U.S. Poverty Weekly Update September 10, 2013

“If we do not lose heart, if we stand tall, if we stand together, and if we fight with every inch of our being, we can do this again [defeat the House cuts to SNAP]. We have to do it. I am counting on you and I promise you that you can count on me.”

– Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro on the September 2013 RESULTS National Conference Call

 

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

Latest from Washington, DC

Organizational Updates


Got Two Minutes? House to Vote on SNAP Bill Next Week – We Must Protect SNAP! 

Members of Congress are back in Washington this week and have a lot on their plate to deal with. The major concern for RESULTS is the impending vote in the House on a bill that would cut $40 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly Food Stamps). As Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-3) said on the September 2013 RESULTS National Conference Call this weekend, this bill would force 4-6 million off SNAP -- millions of Americans who cannot afford to lose these critical services.

Press reports from this afternoon indicate the House will vote on this package next week. With our coalition partners, we will organize a National Call-In Day and blast out an alert to forward with what to say, and update a printable call-in/e-mail flyer you can use for tabling. Until that time, start building the pressure to protect and strengthen SNAP by sending a quick e-mail to Congress today. The more they hear from constituents, the more they will think twice before attempting to gut this important program.

TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes to send an e-mail to your representative urging him/her to vote NO on the House SNAP bill coming up this month. Instead, tell them to work to protect and strengthen SNAP in any final Farm Bill or other legislation. Use our online House SNAP alert to send your message today. You can also send a letter to the editor calling on your representative and senators by name to protect and strengthen SNAP using our SNAP media alert.


Got Ten Minutes? Make Your List of September Action Targets (September Action)

As discussed on last Saturday’s national conference call, in the next two weeks the House will be voting on a bill to cut $40 billion from SNAP over the next ten years, forcing millions people off the program. Special conference call guest Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-3) went through the details of what these cuts would mean:

  • Cut to Categorical Eligibility = 2 million people off SNAP + 210,000 low-income children lose free meals at school
  • Cut to “Heat and Eat” programs = 850,000 households see benefits drop by an average of $90/month
  • Cut impacting able-bodied working adults without dependents (ADAWDs) = 2-4 million 18-50 year olds off SNAP (they earn an average $2,500 per year)
  • Imposes drug testing, as well as work requirements on all participants who can work; states can keep half the money saved for kicking people off SNAP

Rep. DeLauro also reminded us that these cuts come on top of an automatic cut to SNAP that will go into effect on November 1. This cut comes from the termination of the boost in benefits made under the 2009 Recovery Act (ARRA). This cut impacts every SNAP family (an average cut of $36/mo for a family of four). To make matters worse, she mentioned that Republican leaders are sending their members information portraying rampant “fraud, waste, and abuse” in SNAP to build support, despite the face the SNAP boasts a fraud rate of only one percent.

What this all means is that we need all the help we can in making sure this radical SNAP proposal is defeated. In addition to making calls, sending e-mails, doing meetings, etc. yourself, we need your help in getting more people involved. And if one thing RESULTS volunteers are good at it, it is motivating people to act. There are people you know who care about these issues and would be willing to take an action to protect hungry Americans. Now is the time to reach out to them and urge them to join your efforts to protect SNAP!

TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes to make a list of ten people you will ask to take action this month (not everyone will say yes, so you’ll want to have more than your goal). Our goal is for every volunteer to get at least five people to take action. On Saturday’s conference call, the 69 call participants committed to getting 543 to take action. Fantastic! Hopefully those who were not able to be on the call can add that number. Our September Action page will have tips to help you in engaging others to take action. We also have a printable call-in/e-mail flyer you can forward to others and distribute in your communities, which we will update as the National Call-In Day gets scheduled. It’s going to take a strong grassroots push to make this happen and with your advocacy and outreach, you can do it. We urge you to reach out to veterans, churches, senior groups, local businesses, and low-income clients and urge them to join your group in taking action, and especially engage those with real expertise – people living in poverty – to tell their stories.

RESULTS deeply appreciates Rep. DeLauro taking time out of her busy schedule to speak with us on this month’s conference call. Listen to a recording of the September conference call and see the slides for the call on our National Conference Calls page.


Got Twenty Minutes? Build RESULTS’s Network in Key Areas

As we reported last week, Zahara Heckscher has joined the RESULTS team as New England Organizer. Her initial focus is starting domestic RESULTS groups in New Hampshire and Maine. She is also gathering contact information for people and organizations in other New England states. Zahara needs your help – she’d love names and e-mail or phone number for any contacts you have in New England who might be interested in helping RESULTS, including:

  • Potential RESULTS volunteers
  • Friends or family who may not have time to volunteer, but have good network a New England state and could offer suggestions
  • Organizational contacts such as a a pastor at a Unitarian Church, a Rabbi involved in social justice work, a professor who likes to get students involved in activism, an executive director of a local service or advocacy organization.

Her first meetings in New England take place this month, so a quick response is appreciated – you can reach her at [email protected], or call her at (202) 489-8908. If you live in or near New Hampshire, please join Zahara at the University of NH to attend an event with Muhammad Yunus on September 30 at 10 am, with a RESULTS meeting to follow. Please email Zahara for details and register for the event here: https://www.events.unh.edu/RegistrationForm.pm?event_id=15159.

In the meantime, we are working to start other new groups in areas around the country. If you know people in the following places, invite them to participate:

  • Waterloo, IA on September 16. RESULTS Outreach Meeting, 7:00 – 8:30 pm CT. For details, contact Jos Linn ([email protected]).
  • Kansas City, MO on September 18. RESULTS Outreach Meeting, 6:15 – 7:45 pm CT. Kansas City Public Library – Waldo Branch, 201 E. 75th St, KCMO. For details, contact Jos Linn ([email protected]) and see our RESULTS KC Facebook Event page.
  • Albuquerque, NM on September 18. RESULTS Outreach Meeting. Contact Myrdin Thompson ([email protected]) for details.
  • Baltimore, MD on September 23. RESULTS Informational Call, 10:30am ET. (218) 486-1611, passcode 2883622#. This is a planning call to get a new group started in the Baltimore area. Contact Jos Linn ([email protected]) for details.
  • New Hampshire and Maine on September 28 – October 1. RESULTS informational meetings with coalition partners and those interested in RESULTS. Contact Zahara ([email protected]) for details
  • Lexington, KY on October 5. RESULTS Outreach Meeting. Contact Myrdin Thompson ([email protected]) for details.
  • In addition, we are training new RESULTS groups in Boston, MA, Burlington, VT, Orange County, CA, and Malibu, CA. If you know people in these or other areas, please contact Jos Linn at [email protected].

Have friends who might be interested in RESULTS in one of these areas or elsewhere? Invite them to an upcoming RESULTS Introductory Call on September 11 at 9:00 pm ET and September 27 at 1:00 pm ET. You can register for these or other Intro Calls at www.tinyurl.com/RESULTSMeetandGreet/.


New Data Shows Families Struggle to Put Food on the Table

Last week the USDA released their 2012 food insecurity data, which highlights the importance of protecting and strengthening SNAP given that millions of families are struggling to put food on the table. A few key statistics:

  • 17.6 million households were food insecure in 2012 (about 49 million people); this rate has remained fairly consistent since 2008
  • About 7 million of food insecure households had very low food security, meaning that people were skipping meals or taking other steps to reduce what they ate because they didn’t have enough resources
  • 21.6 percent of children lived in food insecure households, with about half of them experiencing food insecurity themselves
  • House SNAP bill could come up for a vote as soon as September 17; only need about 20 Republicans to vote NO to defeat it

Next Tuesday, September 17, the Census Bureau will release 2012 data about poverty, income, health insurance, housing, employment, and more. As Congress will be making big decisions around SNAP, Head Start, Early Head Start, and Child Care, and other important issues in September, this data will be invaluable in reminding them about the importance of protecting anti-poverty programs. This afternoon the Coalition on Human Needs hosted a webinar to understand recent trends in poverty data and what upcoming budget showdowns will mean. If you missed the webinar, you can access the slides online.


Upcoming Book Party Conference Call to Mark Release Reclaiming Our Democracy Offers Opportunity to Do Outreach and Fundraising

This month marks the 20th Anniversary release of Reclaiming Our Democracy (www.reclaimingourdemocracy.com) by RESULTS founder Sam Daley-Harris. This book chronicles Sam's story as an empowerment leader, organizer, passionate advocate, and the starter of an organization that has given everyday heroes over 30 years of opportunity to end needless suffering due to extreme poverty. RESULTS global poverty groups are celebrating who we are at RESULTS, and inviting others into our work by hosting a Reclaiming Our Democracy book party centered around a call with Sam Daley-Harris, Nobel Peace Prize Winner Muhammad Yunus, and RESULTS Executive Director Joanne Carter at 8 pm ET/5 pm PT on Saturday, September 21. Check out the guide to creating a book party, which includes the details on how to join the call and on how to purchase book copies. (There is an e-version of the book, too!). This brief call can serve as the centerpiece for your fun outreach book party. You can introduce new people to their own political power and build your group by showcasing the strength of RESULTS.

Need more information on this great outreach and fundraising dual opportunity? We have a sample script you can use for both outreach and fundraising to close out your gathering on September 21 for Sam Daley-Harris' book party conference call to celebrate the 20th anniversary re-release of Reclaiming Our Democracy. This script offers you a way to thank people for coming and button up the evening with an “ask” for folks to get engaged by taking action or donating to us. (Need donation envelopes? Contact Cindy Changyit Levin, Grassroots Development Associate.) Check out all the information on our blog, and take a listen to the September National Conference Call for inspiring information on the book roll-out from Sam himself! 


RESULTS Activity Calendar

(See a complete calendar on the RESULTS website)

Upcoming Congressional Recesses: House: September 23-27. Senate: October 14-18. Request face-to-face meetings.

Wednesday, September 11: RESULTS Introductory Call, 9:00 pm ET. Register for this or another Intro Call at www.tinyurl.com/RESULTSMeetandGreet/.

Monday, September 16. RESULTS Waterloo, IA Outreach Meeting, 7:00 – 8:30 pm CT. For details, contact Jos Linn ([email protected]).

Tuesday, September 17: RESULTS U.S. Poverty Free Agents Call, 9:00 pm ET. (218) 486-1611, passcode RESULTS (7378587, plus #).

Wednesday, September 18: RESULTS Kansas City Outreach Meeting, 6:15 pm CT. Waldo Library, 201 E 75th St, KCMO. For more details, contact Jos Linn at (515) 288-3622, [email protected]. See more on Facebook.

Tuesday, September 24: Deadline to submit nominations for the RESULTS/RESULTS Educational Fund (REF) Grassroots Board Member position. Grassroots Board Members serve for a term of three years, and represent the volunteer body on the Board of Directors and on the Executive Committee of the Board of RESULTS and REF. This is an important position and we are seeking nominations of RESULTS activists who would be strong candidates for this role. You can e-mail your nomination to [email protected] or fax to (202) 466-1397. 

Tuesday, September 24: RESULTS Chicago Outreach Meeting, 6:00 pm CT. Independence Park Library, 3548 W. Irving Park Road, Chicago, IL. For more details, contact Jos Linn at (515) 288-3622, [email protected]. See more on Facebook.

Saturday, September 28 – Tuesday, October 1: RESULTS New England Organizer in New Hampshire and Maine. Contact her at [email protected] to connect with her while she is there.

Saturday, October 5. RESULTS Lexington (KY) Outreach Meeting. Contact Myrdin Thompson ([email protected]) for details.

Saturday, October 12: RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Conference Call, 12:30 pm ET. Listen to previous conference calls online.


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.