U.S. Poverty Weekly Update April 2, 2019

April 2, 2019

Quote of the Week

“I call on our senators and representatives in Washington to reject President Trump’s reckless budget cuts and instead increase investments in housing assistance programs.”

–  RESULTS Illinois advocate Louise Friedenson in a March 22 letter to the editor in the Chicago Tribune


Got Two Minutes (and then 58 more)? Join Tonight’s National Webinar with Emanuel Nieves of Prosperity Now

Please join us for the RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Webinar tonight, April 2 at 8:00 pm ET. In light of Tax Day on April 15, we are excited to welcome Emanuel Nieves of Prosperity Now for the webinar to discuss how the 2017 tax legislation will deepen the already substantial racial wealth divide and how that intersects with housing inequality. In addition, we’ll get you geared up for the April recess and talk about how to get those meetings with offices who are not great at responding to your requests. We’ll preview our fundraising campaign coming in May and you’ll get to meet our new Emerson Hunger Fellow Mackenzie Aime. Join us!

TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes to join the RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Webinar tonight, April 2 at 8:00 pm ET, then stick around for the rest of the webinar. Join online at: https://results.zoom.us/j/873308801 or dial in by phone at either (929) 436-2866 or (669) 900-6833, Meeting ID: 873 308 801). If you login online, please list both your first and last names when prompted. Be sure to remind your groups and action networks of the webinar. The slides for the webinar will be available later today on the National Webinars page. If you have questions, please contact Jos Linn.

Got Ten Minutes? Get Senators on Housing Letter; Submit April Recess Meeting Requests (March and April Actions)

Thank you to everyone who contacted their representatives and senators last week about signing onto the housing “Dear Colleague” letters. Because of your work, we were able to secure 118 House signers (and more may be reported in the coming days), which is more than last year. As for the Senate, we have 21 signers. To get more, the deadline to sign on to the Senate housing letters has been extended to this Friday, April 5. If you have not contacted your Senate offices (or followed up), contact them this week and urge them to sign on (see the Got Two Minutes section of last week’s update for instructions).

But these letters alone are just one tool in getting the funding we need for housing assistance in the next budget. We’ll need more than that. President Trump is calling for deep cuts to housing programs and is telling Congress he opposes a budget deal to raise spending caps. Members of Congress need to hear from you that imposing drastic cuts to housing and other assistance programs is short-sighted, cruel, and unpopular. The April recess is the perfect opportunity for you to do so.

TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes to request face-to-face meetings for the April recess (April 15-26), or to follow up on a previous request you’ve made, to talk about affordable housing. The March and April Actions have tips and tools to help you. Use our meeting request (online or Word doc) to request meetings now (use the Legislator Lookup tool to find scheduler names). Please contact Meredith Dodson when you get a meeting scheduled for lobby coaching and find lobbying resources on our lobbying page. In addition, we’ll discuss tips for getting meetings with offices who are slow to respond to requests on tonight’s National Webinar (8:00 pm ET).

After you’ve contacted offices about meetings, take time this week to submit a letter to the editor on housing that, if published, you can take with you to your lobby meetings later this month.

Got Twenty Minutes? Research Local Data for your Upcoming Lobby Meetings

While the policies we advocate for focus on the U.S. as a whole, members of Congress want to know how the issues and solutions we present will impact people in their districts and states. As you prepare for meetings last this month, use the resources below to pull local data and other resources to help make the argument for new investments in housing assistance.

TAKE ACTION: Take twenty minutes to gather data for your upcoming lobby meetings, including local data on housing. Here are some resources to help:

  • The 2019 Prosperity Now Scorecard includes several outcome measures related to homeownership and housing. These measures include homeownership rate, home affordability and housing cost burden among others, and are available at both the national and state levels. Affordability, cost burden and homeownership rate can be broken down even further at the local level, such as the county, city or congressional district. Many of these measures also include data by race, gender, disability and income.
  • The National Low Income Housing Coalition’s new report, The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Homes highlights the lack of affordable housing in the U.S. and how this shortage impacts communities. The data is available by state on the NLIHC website. Overall, the report found:
    • There are currently only 37 affordable homes for every 100 extremely low-income households, which are households with incomes either below the poverty line or at 30 percent of the average income for the area (whichever is higher)
    • Oregon, Florida, and Arizona have the largest affordable home shortages
    • Seventy percent of low-income workers spend more than 50 percent of their household income on housing costs
    • People of color are more likely to be extremely low-income renters
    • Those who are late on their rent are more likely to experience worse health outcomes
    • To afford a modest 1-2-bedroom apartment a worker would need to make $90 per hour, more than $10 per hour below the prevailing minimum wage
  • New polling data shows overwhelming support for programs that help people secure housing.
  • The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has housing state fact sheets and housing choice voucher stats for the 50 largest U.S. cities

Quick News

Last Day to Oppose New SNAP Rule. If you have not submitted your public comment opposing the Trump Administration’s proposal to take SNAP benefits from 755,000 childless adults, please go to FRAC’s website to submit your comment today. The deadline is today, April 2.

Check Out Maureen’s Blog Post. Read the powerful story of RESULTS Kentucky and REAL Change Fellow Maureen Bowling as a single mom facing poverty, abuse, and homelessness. Her story is a reminder that the policies we advocate for can literally change people’s lives.

Thank You, New Donors. Thank you to everyone who donated and spread the word during Monthly Giving March. We’re excited to report that you unlocked the full $10,000 match! Twenty-five new donors joined the Investors in Change, contributing over $500/month (that’s $6,000/year) to support advocacy to fight poverty. You can still join them as an Investor in Change any time – every gift makes a difference.

Register for the RESULTS International Conference. Register for the 2019 RESULTS International Conference, July 13-16 in Washington, DC today. Register today! You can also find resources to help with expenses on our new 2019 IC Resources page.

Upcoming Events

Tuesday, April 2: 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.

Wednesday, April 3: RESULTS Action Network Community of Practice webinar, 8:00pm ET. To join, log in: https://results.zoom.us/j/427674133 or dial in: 669-900-6833, Meeting ID: 427 674 133. You can also join our Facebook and e-mail groups.

RESULTS New Advocate Orientation, Thursday, April 4 (8:30pm ET); Tuesday, April 9 (12:00 pm ET); Wednesday, April 17 (8:30pm 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.

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.

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 15, 18, and 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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