Domestic Weekly Update January 3, 2012
Cheers to a New Year and another chance for us to get it right.
— Oprah Winfrey
New and Urgent in This Weeks Update
- Happy New Year! Start 2012 by Helping Us Grow RESULTS
- Make This Year a Winner with a Bold 2012 Group Plan (January Action)
Latest from Washington, DC
Happy New Year to everyone! All of us at RESULTS hope you had a great holiday season and are looking ahead to an exciting and fulfilling 2012. One of the things we are looking to do in 2012 is expand RESULTS’ reach and impact. Part of this includes introducing RESULTS to new people around the country. We could use your help in doing this.
Last summer we began hosting monthly RESULTS Introductory calls. These 30 minutes “meet and greet” calls are designed to provide a brief overview of RESULTS and our work to people who may know very little about us. These calls have already been successful at connecting new volunteers to existing groups as well as planting the seeds for new groups. These calls are a perfect introduction to RESULTS for people unfamiliar with our work and can go a long way in building the grassroots base of our organization. That is why we will continue them in 2012.
Our first RESULTS Intro call of the year is tomorrow night, January 4 at 9:00 pm ET. If you know anyone who would be interested in RESULTS, please invite them to call in. In particular, if you know people in Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, or New Orleans, please invite them to participate. We are actively looking to start groups in those areas. Simply send this link http://tinyurl.com/RESULTSMeetandGreet and urge them to sign up. Please contact Jos Linn ([email protected]) if you have questions.
Going forward, the RESULTS Intro Calls will be the first Wednesday at 9 pm ET and the third Friday at 1 pm ET of each month. Help us grow RESULTS by urging friends, family, and colleagues to join these informative calls.
2011 was a good year for RESULTS U.S poverty work. As we reported in our last update, the year ended with a success on our primary U.S. poverty campaign — Early Childhood Development — when Congress included the necessary funding for Head Start and child care to maintain existing services for low-income families in 2012. This was due to your tireless efforts in pushing lawmakers in meetings, calls, letters, e-mails, and the media to protect these critical investments. You all should feel proud for the work you did last year in helping low-income parents build a better future for their children. You also played a key role in preventing Congress from using deficit reduction to drastically cut services for low-income Americans. While some cuts were enacted, things would have been a lot worse if not for the voices of RESULTS volunteers and other advocates urging Congress not to balance the budget on the backs of the most vulnerable. Congratulations to you all for a good year!
Now that we are in the New Year, we want to build on our 2011 work by making 2012 an even better success. 2012 promises to be a very interesting and active year. This year provides a great opportunity to put the issue of poverty front and center in front of members of Congress and political candidates. It also gives us the chance to educate lawmakers on issues they perhaps are not as familiar with but are integral in helping break the cycle of poverty. We want to take advantage of these opportunities and make the most of them. Let’s start the year off by mapping out how we do so.
As many of you know, January is when RESULTS groups engage in their annual group planning process. Group planning has been an important part of RESULTS’ successes in the past. Group planning helps us celebrate the past year’s successes and learn from challenges we experienced and using that knowledge and wisdom create a vision for how we want our new “RESULTS year” to look. Groups set goals, allocate responsibilities, and formulate strategies for success. Our group plans also allow us to track our progress and adjust goals and tactics as circumstances arise throughout the year so that we can achieve our objectives in an effective and meaningful way.
Because of the value we place on this process, our primary focus for January will be on 2012 group planning. Our January 2012 U.S. Poverty Action sheet, which will be out later this week, overviews the group planning process and provides tips for having a good planning meeting. We also have several resources to help make your planning meeting smooth and effective:
- 2012 Group Planning Guide: A step-by-step guide on conducting your group planning meeting
- 2012 Group Plan Summary Form: Comprehensive form to document your 2012 group plan (please send a copy to your Regional Coordinator once completed)
- 2012 Individual Planning Form: Brief form to help set your personal advocacy goals for 2012; share this information with your group during your planning meeting
You can find these and other helpful tools on our Group Resources and Administration page of the RESULTS website.
In addition, our January 2012 RESULTS Domestic National Conference Call will include information to help with your planning. In addition to providing tips on the planning process, we will also review our 2012 U.S. Poverty legislative campaigns. We are pleased to have Indivar Dutta-Gupta from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities as our guest speaker. He will speak to us about the legislative outlook for 2012, particularly in reference to tax policy; tax and asset development policy will be focus of our primary 2012 U.S. poverty campaign, Economic Opportunity for All. We look forward to a great call with Indivar and all of you on Saturday, January 14 at 12:30 pm ET.
Finally, RESULTS staff wants to help you with group planning. As always, we are here to answer any questions you have about the planning process. Regional Coordinators will also provide planning support during group leader calls this month. In addition, if you are conducting your group planning meeting right after the RESULTS national conference call on January 14, RESULTS Director of Domestic Campaigns Meredith Dodson will be available via Skype to talk to groups doing their group planning that day. This support is designed to help you create specific legislative strategies for your group’s members of Congress. Or, if you would like RESULTS Domestic staff to meet separately with your groups via Skype or phone during your January group planning meeting, please contact the RESULTS Domestic staff to schedule a time to meet.
TAKE ACTION: If you haven’t yet set your January group planning meeting, please set it ASAP so you can finish your group planning in January. Once scheduled, use the January Action sheet to help with your planning (the action sheet will be on the RESULTS website later this week). Be sure to let your groups know when and where you will meet for the January 14 national conference call and if you want staff support during your planning meeting, please be sure to contact RESULTS staff as soon as possible.
After completing the FY 2012 budget and passing a two-month extension of the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits, Congress adjourned for 2011 two weeks ago. They are now on recess until later this month. Now is a great time to put in those requests to meet with members of Congress while they are home. Some members of Congress may be holding town hall meetings this month while others may be available for face-to-face meetings. Here are some of the issues you’ll want to discuss with them:
This will be our primary legislative campaign for 2012. Tax policy will be a big issue this year with the expiration of the Bush tax cuts in December, as well as recent improvements to the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC). Not only will these issues have to be dealt with by Congress before December 31, you can bet taxes will be a big topic of discussion during this year’s political campaigns. As a result, members of Congress should be more willing to address issues of economic fairness in 2012. Supporting low-income working families by protecting the EITC and CTC promoting asset development policies will be a strong message we want to deliver.
Early Childhood Development
Although economic opportunity will garner most of our attention in 2012, we’ll still be keeping our eyes on the FY 2013 budget and funding levels for Head Start and child care programs. We want to make sure we maintain the progress we’ve made with these programs over the last few years. The discretionary budget cuts mandated in the Budget Control Act, as well as the next round of cuts coming in 2013 as a result of “sequestration,” will continue to put these programs at risk. It is never too early to remind members of Congress that we need to protect low-income children and families by making sure they can continue to access these important services.
TAKE ACTION: Take advantage of this opportunity by requesting a face-to-face meeting with your representatives and senators to talk about our priorities. Get in early to meet with members of Congress to push them early on these important issues. If you cannot get a meeting for the current recess, ask for a time to meet the next time your representative or senator is home. Use our online e-mail to contact their offices about setting up a meeting. Once you get a meeting scheduled, please contact the RESULTS Domestic staff to help you prepare. We are here to help.
Thank Congress for Protecting Head Start and Child Care. As you all know, Congress passed the final FY 2012 “omnibus” spending bill at the end of December, which included funding for Head Start, Early Head Start, and the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG). Each of these programs will see a small increase in funding in FY 2012 so as to protect existing services (Head Start/Early Head Start will see an increase of $409 million over last year and CCDBG will see an increase of $55 million). If you have not already, please thank Congress for supporting Head Start and child care in the FY 2012 budget. Write a letter to the editor to your local paper telling readers of the importance of early childhood funding for low-income families and thanking Congress for continuing these investments in 2012. You can use our updated online LTE action to send letters to your local papers.
(See a complete calendar)
Wednesday, January 4: RESULTS Introductory Call, 9:00 pm ET. RSVP at http://tinyurl.com/RESULTSMeetandGreet.
Saturday, January 14: RESULTS Domestic National Conference Call, 12:30 pm ET. Listen to previous conference calls online.
Tuesday, January 17: House returns to Washington from holiday recess.
Monday, January 23: Senate returns to Washington from holiday recess.
Friday, January 20: RESULTS Introductory Call, 1:00 pm ET. RSVP at http://tinyurl.com/RESULTSMeetandGreet.
Monday, February 13: RESULTS’ New Activist Orientation series begins, 9:00 pm ET. Contact Lisa Marchal ([email protected]) for details. The second call in the series will be on Monday, February 27 at 9:00 pm ET.
Saturday, July 21 – Tuesday, July 24, 2012: RESULTS International Conference, Washington, DC. Start planning today to attend our 2012 conference!
Main Office: (p) (202) 783-7100, (f) (202) 783-2818, 1730 Rhode Island Ave, NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20036. If mailing a donation to our DC office, please address the envelope to the attention of Cynthia Stancil.
RESULTS Domestic Legislative and Grassroots Support Staff:
- Meredith Dodson, Director of Domestic Campaigns, (202) 783-7100, x116, [email protected]
- Jos Linn, Domestic Outreach Organizer, (515) 288-3622, [email protected]
- Ann Beltran, Domestic Volunteer Lobbyist, [email protected]
- Cindy Changyit Levin, Grassroots Development Associate, (773) 236-7758, [email protected]
The RESULTS Domestic Update is sent out every Tuesday over e-mail to RESULTS volunteers and allies all over the country. The purpose of these updates is to inform and activate RESULTS activists to take action on our domestic campaigns.