Global Weekly Update February 28, 2011

February 28, 2011

Senate Must Hear from You about Foreign Assistance Cuts

The House of Representatives has voted to make severe cuts to poverty-focused foreign assistance, including global health, basic education, and microcredit programs. Now the Senate must pass its own spending bill, and your Senators need to hear from you. Learn more about what’s happening right now in Congress, and what you can do to make your voice heard.

Use this Action Alert to guide you in making a call to your Senator. Then forward the alert to your friends, colleagues, and anyone who cares about extreme poverty. You can make calls all this week.

Later this week we will be providing activists with an editorial packet to help you inform the public about what cuts will do to fragile communities and lives.

Outreach Is the Only Way to Generate New Voices

Our members of Congress find themselves in a bind — even if they believe in foreign aid programs, they fear backlash from their constituents. They are desperate for grassroots and grasstops constituent support on our issues. We must generate more voices and educate the public. Schedule an outreach workshop in March. Contact your grassroots staff or RCs for support. Here are some ideas and resources:

1. Organize around World TB Day (March 24)

  • Ask a U.S. TB advocate to come to your community
  • Educate your community about the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria
  • Work with local public health officials to highlight the good news about the TB in the U.S. and new TB diagnostics, and the risks of TB if we don’t address it around the globe

See our World TB Day Resource page to help with planning.

2. Invite the Global Poverty Project to Your Community

Our RESULTS colleagues in the UK and Australia have worked with the Global Poverty Project (GPP) to engage new activists. GPP does an inspiring presentation called 1.4 Billion Reasons. The presentation is designed to educate people on poverty and inspire them to take action. In the U.S. they’ll ask people at the presentations to get involved in “Living Below the Line” for one week in May. They want to work with RESULTS so we become an option for involvement after the presentations. This is an exciting opportunity for us. Either fill out the form on their scheduling page or contact Ken Patterson if you are interested in GPP coming to your community. 

3. Education & Action Workshop on Appropriations

In order to make sure that we the U.S. does not end lives as we try to reduce deficits, hold an education and action meeting in your community to educate community members on foreign aid and its benefits. We have many resources including an Action Sheet, an excellent fact sheet on Why Foreign Aid Matters, quick but moving videos on rotavirus and AIDSspeeches by Bill Gates and Tom Ridge, an excellent op-ed by conservative columnist Michael Gerson, a bipartisan op-ed in Politico, and other appropriations resources.

4. To Catch a Dollar

Our domestic campaigns will be encourage groups to get involved with premiers of the film, To Catch a Dollar. The film is about bringing the Grameen Bank model to the U.S. via Grameen America, but there will be many microfinance fans at the movie. This would be a great place to table.

International Conference Registration is Open! Register Early to Come to D.C. in June!

Registration is now open for the 2011 International Conference (IC). Come meet activists from around the world, get educated about effective solutions to poverty, and speak up on Capitol Hill. Last year we really moved the needle on Education for All, the Global Fund sign on letter, the Muhammad Yunus Congressional Gold Medal bill, and a Senate letter to the World Bank. This year we will need every possible voice in Washington as life-saving programs are threatened with cuts.

Register by March 15 to receive the early bird registration fee of $199.

Visit our International Conference homepage to learn more about the conference, register, and information on how to secure a hotel room (they will be gone quickly!)

70 Face-to-Face Meetings by March 30?

We know that it’s critical to meet face-to-face with our members of Congress. Though we can accomplish much working with aides, Congressional aides can never relay your passion, credibility, or stories with the power that you can. Now is a critical time for these meetings because many members of Congress are new, and have little knowledge of the security, economic, or global leadership benefits of foreign assistance. If we don’t inform them on foreign assistance issues, nobody will.

This is why we have set a goal of having 70 face-to-face meetings by the end of March. The number seems ambitious, but if each group has one, we can get there. See our blog for a list of the meetings we know of so far (17) with 1 of 3 months left. Will you and your group be doing your report to reach 70 meetings? Please let me know if your meeting is missing from this list.

We have a new, interactive online grassroots forum. The forum will enable activists to communicate and collaborate more directly. Click on My RESULTS, get your own personalized sign in name, and start collaborating.

February 21–25: Congressional Recess

March: Outreach Month! Organize a group outreach workshop.

March 2 and March 16: New Activist Orientation series continues. 9:00 pm ET. Call (712) 432-3100, passcode 761262. To RSVP or to get more information, contact Lisa Marchal. Join us for the series and get better acquainted with RESULTS!

March 8: International Women’s Day

March 12: Global Conference Call. 2:00 pm ET. (888) 409-6709

March 24: World TB Day

March 21–25: Congressional Recess

April 9: Global Conference Call. 2:00 pm ET. (888) 409-6709

June 19–21: RESULTS International Conference in Washington, D.C., Four Points Sheraton

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