RESULTS Weekly Update September 14, 2021


September 14, 2021

Quote of the Week

“Making the Child Tax Credit extension permanent is very important; however, one other powerful program… is long-term rental assistance through Housing Choice Vouchers.”

– RESULTS Houston volunteer Kathleen Duncan in an September 9 letter to the editor in the Houston Chronicle

Table of Contents

Reach out to the Senate on global vaccine access

The time is now for you to make an impact on global vaccine access. As the reconciliation package is being debated in the halls of Congress, we have a chance to advocate for funding to expand global vaccine manufacturing. We know that effective vaccines can end this pandemic, but they’re not being produced fast enough to reach everyone who needs them.

In the recovery package currently being debated on Capitol Hill, the House has proposed $2 billion to expand that capacity to manufacture more vaccines – and when combined with funding previously provided by Congress, it gives the Biden Administration significant resources to expand access to vaccines. The Senate now must at least match the House proposal and ensure the funds are specified to expand manufacturing capacity. There is an immense need around the world for a steady supply of COVID-19 vaccines. Please call on your senators to prioritize funding to scale up vaccine manufacturing.

TAKE ACTION: Later this week, we will have an online action alert to help you ask members of the Senate to weigh in with the Senate HELP Committee as well as Senate leadership on this request for $2 billion to expand vaccine production capacity in the recovery package. You can also use our media action alert to submit a letter to the editor on vaccine access or use our current Global Poverty Action Sheet to encourage and enroll others in submitting. (Don’t forget to send your published media to your members of Congress.) You can even contact President Biden on vaccine access directly through our action alert to the Administration. If you have questions, please contact RESULTS staff for assistance.

Push representatives and senators to support investments in housing and EITC/CTC provisions

As we noted on last Saturday’s National Webinar, this week we could come one step closer realizing unprecedented gains in our work to support Americans facing housing instability, low-wage workers, and millions of low-income children. Key committees in the House are “marking up” (debating and amending) drafts of the housing and tax provisions for the new economic recovery bill today, with Congressional leaders looking to finalize the recovery package in the coming weeks.

Today, the House Financial Services Committee finished work on its housing proposal for the recovery bill, which includes $90 billion for rental assistance and the majority of that ($75 billion) going to the Housing Choice Voucher program (HCVs). The vouchers are targeted toward those most in need. While not at the levels we wanted, it is a major down payment toward universal rental assistance. Remember, when President Biden released his recovery proposal in the spring, it included no money for rental assistance. For Congress to include $90 billion to help low-income renters is a tremendous achievement and a direct result of your advocacy.

The House Ways and Means Committee is meeting today to mark up its proposal for the Earned Income Tax Credit (CTC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC). Their proposal is strong. It includes:

  • Permanent expansion of the EITC for younger workers and low-wage workers without children
  • Permanent expansion of the full CTC for all low-income families, including those with little or no income (full refundability)
  • Restoration of CTC benefits for children in immigrant families with an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN)
  • Extension of the increases CTC amounts ($3,000 per child 6-17 yrs. old; $3,600 per child under 6) through 2025

Therefore, all the provisions are being extended beyond this year, with most of them being made permanent. With millions of children already being lifted from poverty by new CTC, this is great progress toward cutting poverty dramatically for children and workers.

But this is only one step. While these developments are encouraging and a testament to your advocacy on these issues, they are far from certain. We must remain vigilant with House and Senate members alike to ensure that in the coming weeks, these provisions are not watered down or cut from the final recovery bill.

TAKE ACTION: Make sure to seize this moment. Your advocacy now and in the coming weeks is essential. Here are our requests for the final economic recovery bill, which you can also see in the September 2021 U.S. Poverty Action:

  • Make the 2021 EITC/CTC provisions permanent, particularly full refundability for the Child Tax Credit for very low- or no-income families
  • Include at least $90 billion in rental assistance, with significant investments in Housing Choice Vouchers (HCVs) targeting the lowest-income households

We need to things right now to see this through: individualized contact to key aides and general e-mails to members of Congress. On the first, the September Action has sample e-mails to housing and tax aides you can send to them this week. Note that only one person in your group (assumingly the point person for that particular member of Congress) needs to contact each aide. When contacting the aide, be sure to attach our Housing Request Sheet  and CTC/EITC Request Sheet for the appropriate aide.

On the second, the September Action also has a general message to members of Congress about housing and the tax credits. Urge your other groups members and action networks e-mail this message ASAP. If you have questions, please contact Meredith Dodson or Jos Linn  for assistance.

Use new Census poverty data as media hook to build support for recovery proposals

Today, the U.S. Census released data on poverty in 2020. The official poverty rate in 2020 was 11.4 percent, one percent higher than 2019. That translates to about 3.3 million people falling into poverty in 2020. This is the first increase in poverty in five years. Child poverty rose from 14.4 percent in 2019 to 16.1 percent in 2020, about 1.1 million additional children.

However, the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) paints a much different picture, Remember, the official poverty measure (OPM) does not factor in certain benefits such as the EITC/CTC, stimulus payments, SNAP, and other benefits. Nor does it factor in expenses such as taxes, childcare, and other household expenses. The SPM does count these things. As a result, in 2020 SPM poverty rate was 9.1 percent, the lowest SPM poverty rate since it began in 2009 (and 2.6 percent below 2019). The dramatic difference between the SPM and OPM poverty rates is almost exclusively the result of government interventions during the pandemic. For example, last year the EITC and CTC lifted 5.3 million above the poverty line and housing subsidies lifted 2.4 million above the poverty line. As Census officials said today, the data highlights the importance of the social safety net.

Some of the biggest reductions in poverty came from temporary measures, such as stimulus payments and unemployment benefits. With those benefits gone, securing expansions of the EITC/CTC and Housing Choice Vouchers in the recovery bill becomes all that more important. Use the media to push lawmakers to enact them into law.

TAKE ACTION: Use the new Census data release to submit letters to the editor urging your members of Congress by name to support historic investments to help renters, low-wage workers, and children living in poverty. Use our new online media alert to send you letter today and urge others to do the same. Also, listen to tips from our newest Cameron Duncan Media Award winner Cindy Levin on getting your media published in different places from our September National Webinar.

Quick News on U.S. and Global Poverty

Join a call with Sen. Warren on tax fairness tonight. Join advocates around the country for a mobilizing call featuring Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA-7) and Brendan Boyle (D-PA-13), as they discuss the need to enact progressive tax policies that reduce inequality and fund priorities to help the American people. The call will be moderated by The Sum of Us author Heather McGhee. The call is tonight, September 14 at 5:30 pm ET. Register here.

New Prosperity Now scorecard released. The newest Prosperity Now Scorecard, a comprehensive data set on the state of economic inequality, is now available at the local level for cities, counties, congressional districts, metro areas, and tribal areas. Sadly, the scorecard reveals that racial wealth divide not only preceded the pandemic but still persists at the local level.

The Global Fund and pandemic preparedness. The Biden-Harris Administration can help reset the world’s approach to health, moving us toward the end of the existing pandemics and helping stop the next ones. Support of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is key. Read more in this blogpost co-authored by RESULTS, Health GAP, Partners in Health, AVAC, Treatment Action Group, and Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

Announcements

Check out new “Volunteers Hub” on the RESULTS website. To make our many website resources easier to find and navigate, we have revamped our former Current Volunteers page to a new Volunteers Hub. Find it at the top of each page next to About Us. Try it out!

2021 Bob Dickerson Leadership Award open for nominations. Advocate Bob Dickerson was a bold leader who inspired everyone around him, including his members of Congress and his media editors. He called people out of the stands and on to the field, knowing that we have one life to live and we should live it with meaning. Nominations are open now for the Bob Dickerson Leadership Award, in his memory, recognizing an advocate’s extraordinary leadership and commitment to the mission of RESULTS. Nominations are welcome through November 1. Nominees and recipient will be announced in December. Use our online form to submit a nomination.

RESULTS Fellowship open for applications. The RESULTS Fellowship is an 11-month program designed for activists ages 20-35 to harness the power of their voices, sharpen their advocacy and organizing skills, and be in action with dozens of other dynamic young leaders (learn more from our new Fellowship video). We are accepting applications for the 2022 class, now through November 1. If you are interested in applying, go to www.results.org/fellowship.

BIPOC Caucus call Thursday, September 16 at 8 pm ET. “Navigating Federal Housing Policy Advocacy” featuring Senior Policy Associate Michael Santos. To register, contact Yolanda Gordon.

Join webinar with Returned Peace Corps Volunteers on Thursday. If you are a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer passionate to keep making a difference, join a kickoff meeting of the Global Allies Program: Partners Ending Poverty with RESULTS this Thursday, September 16 at 8:30 pm ET and learn how you can take action on improving global health, education and economic development. Register here.

Getting “unstuck” with your members of Congress. 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.

Join monthly policy forums next week. Learn the latest on our U.S. and global policy campaigns during our U.S. and Global Monthly Policy Forums on Thursday, September 23 at 8:00 pm ET (U.S.) and 9:00 pm ET (Global). Registration links can be found in the Events calendar below.

Learn how to lead with your natural strengths. 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 learn how to leverage your natural strengths to excel in leadership roles within your RESULTS group, your community, and beyond. 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.

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.

Running hybrid meetings. Running hybrid meetings may be the new normal for a while. Check out this recent webinar recording and companion resources for guidance on technology and practical tips for successfully organizing and running hybrid meetings.

Upcoming Events

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

Wednesday, September 15: Action Network Monthly Webinars, 12:30 pm and 8:00 pm ET. Register for the 12:30 pm session or the 8:00 pm session. Registration ends one hour prior to each webinar.

Thursday, September 16: BIPOC Caucus, 8 pm ET. “Navigating Federal Housing Policy Advocacy” featuring Michael Santos. To register, contact Yolanda Gordon.

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

Tuesday, September 21: U.S. Poverty Free Agents, 1:00 pm and 8:00 pm ET. If you are interested in joining, contact Jos Linn for more information.

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

Thursday, September 23: U.S. Poverty Monthly Policy Forum, 8:00 pm ET. Register here. Registration ends one hour prior to the webinar.

Thursday, September 23: Global Poverty Monthly Policy Forum, 9:00 pm ET. Register here. Registration ends one hour prior to the webinar.

Monday, September 27: Global Poverty Free Agents, 7:00 pm ET. If you are interested in joining, contact Lisa Marchal for more information.

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

Saturday, October 2: RESULTS National Webinar, 1:00 pm ET. Register today. Registration ends one hour prior to the webinar.

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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