U.S. Poverty Weekly Update October 23, 2012

As a country we do need to get to the root causes of poverty before we can end hunger.  In the meantime, however, we know that programs like SNAP are in place and doing exactly as they were designed to do!  Children have food to eat.  Expectant mothers receive needed nutrition.  Parents and marriages experience less stress.  Teachers have students more able to concentrate on learning.

—    RESULTS Lindsborg (KS) volunteers Kay and Vic Streufert letter to the editor in the Salina Journal (10/21/12)

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

Latest from Washington, DC

Organizational Updates


Got Two Minutes? Confirm the Location of Your Outreach Event (October Action)

We are less than three weeks from the November 10 conference call/outreach event with Barbara Ehrenreich. This is a good time to confirm the logistics of your meeting so that you can spend the next three weeks inviting people to attend.

TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes and confirm the location of your outreach meeting, be it on November 10 or another date. Contact the location host of your meeting to confirm the date and time, as well as any other details you’ll need for your meeting (speakerphone capability, food, anticipated turnout, etc). Once you have your location confirmed, start getting the word out. See the section below for tools and resources to help you.


Got Ten Minutes? Use RESULTS’ Resources to Get the Word Out About Your Outreach Event (October Action)

As we gear up for the November 10 conference call with Barbara Ehrenreich, we have materials to help you get the word out to people in your community and around the country. Remember, this is a national outreach event so not only invite those people who live near you to listen to the call with your local group, invite people in other parts of the country to participate as well. RESULTS staff can help get them connected to a group in their area or help them host the call themselves. Here are the resources we have to help spread the word:

Flyers. We have created a National Outreach Flyer that explains the purpose of the call. You can download a Word version of the flyer from the RESULTS website. You can edit is to include the time and location of your group’s outreach event on November 10 and a local contact. You can print off these flyers for distribution or include them in an e-mail. For the latter, be sure to imbed the flyer in your e-mail and include it as an attachment.

Facebook Event. For Facebook users, we have also created a Facebook Event page for the November 10 call through the RESULTS Facebook page. Please share this page with your friends on Facebook and invite them to attend. Also, we encourage you to create your own Facebook event for your local event including time, location, and contact information.

Sample E-mail. Here is language you can use for an e-mail inviting people to the event:

Dear ___,

How are you? I wanted to let you know about a very cool event our local RESULTS group is organizing in a few weeks. Our local RESULTS group is organizing a houseparty on Saturday, November 10, to participate in a national conference call with the author Barbara Ehrenreich. As you may know, Ehrenreich is an author, journalist, and activist who is very outspoken about the plight of low-income working Americans – you might have read her work in various magazines or read her best seller Nickel and Dimed, which recounts her going undercover as a low-wage worker in various cities.

Ehrenreich will talk to us about her past work and her new project, which is focused on raising awareness of poverty in the media. We’ll then discuss the importance of folks like you and me pushing our elected leaders to address poverty in America, especially with so much at stake for low-income families when Congress comes back after the elections. Our local RESULTS group is meeting from 12-2 on November 10 at ________________ and [attached is a flyer/see our Facebook event] for more details.

It would mean a lot to me if you could join us. What do you think?

Take care,

________

TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes to tailor a flyer, e-mail invitation, and Facebook Event to include information about your local outreach event on November 10. You can find the above resources and more on our National Outreach Event page. Also, please see the October Action for more helpful information in planning and executing a successful outreach event. Once you have your materials ready, send them out to your contacts and networks. You’ll want to get your invitations out this week, if at all possible, so you can do follow up calls next week. If you need any assistance with these resources or help with your inviting efforts, please contact the Jos Linn or Meredith Dodson on the RESULTS U.S. Poverty staff.

Note: The November 10 call will be a conference call you dial into as a group, just like our regular monthly calls. Please plan to have a speakerphone available so everyone at your event can hear. We will also have PowerPoint slides you can download and follow along during the call. We’re hoping to also include some kind of video feed so people can see Ms. Ehrenreich during the call, but nothing is confirmed as of yet. Once have all the logistics ironed out, we will provide all the information you need to fully participate in the call.


Got Twenty Minutes? Start Doing Follow-up Calls for Your Outreach Meeting (October Action)

Hopefully, by this time, you have already started reaching out to your friends, family, and community partners to invite them to your upcoming outreach event. If you have already spoken to people and gotten confirmation that they will attend, congratulations! That’s great. Be sure to send the an e-mail confirming their attendance with the date, time, and location included. Also, plan to do reminder calls to all your confirmed guests right before your event.

For those people for whom you did not get to speak to or perhaps sent an e-mail to, use this week to follow up with them personally to see if they got your invitation and to see if they plan to attend. Personal contacts are the key to any outreach strategy. Remember, your relationship with the person you invite is what makes the difference between a person merely being interested in RESULTS and a person being willing to come to an event about RESULTS.

Also, as you continue to think of people to invite to your event, be sure to include your members of Congress and their staff. This is great opportunity to educate them on our issues, especially in anticipation of the Lame Duck session after the election, as well as build a stronger connection to their offices. Even if your member of Congress cannot attend in person, invite aides from DC (if they happen to be in district at that time) and their local offices to attend. You can find contact information and DC aide names on our Elected Officials page.

TAKE ACTION: Take twenty minutes to follow up with invited guests (or to get started if you haven’t done so already) for your upcoming outreach meeting. See the October Action for tips on making your outreach meeting a great success. Also, don’t forget to review our outreach laser talk for talking points as you talk to people about your event. We also have helpful resources on our National Outreach Event page. Finally, please contact the RESULTS U.S. Poverty staff for any help you need planning your outreach meeting.


Talk to Members of Congress about Preserving Tax Credits for Working Families

Congress will return to Washington three weeks from today. When they get back, one of their first orders of business will be to decide what they are going to do about taxes and the deficit. Regardless of who wins the election, most experts agree that Congress will look to enact some kind of long-term deficit reduction plan in 2013. The framework for that plan could be mapped out in the Lame Duck session or in January when the new Congress gets sworn in. Regardless of when Congress addresses the issue, there is no doubt that congressional leadership is already making plans for what they will do.

Our job is to make sure any deficit reduction plan protects low-income Americans and does not increase poverty. This means that any reasonable plan must include new revenue. Tax cuts helped create the problem — the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 are the primary drivers of our current and projected budget deficits — so new revenue must be part of the solution. Unfortunately, many members of Congress are vehemently opposed to any new revenue unless it comes from cuts to low-income programs. As evidence, you only need look at the tax bill passed by the House in August. This bill would extend tax cuts for the wealthy but raise taxes on low-income working families by allowing improvements to the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) to expire.

The EITC and CTC are keeping millions of Americans, most of them children, out of poverty each year. Telling these families that they can no longer count on these credits so that we can give more tax cuts for the wealthy is unconscionable. A recent study by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities highlights the drastically different priorities. The paper provides a state-by-state impact of cutting the EITC and CTC, which would affect millions of working families across the country, versus cutting the federal estate tax, which only benefits the wealthiest 0.3 percent of estates, as the House bill does. As an example, if enacted, the largest 140 estates in Ohio would see a huge tax cut, while 498,000 working Ohio families (including nearly 1 million children) would see their EITC and CTC cut or disappear.

This is why our work is so important right now. Your members of Congress need to know that Americans won’t tolerate efforts that sacrifice the well-being of working families to finance tax cuts for the already very well-off. Some of you are already doing this. Last week, RESULTS Columbus volunteers met with Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH-12), who will be a key player on tax reform as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee. The Columbus group members expressed their support for making the EITC and CTC improvements permanent, as well as protecting these credits in deficit reduction efforts. Rep. Tiberi listened to their concerns, expressed support for protecting low-income working families, and showed some interest in our asset-building initiatives. Overall, they considered it a great meeting.

We need to multiply these types of interactions — either in face-to-face meetings or at public events — over the coming weeks and months. Let’s make the most of this time by talking to your representatives and senators about protecting tax credits for working families.

TAKE ACTION:  Request for face-to-face meetings with your representative and senators during the election recess. You can find a sample request on the RESULTS website or use our online request form. Be sure to follow up within a few days to confirm that your request was received and the status of it. Also, check candidate websites and call local offices to find out if they have any public appearances coming up. You can find contact information for Elected Officials as well as information on candidates on the RESULTS website. You can use and adapt our updated Tax Credit Laser Talk: Urge Congress to Protect Low-income Tax Credits and our  PowerPoint presentation on using public events to help you make the most of these events.

Once you get a meeting scheduled or if you plan to attend a public event to ask a question, please contact the RESULTS U.S. Poverty staff to help you plan your agenda and devise the best messaging to use in your meeting. Don’t have time this week to work on getting face-to-face with your member of Congress? Use our online alert to tell Congress to protect tax credits for low-income working families.


RESULTS Outreach – Upcoming Meetings and Trainings

RESULTS staff continues to do outreach to help expand our reach and impact. Here are a few events coming up — please forward this information to people you know in these areas:

  • October 24, Montana (statewide): RESULTS Senior Associate for U.S. Poverty Campaigns Jos Linn will be hosting an informational call about RESULTS for advocates in Montana tomorrow, October 24 at 8:00 pm MT. To participate, dial (218) 486-1611, passcode 2883622#. See and share about the call on Facebook or contact Jos ([email protected]) for more details.
  • October 24, Western MA: The new Western Massachusetts group continues their new group training with a RESULTS website tour. If you live in western MA (or know someone who does) and would like to get involved with this new group and participate in this training, contact RESULTS New England Organizer Jenny Martin at [email protected].
  • October 24-25, Lexington, VA: RESULTS staff members Meredith Dodson and Allyson Goldsmith will be doing presentations at Washington & Lee University in the hopes of starting a new RESULTS group on campus there. For more details, contact Meredith at [email protected].
  • November 8-9, Kansas: Jos Linn will also be traveling to Kansas in November for more outreach. He’ll help host an outreach meeting on November 8 in Salina KS with the RESULTS Salina group. He will then travel to Wichita on November 9 to do an advocacy presentation at the Kansas Head Start Association conference. For more details about these events, contact Jos.
  • November 9-10, Los Angeles, CA: RESULTS Director of Domestic Campaigns Meredith Dodson will be traveling to Los Angeles, CA to participate in Marianne Williamson’s SISTER GIANT conference. For more details about this event, contact Meredith.
  • December 2-4, Texas: Jos Linn will travel to Austin, TX on December 2 to participate in the local RESULTS Austin fundraising event. He will then travel to Dallas-Ft. Worth to do an advocacy presentation at the National Head Start Association’s Annual Parent Conference. For more details about these events, contact Jos.

Quick News

SAVE Letter Gets Another Push in Politico Op-Ed. Last week, we reported that the final letter to Congress from the SAVE for All campaign garnered 1,900 signatures from national, state, and local organizations, including many RESULTS groups, urging members of Congress to protect important programs like the Earned Income Tax CreditChild Tax CreditHead Startchild careSNAP, and Medicaid from proposed or automatic deficit reduction cuts. This effort got another boost this week. Debbie Weinstein, the Executive Director of the Coalition on Human Needs and long-time ally of RESULTS, published an op-ed in Politico yesterday summarizing the letter and the importance of creating shared prosperity for all. Politico is a daily newspaper in Washington that is closely watched by congressional offices. If you haven’t already, forward the SAVE for All campaign letter and Debbie’s op-ed to your congressional offices reminding them of the broad support in their communities for a balanced approach to deficit reduction that does not increase poverty. See last week’s update for a brief paragraph you can include in your e-mail to congressional aides.


Fundraising News

Congratulations to the Detroit RESULTS partners who hosted a successful event with RESULTS board member Marianne Williamson and raised over $13,000! The partners spoke powerfully about their experiences and introduced our organization to a crowd of approximately 400 people in a room filled to capacity. Marianne spoke about "Consciousness and Activism" and gave everyone a preview of her upcoming SISTER GIANT event to be held in California in November. Thank you, RESULTS Detroit area groups, for your hard work.

We also wish Godspeed to RESULTS Grassroots Development Associate Cindy Levin as she journeys to Uganda today for [email protected]. She will be there for a week. You can follow Cindy’s journeys on her Anti-Poverty Blog at: http://endpoverty-ccyl.blogspot.com/. Have a safe and wonderful trip, Cindy, and we look forward to hearing about your amazing experience when you return!


RESULTS Activity Calendar

(See a complete calendar on the RESULTS website)

Congressional Recesses: House and Senate: September 21 – November 12. Request face-to-face meetings.

Wednesday, October 24: RESULTS Montana Informational Call, 8:00 pm MT. (218) 486-1611, passcode 2883622#. For more details, please contact Jos Linn at [email protected]. See event details on Facebook.

Wednesday, October 24: RESULTS New Activist Orientation, 9:00 pm ET. (712) 432-3100, passcode 761262. RSVP to Lisa Marchal at [email protected]. (this is the second of two calls in the series; the first call was October 10).

Tuesday, November 6: Election Day.

Saturday, November 10: RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Conference Call and Outreach Event with Barbara Ehrenreich, 12:30 pm ET. See more about this event on our National Outreach Event page.

Tuesday, November 13: Congress begins Lame Duck session in Washington, DC.

Wednesday, November 14: RESULTS Introductory Call, 9:00 pm ET. (712) 432-3100, passcode 761262. RSVP for the call.

Tuesday, November 13: 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]. (NOTE: Because of the holidays, this call will be on the second Tuesday of the month in November and December)

Thursday and Friday, November 22 and 23: All RESULTS offices closed for the Thanksgiving holiday.


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 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.