U.S. Poverty Weekly Update April 11, 2017

April 11, 2017

U.S. Poverty Campaigns

Weekly Update | April 11, 2017

“Remind [members of Congress] that they went into office to protect all Americans, not just a few, and that as American citizens, we don’t have a ‘nuclear option’ when things are rough for us.”

—RESULTS Expert on Poverty Yolanda Gordon on the April 2017 RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Webinar

In This Week’s Update:

Quick Action: Tell Congress to Make Tax Reform Fair for All

Take Action!

Got Two Minutes? Ask about Town Hall Meetings This Month

Congress is on recess for the next two weeks. With tax reform likely the next big legislative fight, and the future of anti-poverty programs uncertain, this is an important time to be talking to them. They need to know that any tax reform must not put anti-poverty programs at risk and must not increase wealth inequality. Town halls are a good way to get them to publicly commit to their priorities in tax reform. To help you, we have a new RESULTS Blog post with sample questions on our issues you can use at these events. Contact offices today to find out when and where your members of Congress are doing events and plan to go.

TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes to call your House and Senate schedulers ask about any town halls your members of Congress are during the April recess. Start with the DC office and if they don’t have the information, contact the regional office closest to you. You can find contact info on the RESULTS Elected Officials page. Some town halls already made public can be found at: https://townhallproject.com/. If you find an event you plan to attend, please contact Meredith Dodson ([email protected]) ASAP to help you get ready; also, please enter the event info into our First 100 Days Meeting Tracker: http://tinyurl.com/100daysmeetings.

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Got Ten Minutes? Call about Scheduling Face-to-Face Meetings (April Action)

Last weekend, Anna Chu of the National Women’s Law Center joined our National Webinar to talk about tax reform. Anna outlined that the principal proponents of reform – Paul Ryan and Donald Trump – both want to cut the corporate tax rate (currently 35 percent) and allow corporations to bring profits they’ve been holding overseas back into the U.S. at a steep discount. They also want to cut individual tax rates, with most of the benefits going to the top 1 percent of households. They both also want to eliminate the estate tax, which only applies to the wealthiest 0.2 percent of households. President Trump has also proposed eliminating the Head of Household filing status, which would impact many single parents. The cost of these plans would be steep – $4.8 trillion over ten years for the Trump plan; $4.0 trillion for the Ryan plan.

So what does all this have to do with poverty? First, these plans do little to address poverty in the U.S. and would in fact make wealth inequality – one of the drivers of pervasive poverty – much worse. In addition, tax cuts starve the government of resources. With less money coming in, these is less money to pay for other priorities. For some this is intentional – cut taxes and then use the loss of revenue to justify cuts to core anti-poverty programs such as SNAP and Medicaid. We cannot let this happen. Use the information Anna provided and in RESULTS materials to meet with lawmakers this recess and tell them to make tax reform fair for all.

TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes to contact your House and Senate schedulers and request face-to-face meetings with your members of Congress during the April recess. The April Action has tips for your meetings and background on tax reform. Tell lawmakers to oppose any tax reform plans that are not at least “revenue neutral” (i.e., does not reduce the revenue coming into the Treasury), does not address wealth inequality, and puts anti-poverty programs at risk. Once you get a meeting scheduled, please enter the meeting info into our First 100 Days Meeting Tracker: http://tinyurl.com/100daysmeetings and contact Meredith Dodson ([email protected]) to set up a lobby prep call to get you ready. And don’t forget to take our updated Congressional Request Sheets with you, found on our Issues page.

RESULTS sincerely thanks Anna Chu for taking time last weekend to speak with us. You can listen to a recording of the webinar, and download the webinar slides and summary, on our National Webinars page.

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Got Twenty Minutes? Use Media to Highlight that Medicaid Threats Are Not Over (and Break Our Record to Boot)

Even though the health reform debate has abated for the time being, we cannot assume the threats to Medicaid – deep cuts, block granting – are over. Some House members want to take another run at repealing an ACA repeal next month, which could again include Medicaid cuts. However, a bigger threat could be tax reform. If Congress is successful at passing massive tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy, they could very well use cuts to Medicaid and other anti-poverty programs to pay for them. Don’t let this happen.

Because the threats to anti-poverty are much-more heightened in this Congress, media is going to play a vital role in protecting low-income Americans from cuts to services they rely on to make ends meet. RESULTS is already on pace to have the best media year ever on U.S. Poverty issues, with 142 media pieces already published in 2017 (we had 199 total in 2016). To keep the pressure on Congress, we are setting an ambitious goal of 250 published media pieces by the start of the RESULTS International Conference (this will break our all-time U.S. Poverty media record of 243, set in 2001). Let’s get to it!

TAKE ACTION: Take twenty minutes to personalize and submit our online letter to the editor urging Congress to protect core anti-poverty programs from cuts and structural changes. Let’s keep the pressure on Congress to stand up for Americans in poverty and set a new RESULTS media record at the same time. If you need help with your letters, please contact Jos Linn at [email protected]. Also, please send Jos a link or copy of your published letter(s) to add to our total.

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Join Important RESULTS Webinars This Week

In our ongoing effort to support and grow the best, most effective grassroots network around, we are offering two webinars this week to help you improve both your knowledge and skills in the work to end poverty.

First, on Wednesday, April 12 at 9:00 pm ET, we are hosting It’s Go Time: Tools and Practices for Engaging your Community in Advocacy. With a renewed sense of civic engagement emerging from last year’s election, countless people are looking for the kind of empowering activism RESULTS provides. But how do you best reach out and engage these new voices for change? Join this webinar where we’ll help you answer that question. To join, login at http://fuze.me/34577774 or dial in at (201) 479-4595, meeting ID# 34577774#.

Then on Thursday, April 13 at 8:00 pm ET, RESULTS will continue our discussion on race and poverty with our virtual book club on The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration In the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander. This book is essential in understanding how the War on Drugs has created an “undercaste” of Americans, mostly people of color, locked in a cycle of perpetual discrimination and economic insecurity. This is session three of four and we welcome to join us, even if you have not been on any of the previous webinars. To participate, login at http://fuze.me/34326078 or dial in by phone (201) 479-4595 Meeting ID: 34326078#. We will cover chapters 4 and 5 in this session.


Quick News

RESULTS Conference Workshops Now Online. At the RESULTS International Conference (July 22-25 in Washington, DC), we are offering a number of great skills workshops to help you be the best advocate you can be. This year’s Conference comes at a critical time in our nation’s history, where millions of people are waking up to their personal and political power. Be a change agent for this “awakening” by registering for the Conference today. If you need financial help getting to the Conference, apply for scholarship assistance at www.tinyurl.com/RESULTSScholUS.

Tax Day Marches This Weekend. While taxes are not due until April 18 this year, the traditional Tax Day of April 15 will be busy nonetheless with Tax Day Marches across the country. As National Webinar speaker Anna Chu mentioned last Saturday, thousands of Americans, including members of the SAVE Coalition, will be out this Saturday marching for President Trump to release his tax returns and commit to creating a tax system that is fair for all. These marches are a good way to connect with other advocates in your area. If you attend one, take some of our outreach materials with you to let others know actions they can take to create a fair tax system.

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Upcoming Events

Go to the RESULTS Events Calendar to see a full list of RESULTS events. Also, find a list of the RESULTS U.S. Poverty staff with contact information on the RESULTS website.

Upcoming Congressional Recesses: House and Senate, April 10-21.

RESULTS Webinar: It’s Go Time – Tools and Practices for Engaging your Community in Advocacy, Wednesday, April 12 at 9:00 pm ET. To join, login at http://fuze.me/34577774 or dial in at (201) 479-4595, meeting ID# 34577774#.

RESULTS Introductory Call, Wednesday, April 12 at 9:00 pm ET. If you want to learn more about RESULTS, register for an Intro Call on the RESULTS website.

RESULTS “New Jim Crow” Book Club Webinar, Thursday, April 13 at 8:00 pm ET. Join this conversation around the book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration In the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander (session #3). Please review chapters 4 and 5 of the book before the webinar. To participate, login at http://fuze.me/34326078 or dial in by phone (201) 479-4595 Meeting ID: 34326078#.

RESULTS U.S. Poverty Free Agents Calls, Tuesday, April 18 at 1:00 pm and 8:00 pm ET. To participate, login at http://fuze.me/32256018 or dial by phone at (201) 479-4595, Meeting ID: 32256018#.

RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Webinar, Saturday, May 13 at 12:30 pm ET. Participate at http://fuze.me/32255914 or (201) 479-4595, Meeting ID: 32255914#. Listen to previous webinars on our National Webinars page.

RESULTS International Conference, Saturday, July 22 – Tuesday, July 25, 2017. Washington Court Hotel, Washington, DC. Register today!

If you have a question, comment or suggestion for the RESULTS/RESULTS Educational Fund Board, please e-mail them to RESULTS Grassroots Board Member Vanessa Garcia at [email protected]. You can view the most recently published minutes from Board meetings on the RESULTS website, as well as download RESULTS’ most recent Annual Report.

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