U.S. Poverty Weekly Update April 26, 2016

April 26, 2016

U.S. Poverty Weekly Update April 26, 2016

“There are multiple reasons to come [to the RESULTS International Conference] but the best one in my opinion is that you get to see how smart, diverse, effective, innovative and powerful RESULTS volunteers are. Once you’ve been to it a light goes on and you truly understand the value of the work we are doing together.”

– RESULTS Columbus volunteer Ginnie Vogts

In This Week’s Update:

Quick Media Action: Urge Congress to Expand the EITC

Take Action!

Time for One Thing This Week? Register for the RESULTS International Conference Before Saturday’s Early Bird Deadline!

Do you want to attend the 2016 RESULTS International Conference (June 25-28)? If so, you’ll want to register for it right now. On Saturday, the low discounted rate of $125 for active RESULTS volunteers expires (for non-volunteers, it’s still low at $225). After that, the registration rates increase by $50. This is our biggest event of the year and we want you to be there. If you plan to come, save yourself some cash and register for the Conference today!  

TAKE ACTION: Go to www.resultsconference.org and register for the 2016 RESULTS International Conference today. Don’t miss out on the chance to see amazing speakers like Tavis Smiley, Barbara Ehrenreich, and Dr. Paul Farmer at such a low price. And if you’re already planning to come, invite a friend to come with you. We want to see an invasion of anti-poverty advocates in DC this June!

If you are an active RESULTS volunteer and want to attend the Conference but need help with travel costs, please apply for a scholarship to help you attend. Don’t assume you don’t qualify. Apply at: www.tinyurl.com/RESULTSScholUS.

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Time for Another Thing This Week? Send a Letter to the Editor about Protecting SNAP (April Action)

This month, we’ve working to generate media about protecting key anti-poverty programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI-1) has formed a Poverty Task Force which should be making recommendations to Congress this summer about how to revamp America’s anti-poverty policy. While we welcome the discussion about poverty at such high levels, we are very concerned that the recommendations will include the same old House proposals to “restructure” SNAP into a block grant to states, impose new harsher work requirements (most who can work already do), and/or cut the program. Use the media to let lawmakers know that America’s hungry families need leaders who are willing to address poverty in a meaningful way, not more threats of harsh policies based on false rhetoric and myths.

TAKE ACTION: If you have time to do something in addition to registering for the RESULTS International Conference, send a letter to the editor to your local paper urging your members Congress to protect SNAP. Use our online media alert to send your letter today. If you have time, personalize your letter with a SNAP story or local SNAP data. This will increase the chances of getting published. End your letter by naming your members of Congress and urging them to protect SNAP. When you get published, send a copy of your letter to each of your congressional offices. Also, please send a copy to Jos Linn at RESULTS ([email protected]) so we can celebrate with you.

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Time for One More Thing This Week? Work that Op-ed or Editorial on SNAP and the EITC (April Action)

Have you submitted your op-ed or asked your paper to write an editorial this month? It is not too late. House Speaker Paul Ryan’s Poverty Task Force is still meeting to discuss their plans to address poverty in America. Our hope is that the recommendations are constructive and actually address the real problems that low-income Americans are facing. However, if the new task force recommendations from the Republican Study Group are any indication of the outcome, we have our work cut out for us. Among other things, the RSG proposes radical changes to SNAP including converting it to a block grant to states, imposing harsher work requirements on beneficiaries, requiring photo ID for all SNAP purchases, and imposing time limits on how long people can receive benefits. If implemented, these changes would reduce SNAP to a shadow of its current self, resulting in millions losing benefits, millions seeing benefits cut, or both. Not exactly a recipe for ending hunger and poverty.

Proposals like this are why your media work is so important. If politicians can openly propose radical changes to important programs without response to an unsuspecting public, it makes it harder to fight these actions later on. Lawmakers need to know that their constituents will not stand idly by and watch their struggling neighbors and the programs that help them demonized by people looking to score cheap political points. They need you to help tell their story.

TAKE ACTION: If you have time to do one more thing this week, draft and submit your op-ed about protecting anti-poverty programs including SNAP and the EITC. Better yet, reach out to an editorial writer urging them to write an editorial on the subject. Use the April Action to draft your op-ed. In addition, our new editorial memo and April Laser Talk are good resources for pitching an editorial to your local paper. If you need help brainstorming leads, finding data, or proofreading your piece, please contact Jos Linn ([email protected]).

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Quick News

Nominate a Journalist for the Cameron Duncan Media Award – Deadline Friday! RESULTS is now accepting nominations for the 2016 Cameron Duncan Media Award. The award is given each year to a journalist who has demonstrated outstanding reporting on issues related to poverty. The winning journalist will be honored at the 2016 RESULTS International Conference. To nominate a journalist, send a short nomination letter/email (2-3 paragraphs) and relevant clips from the past 12 months that demonstrate the journalist's dedication to our issues. Please send all nominations to Colin Smith ([email protected] later than this Friday, April 29. See the list of our recent honorees and more background on the award on our website. 

Nominate a Volunteer for the RESULTS Board – Deadline Monday! Don’t forget to nominate a volunteer to be a RESULTS Grassroots Board Member. Grassroots Board Members play a vital role in RESULTS, representing you the volunteer on the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of the Boards of RESULTS/REF. Eligible candidates must have at least one year active experience as a RESULTS volunteer in the U.S. Candidates can nominate themselves or be nominated by any active RESULTS grassroots member. Please e-mail your nomination to Jack McLaughlin [email protected] no later than Monday, May 2.

House Child Nutrition Reauthorization bill introduced. Last week, House Republicans introduced their Child Nutrition Reauthorization bill, which we and others fear would reduce the number of children who have access to school meals and lower nutrition standards. In particular, advocates have been working hard for years to reduce the cumbersome administrative hurdles that prevent schools in high poverty areas from being able to provide nutritious meals to kids who we know are already eligible to receive them. As 2014 RESULTS conference speaker Randi Schmidt notes in a blogpost about her own experiences of childhood poverty, “there is an alternative, that there is something better that our elected officials can and should be doing for children.” The House Education and Workforce Committee is expected to take up the legislation in the coming weeks. See our blog post from last week for more background information, and our friends at the Food Research Action Council (FRAC) have posted a detailed summary of the bill

Join Intro Call this Friday. Invite someone you know to attend our next RESULTS Introductory Call. These 30-minute calls are the perfect introduction to RESULTS and our work. After each call, each person interested in learning more will get a personal follow up from RESULTS staff and/or volunteers in their area. Give the gift of RESULTS to someone you know. The Intro Call is this Friday, April 29 at 1:00 pm ET. You can register for this or another upcoming Intro Call on the RESULTS website.

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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.

Congressional Recesses: House and Senate: May 2 – 6. Request face-to-face meetings. After your meeting, please tell us how it went by filling out the RESULTS Lobby Report Form: www.tinyurl.com/RESLRF.

RESULTS Introductory Call, April 29, at 1:00 pm ET. If you want to learn more about RESULTS, register for an upcoming Intro Call on the RESULTS website.

RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Webinar, May 14 at 12:30 pm ET. Join the meeting online at http://fuze.me/32255914; or by phone at (201) 479-4595, Meeting ID: 32255914#. Listen to previous webinars on our National Webinars page.

RESULTS U.S. Poverty Free Agents Calls, May 17 at 1:00 pm and 8:00 pm ET. Join online at http://fuze.me/32256018 or by phone at: (201) 479-4595, Meeting ID: 32256018#.

2016 RESULTS International Conference, June 25-28, 2016 in Washington, DC. Register now at www.resultsconference.org!

If you have a question, comment or suggestion for the RESULTS/RESULTS Educational Fund Board, please e-mail them to RESULTS Grassroots Board Member Lydia Pendley at [email protected]. You can download RESULTS’ most recent Annual Report at: https://results.org/about/annual_report/.

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