U.S. Poverty Weekly Update April 14, 2015
U.S. Poverty Campaigns
Weekly Update | April 14, 2015
In This Week’s Update:
Quick Action: Use the Media to Help Protect SNAP
Got Two Minutes? Send in Your SNAP Letter to the Editor TODAY (April Action)
As Congress heads back to DC this week to finalize the 2016 budget, send them a strong message that any budget that puts SNAP cuts on the “fast track” is unacceptable. RESULTS volunteers have been doing an excellent job at using the media to push members of Congress to protect SNAP. In the last week, you’ve had 14 media pieces about SNAP published! That kind of coverage makes a difference. Keep it up and do all you can to protect hungry families!
TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes to send a letter to the editor telling your members of Congress by name to protect SNAP in the 2016 budget. Use our SNAP LTE alert to send your letter today. If you want to write your own letter, and use the April Action for talking points and background information. If you are looking to make a bigger impact, use our SNAP media brief to urge your local paper to write an editorial about protecting SNAP. Find media outlets to send your letter using our Media Guide. If you have questions or need help with letters, op-eds, or editorials, please contact Jos Linn ([email protected]) for assistance.
We also encourage you to listen to the recording and review the slides from last Saturday’s April U.S. Poverty National Meeting; guest speaker Rebecca Lenn provided some invaluable insights on how to respond to myths about SNAP in the media.
Got Ten Minutes? Invite Young People to Apply for REAL Change
While the immediate focus at RESULTS is on protecting nutrition programs and expanding economic mobility in America, we are also looking ahead at engaging the next generation of RESULTS activists. We have a fantastic network of volunteers, some of whom have been with RESULTS for decades. But we know that in order to survive and thrive, RESULTS always needs to be looking for new people, especially young people. Young people bring their unique strength, passion, and intelligence to any endeavor. Imagine what world we could create if the next generation of leaders started out as RESULTS advocates. We have a tool to make that happen.
The RESULTS REAL Change Fellowship is a year-long volunteer program working to train the next generation of anti-poverty advocates. It is a way for 18-28 year olds to get unique experience in lobbying, media advocacy, and organizing. It starts with a trip to the RESULTS International Conference and continues throughout the year, where Fellows put their ongoing training into practice in their community. It can be a wonderful experience for those who participate, just like PaHoua Vang from Minnesota. PaHoua recently wrote on the RESULTS Blog about how RESULTS and the REAL Change Fellowship has taught her the courage to advocate for the things she cares about. We want more people like PaHoua, and Sarah Miller, and Reba Carethers, and David Costello, and other Fellows who have completed the program. We are now accepting applications for the 2015-26 class and we need your help. If you know someone 18-28 years old who would make a great advocate, urge them to apply today. The deadline to apply is April 25.
TAKE ACTION: Think you might know someone who wants to be a part of our REAL Change Fellowship? Take ten minutes and tell them to apply fast! We have already accepted over 50 REAL changers and applications are pouring in. REAL Changers work with RESULTS an average of six hours per week and attend webinar trainings every two weeks. They spend the year learning how to lobby, organize and work with local media. The application deadline is April 25, so please share with your local group and local contacts now. To learn more check out www.results.org/realchange.
Got Twenty Minutes? Learn Why You Should Attend the 2015 RESULTS International Conference
The RESULTS International Conference begins three months from this weekend, and we want you there. We are very excited about this year’s conference, which will be part conference, part birthday party. This is RESULTS’ 35th Anniversary and we have quite the array of guests coming to celebrate with us. Economist have Jeffrey Sachs, Nuns on the Bus Sister Simone Campbell, Sen. Sherrod Brown, and World Bank President Dr. Jim Kim, and early childhood advocate Joan Lombardi will all be speaking. And just announced, Prof. Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize-winning founder of the Grameen Bank, will also be at this year’s conference. If that weren’t enough, you also get some of the best policy briefings and advocacy training around and then get to make your voice heard by taking your message of “end poverty now” straight up Capitol Hill to your members of Congress. Who would want to miss that?
But perhaps you’re not sure about whether to come OR you’re new to RESULTS and want to know more OR you are coming and just want to learn what’s in store. We have just the thing for you. Join our webinar this Thursday at 8:00 pm ET and again Friday at 1:00 pm ET to learn Why You Should Attend the 2015 RESULTS International Conference. This 30-minute call will overview all the festivities and answer any questions you have about the conference and how to get there.
TAKE ACTION: Take thirty minutes to dial into our Why You Should Attend the 2015 RESULTS International Conference webinar. The webinar is this Thursday, April 16 at 8:00 pm ET. We will repeat it again on Friday, April 17 at 1:00 pm ET. To join online, go to: http://fuze.me/28157166. You can also join by phone at (201) 479-4595, meeting ID 28157166#. Please invite others you know to join the webinar – all are welcomed. If you already know that you plan to attend this year’s conference, don’t wait and Register TODAY! Note that you must book your hotel room through the RESULTS website before June 1 to be guaranteed a room at the discounted rate.
April National Meeting Provides Helpful Resources in Your Media Advocacy
Last weekend’s U.S. Poverty National Meeting provided a wealth of information for our current efforts to protect SNAP. Rebecca Lenn, Director of Outreach for Media Matters, did a fabulous presentation on how to combat myths about SNAP in the media. For example, she taught us to “minimize the myth, familiarize the fact.” Too often, when we hear something negative about SNAP, our response is to repeat it and then try to negate it (“SNAP does not have a high fraud rate!”). While admirable, Rebecca explained that this simply reinforces the myth in the mind of the reader or listener. Instead, you want to retell it. Here’s an alternative frame Rebecca provided:
Myth: SNAP has a high rate of fraud and abuse.
Retold Fact: SNAP is doing exactly what it is supposed do and what a democracy would ask of it. It is helping people who need help in hard times. Pundits and politicians who make this claim are turning a blind eye to not just the numbers that show that fraud and abuse are rare, but the seniors, children, and working families for whom SNAP is helping.
Advice like this is invaluable and only helps us to better educate lawmakers and the public about the truth. This is only one of the many tips Rebecca provided us during the meeting. The call also included shares from volunteers in Iowa, New Mexico, New Jersey, and Washington State about media successes and face-to-face meetings this month. If you were not on the call or want to review it again, please listen to the recording of the call and download the slides and summary of the call from our National Conference Calls page.
RESULTS greatly appreciates Rebecca and Media Matters for appearing on our call. We look forward to working with them again in the future.
Quick News: Invite Staffers to Witnesses Event; Learn Where Your Taxes Go
Invite Congressional Staffers to Witnesses to Hunger Event. Invite House and Senate aides to come to a briefing where members of Witnesses to Hunger will share their recommendations for the Child Nutrition Reauthorization. Witnesses to Hunger are the true experts on hunger and poverty because they know it firsthand. The Witnesses have taken their expertise and created a book that highlights what works, what doesn't, and how child nutrition programs can be improved. Invite aides to come to this briefing, read the Witnesses’ book, and talk about ways to improve the health and nutrition of all children. The briefing is next Monday, April 20, 2015 3:00 – 4:30 in the Cannon House Office Building, Room 122. Aides can RSVP here.
Pay Your Taxes and Find Out What They Pay For. Tomorrow is Tax Day and our friends at the National Priorities Project (NPP) have great tools to show you how your tax money was spent in 2014 (including the graphic below). After looking at their resources, use our online alert to send a message to your members of Congress urging them to help America’s working families by preserving the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit for millions of low-income workers and expanding the EITC for workers without children.
Go to the RESULTS Events Calendar to see a full list of RESULTS events.
Next Congressional Recesses: House,: April 17-20, May 2-12 and 23-31; Senate: May 23-31. Request face-to-face meetings.
Webinar: Why You Should Attend the RESULTS International Conference, April 16 at 8:00pm ET (repeated on April 17 at 1:00 pm ET). Join this preview of the RESULTS International Conference and why you should come. Join online at http://fuze.me/28157166 or by phone at (201) 479-4595, meeting ID 28157166.
RESULTS Introductory Call, April 24 at 1:00 pm ET. If you are new to RESULTS, learn more about our work by joining our next RESULTS Intro Call. Register for an upcoming call on the RESULTS website.
RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Meeting, May 9 at 12:30 pm ET. Listen to previous conference calls and meetings on our National Conference Calls page.
Attend the RESULTS International Conference, July 18-21. Join us for the RESULTS International Conference at the Washington Court Hotel in Washington, DC. This is the biggest event of the year for RESULTS. Register TODAY!
Find a list of the RESULTS U.S. Poverty staff with contact information on the RESULTS website.