U.S. Poverty Weekly Update September 17, 2013

 How does it make this country a better place to reduce food security for millions of Americans, including children, the elderly and disabled?

September 17 editorial in the Des Moines Register (RESULTS Des Moines volunteers worked to get this published)

It is immoral to attempt to balance the federal budget on the backs of the poor; it also hurts the whole economy.

– Paul Rack, RESULTS Bernardsville (NJ) volunteer, in a September 12 letter to the editor in the Newark Star-Ledger

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

Latest from Washington, DC

Organizational Updates


Got Two Minutes? Call Your Representative TODAY – Vote NO on the House SNAP Bill! 

This is the week. As we’ve been talking about for weeks now, the House is expected to vote on Thursday to cut $40 billion over the next ten years from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps). These cuts would have a terrible impact on seniors, children, the unemployed, and working families. Therefore, this is the week when members of the House of Representatives will vote to kick millions off SNAP or the week in which sanity prevails in Congress. It’s up to us to tell them which path to choose. Advocates from around the country are flooding Congress with calls TODAY, urging House members to vote NO on the House SNAP bill. Make sure you’re one of them.

TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes to call your representative’s office today and urge him/her to vote NO on the House SNAP bill. Use the toll free number (866) 456-8824. Once connected to your representative’s office, leave this message with the receptionist:

My name is ______________ and I am a constituent calling from ________________. I am calling about the House bill that would cut SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, by $40 billion. When nearly 50 million Americans are food insecure, I find it unconscionable that Congress would make the problem worse by forcing nearly 4-6 million people off SNAP and denying 210,000 children access to free meals at school. This is fundamentally wrong. Please tell Rep. _________________ to vote NO on the House SNAP bill and instead work to end hunger in America by protecting and strengthening SNAP in any final Farm Bill or other legislation. Will you please give him/her that message today?

You can use our call-in alert to help with your calls and to give us feedback on how they went. If you cannot get through, call back in a few minutes. If you get a constant busy signal, call and leave a message at the local office (find local contact info on the RESULTS Elected Officials page). Once you’ve called, amplify your message by also sending an e-mail about protecting SNAP using our online e-mail alert.

Thank you to Feeding America for providing the toll-free call-in number.


Got Ten Minutes? Urge Others to Take Action NOW to Protect SNAP (September Action)

For the last few weeks, we’ve been urging you to prepare your friends, family, colleagues, local action networks, and coalition partners to take action to protect SNAP. Now it’s time to act. The House is expected to vote Thursday on its radical bill to force 4-6 million off the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps).

With this vote, numbers are the s name of the game. We need to flood Congress with calls today and tomorrow – the more calls, the more pressure members will feel pressured to oppose this egregious bill. And make no mistake; this will be close. Opponents of SNAP are mobilizing to ram the cuts through and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA-7) is personally shepherding this bill through the House. Therefore, our actions this week are essential. Hopefully, you’ve already identified people who would be willing to call along with you today. Contact them now and ask them to call today so we can send a clear message to the House – stop playing politics with hunger!

TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes to engage your networks to call representatives today to vote NO on the House SNAP bill. The September Action has helpful information to help you make it easy and effective for people to take action. Here are just a few tips:

  • Call your list of action partners directly and tell them to call today.
  • Give them the toll-free call-in number (866) 456-8824 to use for calls.
  • Forward people the RESULTS action alert you received this morning, send them the talking points in the Two Minute section above, or send them the link to our call-in alert.
  • Follow up with a call or e-mail this afternoon to see how the calls went. This is a good reminder in case people forget to call as well as a good way to get important information about what offices are saying.
  • Use Social Media to spread the word. Post a short message on Facebook or Twitter like, “I’m outraged that Congress wants to cut SNAP (Food Stamps) for 4-6 million Americans. Join me in taking action: http://tinyurl.com/SNAPalert.”

We also have an updated printable call-in/e-mail flyer you can forward to others and distribute in your communities. Thank you all for your dedication to protecting hungry individuals and families. Good luck with generating your calls and please let us know how it’s going.


Got Twenty Minutes? Urge People in Key States to Take Action on SNAP (September Action)

In addition to the local folks you’ve engaged to take action this week to protect SNAP, being strategic in our outreach to others can increase our effectiveness during the House vote this week. Most insiders expect all Democrats in the House to vote NO on the SNAP bill. That means we need less than 20 Republicans to join them in opposing this bill. Regardless of how the vote turns out, let’s make sure we can look back and say did everything we could to defeat this bill.

In the Take Action section below, we have listed a number of Republican representatives that could use calls. We don’t know for sure where they stand on the bill so if they hear from constituents, it could sway them the right way. If you or people you know live in these districts or states, please urge them to call these offices TODAY. Even one phone call can make a difference.

TAKE ACTION: Take twenty minutes to get out your address book, open up your contacts list, and peruse your Facebook friends to see if you know anyone in the states listed below. Send a message to your friends urging them to call the representative(s) listed in that state to tell them to vote NO on the House SNAP bill. The September Action has tips to help with reaching out to others to call. Here’s an example of a message you can send:

Dear friend, Congress is about to vote on a bill that would increase hunger in America. A plan in the House to cut SNAP (the new name for food stamps) would force 4-6 million off the program, deny low-income children free school lunches, and cut benefits for seniors struggling with high heating bills this winter. Rep. _________________ from your state could be a deciding vote on this bill. Would you take a few minutes to call his/her office today urging him/her to vote NO on the House SNAP bill? Here is the number you can use to call: (866) 456-8824.

That’s all it takes. A few minutes work can make a big difference. This is going to be a close vote so the more calls we generate, especially in these areas listed below, the better chance we have at defeating this bill and protecting Americans living in hunger. Below are the Republican offices to call (listed by state):

Alaska

Don Young

Alabama

Bachus, Mike D. Rogers

California

Calvery, Denham, McKeon, Valadao

Florida

Diaz-Balart, Ros-Lehtinen, Webster

Iowa

Latham

Idaho

Simpson

Illinois

Schock, Kinzinger

Indiana

Walorski

Louisiana

Alexander, Boustany

Michigan

Benishek, Mike Rogers

Minnesota

Kline

Mississippi

Harper

North Dakota

Cramer

Nebraska

Fortenberry

Nevada

Heck

New Jersey

Frelinghuysen, Lance, LoBiondo, Runyan, Chris Smith

New Mexico

Pearce

New York

Chris Collins, Gibson, Grimm, Hanna, Peter King, Reed (NY)

Ohio

Joyce, Stivers, Tiberi, Turner

Oklahoma

Lankford, Lucas, Tom Cole

Pennsylvania

Dent, Fitzpatrick, Gerlach, Kelly, Meehan, Murphy, Rothfus, Thompson

South Dakota

Noem

Texas

Carter, Conaway

Virginia

Wolf

Washington

Reichert

West Virginia

Capito


Census Data Makes Case for Protecting SNAP and Other Poverty Reduction Policies

Today, the U.S. Census released poverty data for 2012 and as expected, it clearly makes the case for protecting anti-poverty programs. The data shows that in 2012, 46.5 million Americans were living in poverty (15.0 percent). This is essentially unchanged from 2011, but still 2.5 percent higher than before the Great Recession. 16.5 million children were living in poverty in 2012 (21.8 percent; 24.4 percent for children under 6), again not a statistically significant difference from 2011. However, nearly half of all related children in female-headed households were living in poverty (47.2 percent).

In addition, median income rose by a paltry $17 in 2012 to $51,017, compared to 2011. Also, the number of people without health insurance decreased from 15.7 percent in 2011 to 15.4 percent in 2012, but the number (48 million) was not a statistically significant change. We’ll have more about the poverty data release in the coming weeks (including where to find local data) but what this tells us is that we cannot be cutting programs like SNAP; programs that are keeping poverty rate down as this chart clearly shows. We need to be doing more, not less, to invest in services that lift and keep people out of poverty.

TAKE ACTION: Use the release of the 2012 Census poverty data as a hook for a powerful letter to the editor to your local paper. Highlight that the poverty data shows that we need to be doing more to address poverty in the U.S. and that we should not be cutting programs like SNAP when 46 million Americans are still struggling to make ends meet. Use our online LTE alert to draft and submit a powerful letter today.


Attend RESULTS Outreach Meetings in Kansas City and Albuquerque Tomorrow; Baltimore, Chicago, Lexington, and New England in the Coming Weeks

RESULTS’ efforts to grow our volunteer network are in full gear this month. Just last night, RESULTS Senior Associate for U.S. Poverty Campaigns Jos Linn met with a community group in Waterloo, IA about our work. The result? We now have a new U.S. Poverty group in northeast Iowa! The group will begin its new group training in early October. Welcome, Waterloo!

Jos will be traveling to Kansas City tomorrow for another RESULTS outreach meeting. He’s been working with two of our recent REAL Change advocates from this year’s International Conference to get something going in KC. If you know anyone in the Kansas City area, please invite them to attend. The meeting is tomorrow, September 18, 6:15 – 7:45 pm CT at the Kansas City Public Library – Waldo Branch, 201 E. 75th St, KCMO. For details, please contact Jos ([email protected]) and see our RESULTS KC Facebook Event page.

Also tomorrow, Myrdin Thompson will be in Albuquerque, NM for an outreach meeting there. She has been with the local Circles USA group, some of whom attended this year’s RESULTS conference in DC, to start a new group. The meeting is tomorrow, September 18, 6:15 – 7:30 pm MT (pot-luck at 5:30 pm) at Grace Church, 6901 San Antonio Dr. NE, Albuquerque, NM. For details, please contact Myrdin Thompson ([email protected]).

In addition, New England Organizer is working to start new RESULKTS groups in Maine and New Hampshire. She’ll be in New Hampshire on September 30 for an event with Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus (register for the event at: https://www.events.unh.edu/RegistrationForm.pm?event_id=15159). 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. If you know people in New England, contact Zahara at [email protected]  or (202) 489-8908.

Here are some other events coming up. Invite people you know to attend:

  • Baltimore, MD on September 23. RESULTS Informational Call, 10:30 am 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.
  • Chicago, IL on September 24. RESULTS Outreach Meeting, 6:00 – 7:30 pm CT. Independence Park Library, 3548 W. Irving Park Road, Chicago, IL. Learn what RESULTS volunteers in Chicago are doing to end poverty. Contact Jos for more details ([email protected]) and see our RESULTS Chicago Facebook Event.
  • Lexington, KY on October 5. RESULTS Outreach Meeting. Join Myrdin Thompson in helping establish a strong RESULTS presence in central Kentucky. Contact Myrdin for details ([email protected]).
  • Reclaiming Our Democracy events throughout the fall. As part of the 20th Anniversary release of his book Reclaiming Our Democracy, RESULTS founder Sam Daley-Harris will be doing events all over the country this fall to inspire Americans to reclaim their democracy. You can find out more, including event dates and locations at www.reclaimingourdemocracy.com. See our Outreach Update from last week for additional resources for these events.

Join RESULTS Free Agents Call Tonight at 9 pm ET

The RESULTS U.S. Poverty Free Agents group will be meeting this evening for their monthly call. Free Agents are advocates who want support in taking action on RESULTS poverty issues but live in areas where there is no existing RESULTS U.S. Poverty group. These calls are always inspiring and lively discussions. If you are not connected to RESULTS group and would like to be part of a community of advocates in action, please join us. The call is tonight, September 17 at 9:00 pm ET. To join the call, (218) 486-1611, passcode RESULTS (7378587 plus the # sign).

Also, our next RESULTS Introductory Call will be Friday, September 27 at 1:00 pm ET. These 30-45 calls include are a great way to get to know RESULTS and our work a little better. You’ll also learn how you can get involved with our work. If you know someone who cares about ending poverty or wants to use their voice for change, invite him/her to attend. People can register for an upcoming call (we do them twice per month) at www.tinyurl.com/RESULTSMeetandGreet/.


Quick News

Advocates to Play “Chutes and Ladders” for Early Learning. Tomorrow, early childhood advocates including RESULTS Director of US Poverty Campaigns Meredith Dodson and her four-month-old daughter Iris will play a giant game of Chutes and Ladders on Capitol Hill.  The Strong Start for Children Campaign and MomsRising have invited members of Congress to join kids and families in the game, and then advocates will deliver storybooks that represent all 50 states to every Senate office about the importance of high-quality early learning.  If you have time, we urge you to reinforce their message by calling your senators and urging them to But more about that later. First, we need you to call your Senators and urge them to support increased federal investments in early learning and/or use our e-mail alert to send a message to Congress.


RESULTS Fundraising Update

Know anyone who loves Lord of the Rings and likes to run or walk? We have a fun new virtual run fundraiser going right now for donors to support RESULTS Educational Fund by running/walking at their convenience and earning medals inspired by the villains of the Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit. Please share the site with anyone you think might be interested! Registration is open now through October 31. See our registration website for more details: LOTR Virtual Villains Challenge.

Also, please recycle or discard any RESULTS donation envelopes you may have with a "Uniondale, NY" or "1730 Rhode Island Ave" address. We are printing new donation envelopes for your events with our new address. If you need envelopes for an upcoming event, please contact your event coach Jen DeFranco ([email protected]) or Cindy Levin ([email protected]


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.

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.

Wednesday, September 18: RESULTS Albuquerque Outreach Meeting, 6:15 – 7:30 pm MT (pot-luck at 5:30 pm) at Grace Church, 6901 San Antonio Dr. NE, Albuquerque, NM. Contact Myrdin Thompson ([email protected]) for details.

Tuesday, September 24: Deadline to submit nominations for the RESULTS/RESULTS Educational Fund (REF) Grassroots Board Member position. 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.

Friday, September 27: RESULTS Intro Call, 1:00 pm ET. Register for this or another upcoming call at www.tinyurl.com/RESULTSMeetandGreet/.

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.