U.S. Poverty Weekly Update April 16, 2019

April 16, 2019

Quote of the Week

“A great day back in the district. Thanks to those who made time to visit with me today in the office about issues that matter.”

–  Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher (D-TX-7) on meeting with advocacy groups yesterday, including the RESULTS Houston group

Got Two Minutes? It’s Recess Time – Talk Housing in Meeting and Town Halls! (April Action)

It’s on! Members of Congress are home on recess for the next two weeks. This is your chance to push them to create a budget this year that makes housing assistance a top funding priority. Meet with your congressional offices to remind them that the affordable housing problem and public support for congress to do something about it are growing. A good first step is to raise the budget spending caps and set aside an additional $5 billion for the Housing Choice Voucher program. Use this recess to set their agenda and put housing assistance first!

TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes to contact your House and Senate offices to ask about last-minute, sit-down meetings or public events you can attend with your members of Congress (sample requests: online or Word doc; also visit www.townhallproject.com to look for events). The April Action and our lobbying page have resources to help you. Once you find an event to attend, contact Meredith Dodson for coaching advice. If you do get a meeting or ask a question at an event, please fill out our Lobby Report Form to let us know what happened.

Got Ten Minutes? Generate Media on Making the Tax Code Fairer for Working Families

Just in time for yesterday’s Tax Day, a new bill in the Senate aims to remedy the injustice of the 2017 tax law which gave big tax breaks to the wealthy while working Americans got left behind. The Working Families Tax Relief Act would significantly benefit people in or near poverty by expanding tax credits for working families by:

  • Increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for families with children by roughly 25 percent
  • Almost quadrupling the maximum EITC for childless workers and allowing more workers to claim it
  • Making the Child Tax Credit (CTC) fully refundable and available to all low-income families
  • Creating a fully-refundable $1,000 Young Child Tax Credit for every child under 6

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates that the bill would benefit 46 million households and lift 11 children above the poverty line (read more on the RESULTS Blog). Tell your members of Congress that if they take any action on taxes, it should include provisions from this bill.

TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes to submit a letter to the editor urging your members of Congress to expand tax credits for working families along the lines of the Working Families Tax Relief Act. Use our online media action to send your letter today!

Also, check out the new tax fairness calculator from Americans for Tax Fairness, which lets you reform the tax code to prioritize the things you care about and how to pay for them.

Got Twenty Minutes? Can’t Get a Meeting? Set Up a Call with the DC Aide

Congress left for home last weekend without much clarity on the FY2020 budget process, which is well underway. The House Budget Committee had hoped to pass a budget deal that included an increase in the spending caps, but the vote was pulled when some members objected to the discrepancy between overall spending number for defense and non-defense programs. Fortunately, it appears that both House and Senate leaders understand the need to raise the caps (as do human needs advocates), but when to do it and at what levels remains undecided.

This week, our primary focus is on getting meetings and attending events to talk to members about the importance of raising the caps and increasing spending on housing assistance. But all of you may not be able to get a meeting during the recess. If your efforts for a meeting are being stymied, reach out to talk to the DC housing aides in your congressional offices. Talking with the aide is the next best thing to an in-person meeting. In most instances, the DC aide is keeping the member apprised of constituent requests on your issues. Thus. if you get the DC policy aide on your side, will have gained a powerful ally.

TAKE ACTION: Take twenty minutes to set up a call with the DC housing aide to talk about our issues. Look up the aide’s name with our legislator lookup tool or simply call the DC office and ask for the lead person who works on housing. You can e-mail the aide first to set up a time to call or simply call and go over your issue when connected. Use our updated housing leave behind and laser talks for talking points to push for budget deal that increases the spending caps and sets aide $5 billion in new funding for the Housing Choice Voucher program. If you need help with getting in touch with the aide or what to say, please contact Jos Linn or Meredith Dodson for assistance.

Quick News

Join Tonight’s “Call In, Call Out” Training. What should you do when you hear racist language? How should you respond to sexism? How can you be a good ally to traditionally marginalized groups? Join RESULTS’ Carly Pildis for a new “Call In, Call Out” training on how to respond to oppressive behavior in a way that strengthens our community. This interactive webinar is Tuesday, April 16 at 8:30pm ET. To join, login at: https://results.zoom.us/j/934667610 or dial either (929) 436-2866 or (669) 900-6833, Meeting ID: 934 667 610.

New Just Faith Program Announced. Our friends at Just Faith have unveiled a new program for advocates whose faith is a motivation for social action. Through the lens of the Christian faith, Just Engagement is an eight-week course that helps you to look at different ways to engage in your own grassroots advocacy efforts and create social change. Over the years, RESULTS volunteers have participated in Just Faith and found it helpful in their RESULTS work. If you’re interested in this new program, learn more here.

Nominate New Board Nominees. Would you like to take a leadership in the governance of our RESULTS community? Do you know someone who you think would be a strong voice for guiding RESULTS? If so, nominate someone for the Grassroots Board seat coming open this summer. Read our RESULTS Blog post for details. Nominations are due May 12.

Share New Conference Videos and Invite People to Come. We want to see you and your friends at the 2019 RESULTS International Conference. To help you spread the word, share our new RESULTS IC promotional video on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube with people you know and invite them to join us in DC this July. Find additional tools to help you with the Conference on our 2019 IC Resources page.

Bob Dickerson Award Nominations.  Nominate a fellow advocate for this year’s Bob Dickerson Grassroots Leadership Award. The deadline is June 22.

Start Preparing for Housing Week of Action. Read about the National Low-Income Housing Coalition’s “Our Homes, Our Voices” week of action coming up at the end of May. More details soon on how you can participate.

Upcoming Events

RESULTS New Advocate Orientation, Wednesday, April 17 or Thursday, May 2, 8:30 pm ET. Get started at: https://results.salsalabs.org/volunteer/index.html.

Monday, April 15-Friday, April 26: Congressional Recess. Submit your meeting requests today.

Tuesday, April 16, U.S. Poverty Free Agents Calls, 1:00 pm and 8:00 pm ET. Join at: https://results.zoom.us/j/324294681 or dial by phone at (929) 436-2866 or (669) 900-6833, Meeting ID: 324 294 681.

Tuesday, April 16, Call In, Call Out Training, 8:30 pm ET. To join, login at: https://results.zoom.us/j/934667610 or dial either (929) 436-2866 or (669) 900-6833, Meeting ID: 934 667 610.

Thursday, April 18: Quiet Leadership Book Club, 9:00 pm ET. To join, go to https://results.zoom.us/j/482992263. You can also join by phone at (929) 436-2866 or (669) 900-6833, meeting ID 482 992 263.

Tuesday, May 7: RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Webinar, 8:00 pm ET. Join at: https://results.zoom.us/j/873308801 or dial (929) 436-2866 or (669) 900-6833, Meeting ID: 873 308 801. Find recordings and slides from previous webinars on the National Webinars page.

Tuesday, June 4: RESULTS National Webinar with Hahrie Han, 8:00 pm ET. Join at: https://results.zoom.us/j/873308801 or dial (929) 436-2866 or (669) 900-6833, Meeting ID: 873 308 801. Find recordings and slides from previous webinars on the National Webinars page.

Saturday, July 13-Tuesday, July 16, 2019: RESULTS International Conference. Register today at www.resultsconference.org!

Find other events on the RESULTS Events Calendar.

U.S. Poverty Staff time out of the office: Meredith Dodson, April 18-19.

Other Resources

Learn more about the RESULTS Experts on Poverty.

Do you have a new person in your RESULTS group or info to update? Use our Volunteer Information Form to add them.

Report lobby meetings in our Lobby Report Form and report any published media in our Grassroots Media Form.

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

RESULTS Staff directory.

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