U.S. Poverty Weekly Update April 12, 2016

“Yet poor, childless adults are the only group of Americans the federal tax code actually taxes into — or deeper into — poverty. That makes no sense.”

April 6 editorial in the Des Moines Register

In This Week’s Update:


Quick Action: Build on Recent Tax Victory – Urge Congress to Expand the EITC and Child Tax Credit

Take Action!

Got Two Minutes? Send RESULTS Editorial Packet to a Local Editorial Writer

As discussed on Saturday’s RESULTS National Webinar, there’s a lot at stake with the House Task Force on Poverty, Opportunity, and Upward Mobility and it’s important that our local media weigh in about the importance of a plan to end poverty in America by building on proven anti-poverty policies. House Speaker Paul Ryan and President Obama have both proposed to expand the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), a top priority for RESULTS, but unfortunately, in the past Speaker Ryan and others have also proposed drastic changes to other anti-poverty programs, notably SNAP (formerly Food Stamps). Let’s use local media to shape the Poverty Task Force and the broader conversation about poverty in America!  

TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes to send off RESULTS new Editorial Memo to local editorial writers (look up newspaper contact information on our website). You can tailor this sample email:

Dear [your editor’s name] –

Thanks so much for your great editorial on [XXXXXXX]. I’m a local volunteer with RESULTS, and I’m thrilled to see you taking on important poverty issues.

As you may have heard, House Speaker Paul Ryan just formed a new Congressional Task Force on Poverty. Right now the group is putting together their recommendations, which will have a huge impact on low-income people in [your state] – for better or for worse, depending on what they decide.

There are two big issues in play right now:

1)Making sure no American is taxed into poverty – as 7.5 million workers are today. Bipartisan proposals from Speaker Ryan and President Obama to address this – through expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit – would benefit [XXX,XXX] people here in [your state] alone. We can’t afford to miss the opportunity to put that change into law.

2)Protecting SNAP, formerly known as Food Stamps. SNAP helps [XXX,XXX] people in [your state] are able to put food on the table at night. Unfortunately Speaker Ryan and others have taken aim at SNAP in the past, proposing seemingly-innocuous policy changes that would in fact decimate the program, with consequences for families here and nationwide.

Right now is the key moment to influence the Poverty Task Force as they consider their recommendations. I know an editorial from [your paper] would make a big difference in Washington. Attached and online here you’ll find a full background memo on this, with policy details and additional data.

Do you think you might be able to take this issue on at some point soon on the editorial page?

Thanks for everything you do.

Of course, after you’ve sent that email, be ready to follow up – see below for more details.

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Got Ten Minutes? Pull Together the Information You Need to Make Your Case to the Media (April Action)

This month, we’re going to use the media shape the debate about poverty in America and possibly impact the Poverty Task Force’s recommendations. Because we need to paint a fuller picture of both the opportunities (like expanding the EITC) and challenges (dismantling SNAP and other anti-poverty programs – which could be cloaked in veiled language like “merged funding streams”), we are focused on generating op-eds and editorials. Want to understand why block grants or “merged funding streams” would be such a bad idea for SNAP? See our new blogpost.

We’d like to thank our National Webinar guest speaker Veronica Flores-Paniagua, editorial writer for the Houston Chronicle, for sharing her insights on how to pitch this story to local newspapers. If you missed Saturday’s webinar, be sure to check out the April 2016 Webinar Recording and Summary. As Veronica emphasized, having a powerful story with compelling information to back it up is key.

TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes to read through the April Action and Editorial Memo, and begin pulling together the information you need to pitch an editorial (use our new editorial memo as well) or draft an op-ed urging policymakers to make ending poverty a priority, highlighting the EITC and SNAP. Specifically have on hand:

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Got Twenty Minutes? Start Writing That Op-Ed!

One way to guarantee your op-ed won’t get published? Don’t submit it!

TAKE ACTION: Take twenty minutes to starting writing your op-ed. The April Action has talking points you can build on to create an outline. If you need help with your draft or someone to proofread your work, or if you'd like help requesting an editorial on these issues from your local paper, please contact Jos Linn ([email protected]) for assistance. As always, if and when you get published, send your published piece to your members of Congress and let Jos know so we can celebrate your success!

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What’s Stopping You from Registering for the RESULTS International Conference?

The RESULTS International Conference includes well-known speakers (including Barbara Ehrenreich, Tavis Smiley, Ambassador Tony Hall, and Dr. Paul Farmer), a panel of RESULTS inspiring Experts on Poverty, a panel on the wealth inequality and the racial wealth gap (including our latest confirmed speaker, Anne Price of the Closing the Racial Wealth Gap Initiative), hundreds of lobby meetings on Capitol Hill, and, we hope, you!  

TAKE ACTION: Register for the 2016 RESULTS International Conference if you haven’t already. If you’re an active RESULTS volunteer, it’s only $125 to register, as long as you do it before April 30. Need financial assistance? We have limited scholarship funds -- apply for financial assistance at www.tinyurl.com/RESULTSScholUS.

And, help us recruit the next generation of RESULTS leaders by sharing information about the RESULTS REAL Change Organizing and Advocacy Fellowship. This is a hands-on volunteer advocacy training program for young people between the ages of 18–30. During the year-long program, fellows learn how to work with the media, their communities, and policymakers to create change. All fellows receive a crash course in advocacy at the RESULTS International Conference and receive ongoing training on biweekly calls and hone their advocacy skills by taking actions ranging from writing letters to the editor to hosting events to calling their members of Congress. This is a great chance for young advocates (or advocates-to-be) to have the costs of coming to DC and deepening their skills throughout the year almost totally covered as we build a new diverse grassroots movement to end poverty. In particular, it would be great if to share with contacts in NC, GA, MS, LA, AL, WV, AR, OR, ID, or WI.

Interested applicants should complete the application form by April 30. For more information about the program, please visit www.results.org/realchange or contact Carly Pildis at [email protected]. Check out this profile of former REAL Change Fellow (and now member of RESULTS Experts on Poverty project) Tamara Bates for a dose of inspiration: http://www.results.org/blog/taking_a_chance_and_finding_results/.

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Quick News

Nominate a Volunteer for the RESULTS Board. RESULTS is looking for the next grassroots member for the RESULTS & RESULTS Educational Fund Grassroots Board. Grassroots Board Members play a vital role in RESULTS, representing you the volunteer on the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of the Boards of RESULTS/REF. We are seeking nominations of RESULTS activists for this role. We encourage participation from any active RESULTS volunteer including those from diverse populations including young adults and racial and ethnic minorities. Eligible candidates must have at least one year active experience as a RESULTS volunteer in the United States. Nominations of candidates for the open Grassroots Board Member position must reach the RESULTS office by Monday, May 2. Candidates can nominate themselves or be nominated by any active RESULTS grassroots member. Please e-mail your nomination to [email protected].

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Upcoming Events

Go to the RESULTS Events Calendar to see a full list of RESULTS events. Also, find a list of the RESULTS U.S. Poverty staff with contact information on the RESULTS website.

RESULTS Introductory Call, April 13, at 9:00 pm ET. If you want to learn more about RESULTS, register for an upcoming Intro Call on the RESULTS website.

RESULTS U.S. Poverty Free Agents Calls, April 21 at 1:00 pm and 8:00 pm ET. Join online at http://fuze.me/32256018 or by phone at: (201) 479-4595, Meeting ID: 32256018#.

Congressional Recesses: House and Senate: May 2 – 6. Request face-to-face meetings. After your meeting, please tell us how it went by filling out the RESULTS Lobby Report Form: www.tinyurl.com/RESLRF.

RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Webinar, May 14 at 12:30 pm ET. Join the meeting online at http://fuze.me/32255914; or by phone at (201) 479-4595, Meeting ID: 32255914#. Listen to previous webinars on our National Webinars page.

 2016 RESULTS International Conference, June 25-28, 2016 in Washington, DC. Register now at www.resultsconference.org!

If you have a question, comment or suggestion for the RESULTS/RESULTS Educational Fund Board, please e-mail them to RESULTS Grassroots Board Member Lydia Pendley at [email protected]. You can download RESULTS’ most recent Annual Report at: http://www.results.org/about/annual_report/.

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