U.S. Poverty Weekly Update April 18, 2017

April 18, 2017

U.S. Poverty Campaigns

Weekly Update | April 18, 2017

“My America does not turn its back on disadvantaged people and leave them to die, and I’m willing to bet yours doesn’t either. We all need to speak up.”

—RESULTS Coastal CT volunteer Bill Baker on an April 16 letter to the editor in the Stamford Advocate

In This Week’s Update:

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

Take Action!

Got Two Minutes? Look for Town Hall Meetings This Week (April Action)

This is the final week of Congress’ spring recess. A number of members of Congress have been holding town hall meetings to hear your views on the issues. Don’t miss out on this important opportunity to influence what your legislators will do to protect anti-poverty programs in tax reform.

TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes to find out of your members of Congress are doing town halls during this final week of the spring recess. Here are some tips to help:

  1. Call your House and Senate schedulers ask about any town halls that are scheduled. Find contact info on the RESULTS Elected Officials page.
  2. Look for events at: https://townhallproject.com/. This site has been inputting new events as they are announced.
  3. When you find an event to attend, review sample town hall questions on the RESULTS website and contact Meredith Dodson ([email protected]) to help you get ready.
  4. Get to the event early. Town halls in 2017 have seen much larger crowds than normal so don’t risk not being able to get in.
  5. Be prepared for written questions. More and more of these events are featuring written questions that are chosen randomly to be answered. Invite others to attend the event with you so multiple questions (or the same question more than once) can get submitted. If you are alone, submit multiple questions if allowed.
  6. Enter any events you plan to attend into our First 100 Days Meeting Tracker: http://tinyurl.com/100daysmeetings and fill out the Lobby Report Form afterward to let us know how it went.

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Got Ten Minutes? Invite Someone New to a Town Hall (April Action)

Town halls and lobby meetings are one of the best recruitment tools in RESULTS’ work. It’s one thing to describe RESULTS to a potential new volunteer; it’s quite another to us in action. When people attend these events, they see first-hand not just how easy it is (with RESULTS’ help), but also how empowering it is.

We’ve said many times that last year’s election was a wake-up call for millions of Americans. They realized that if they want government to reflect their values, they need to make it happen. Will Congress enact more tax cuts for the wealthy? Will they cut health care for low-income children and families? Will SNAP remain intact for another year? By meeting with your members of Congress or attending a town hall, you can get these questions answered. Show new advocates how to make their voices heard in meetings and town halls this week.

TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes to contact ten people you know to attend a town hall or lobby meeting this week. If you are attending an event or meeting in your area, invite them to come with you. Offer to show them how to ask a question or share a story at one of these events (use the RESULTS Activist Toolkit and our Sample Town Hall Questions). Or just ask them to attend and watch. Seeing it firsthand will go a long way in getting them excited about advocacy.  But don’t stop there. Invite friends from other parts of the country to do the same thing. Point them to www.townhallproject.com and urge them to search for events in their area. Offer to help prepare them (you can ask for help from RESULTS staff too).

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Got Twenty Minutes? Set Up Lobby Meetings in April and May (April Action)

For nearly 40 years, RESULTS volunteers have seen showing lawmakers, the media, and community allies that lobby meetings are the gold standard for advocacy. Asking a question at a town hall is great but the sit-down, face-to-face meeting is better. The Congressional Management Foundation confirmed this fact earlier this year when their new report showed once again that in-person visits from constituents is the number one way (94 percent) to influence members of Congress on an issue. And they need some influencing. With a health care disaster narrowly avoided last month and another giant tax cut for the wealthy in the works, they need to hear from you. Eliminating poverty will never be a top priority on its own. It will take people liking you demanding that Congress put at the top of the list. Do your part today by setting up sit-down meetings with lawmakers in April and May.

TAKE ACTION: Take twenty minutes to contact House and Senate schedulers to request a face-to-face meeting with your members of Congress. The April Action has resources to help you. Lawmakers are off the rest of this week and again in May (House, May 8-12; House and Senate, May 29-June 2). Contact schedulers to get on the calendar as soon as possible. You can find scheduler names and contact information on the RESULTS Elected Officials page. Once you make your request, please follow up until you get an answer. Be sure to be politely persistent and be willing to go as far out on the calendar for a meeting as you can. Once you get a meeting scheduled, please contact Meredith Dodson ([email protected]) to help you get ready and enter the meeting info at: http://tinyurl.com/100daysmeetings.

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Come See Amazing Speakers at the RESULTS Conference

Last week, we highlighted the impressive number of great skills workshops being offered at this year’s RESULTS International Conference in Washington, DC (July 22-25). Now we have a new list of wonderful speakers to highlight. Dr. Jim Kim, President of the World Bank; Michael Gerson, of the Washington Post, Pam Fessler of NPR, and Asia Thompson of RESULTS Experts on Poverty will be speaking (among others). And we’ll be adding more as we get closer to the Conference. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to make a difference on ending poverty around the world. Register for the Conference today!

Remember, if you need financial help getting to the Conference, apply for scholarship assistance at www.tinyurl.com/RESULTSScholUS.

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Mark Your Calendars – U.S. Poverty Webinar Change

To help with attracting new people to our U.S. Poverty work and free up an additional weekend for you each month, the U.S. Poverty National Webinar is being moved to the second Tuesday of the month at 8:00 pm ET. The first webinar on the new day and time will be Tuesday, May 9 and the change will be effective through the RESULTS International Conference (except during joint monthly calls with RESULTS Global poverty volunteers). Our hope is that it will be made permanent this fall. If you have questions, please contact Jos Linn ([email protected]).

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Quick News

Tax Day Marches This Weekend. Federal income taxes are due today and while many people are busy finishing their returns and racing to the post office before midnight, thousands were out in drives this past Saturday for Tax Day Marches across the country. Some estimates say that 120,000 people protested nationwide urging more transparency from President Trump (via his tax returns) and standing up for a tax system that is fair to all. RESULTS echoes these feelings and urges Congress to focus its tax reform efforts on preserving incoming revenue (revenue-neutrality), reducing wealth inequality, and preserving resource for anti-poverty programs. Send a message to your members of Congress today, using coverage of Tax Day to submit a letter to the editor about tax fairness.

RESULTS Attends Recent Racial Wealth Gap Events. RESULTS staff are attending events and conducting research to better understand the current implications of the racial wealth gap, especially since Republicans in Congress plan on introducing tax reform legislation soon. Keeping focus on the racial wealth gap will ensure that all families will have equal access to building wealth. RESULTS Emerson Hunger Fellow Ashley Burnside has summarized recent wealth gap events she attended on the RESULTS Blog.

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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: April 10-21, May 8-12, May 29-June 2. Senate: April 10-21, May 29-June 2.

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 “New Jim Crow” Book Club Webinar, Thursday, April 27 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 (final session). We will cover chapter 6 of the book. To participate, login at http://fuze.me/34326078 or dial in by phone (201) 479-4595 Meeting ID: 34326078#.

RESULTS Introductory Call, Friday, April 28 at 1:00 pm ET. If you want to learn more about RESULTS, register for an Intro Call on the RESULTS website.

New Date and Time! RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Webinar, Tuesday, May 9 at 8:00 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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