U.S. Poverty Weekly Update August 13, 2019

August 13, 2019

Quote of the Week

“We must address the affordable housing crisis and end poverty.”

– RESULTS REAL Change Fellow Kristen Carlisle of Texas in an August 5 letter to the editor in the Waco Tribune-Herald

Got Two Minutes? Check in on Meeting Requests and Town Halls (August Action)

As highlighted on last weekend’s RESULTS National Webinar, August is the month for lobby meetings. With Congress on recess through Labor Day, this is the time to talk to them face-to-face about ending poverty in America. What is their stance on the affordable housing crisis? Do they support the idea of renters’ tax credit to help low-income families afford rent? Have they signed on to H.R.3157, the Working Families Tax Relief Act? Will they commit to following the 2015 precedent of not extending any business tax credits without also expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit? These are all questions that need to be asked. Fortunately, RESULTS volunteers are good at asking questions and getting answers. Use this important opportunity to talk to members of Congress about these issues this month.

TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes to contact your House and Senate schedulers to schedule meetings with your members of Congress during the August recess. Use the August Action, which includes a sample request as well as laser talks on housing and tax issues. Also ask about town halls during the recesses (and check www.townhallproject.com). If you get something scheduled this week, please contact Jos Linn to for help in getting ready. For additional materials to help with meetings and events, check out our updated laser talks and lobby leave behinds on our Lobbying page.

Got Ten Minutes? When Was the Last Time You Engaged Your Action Network?

On last Saturday’s RESULTS National Webinar, we took time to celebrate accomplishments from the 2019 RESULTS International Conference. Part of that success was RESULTS volunteers bringing hundreds of letters to hand-deliver in lobby meetings, which helped amplify their message they gave in those meetings. Most of those letters were written by people in your local action networks. Have you let them know how things went in DC?

Part of building and maintaining a strong local action network (people you can call on to take action when needed) is letting them know the impact their actions have. Letting people know how their letters helped reminds them that even the simplest action has impact. And that they could do more. Many of you are seeking lobby meetings this month. Invite your action network members to join you, even if it is only to observe. Lobby meetings are inspiring and if you are looking to move someone up the ladder of engagement, inviting them to a lobby meeting is the surest way to do that.

TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes to contact your local action networks to thank them for actions they took to support you in lobby meetings in DC and back home. Also, invite them to attend your next local lobby meeting. Finally, remember that RESULTS has a group that meets each month (the Action Network Community of Practice) to help you build and maintain your local action networks. Join us. The next call is Wednesday, September 4 at 8:30pm ET. See more in our Events Calendar or contact Jos Linn with questions.

Got Twenty Minutes? Take Time This Week to Stand Up for SNAP

While you want to get your lobby meetings scheduled this month, take a few minutes to speak up for SNAP (formerly food stamps) this week. Yesterday, the Trump Administration announced it’s final “public charge” rule, which will allow immigration officials to deny permanent legal status to documented immigrants who receive (or may receive) SNAP benefits, Medicaid, housing assistance, and other public benefits, even if only temporarily (previously, a “public charge” designation was restricted to those whose primary source of income was cash assistance or long-term nursing care under Medicaid). The rule essentially turns immigration status into a wealth test. Even before the rule was finalized, families have been forgoing vital assistance the law permits them to use out of fear of being deported.

RESULTS has strongly opposed this rule since it was announced and many of you were among the hundreds of thousands of people who submitted comments last year opposing the rule. However, because final resolution of this matter will be decided by the courts, RESULTS will not be taking any sustained action on this issue (for more about what immigration advocates are planning, register for this webinar happening tomorrow morning). With that said, this week’s news stories about the rule are a good hook for letters to the editor decrying these cruel attacks on low-income families.

TAKE ACTION: Take twenty minutes to submit a letter to the editor opposing attacks on families who use SNAP and other anti-poverty programs. Remember, the Trump Administration is also proposing to eliminate state flexibility in administering SNAP, which could take SNAP benefits from 3 million low-income people (submit your comment opposing that rule today). If you get a letter published, be sure to send a copy to your members of Congress, and let us know here.

Quick News

Join webinar on using media actions to organize others. Building on our work from the June national webinar with Dr, Hahrie Han, learn to use RESULTS campaign actions to create transformational experiences for new advocates that will inspire them and lead them toward longer-term engagement with RESULTS. Join our webinar “’Wow, I got published!’: Making Media a Transformational Experience” on Wednesday, August 21 at 8:30 pm ET to get practical guidance on using organizing practices and our media actions to spur deeper engagement. Join here: https://results.zoom.us/j/586201507, or dial either (929) 436-2866 or (669) 900-6833, meeting ID: 586 201 507#.

Harvard study examines success of mobility vouchers. Read about a new study from Harvard researchers about the impact of Seattle’s housing mobility voucher program on child well-being. Congress has passed legislation to pilot mobility vouchers in other cities as well.

Conference follow-up should be complete. Have you filled out our lobby report form for all your recent lobby meetings? Have you followed up with aides you met with during the Conference to thank them and ask about the status of your requests? If not, please do so ASAP. Find Conference materials on our IC Resources page.

September webinar moved to September 10. To provide you an overview of the 2018 U.S. Census poverty data on the day it is released, our September U.S. Poverty National Webinar will take place on Tuesday, September 10 at 8:00 pm ET (a week later than normal).

Upcoming Events

August Congressional Recess. The House and Senate are both on recess until September 6. Submit your meeting requests today.

Tuesday, August 20, 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.

Wednesday, August 21, Webinar: ”Wow, I got published!”: Making Media a Transformational Experience”, 8:30 pm ET. Join here: https://results.zoom.us/j/586201507, or dial either (929) 436-2866 or (669) 900-6833, meeting ID: 586 201 507#.

Tuesday, September 10: RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Webinar, 8:00 pm ET. Overview of 2018 U.S. Census poverty data. 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.

Find other events on the RESULTS Events Calendar.

U.S. Poverty Staff time out of the office: Meredith Dodson, August 2-18. Jos Linn, August 26-September 2.

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 your Grassroots Successes:

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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