RESULTS Weekly Update August 17, 2021


August 17, 2021

Quote of the Week

“Everyone deserves access to the COVID-19 vaccine, no matter where they live. Vaccinating the world is the only way to make all of us safe.”

–  RESULTS Greater Boston volunteer Leslye Heilig in an August 10 letter to the editor in the Berkshire Eagle

Table of Contents

Biden Administration must take action on global vaccine access

With the Delta variant of COVID-19 raging around the world, it is imperative that the U.S. take bold steps to reduce the pain and suffering that has already claimed 4.3 million lives. The only true deterrent to ending the pandemic is getting as many people vaccinated as possible here and around the world.

The U.S. and our allies have the means and resources to bring together industry, governments, and global health institutions to urgently increase the supply and distribution of vaccines. What is lacking is the leadership to get it done. At your urging, 115 member of Congress have stepped up, signing a letter urging that any economic recovery legislation passed this year include at least $34 billion toward global vaccination production and distribution. One hundred seventy-five health experts have also called on the Administration to lead. It is time for President Biden to publicly lead this effort. The pandemic will end only when it has ended for everyone, everywhere.

TAKE ACTION: Help pressure the president to support expanding global access to the COVID-19 vaccine. Use our media action alert or our current Global Poverty Action Sheet to submit a letter to the editor and support others to write to your local paper urging the president and Congress to take action to save lives around the world. You can also contact President Biden directly vaccines action alert. You can send published letters to your members of Congress and President Biden.

For additional background and data for your letters, read our recent blog post which highlights the global vaccine access conversation we had with Rob Weissman, president of Public Citizen, during the July National Webinar. Also, listen to Liz Jaff of Be a Hero as she interprets key data from Data for Progress that will help empower and enhance our advocacy messaging around global vaccine access, specifically with regard to COVID-19 vaccines. If you have questions, please contact RESULTS staff for assistance.

Congress moving on legislation that could expand housing, tax credits

With the Senate having passed the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package and the FY2022 budget resolution last week, the stage is set for a lot of activity over the coming weeks. First, the House is expected to return next week to vote on the same budget resolution, which must be passed by both chambers in order to use the “reconciliation” process to pass an economic recovery bill (the advantage is that reconciliation bills cannot be filibustered in the Senate). The economic recovery bill continues to be the focus of our advocacy efforts, as it is the vehicle to get new investments in rental assistance, the EITC and CTC, and funding for global COVID-19 vaccines.

Unsurprisingly, there is already some drama building around the House’s return next week. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and many House progressives have stated that they will not pass the Senate’s infrastructure bill until the Senate first passes an economic recovery bill. They fear that if the infrastructure bill passes first, there will be less incentive for moderate Democrats in the Senate to follow through on the recovery bill. However, on Friday, nine Democratic House moderates sent a letter to Speaker Pelosi saying they will not support the budget resolution next week without first passing the infrastructure bill. With Democrats holding a narrow margin the House (and no Republicans votes expected), the Democrats cannot afford to lose votes. It should make for an interesting week.

The budget resolution passed by the Senate set a September 15 deadline for committees to have their work done, so relevant committees of jurisdiction are already working behind the scenes to draft legislative language for an economic recovery package. This means that decisions on our priorities are being made now.

ACTION OPTIONS: Because many RESULTS volunteers are taking a break this month, RESULTS staff are meeting with relevant aides on key committees (housing issues: Senate Banking/House Financial Services; tax issues: Senate Finance/House Ways and Means) to push our requests with lawmakers. If we schedule a meeting with an office a RESULTS group covers, we will let them know. Volunteers are welcomed to join if they want. In addition, for volunteers staying active in August, use the August 2021 U.S. Poverty Action for guidance on taking following actions to influence lawmakers on our issues:

  1. Attend a virtual congressional town hall and ask a question. Town halls are a great way to ask lawmakers to publicly commit to supporting expanding Housing Choice Vouchers and the EITC/CTC.
  2. Submit a letter to the editor. Use local media to the attention of your members of Congress, urging the support our housing and tax policies. The August U.S. Poverty Action has Laser Talks to use a template for letters to the editor (you can also send LTEs directly from our website) .
  3. Write letters to your members of Congress. Use the Laser Talks again to draft a letter to your members of Congress about housing and/or the EITC/CTC.

If you have questions about any of these actions, please contact Jos Linn for assistance.

Quick News on U.S. and Global Poverty

CTC payments already having an impact. Based on the new data from the U.S. Census Household Pulse Survey, the Child Tax Credit monthly payments are already reducing hardship for families with children – food hardship had its biggest drop in a year after the payments started. Data from the survey shows that most households who spent their CTC payment, spent it on food, utilities, housing, clothing, and school supplies. For additional findings, see this Twitter thread. You can also see the estimated economic impact of the CTC payments by state here.

Health experts call on President Biden to lead on vaccine access. There currently is not enough vaccine manufacturing capacity in the world to ensure access to the COVID-19 vaccine for everyone. Health experts know that the only way to end the pandemic is to vaccinate everyone, so they are calling on President Biden to fill the global leadership void and take bold action to expand vaccine manufacturing and distribution. Estimates are that it would cost $34 billion to bring this capacity online and distribute vaccines to everyone. This is a small price to pay given COVID-19 has already costed trillions of dollars.

SNAP benefits to increase. This weekend, the Biden Administration announced an update of how SNAP benefits are calculated for millions of households around the country. In the 2018 Farm Bill, Congress directed the USDA to make regular evaluations and adjustments to the “Thrifty Food Plan”, which is the formula – designed in the 1960s – used to calculate SNAP benefits (for years, advocates have pushed for modernizing how we calculate food assistance). As we detail on our blog, RESULTS and others weighed in with the process to reevaluate SNAP’s benefits, which averaged about $5 per person per day (this excludes the temporary SNAP increase due to COVID-19, which expires next month). As a result of the USDA changes, SNAP benefits are expected to increase nearly 25 percent beginning in October. This is a welcomed change and a tremendous step forward in the fight to end hunger and poverty in the U.S.

New tool to help tenants navigate new eviction moratorium. A2J Tech has designed a helpful eligibility checker tool to help tenants navigate new requirements under the new CDC eviction moratorium. The new moratorium applies to areas with high rates of COVID-19 infections (most of the U.S.). They are updating it daily with the latest CDC COVID-19 infection rate data and tracking when a county loses eligibility after the 14 days of low COVID-19 rates.

Fight for GPE funding moves to Congress. After the weak pledge from the U.S. during the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) replenishment conference, your advocacy work with Congress will be critical to ensuring the U.S. does its part to support global education. The House SFOPS mark-up for FY22 includes more money for GPE than President Biden pledged for next year. After the August recess we’ll need to ensure that the Senate does the same.

Announcements

Get trained on running “hybrid” meetings. With some volunteers wanting to resume meeting in person and others not yet comfortable doing so, it’s time to get creative so that everyone has the opportunity to participate. Hybrid meetings, which are conducted both in-person and virtually, may be our best answer in the coming months. Join us for some insights and tips on how to set up and run hybrid meetings on Wednesday, September 1 at 8:30 pm ET. Register here.

Become a RESULTS Regional Coordinator. Regional Coordinators (RCs) are vital volunteer leaders in our network, helping to coach and support RESULTS groups around the country to be the best they can be. If you (or others) are interested in becoming a Regional Coordinator with RESULTS, or are simply interested in learning more about the role, please contact Lisa Marchal.

Still time to join training on building an equitable tax code. If you have not had the chance to attend the workshop “Tax Justice for All: Unveiling the Racial Inequity of the U.S. Tax Code”, you have a few more opportunities to do so. This two-hour training (co-sponsored by RESULTS) will look at how the tax code currently disadvantages women and people of color, and invites you to reimagine a new tax code to build a just and inclusive society. Join tomorrow, August 18 at 3:00 pm ET (register here) or Tuesday, August 24 at 7:00 pm ET (register here).

Calling all Returned Peace Corps Volunteers. The Global Allies Program: Partners Ending Poverty with RESULTS (GAP) aims to train and engage Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) in advocacy that will have impact, and to connect RPCVs to like-minded and experienced advocates in the RESULTS grassroots network. If you are a RPCV passionate to keep making a difference, join a kickoff meeting on September 16 at 8:30 pm ET and learn how you can take action on improving global health, education and economic development. Register here.

Register for “Motivational Interviewing” series. Are you struggling to move your member of Congress into action? Then this is the series for you! In six monthly sessions, you’ll gain skills using the Motivational Interviewing process to have an effective dialogue with members of Congress you struggle to move into action, as well as to have meaningful value-based conversations with others. This training will help you transcend the adversarial mindset and use values-based advocacy to make the case for change. The first 90 -minute session is Tuesday, September 21 at 9:00 pm ET. Register here for the series.

Learn how to lead with your natural strengths. Leverage your natural strengths to excel in leadership roles within your RESULTS group, your community, and beyond. The GALLUP CliftonStrengths assessment helps to identify the areas where you, and your group, have the greatest potential by measuring your recurring patterns in thought, feeling, and behavior. Join our September workshop to dig deeper into your top five strengths and learn how to leverage them in leadership roles. Register today to receive a code to do your online assessment that you will bring to the workshop. The first session is Tuesday, September 28 at 8:30 pm ET. Register here.

Upcoming Events

Congressional schedule. The House and Senate are on recess this week. Submit your remote meeting requests today.

Tuesday, August 17: U.S. Poverty Free Agents, 8:00 pm ET. If you are interested in joining our U.S. Poverty Free Agents, contact Jos Linn for more information.

Wednesday, August 18: Tax Justice for All: Unveiling the Racial Inequity of the U.S. Tax Code, 12:00 pm ET. Presented by NETWORK. Register here.

Wednesday, August 18: RESULTS Action Network Webinar, 12:30 pm ET (register here) and 8:00 pm ET (register here). Registration ends one hour prior to the webinar.

Tuesday, August 24: Tax Justice for All: Unveiling the Racial Inequity of the U.S. Tax Code, 7:00 pm ET. Presented by NETWORK. Register here.

Wednesday, September 1: How to Run Hybrid Meetings, 8:30 pm ET. Register today. Registration ends one hour prior to the webinar.

Saturday, September 11: RESULTS National Webinar, 1:00 pm ET. Register today.  Registration ends one hour prior to the webinar.

Thursday, September 16: Global Allies Program Kickoff Meeting for Returned Peace Corp Volunteers, 8:30 PM ET. Learn more and register here. Registration ends one hour prior to the webinar.

Tuesday, September 21: Motivational Interviewing training (session 1), 9:00 pm ET. Register here. Registration ends one hour prior to the webinar.

Tuesday, September 28: Discovering Yourself as a Leader workshop, 8:30 pm ET. Register here. Registration ends one hour prior to the webinar.

Note: There are no monthly policy forums in August. There is also no Global Poverty Free Agents meeting in August.

Grassroots Resources

Learn about the RESULTS Experts on Poverty.

To update volunteer info (e.g., subscribe to the Weekly Update or action alerts, add new advocate information, update an existing advocate’s information or preferences), use our Volunteer Information Form.

Find actions and volunteer resources on our Current Volunteers page, including our anti-oppression resources.

Remember to please report your recent advocacy successes in lobby meetings, media, and outreach activities.

To join the RESULTS listserv for more RESULTS conversation, send an email to [email protected]

If you have a question, comment, or suggestion for the RESULTS/REF Board, please e-mail Lindsay Saunders at [email protected]. View Board minutes and Annual Reports.

RESULTS Staff directory and job postings.

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