September 2010 RESULTS Domestic Conference Call: "Virtual" Lobbying to Protect Working Families

September 13, 2010
by Meredith Dodson, Director of Domestic (U.S. Poverty) Campaigns

The Child Tax Credit (CTC) and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for low-income working families (our September Action). Specifically, we want to see the $3,000 income threshold for the CTC and the EITC expansion for married couples and larger families permanent fixtures of the tax code from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) included in tax legislation in Congress this month. RESULTS’ Executive Director provided context in her opening remarks:

I really want to acknowledge and thank you all for the persistent, creative, dedicated work that you are doing right now to get your representatives and senators to weigh in with the key decision makers, the key leaders in Congress on tax policy to ensure that low-income families are not left out of the major decisions and legislation that will likely be completed in the next month.

I realize what you are doing is not easy — not just sending an e-mail, not just getting someone to cosponsor a bill, but asking your member of Congress to talk to the tax committee leaders. I realize this is a bigger and more complicated request — and that to make it happen takes a lot of persistence.

But these actions make a BIG impact. Before I was Executive Director, I led much of RESULTS congressional effort for over a decade. And the kind of conversations you are asking your members of Congress (MoCs) to have are what makes the difference — personal conversations, personal expressions of support member to member. And you’re uniquely placed to do this—very few if any other grassroots constituents are able to understand the process and have the relationships (and follow-through) to do this. In my experience another powerful benefit of this action is that asking your MoCs and senators to speak personally to leadership on this moves them forward to be champions on these issues. Sometimes MoCs sign letters and don’t even know it. But speaking personally — you know you did that and it changes you a bit.

And the strategy of doing a virtual meeting with your group on the phone with your member of Congress is a very powerful strategy to help make this happen quickly. So go for it.

RESULTS activists in San Fernando, CA, Columbus, OH, and Santa Fe, NM, shared their insights on getting to Congress and making it happen. See the steps outlined in our September Action Sheet for more details.

Also, longtime RESULTS Austin volunteer and part-time fundraising support staff member Mark Coats kicked off our fall Friends and Family Fundraising campaign on this call. He outlined resources from the Friends and Family Letter Writing Toolkit, and outlined three things to do by the October conference call:

  1. Make your list of people to invite
  2. Set individual goals and roll them up into a team goal
  3. Prepare a invitation letter

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