September 2011 Domestic National Conference Call: Follow Up with Senators to Protect Head Start


September 12, 2011
Meredith Dodson, Director of U.S. Poverty Campaigns

The September 2011 RESULTS Domestic National Conference Call was a short and focused conference call, designed to end early so that RESULTS groups could take action as a group and plan strategies to deepen your impact over the next few weeks. RESULTS Executive Director Joanne Carter opened the conference call with an exciting announcement about our 2012 International Conference (July 21-24, 2012), planned to be our largest ever. RESULTS staff members Jos Linn and Meredith Dodson reviewed the broader budget situation in DC and specific actions to protect funding for Head Start, Early Head Start, and Child Care services for low-income working families. Time is of the essence. The Senate could take up the Labor-HHS bill the week of September 19. The Senate bill is of particular importance because it is our best chance of securing adequate resources for early childhood programs. Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), the Chair of the Senate Labor-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee, is a strong supporter of early childhood programs, as are many other on that subcommittee. But, the Senate still has to find some cuts within the Labor-HHS appropriations bill, due to the recently-passed Budget Control Act. RESULTS estimates they need to cut at least $300 million for 2012.

TAKE ACTION: Take the September Action Sheet. Coordinate one member of your local RESULTS group to talk directly to the aide who handles funding for early childhood development programs in Washington ASAP. For many of you, this is the aide you might have met in Washington at the International Conference in June. In addition, use the talking points in the September Action Sheet to generate additional letters, e-mails (you can also use our online e-mail action alert) and phone calls to Senate offices – this will “strengthen your hand” as you work the “insider game” with the aide.  In your calls and letters, ask your senators and representative to tell Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee (Labor-HHS) Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Ranking Member Richard Shelby (R-AL) or House Labor-HHS Chairman Denny Rehberg (R-MT) and Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) to protect Head Start and child care services by allocating $8.1 billion total for Head Start/Early Head Start in FY 2012 and a $1.2 billion increase for the Child Care Development Block Grant in FY 2012. To find contact information for congressional offices and the name of the early childhood aide, visit our Elected Officials page (http://capwiz.com/results/dbq/officials/). Make sure to plan to specifically follow up with the aide to verify that the senator (or representative) has indeed communicated support for these funding levels to the subcommittee.

RESULTS volunteer Paul Hoffinger in Minnesota moderated our Shares section, including his own experiences at a town hall meeting earlier this week, as well as great stories from Columbus volunteer Ann Boer and Denver volunteer Marty Karnopp. The call ended with an update on fundraising and other key announcements from Grassroots Development Associate Cindy Levin.

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