Global Grassroots Advocacy in the First Quarter of 2015: Wow!

April 2, 2015
by Ken Patterson

A Few of Your Accomplishments

March 31 ended the first quarter of 2015, and boy has it been an amazing quarter! I think it’s worth noting just a few of the highlights:

  • On January 27 you completed a successful campaign to get the Obama Administration to make a $1 billion, four-year pledge to Gavi. In the process you mobilized over one quarter of Congress on resolutions and sign on letters and created true bipartisan support for child vaccinations—30 Republicans either cosponsored the resolution or signed a letter to the President. You generated over 200 pieces of print media, including 10 editorials in January.
  • You took on appropriations with gusto, calling on your representatives and senators to submit appropriations requests on global health and education, and working on 7 sign on letters! In a short 3 months you did most of the work on securing unprecedented support for our programs and issues, garnering hundreds of requests and signers. The accomplishments on the letters are too many to list, but you can find a summary here.

A Couple of Stories from the First Quarter

There were so many individual stories of heroism and courage that made our first quarter victories possible that you could really make a movie out them. Here are just a few volunteers highlights to give you a sense of it all—think of it as a trailer for a movie that should be made.

  • In 2013 Carol Huston and Jacqueline Vaida of RESULTS New York City decided that the city should have a World TB Day walk. So they reached out to the city health department and other partners and pulled together a team of folks to put something together. One of the challenges, though, was that there was no budget. So our entrepreneurial RESULTS volunteers wrote a mini-grant proposal to help fund the first-ever World TB Day Walk in New York City. Flash ahead to 2015—there was a World TB Day Walk this year as well. Carol was on the organizing team, but did not lead it, nor did she request a mini-grant for it. It seems that the NY City Department of Health wanted to take more of a leadership role in this exciting event, so they dedicated budget and personnel to it, and led the effort. Carol and Jacqueline attended, and Carol made the “ask” during the event, but now the city owns the World TB Day Walk and has committed to keep it going for at least the next two years! Talk about moving people up the champion scale.
  • Paula Fitzgerald of the RESULTS San Diego group heard on a conference call that the Lions Club had donated $15 million to Gavi. A few days later she was standing in the express line at the supermarket behind a man with a very full cart. When he began to unload his cart, everyone behind him let out a collective sigh. Knowing it would take a while, Paula turned around and noticed the woman behind her was wearing a Lions Club badge. She introduced herself and talked about RESULTS and Gavi. The woman asked for Paula’s business card, and the next thing she knew she was a guest at a Lions Club meetings where she talked about RESULTS and engaged them in taking action. During the meeting Paula and her RESULTS colleague, Bruce Underhill, collected 12 signatures on an appropriations request on Gavi. They delivered the request and signatures to Representative Darrel Issa’s office later that day, and also sent to the DC office.
  • The Topeka, KS group finally got some traction in 2015 after some false starts in 2014, but the group was concerned that their representative, Lynne Jenkins, would never meet with them or take action on our issues. But they made a meeting request anyway and persisted in their follow up. They were surprised when the Representative agreed to meet with them. They spent time during the meeting informing Representative Jenkins about RESULTS and Gavi, and Representative Jenkins responded with true interest and a desire to act on child survival. Representative Jenkins’ name has not appeared as a cosponsor or signer on past RESULTS efforts, but after cosponsoring the Gavi resolution and signing the Maternal & Child Health appropriations letter, RESULTS Topeka is determined to make Representative Jenkins a regular, and eventually a leader.

We Are Growing!

I’ll close out this quarterly summary by letting you know that we are growing! Here is a note from our Global Expansion Manager, Amanda Beals:

At RESULTS we know that there are people out there, both in our existing RESULTS communities and new ones, waiting for the chance to contribute to the world in a meaningful way. I was one of those people, growing up in a small town of 400 people where one wouldn’t imagine a global poverty advocate would ever exist. Getting involved with RESULTS has helped connect me with the person who I want to be in the world. I'm sure most of you feel the same.

The RESULTS Global Expansion Team has been searching for new passionate advocates, waiting for their invitation to get involved, who will continue building our powerful community and help us create a world that we are proud to live in. 2015 is a crucial and exciting year, and we’re happy to report that we started off strong. Here are some of our accomplishments so far:

  • In January, RESULTS Phoenix transitioned from training into an official RESULTS group. Welcome, RESULTS Phoenix!
  • Please celebrate with us as we welcome our new groups in training: 
    • RESULTS Baton Rouge
    • RESULTS New Orleans
    • RESULTS Tucson
    • RESULTS Denver
    • RESULTS Des Moines

In addition, hot new leaders are working with RESULTS staff in the following areas to get new groups started over the next several months. If you know people in these areas, please reach out to them and tell them about the opportunity they have to make a difference through RESULTS, and connect them with Amanda Beals.

  • Huntsville, AL
  • Flagstaff, AZ
  • Memphis, TN
  • Nashville, TN
  • Boulder, CO
  • Oklahoma
  • Providence, RI
  • Appleton, WI
  • Wyoming
  • Fort Worth, TX

Let Us Know What You Are Doing

It’s important that we all know about your media, meetings with members of Congress, community outreach, and other RESULTS activities. Take a few minutes to report on your activities for the first quarter of 2015 here (you can always find these links in the weekly update):

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