U.S. Poverty Campaigns

Weekly Update | February 3, 2015

“Since the Republican party is the current majority in Congress, it gives citizens a chance to see if they are serious about doing something about [income inequality]. Extending the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit would show good faith.”

– RESULTS Snohomish (WA) volunteer Willie Dickerson in a February 2 letter to the editor in the Seattle Times

In This Week’s Update:

Quick Action: President Obama has sent his new budget to Congress urging them to protect SNAP, strengthen the EITC and CTC, and invest in early childhood education. Urge your members of Congress to follow his lead.

Request a Meeting Today!

Got Two Minutes? Make the Most of Nicholas Kristof Event (February Action)

We are less than two weeks away from the RESULTS webinar discussion with New York Times columnist and author Nicholas Kristof. This promises to be an inspiring event that can help you grow and strengthen your local RESULTS group. Mr. Kristof has written extensively on issues important to RESULTS, including income inequality, the racial wealth gap, and the importance of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). He is a leading voice for grassroots engagement and the need to create an inclusive economy that works for everyone. His relationship with RESULTS lends even more credibility to your already important work. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to introduce new people to RESULTS and get them involved.

TAKE ACTION: To two minutes to review the action steps in the February Action on making the most of the RESULTS Nicholas Kristof event on February 14 at 2:00 pm ET. These steps will help you create a good turnout for your event, have an inspiring experience during the event, and garner new members for your group. Also see our Nicholas Kristof Materials page for more guidance and resources to create a successful outreach event.

Submit Questions. Because of the number of expected participants for the webinar, we will be taking questions in written form for the event. We'll have details later on how to submit questions during the event itself but if you'd like to submit a question ahead of time, you can do so at: http://tinyurl.com/KristofQuestions.

Test your video equipment for the webinar! For the Kristof webinar, we will use Fuze meeting. To iron out any technical issues beforehand, you can test your video equipment with RESULTS staff. Go to the webinar page on February 11 at 8 pm ET, February 13 at Noon ET, or February 14 at Noon ET and hit the “Tune In” button to log into the Fuze meeting and test your equipment.

Got Ten Minutes? Invite People to the February 14 Kristof Event… And Then Follow Up (February Action)

In 2015, RESULTS staff and volunteer leaders are working to help our RESULTS groups become bigger, stronger, and healthier. One of the ways we will do this is to support you to get new people involved in your local groups. New people bring new energy, new ideas, and new perspectives that can make even the most successful groups better.

The RESULTS webinar with Nicholas Kristof on February 14 is a great opportunity for you and your group to do outreach. We’re providing you the agenda; all you need do is invite people to come. As RESULTS groups know very well, getting people to an event requires a personal invitation. A conversation, a phone call, or personal e-mail with a phone call follow-up is what makes the difference. It tells the person that you want that person to attend, not just any person. As with all the work RESULTS does, relationships matter. Flyers and generic social media posts can supplement your efforts but taking just a few minutes to make personal invitations for your local Kristof event will pay off.

TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes to personally invite people to attend your local viewing of the RESULTS webinar with Nicholas Kristof. Make a list of the people you want to come, reach out to them personally, tell them why you think they would enjoy the event, and invite them to come. Visit our Nicholas Kristof Event Materials page, which includes an outreach guide, a laser talk you can use for inviting, and full-page and half-page customizable flyers. Once you’ve done your invitations, follow up with the people you invited to see if they are coming. Confirmations will give you a good idea of the size of your event and how to plan.

Contact RESULTS Grassroots Manager for U.S. Poverty Campaigns Jos Linn for any coaching, advice, and materials you need for your outreach event at [email protected], (515) 288-3622. Also, encourage people you invite to watch the documentary series on A Path Appears (based on Kristof’s new book), which is currently airing on PBS, and then hear from him directly at our February 14 event. Check your local PBS listings for details.

Got Twenty Minutes? Check In on Your Meeting Requests; Use Meetings to Help with Outreach

Congress will take its first recess of the year starting next week (Feb. 12-22). The FY2016 budget process has now begun, making this an ideal and important time to talk to your members of Congress about creating economic mobility and preserving the social safety net. If you have already submitted your request, follow up to see what the status is. If you have not, put in your face-to-face meeting requests now for all your members of Congress. If you can’t get a meeting for the February recess, ask for a time the next time they are home.

Also, face-to-face meetings are a great outreach tool. At your local event for the February 14 Nicholas Kristof webinar, invite new people who come to attend your next face-to-face meeting. It is a great way to demonstrate the power of your local RESULTS group and inspire them to get involved.

TAKE ACTION: To twenty minutes to follow up on your requests for face-to-face meetings with your members of Congress. Call the schedulers to check on the status of your request and ask for a meeting during the February recess. As you request your meetings, if you are asked about what topics you want to discuss, tell schedulers that you want to discuss critical tax policies that foster economic mobility, including the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit, along with your concerns about the impact of cuts to SNAP as a part of the budget process or budget reconciliation. The January Action has information to help with your requests and you can use our updated online request letter to e-mail or fax your request in today. You can find scheduler names and contact information on the Elected Officials page of the RESULTS website. Once you confirm a lobby meeting, please contact Meredith Dodson ([email protected]) immediately to schedule a call to help you prepare.

President Obama Releases His 2016 Budget Proposal

President Obama released his FY2016 budget proposal yesterday. The plan includes a number of proposals to expand economic mobility in America. Some of his proposals impacting low-income Americans include protecting SNAP and making new investments in child nutrition programs, making the 2009 EITC and CTC improvements permanent, doubling the EITC for workers without children, expanding access to child care for 1.1 million children and enlarging the child care tax credit for working families, increasing funding for Head Start allow programs to operate for a full-day and year-round, raising the minimum wage, and helping unemployed workers with job search services and training. The President’s plan would also end automatic across-the-board cuts (sequestration), which is scheduled to start again next year, and make new investments in America’s infrastructure.

To pay for his new proposals, the President’s budget would limit tax deductions for the wealthy, closing tax loopholes on inherited wealth, imposing a new tax on corporations with overseas profits, impose a tax on the nation’s largest banks, and raise the tobacco tax. While some consider his proposal “dead on arrival” in Congress, the plan is bolder than the President’s previous budgets and makes much needed investments to improve the lives of low-income Americans. For a first glance analysis of the plan, see these pieces from our friends at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the National Priorities Project.

TAKE ACTION: Use media coverage of the President’s budget to urge Congress to protect and strengthen the EITC and CTC. Use our online media alert to send a letter to the editor today.

New Reports Highlight Financial Insecurity in America and How to Reduce Child Poverty

Last week, the Pew Charitable Trust and the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED) released new reports highlighting the precarious financial situations millions of Americans face. It confirms that while the economy continues to grow, millions of people are being left behind. For example, roughly 70 percent of households face serious savings, income or debt problems. In addition, 55 percent of Americans are “savings-limited,” which could be a huge problem for them in a financial emergency; if such an emergency occurred, 50 million Americans would not have enough assets to last for more than three months above the poverty line (liquid asset poverty). For additional resources, see CFED’s 2015 Assets and Opportunity Scorecard and a Liquid Asset Poverty calculator showing the liquid asset poverty rate for your state and city.

On a more positive note, the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) also released a new report that claims the United States could reduce child poverty by 60 percent. The plan calls for more investments in housing assistance, raising SNAP benefits, and expanding the EITC and CTC, among other things. The plan would cost $77 billion per year and benefit more than 43 million children, lifting 6.6 million of them out of poverty. For more details, read the plan itself or this summary from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Upcoming Events

(See a complete calendar on the RESULTS website)

Upcoming Congressional Recesses: House and Senate: February 14-22 (House recess goes through Feb. 23). Request face-to-face meetings.

Training Webinar: Moving New RESULTS Advocates Along the Ladder of Engagement, February 11, 9:00 pm ET. Join online at https://www.fuzemeeting.com/fuze/f2988286/27334410 or by phone at (201) 479-4595, Meeting ID: 27334410.

National Outreach Event with Nicholas Kristof, February 14 at 2:00 pm ET. Listen to previous conference calls online.

RESULTS U.S. Poverty Free Agents Call, February 17 at 1:00 pm and 8:00 pm ET. Join online at: http://fuze.me/27491886. Join by phone at (201) 479-4595, Meeting ID: 27491886.

RESULTS Introductory Call, February 18 at 9:00 pm ET. Register for the call on the RESULTS website.

Training Webinar: Advocacy 101 – How to Have an Effective District Lobby Meeting, February 17 at 9:00 pm ET and again February 18 at 1:00 pm ET. Join online at http://fuze.me/27334614 or by phone at (201) 479-4595, Meeting ID: 27334614.

RESULTS International Conference, July 18-21 at the Washington Court Hotel, Washington, DC. Register TODAY!

Find a list of the RESULTS U.S. Poverty staff with contact information on the RESULTS website.

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