“If not now, when?” A critical marker for the next four years
“If not now, when?”
A crowd of hundreds of advocates was gathered virtually on Feb. 6, 2021 for the RESULTS First 100 Days Campaign Kickoff event, and Loyce Pace, President of the Global Health Council, was speaking to the urgency of the moment. Advocates all around the country were preparing to meet with their members of Congress in their first 100 days in office.
Chairwoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) also spoke at the opening session, recalling when she was first elected to Congress in 1998. “RESULTS was probably the first organization to help me get my agenda together,” she said, reminding advocates just how much influence they can have on the new Congress in the coming months.
“The first hundred days will set a marker for the next four years,” said Lee. “RESULTS is such a great example of advocacy and the people’s lobby on Capitol Hill. Putting the marker down on our agenda with members of the House and Senate will be very helpful.”
That’s exactly what the RESULTS First 100 Days campaign is all about. As Pace said, “No one is going to do this by themselves. This is why we come together…We can’t be shy about asking for what we need and demanding what’s required.”
RESULTS advocates haven’t been shy. As Congress debates its next COVID package, each day RESULTS grassroots are meeting with a wave of new congressional offices. They’re pushing for an equitable global response to the pandemic, new housing relief, and a package of tax and anti-poverty policies that together would cut child poverty in the United States in half. And they’re setting a long term agenda on poverty, racial wealth inequality, tax, global education, nutrition, and more.
At the event, Dr. Joanne Carter also addressed the need for the targeted advocacy push to reach all 100 Senate offices and ¾ of the House of Representatives. “I truly believe in the 40-year history of RESULTS, we may never have had more consequential 100 days, or more consequential opportunity to meet with Congress, to build relationships, and to help ensure the bold action needed.”
Following a campaigns overview session were two lively concurrent sessions featuring Peter Sands and Dr. Namala Mkopi on global poverty issues, and Maureen Bowling, Tralonne Shorter, and Megan Curran on U.S. poverty issues. A common thread was strategies for an equitable pandemic response “that reaches everyone, everywhere,” as Peter Sands said. Tralonne Shorter addressed its clear intersection with racism and inequity: “As we battle two pandemics, the racial and the health, we have our work cut out for us.” And Dr. Mkopi challenged the audience to do their part: “We need to do advocacy more than ever before, like really serious advocacy to the ground level.”
In addition to powerful speakers, the Kickoff event featured a meet-and-greet session for connecting with fellow advocates. The attendees were split into virtual small groups and enjoyed getting to know each other through a series of engaging questions and open discussion. Several pets made appearances and there were even a few silent dance parties.
Hundreds of attendees stayed through the entire event from start to finish. The finale was an opportunity to clap and sing along with other advocates through the last half hour, an energizing live blues performance by B.E. Farrow.
Go here for more info on the First 100 Days Campaign. Check out session recordings and slide presentations from the Kickoff here.