Kicking off 2024 with our Community of Change
As we enter 2024, we face both unprecedented challenges and crucial opportunities. RESULTS’ community of change is already taking action to surmount the former and take advantage of the latter.
The context: climate disasters, conflicts and refugees, food insecurity, and more are rightfully demanding attention and resources from policymakers around the world. But this focus on immediate crises often means that ongoing yet “silent” crises get overlooked. We know that the groups that are most impacted are those negotiating poverty: the babies who die needlessly from acute malnutrition, the toddlers who don’t receive lifesaving vaccines, and the children who suffer lifelong setbacks because they don’t have a stable place to live or learn.
Already the U.S. foreign affairs budget is under the biggest threat it has faced in many years, as are crucial nutrition programs relied on by millions of Americans struggling to make ends meet. We have to make sure the urgent doesn’t constantly override what is also vitally important: securing the basic human rights of nutrition, health, housing, and education.
Doing so depends on the deep, bipartisan support of members of Congress, which we will work to mobilize throughout this presidential year. Starting with our just-launched Community of Change campaign, which is designed to expand our community of anti-poverty champions, and through the November election, we will invite more friends, neighbors, decision-makers, and legislators to raise their voices courageously and effectively for policies that fight poverty and inequity. And we will do what RESULTS advocates have demonstrated time and again to be our superpower: generating bipartisan support for bold commitments, ambitious annual funding, and increased equity and impact.
Here’s a round-up of what we’re raising our voices for in 2024.
Global health, nutrition, and education
Our focus remains steadfast on areas we know could dramatically reduce poverty and save lives: education, nutrition, vaccines, and the fight against infectious diseases. In the first half of the year, we’ll call on members to show broad, bipartisan support for bold funding increases to those areas in the annual appropriations process.
In addition, over the course of 2024 and early 2025, world leaders will have the opportunity to pledge new funding for key global initiatives: Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and the Nutrition for Growth Summit. We’ll build on the support we have generated for these in the past by growing the community calling for the U.S. government to make specific, bold pledges and to ensure greater equity and impact with how the funding is used. That community includes constituents across the country and members of Congress who hold the power to demand action from the Biden Administration and to ensure follow-through by the U.S. Agency for International Development.
Food, housing, and equity in the U.S.
2024 is the year to build toward greater equity in the tax system to reduce poverty and homelessness in the United States. All the work we did to push an expansion of the Child Tax Credit (CTC) for working families with the lowest incomes last year has brought us incredibly close. We’re pushing hard to get legislation over the finish line that would expand the tax credit for 16 million children and move 500,000 children out of poverty completely. On January 31, the House passed the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act by 357 to 70 in an overwhelming show of bipartisan support. It now awaits a vote by the Senate (take action now). We’ll continue our work to ensure all children receive the full CTC as key tax credits come up for renewal in 2025. We’ll also continue to build a powerful movement for a Renter Tax Credit.
And at a time of rising food insecurity in the U.S., we will advocate to not only protect but expand access to programs that address hunger and malnutrition here at home, particularly the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP (also known as food stamps). After the CTC, increased SNAP benefits were the second most important factor that led to the halving of poverty in 2021. Despite the tremendous need, those benefits have expired and now some members of Congress are calling for further cuts in the upcoming Farm Bill.
An unstoppable community of change
The path to ending poverty is winding, and there are multiple opportunities along the way to use our voices, our influence, our empathy, and our relationships to create change. By connecting with each other and with our lawmakers, we will grow an unstoppable community of change demanding economic justice in the tax code, ample funding for anti-poverty programs, and access to nutritious foods in the U.S. and globally.