence in New England. You can forward their contact information to her at [email protected]. If you have any questions, you can also reach her via phone at (413) 774-1707. If you have a few extra minutes, consider introducing your contacts in New England to Jenny via e-mail or making a call to them to let them know she will be in touch. Those small touches only help make these connections stronger.
Access to quality early childhood development programs is central to any effort in order to break the cycle of poverty. RESULTS focuses its U.S. education policy efforts on investments for young children, birth to age five. RESULTS supports Head Start and Early Head Start so as to give children a better chance to succeed in school and in life. We also support increasing access to affordable, quality child care so that parents may work while their children learn. The federal government plays a huge role in child care policy and funding, but child care isn’t front and center for too many members of Congress. They need you to help them learn more about importance of child care and know how urgently we need their action in support of child care for working families. To do this, RESULTS, the National Women’s Law Center, and the Early Care and Education Consortium have launched a new long-term campaign to "Put Child Care on the Map".
Members of Congress will be in their state and district offices many times in the coming months. Be a part of this campaign and put child care on the map in 2012 by:
TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes to start planning how you’ll put child care on the map for your member of Congress, and let us know what you’ve done so we can put it on our map! Also, plan to join us for a special campaign kickoff call on May 17 at 2:00 pm ET. You can register online for the conference call.
Write Letters to the Editor and Op-Eds Telling Congress to Get Its Priorities Straight (May Action)
Last weekend, RESULTS welcomed Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-3) to the May 2012 National Conference Call. As expected, Congresswoman was direct, passionate, and inspiring in urging RESULTS volunteers and others to make their voices heard in these challenging times for anti-poverty advocates.
Rep. DeLauro’s appearance was on the heels of the House vote last week to cut, child care assistance, the Child Tax Credit (CTC), Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and other services for millions of low-income children and families. The House passed this “reconciliation package” last Thursday, 218-199. The Senate is expected to vote on similar budget proposals and service cuts tomorrow (see below).
Rep. DeLauro also provided great examples of messaging by demonstrating that these proposals are about choices and priorities:
Rep. DeLauro was adamant that grassroots activists like you need to “overwhelm the system” by contacting legislators directly and through the media and social media expressing your displeasure at these proposals. If we don’t, these proposals start to look credible — rather than incredible — as budget negotiations proceed later this year.
Rep. DeLauro’s messaging is in perfect rhythm with our media action for May. Members of Congress and our communities need to be reminded that these budget proposals are choices. Congress is choosing to protect special interests at the expense of low-income, working families. When people see these stark differences, support for these reckless policies drops. Fortunately, RESULTS volunteers on Saturday’s call took up Congresswoman DeLauro’s challenge to overwhelm the system, pledging to submit at least 83 media pieces this month opposing the House budget. Let’s make it happen.
TAKE ACTION: Take twenty minutes and draft and submit a letter to the editor or to begin drafting an op-ed to your local paper. Be sure to personalize your letter and share personal stories and/or why you personally care about protecting low-income children and families. The May Action sheet has talking points you can use to help frame your letter or op-ed as a choice between narrow, moneyed interests... and the people. Also, be sure to download the PowerPoint presentation from Saturday’s conference; it has a wealth of resources to help you in writing your letters.
To find contact information for media outlets in your area, including telephone numbers and addresses, visit our Media Guide at http://capwiz.com/results/dbq/media/. In addition, see our Activist Toolkit pieces on writing a letter to the editor and generating an op-ed and send your published piece to your member of Congress.
Finally, we sincerely thank Congresswoman DeLauro for taking time out of her busy schedule to appear on this month’s call. She is an inspiration to advocates around the country and a true champion for low-income children and families. You can listen to a recording of May conference call on the RESULTS website.
As you know, RESULTS volunteers around the country typically meet in groups to take action each month. Yet there are people out there who regularly take action on our issues but have no local RESULTS group with which to connect. In sports, a free agent is someone valued for their skills and talents. Teams seek free agents because people know that they make a good team even better. We value RESULTS’ “free agents” the same way.
Last month, we created RESULTS Free Agents groups to bring individual activists from around the country together in a group-like setting to provide them the same support our local RESULTS groups get. It has been a hit with many activists already and we are looking to make it even better this month.
If you are a RESULTS “free agent,” we invite you to attend our RESULTS Free Agents group conference calls. We have two options available for you. If your interest is U.S. poverty issues, join our RESULTS Free Agents (U.S. Poverty) group call on TONIGHT, May 15 at 9 pm ET. Dial in at (218) 486-1611, passcode RESULTS# (7378587#). RSVPS are encouraged to Jos Linn at [email protected]lts.org.
We also have a global poverty focused Free Agents group, which meets next Monday, May 21, at 8 pm ET. Dial in at (218) 486-1611, passcode RESULTS# (7378587#). For more information about the global poverty group, contact Lisa Marchal at [email protected].
And don’t forget about our bi-monthly RESULTS Introductory Calls for new people wanting to learn more about RESULTS. The next RESULTS Intro call is this Friday, May 18 at 1:00 pm ET. To register for the call, go to http:tinyurl.com/RESULTSMeetandGreet. Also, our next RESULTS New Activist Orientation call is next Monday, May 21 at 9:00 pm ET. This series of calls is great for new activists in your group or people wanting to learn more about RESULTS. Even if you missed the first call, you are welcomed to join this call. To participate, dial (712) 432-3100, passcode 761262. To RSVP or more details, please contact Lisa Marchal ([email protected]).
House and Senate to Go on Recess — Contact Your Congressional Offices to Set Up Face-to-Face Meetings
Both the House and Senate will be going on recess in the next few weeks. House members will be on recess May 19-29 while senators will be home May 28 – June 1. This is a great opportunity to follow up on this month’s media action by meeting with legislators one-on-one urging them to reject recent attempts to balance the budget on the backs of low-income Americans. Use our Activist Toolkit for tips on requesting meetings. If you cannot get a meeting, ask if your members of Congress are holding any town hall meetings during the recess; if they are, plan to attend and ask a question. You can find schedulers’ names and contact info on our Elected Officials page.
The February Action has tips on scheduling a meeting, as well as talking points for each of our major issues. You can also use our online meeting request form. In your meetings, be sure to take our 2012 Request and Background sheets covering low-income tax credits, the Saver’s Bonus, and Head Start and child care. Once you get a meeting scheduled, please contact the RESULTS Domestic staff to help you and your group prepare for your meeting(s).
This week, the Senate will take up budget measures that could be even more devastating than the House Republican Budget passed in April and cuts passed last week. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) has offered a budget in the Senate that adopts many of the provisions from the House Republican Budget, including cutting Medicaid and SNAP and transforming them into block grants, cutting non-defense spending even deeper than the House, and ending Medicare as we know it by converting it into a voucher system. Sen. Toomey’s plan would also slash tax rates for wealthy Americans and corporations.
This plan, as well as several other reckless budget plans, are expected to be voted on in the Senate TOMORROW, May 16. It is time to send the same message to Senators as we have been telling the House — America is strong only when everyone has the opportunity to succeed. Cuts that enrich the wealthy and hamstring economic mobility of everyone else have no place here.
TAKE ACTION: Submit a letter to the editor to your local paper urging Congress to relegate these budget proposals to the dustbin of history where they belong. Use the May Action sheet or our online LTE action to submit your letters today.
In addition, use the Coalition on Human Needs’ online e-mail action to tell your senators to vote NO on any budget proposal that cuts services for low-income individuals and families and increases poverty. We need a budget that increases revenues fairly and makes responsible military cuts so we can protect low-income people and get our economy moving again.
Saver’s Bonus Works! New Reflections from $ave USA. To follow the success of $ave NYC’s matched tax-time savings accounts, the New York City Office of Financial Empowerment recently released a report reflecting on the first full year of the new $aveUSA program. In 2011, $aveNYC was expanded to include Tulsa, Newark, and San Antonio and renamed $aveUSA. While the report shares many lessons from the program’s implementation, the overall message is one of success. In those four cities, 1,664 accounts were pended, and almost three-fourths of participants maintained their account a full year, which was required for participants to receive a 50 percent match of the amount they saved. The New America Foundation summarizes the report’s findings and connects them to the proposed Saver’s Bonus policy.
Join NPP “Federal Budget 101” Webinar Next Week. Confused about the Federal Budget? Want a thorough overview of how the budget works and where the money goes? Our friends at the National Priorities Project (who will be also be joining us at this year’s RESULTS International Conference!) are hosting a Federal Budget 101 webinar. This 40-minute presentation will provide an overview of the budget, strengthen participants’ understanding of the community-level impact of the federal budget, and show how regular people can have a voice in the budgeting process. Learn more about how the federal budget works by signing up for this informative presentation. You can register for May 22 (11:00 am ET) or May 23 (3:00 pm ET) at the NPP website.
RESULTS Hunger Fellow Visits NC Head Start Site. To get a first hand look at a local Head Start and child care center, RESULTS Emerson Hunger Fellow Tavia Benjamin visited the Chapel Hill Training- Outreach Project (CHTOP) during a recent trip home to North Carolina. Currently, CHTOP operates the Orange County Head Start and Early Head Start program, as well as the Durham County Early Head Start program. During her visit, she learned how the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) helped their program add two new buildings to their child care center, (houses six Early Head Start classrooms and two Head Start classrooms), start an Early Head Start program in Durham County that serves 64 children, and increase Orange County enrollment by 50 children. Despite these successes, there is still work to be done; currently their Durham Early Head Start program has a waiting list of 445 children. To learn more about CHTOP, visit their website. Also be on the lookout for Tavia’s RESULTS Blog Post with more details about her visit.
As the weather gets warmer, think about spending a few days of your summer with us in DC at the RESULTS International Conference. Our conference (July 21-25) will not only offer fantastic advocacy training and a chance to lobby your representatives, but a chance to connect with other activists and remind yourself why you spend all year working on these issues. Whether you form new friendships by visiting preparing for an exciting Lobby Day, meeting new people the Global Village of the International AIDS Society Conference, or sharing a song at our annual Karaoke bash, come learn and have fun at this year’s International Conference!
The conference begins in just over two month. Here are some conference items you’ll want to pay attention to this week:
Thank you to all who participated in the Seattle Foundation's GiveBIG fundraising campaign by donating and urging others to donate to RESULTS Educational Fund (REF) on May 2. RESULTS Educational Fund received a total of $4,295 from 35 donors! These donors will have their dollars "stretched" by the foundation, which we hope will add 11 percent to the amount we raised. Thank you to Karen Gielen and the RESULTS Seattle group for finding this opportunity for us and helping us to pursue it.
(See a complete calendar on the RESULTS website)
Upcoming Congressional Recesses: House recess, May 19 – 29. Senate recess, May 28 – June 1. Request face-to-face meetings!
Tuesday, May 15: RESULTS Free Agents group (U.S. Poverty) call, 9:00 pm ET. (218) 486-1611, passcode RESULTS# (7378587#). For more information about the U.S. poverty group, contact Jos Linn at [email protected].
Thursday, May 17: “Put Child Care on the Map” conference call, 2:00 pm ET. Register here.
Monday, May 21: RESULTS Free Agents group (Global Poverty) call, 8:00 pm ET. (218) 486-1611, passcode RESULTS# (7378587#). For more information about the global poverty group, contact Lisa Marchal at [email protected].
Monday, May 21: RESULTS New Activist Orientation, 9:00 pm ET. To RSVP, contact Lisa Marchal. To call in, dial (712) 432-3100, passcode 761262. This is the second call in the series (you don’t need to have been on the first call to participate).
Saturday, June 9: RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Conference Call, 12:30 pm ET. Listen to previous conference calls online.
Friday, June 15: Last day to register for the RESULTS International Conference at the regular conference rate ($225). Fee increases to $300 after June 15.
Main Office: (p) (202) 783-7100, (f) (202) 783-2818, 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 Domestic 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 domestic campaigns.