U.S. Poverty Weekly Update April 17, 2018
U.S. Poverty Campaigns
Weekly Update | April 17, 2018
“Many Americans who live with hunger aren’t seen by those of us free from want.”
– RESULTS Northwest Montana volunteer Karen Cunningham April 14 letter to the editor in Flathead Beacon
Quick Media Action: Tell Congress to Oppose Cuts to SNAP in the New Farm Bill
Got Two Minutes? Call Aides about Protecting SNAP from Cuts in House Farm Bill (April Action)
Late last week, House Agriculture Committee Chair Mike Conaway (R-TX-11) released his proposed Farm Bill, which will be considered by the Committee this week. Sadly, it takes aim at one of America’s most important and effective anti-poverty programs – the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly called food stamps). Here are the SNAP changes he is proposing:
- Expand work requirements (at least 20 hours per week) to include workers up to age 60 (under current law, workers over age 49 are exempt) and parents with children older than 6 years old (under current law, all parents with children are exempt).
- People must prove every month that they are working or are in a work program, creating an additional, complicated bureaucracy for states.
- If a person fails to comply, he/she would lose benefits for 1 year; if it happens again, he/she would lose benefits for 3 years. This would put individuals and families at greater risk of hunger.
- Eliminate “broad-based” categorial eligibility, which gives states flexibility to streamline the SNAP application process and provide assistance to more people. This will force states to reinstate artificially low asset limits, which exacerbates the “cliff effect”, and could also result low-income children losing access to school-meal programs.
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates that 2 million people – mainly low-income families with children – will see their SNAP benefits cut or lose them altogether under this proposal. While Chairman Conaway’s plan does use savings from these cuts to invest in more job training, it is woefully inadequate to meet the need. Moreover, taking food away from people will not help them find work. After passing a $1.5 trillion tax cut for America’s wealthiest families just four months ago, it is unconscionable that Congress now wants take food off the table for America’s most vulnerable families.
TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes to call House and Senate Agriculture aides about the House Farm Bill. Tell them to you want your representative and senators to tell leadership that they will oppose any Farm Bill that cuts, restructures, or restricts SNAP. Tell them that the House Farm Bill proposal is an attack on working families, it needlessly increases hunger in America, and it jeopardizes the traditional bipartisan support needed to pass a Farm Bill. Use the April Action, our updated SNAP Lobby Request, and recent RESULTS Blog post as guides for your conversations. You can find aide names and contact information here. If you have questions or need coaching, please contact Jos Linn.
Got Ten Minutes? Use #LettersGetLOUD to Inspire Others into Action on SNAP (April Action)
After you have spoken to Agriculture aides urging their bosses to oppose the changes to SNAP in the House Farm Bill (see above), magnify your message by writing a follow-up letter and using #LettersGetLOUD to spur others into action. We need as many voices as possible urging Congress to reject harsh new SNAP work requirements and other restrictions on hungry families. #LettersGetLOUD gives you that platform.
TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes to write more #LettersGetLOUD letters to each of your members of Congress urging them to reject the House proposal to cut SNAP for up to 2 million people (see details above). Use the April Action for talking points in your letters, record yourself reading your letters out loud, then post the video on social media. Urge people you know to write their own letters. Invite new people to join you as well as people who did #LettersGetLOUD with you earlier this year. The more people writing letters about protecting SNAP means more influence over lawmakers during Farm Bill negotiations and Farm Bill votes.
Also Schedule Face-to-Face Meetings. Congress will be on recess April 30-May 4. With the House likely to vote on the Farm Bill right after that recess, this will be an important time to meet with your members of Congress and their staff to talk about protecting SNAP. Reach out to offices now to schedule meetings and when you get a meeting scheduled, please contact Meredith Dodson for lobby prep.
Got Sixty Minutes? Join Tonight’s Webinar on “Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” at 9pm ET
As part of our work to address systemic oppression issues, RESULTS is hosting a webinar this evening to look at the issue of “privilege”. This is a follow-up from our U.S. Poverty and Global Poverty National Webinars this month, where we focused on RESULTS’ anti-oppression efforts. On tonight’s webinar, we will discuss the Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh. This short article explores white privilege and asks us to consider how our skin color plays a role in our life experiences. In our discussion, we will consider our own privileges, how they impact our experiences, and how they impact our work as RESULTS volunteers. Please join us for this important and enlightening discussion.
TAKE ACTION: Take sixty minutes to the RESULTS webinar on the “Invisible Knapsack” tonight, April 17 at 9:00 pm ET. To participate, login at http://fuze.me/33986526 or dial (201) 479-4595 Meeting ID: 33986526#. Please read the Invisible Knapsack article before joining the webinar. And mark your calendars – our next anti-oppression webinar discussion will be Tuesday, May 15 at 9:00 pm ET. Visit our Events Calendar for more details.
The Conference Agenda Alone is Worth the Trip. Each week, we are highlighting something new about the 2018 RESULTS International Conference that is reason enough to register today. This week – it’s the Conference agenda. Do we have Marianne Williamson speaking? You bet. Are we going to show you how to make poverty an election issue in 2018? Absolutely. How about training on media (yes!), lobbying in contentious political times (yes!), and how to strengthen and expand your groups (yes!). It’s all here and more. Read more in our new sneak peek and then come back – we’ll be adding new, exciting things to the agenda from now until Conference time. So, don’t waste another minute – reserve your spot today for the 2018 RESULTS International Conference!
Join our May Friends and Family Fundraising Campaign. With May comes Mother’s Day. But far too many mothers and children still suffer in poverty in the U.S. and around the world. RESULTS is dedicated to enacting policies that will help moms, children, and all others escape poverty once and for all. To make that happen, we ask you to support our work by participating in our Support Moms, Championing Kids online fundraising campaign. It will take place the entire month of May and your participation will help us secure the funds needed to continue our work to end poverty. For help in getting started, contact Mea Geizhals. Also, join our Campaign Kick Off Training, Thursday, May 3 at 8:30 pm ET. Join online at: http://fuze.me/37000190 or dial (408) 610-1042, Meeting ID: 37000190#.
Cameron Duncan Winner Wins Pulitzer Prize. Congratulations to Des Moines Register editorial writer and 2010 RESULTS Cameron Duncan Media Award winner Andie Dominick for winning the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. She was honored for her writing about the privatization of the state’s administration of Medicaid and its negative impact on taxpayers and low-income Iowans. We are grateful the Pulitzer judges acknowledged her talent in bringing awareness of how public policy impacts vulnerable families in Iowa. Help us recognize someone like Andie by nominating a journalist you know for this year’s Cameron Duncan Award. The award is given to a journalist who demonstrates a commitment to fairly and accurately covering issues of U.S. and/or global poverty in the news. The RESULTS Newsroom has information about how to submit your nomination. Nominations are due by April 23.
Consider the REAL Change Fellowship. If you know an emerging leader aged 18-30 who would make a welcomed addition to RESULTS’ anti-poverty work, urge them to apply for the REAL Change Organizing and Advocacy Fellowship to Fight Poverty.
It’s Tax Day – Tell Congress You Want a Better Tax Code. Join our friends at Prosperity Now on Twitter to tell your members of Congress to create a tax code that brings prosperity to everyone, not just those at the top. And remember to file your taxes!
New Report Outlines the End of Child Poverty. The Child Poverty Action Group and First Focus have released their new report, Our Kids, Our Future, outlining a plan to end child poverty in the U.S. One in five American children were living in poverty in 2016. Therefore [from the report’s foreword], “in order to make significant progress in reducing child poverty and addressing racial and ethnic disparities, we need a national commitment.”
Upcoming U.S. Poverty staff time out of the office: Meredith Dodson, April 20.
U.S. Poverty Free Agents Calls, Tuesday, April 17 at 1:00pm and 8:00 pm ET. Login at http://fuze.me/32256018 or dial in by phone at (201) 479-4595, Meeting ID: 32256018#.
RESULTS Anti-Oppression Training Webinar, Tuesday, April 17 at 9:00p m ET. We will discuss the Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh (please read beforehand). Login at http://fuze.me/33986526 or dial (201) 479-4595 Meeting ID: 33986526#.
RESULTS Introductory Call, Friday, April 20 at 1:00 pm ET. To participate, call (712) 775-8972, passcode: 761262. Register here.
House and Senate Recess, April 30 – May 4. After any lobby meeting, please complete the RESULTS Lobby Report Form to let us know how it went.
RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Webinar, Tuesday, May 1 at 8:00 pm ET. Participate at http://fuze.me/32255914 or (201) 479-4595, Meeting ID: 32255914#.
RESULTS May Fundraising Campaign Kick Off Training, Thursday, May 3 at 8:30 pm ET. Join online at: http://fuze.me/37000190 or dial (408) 610-1042, Meeting ID: 37000190#.
RESULTS Anti-Oppression Training Webinar, Tuesday, May 15 at 9:00p m ET. We will do "cultural sketches" understand how our identities influence our values, decisions, behaviors, and opportunities. Login at http://fuze.me/33986526 or dial (201) 479-4595 Meeting ID: 33986526#.
2018 RESULTS International Conference, July 14-17, 2018, Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington, D.C. Registration is now open – register today. Watch our new 2018 Conference video and share it (along with our flyer) with others you know!
Get Your RESULTS Promo Materials. If you need banners, pens, stickers, or business cards for your local RESULTS work, fill out our Materials Order Form and we’ll send them to you.
Got a Question for the RESULTS Board? If you have a question, comment, or suggestion for the RESULTS/RESULTS Educational Fund Board, please e-mail them to RESULTS Grassroots Board Member Steven McGee at [email protected]. View the most recently published Board minutes on the RESULTS website, as well as RESULTS’ most recent Annual Report.
Please Fill Out the Lobby Report Form. After any lobby meeting, please fill out the RESULTS Lobby Report Form to let us know how it went. When you have a meeting where both U.S. and global poverty issues are discussed, please fill it out twice.
|2018 U.S. Poverty Campaigns Success Grid|
|Total to Date||2018 Goal||Details|
|Face-to-Face Mtgs||21||200||8 Senators, 13 Representatives|
|Media||52||500||48 LTEs and 4 Op-Eds in 22 states|
|# of people reached through outreach||320||500||Monthly #LettersGetLOUD meetings and 18 other outreach events|
|# of new U.S. Poverty volunteers from existing groups||10||100|