U.S. Poverty Campaigns

Weekly Update | June 23, 2015

"As a single dad, the EITC saved my butt back in the day."

– Shuttle driver to RESULTS Director of U.S. Poverty Campaigns Meredith Dodson last weekend in Detroit

In This Week’s Update:

Quick Action: Call Congress TODAY about Child Nutrtion!

Take Action!

Got Two Minutes? Participate in Child Nutrition Reauthorization Day of Action TODAY

Today is Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR) Day of Action. Join RESULTS and other national anti-hunger organizations urging members of Congress to protect and strengthen federal child nutrition programs. Why is this important? In 2013, 9.9 percent of households with children were food insecure, that’s 3.8 million families. Only 1 in 6 low-income children who receive free or reduced lunch during the school year participate in the Summer Nutrition Program.

CNR provides an opportunity for Congress to protect and bolster child nutrition programs to close the gaps and ensure that children have year-round access to nutritious meals. RESULTS  supports a strong CNR but we must watch for efforts to cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in order to pay for child nutrition programs, as Congress did in 2010. During conversations with policymakers and their staff, voice support for these programs and let Congress know that you believe that child nutrition programs and SNAP should be protected and strengthened.

TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes to call your members of Congress and urge them to support a strong child nutrition reauthorization. Call your House and Senate offices toll-free at (888) 398-8702 and leave this message with the receptionist:

On September 30, the child nutrition bill will expire. As your constituent, I ask you to pass a strong child nutrition bill to protect and improve child nutrition programs so that our nation’s children have the proper nutrition they need to grow up healthy and succeed. Investments in child nutrition programs are important, but should not be done by cutting SNAP. I ask that you protect and strengthen child nutrition programs and SNAP as Congress works on the Child Nutrition Reauthorization.

For more information, see our child nutrition page. For additional messaging tips, see the child nutrition action page from our friends at the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC). Finally, RESULTS supports the inclusion of these bills in the 2015 CNR.

  • Summer Meals Act of 2015 (S.613, H.R. 1728), which would increase participation in the Summer Food Service Program.
  • Stop Child Summer Hunger Act of 2015 (S.1539, H.R. 2715), which would provide summer electronic benefit transfer cards (EBT) for families of children who qualify for free or reduced lunch.
  • Wise Investment in Our Children Act (WIC Act, H.R.2660), which would extend WIC eligibility up to age six.

Got Ten Minutes? Talk to Members of Congress during July 4 Recess

Congress will be on recess next week for the Independence Day holiday. This gives you a great opportunity to get the conversation started about tax fairness and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) before your meetings in DC next month and/or the August recess. You never know when you’ll get the chance to meet with your members of Congress in person so it’s important to take advantage of each opportunity you have. Even if you cannot get a sit-down meeting with them next week, candidates sometimes do public appearance around Independence Day, including local parades. Attend one of these events and remind your members of Congress that we are counting on them to do right by America’s low-income families.

TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes to contact your House and Senate schedulers to see if you can meet with your representative or senators during the July 4 recess next week. Also, ask if they are doing any public events next week, including local Independence Day parades. You can also check their congressional websites to see if they have any events listed there. You can find website links and contact information on our Elected Officials page. If they plan to be in a parade, here is a helpful tip: Go to the parade staging area or end point of the parade and look for legislators and candidates. Many times they are just waiting around and have time to talk. If you do get a meeting or plan to attend an event, please contact Meredith Dodson ([email protected]) to get coaching on what to discuss.

Got Twenty Minutes? Keep Urging Your Community to Write Letters (June Action)

For this week’s section about the June Action, we thought we’d share the recent share from the June 2015 RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Meeting by Ginnie Vogts of RESULTS Columbus on how best to get others in your community into action. Ginnie’s insights are right on the money:

As you know by now, our June Action is to collect letters from constituents about the benefits of the EITC and CTC to take them to our elected officials when we are in DC (for the RESULTS International Conference). Nothing is better than to be able to hand something from home to your Representative when you are in their territory. One time my daughter and I made booklets from a newspaper series on hunger and presented one to each office. We went through a lot of paper and scotch tape but it was fun and impressive.

Sometimes people are shy about asking folks to do something like write letters.  Rather than turn it into a big project you can try some of the following:

  1. Start with your group members who are not able to attend the International Conference (IC) this year. Ask them to write letters and get one or two other people to write as well. Use the sheet provided by RESULTS as a template.
  2. Go to familiar groups like your book club, social justice group at church, running friends, family, etc.  Explain that you are going to Washington, paying for your trip yourself, attending several days of trainings and workshops and trudging up to the Hill to lobby for fair tax policy. Offering to take their personal message directly to their member of Congress should be persuasive.
  3. Try setting up a table at your local Farmers' Market, Art Festival or 5K run. With the right props (paper, pens, background info, writing points, chairs, and writing surfaces plus some goodies) you should be able to generate some authentic letters.

What I have done is take the EITC/CTC sheet to my church's Justice Action Ministry meeting. When I gave my report on the upcoming IC trip I also passed out the sheets and asked the folks there to write letters. I will collect them at church or they will mail them to me. I will also accept emailed ones that I will print out. My colleagues seemed glad that I would personally deliver their letters. Once people understand how tax policy has played such a huge role in wealth inequality and ongoing poverty they really get fired up and you can provide them with an avenue for real advocacy.

TAKE ACTION: Take twenty minutes to take the June Action. Use Ginnie’s advice above and the June Action sheet to reach out to people in your community, asking them to tell their members of Congress to protect low-income children and working families. Ask them to write a letters to each of their members of Congress (if possible), urging them to make the EITC and CTC improvements permanent. Remind them that their letters are a powerful statement of support as you deliver them in person to your members of Congress. If you have questions or need coaching for your outreach for this action, please contact Jos Linn at [email protected]. Also, if you’d like to hear Ginnie’s share above, you can listen to a recording of the June Meeting, and download the shares and summary of the Meeting, on our National Conference Calls page.

Make Your RESULTS International Conference Experience Worthwhile by Preparing Now

We are now less than one month from the 2015 RESULTS International Conference. This promises to be a great conference with amazing guests, top-notch policy and advocacy sessions, and, of course, a meaningful and essential Advocacy Day where you make your voice heard in the halls of power. If you have not registered for this year’s conference, IT IS NOT TOO LATE. Remember, hundreds of people from around the world spend their own money and time to come to this conference each year. We want you to experience what they already know – it’s well worth it. Register for the Conference today!

For those of you who attending the conference, please make sure to schedule your “lobby prep” call. These calls are very important. If you’ve been to the conference before, you know that because it is such a unique and uplifting experience, it goes by fast and Advocacy Day (July 21) is upon you before you know it. Your lobby prep call will help you start preparing now, before you even leave for Washington. These calls are not only informative and help you get ready for your specific lobby meetings, they are also good for relieving any anxiety you may have about lobbying members of Congress (it’s easier than you think). If you have not set up a lobby prep call yet, please contact Jos Linn ([email protected]) today to get one scheduled.

Also, be sure to attend our Advocacy 101 Training and What to Expect at the International Conference tomorrow, June 24 at 9:00 pm ET. This webinar will provide you the basics of how to have a good lobby meeting and what to expect during our conference Advocacy Day in DC. You can join the webinar online at: https://www.fuze.me/28699630 or by phone at (201) 479-4595, passcode 28699630. We will repeat this webinar again at July 9 at 1 pm ET.

Another way to get ready for the conference is to read our new 2015 RESULTS U.S. Poverty Campaigns Background Packet (pdf), which will be available on the Conference Resources page later today. This great resource provides background information on our current U.S. Poverty Campaigns, along with data and stories, that will help you prepare for Advocacy Day at the conference and beyond. If you can, please read the packet before your lobby prep call. If you can’t, please read it before you get to the conference. Note: We will not print copies of the Handbook for each conference attendee. If you want a copy yourself, we urge you to print your own copy or download it to your mobile device.

Finally, you can use our Lobby Meeting Request to schedule your lobby meetings for Advocacy Day. If you need help with your requests, please contact Jos Linn at [email protected]. Also, as you schedule your lobby meetings, please be sure to fill out our 2015 Conference Lobby Meeting Form for each meeting your set up. This helps us keep track of all the meetings at the conference and coordinate staff help as needed.

Upcoming Events

Go to the RESULTS Events Calendar to see a full list of RESULTS events.

Take the RESULTS Grassroots Survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/MJYGK9B.

Next Congressional Recesses: House: June 29 – July 6, July 31 – September 8; Senate: June 29 – July 6, August 8 – September 8. Request face-to-face meetings.

Advocacy Training: Advocacy 101 Training and What to Expect at the International Conference, June 24 at 9:00 pm ET. Join online at: https://www.fuze.me/28699630 or by phone at (201) 479-4595, passcode 28699630. This webinar will also be repeated on July 9 at 1 pm ET.

RESULTS Introductory Call, June 26 at 1:00 pm ET. If you want to learn more about RESULTS, register for an upcoming Intro Call on the RESULTS website.

Independence Day Holiday, July 4. All RESULTS offices closed on July 3.

RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Meeting, July 11 at 12:30 pm ET. Listen to previous conference calls and meetings on our National Conference Calls page.

RESULTS U.S. Poverty Free Agents Call, July 14 at 1:00 pm and 8:00 pm ET. Join online at: http://fuze.me/27491886; or by phone at (201) 479-4595 and enter Meeting ID: 27491886. For more information, contact Jos Linn ([email protected]).

Attend the RESULTS International Conference, July 18-21. Join us for the RESULTS International Conference at the Washington Court Hotel in Washington, DC. This is the biggest event of the year for RESULTS. Register TODAY!

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

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