October 2011 U.S. Poverty Laser Talk

October 20, 2011

Tell the Super Committee to Do No Harm to Vulnerable Americans

Engage: Right now, a small group of legislators called the “Super Committee” is looking to find $1.2 trillion in budget savings by this Thanksgiving.

Problem: I am very concerned that Congress will try to balance the budget on the backs of low-income Americans.

Inform: In 2010, a record 46 million Americans lived in poverty. But anti-poverty programs like the Medicaid and food stamps (now called SNAP) are keeping the problem from getting much worse. Since 2007, the number of uninsured children has gone down by 570,000 because of Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. And, in 2010 alone, SNAP kept 3.9 million Americans out of poverty, nearly half of them children. These programs not only support struggling families, they also support local economies and countless jobs. If the Super Committee decides to cut these programs, it will cause millions more to fall into poverty and damage our fragile economic recovery.

Call to Action: Will you speak with your colleagues on the Super Committee and Senate leadership and urge them to draft a plan that protects low-income Americans and does not increase poverty? Specifically, will you urge them to reject efforts to cut anti-poverty programs like Medicaid and SNAP?

What Is a Laser Talk?

A laser talk serves as a useful starting point for your advocacy work, whether as a talking points during a town hall meeting or as a primer for face-to-face meetings with candidates and elected officials. Follow up with more information and evidence supporting your points. And of course, adapt a laser talk to reflect your own experiences and why you care about the issue! For more on how to create your own laser talk, see the RESULTS Activist Toolkit: Create and Deliver Your EPIC Laser Talk and see our June 2011 U.S. Poverty Action for more background on these issues.

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