U.S. Poverty Weekly Update August 2, 2016

August 2, 2016

U.S. Poverty Campaigns

Weekly Update | August 2, 2016

“The current tax code taxes these individuals, such as our veterans and those caring for family members who aren’t their children, into or further into poverty. That doesn’t sound like “economic prosperity for all” to me.”

– RESULTS New Hampshire REAL Change Fellow Allie Gonyea in a July 23 letter to the editor in Fosters.com

In This Week’s Update:

Quick Action: Request Face-to-Face Meetings with Lawmakers in August

Take Action!

Got Two Minutes? Look for Town Halls and Events to Attend (August Action)

RESULTS volunteers are working hard this summer to speak with members of Congress about practical solutions to poverty in America. Our primary focus is on getting sit-down meetings with lawmakers in the home states and districts. However, this being campaign season, there will also be opportunities to talk to them at town halls and public events. In addition, candidates for office will be holding events, which give you the opportunity to find out what they plan to do about poverty if elected. RESULTS is providing you training this month to get ready for these events (see more below). However, you can get started now by looking for these events and planning to attend.

TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes to start the August Action by visiting candidates’ and members’ of Congress websites to look for town halls and public events. See if they have a calendar listing events and sign up for their newsletter to find out about events in your area. You can find websites for members of Congress on our Elected Officials page (under the “Contact” tab). You can also find out candidate information for every congressional race (once your state has had its primary) in our Election Guide. In addition, if RESULTS staff find out about a town hall in your area, we will let you know. Once you find an event you plan to attend, please contact Meredith Dodson ([email protected]) or Jos Linn ([email protected]) to help you get ready (note their vacation schedules below). Also, after any face-to-face meeting with members of Congress (including town halls where you ask them a question), please fill out our Lobby Report Form to let us know what happened.

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Got Ten Minutes? Start Preparing for Town Halls by Reading the August Action (August Action)

With Congress on recess all this month and a big election coming up in November, see if you can talk with lawmakers and candidates for office at events this month. Attending public events and asking a question is a great way to help shape the debate over what should be the priorities of the next President and Congress. Educating them on the importance of expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit or protecting SNAP will help get us one step closer to realizing those goals. Use the August Action to get ready for these events and start planning your candidate event strategy.

TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes to read the August Action about how to make the most of town halls and candidate events this month. If you’re not sure what to say at these events, the Action also includes sample questions you can ask.

Join Town Hall Training TODAY at Noon! In addition, RESULTS is hosting “Candidate Engagement” trainings this month to provide tips and coaching for what to do at these town halls and candidate events. There is a training today, August 2 at 12:00 pm ET and another one on Tuesday, August 16 at 9:00 pm ET. To participate, login online at http://fuze.me/33195710, or dial in by phone at (201) 479-4595, meeting ID 33195710#.

Finally, if you do plan to attend an event, please contact Meredith Dodson ([email protected]) or Jos Linn ([email protected]) to get coaching for that particular lawmaker or candidate (note their vacation schedules below).

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Got Ninety Minutes? Attend CFED’s Racial Wealth Gap Webinar Tomorrow at 3:00pm ET

As we continue to educate lawmakers and ourselves about the racial wealth gap, our friends from the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED, and who spoke at this year’s RESULTS International Conference) are hosting “Programs, Policies, Partnerships: Coming Together to Heal the Racial Wealth Divide,” a webinar to help advocates and others understand the issue and work to fix it. From CFED:

As the data continue to show, wealth inequality between communities of color and white Americans is acute — and growing. Like many organizations working to expand economic opportunity, CFED has fully committed to addressing the racial wealth divide through our technical assistance work, our advocacy efforts in states and on the Hill, and our coalitions and partnerships with communities and organizations of color. We invite you to join us as we learn more about racial economic inequality and the actions we all can take to turn the tide.

During this webinar, you will hear from experts in program design and implementation, policy advocacy and coalition building in and with communities and organizations of color. Come to learn and to share your own ideas and experiences. You will leave with resources, ideas and a renewed commitment to addressing racial wealth inequality through your own programs, advocacy and partnerships.

TAKE ACTION: Help us narrow the racial wealth gap by taking ninety minutes to register for and then attend CFED’s “Coming Together to Heal the Racial Wealth Divide” webinar tomorrow, August 3 from 3:00 – 4:30 pm ET. To register, go to: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/9169044442496663810. Invite others you know to join you. Note: Even if you cannot attend, you can still register to receive the webinar recording and slides.

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Town Halls Are Important, but Face-to-Face Meetings Are the Goal (July Action)

As noted above, our focus this month is attending town halls and candidate events to ask lawmakers and candidates about supporting policies that reduce poverty. However, we urge you to still focus on getting sit-down face-to-face meetings with member of Congress (and competitive candidates, if you have time) as well. Town halls and sit-down meetings should never been seen as mutually exclusive. Each has its own unique impact. The town hall provides you a public platform in which to educate lawmakers and the public about our issues and possibly get a public commitment to take action. A sit-down meeting provides you the time and intimacy to explore the issues in depth and better develop relationships with your lawmakers and candidates. For example, our work on the racial wealth gap is very important but many lawmakers are unaware of the scope and detail of the issue. This means you may need time to educate them on the issue and have a deeper conversation about it, which a town hall does not provide. .

Therefore, as you work in your local groups this month, use both sit-down meetings and town halls to round out your advocacy work and maximize your effectiveness. If you have not requested, or recently followed-up on a face-to-face, sit-down meeting request, please do so now. The congressional recess is another five weeks so lawmakers should be plenty of time to meet with you. Use the July Action for language and tips for your requests, as well as Laser Talks on the issues you can discuss. Find DC scheduler names and contact information on our Elected Officials page. Be sure to inform and coordinate with other RESULTS groups in your state on your requests.

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Quick News

Invite People to Tonight’s RESULTS Jackson (MS) Group Start! RESULTS U.S. Poverty Organizer Kristy Martino and Global Poverty Expansion Manager Amanda Beals will be in Jackson, MS tonight, August 2, to start a new joint U.S. and Global Poverty RESULTS group. If you or someone your know lives in the Jackson area, let them know about the meeting and please come. The meeting is from 6:00 – 8:00pm ET at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, 2500 North State Street, Jackson, MS. You can contact Kristy at [email protected] for more details.

Join the Last Week for the Road to Rio Challenge. Our Road to Rio Friends and Family Campaign ends this Friday, August 5, when the Rio Olympic kick off. We are close to meeting our $35,000 target, which will trigger an additional $15,000 match to help us reach our overall goal of $50,000. But we need your help to get there. It only takes a few minutes to set up your webpage and begin asking friends and family to donate to RESULTS. The money goes directly toward supporting you, our volunteers. Will you join us for these last few days? We have resources to help you succeed in engaging your community and our development team is ready to help. Please contact us today at [email protected] to get started!

Watch RESULTS Experts on Poverty in New Videos. While the Democratic Party was having its convention last week in Philadelphia, anti-poverty advocates were also there urging politicians to address the struggles that low-income Americans face. Their stories were in two videos now online. Two of these speakers are our very own Experts on Poverty Angela “Nike” Sutton and Tianna Gaines-Turner (also of Witnesses to Hunger), both of whom spoke at this year’s RESULTS International Conference. Take a few minutes to watch the videos here and here and then share them with your friends and your members of Congress on social media.

Last Week for Convention LTEs about Poverty. The RNC and DNC Conventions are now over. Sadly, poverty was not a highlighted topic at either convention. Take to the media this week and remind members of your community that poverty is problem that candidates should be talking about. Use your local paper’s convention coverage as a hook for letters, but do it this week before that hook gets cold. Use our online letter to the editor alerts to send a letter about expanding the EITC, protecting SNAP, or both.

Goodbye to U.S. Poverty Intern Grace Bermudez-Soria. It’s another week and another goodbye for the U.S. Poverty Team. This is the last day for RESULTS U.S. Poverty Intern Grace Bermudez-Soria. Grace has been a tremendous help this summer, helping us get ready for and presenting at the RESULTS International Conference, doing research and writing on our issues, and helping us stay current in tracking your volunteer groups and the members of Congress you cover. She will be returning to California to start her junior year at Sacramento State University this fall. We wish her the best of luck and hope to see her again soon. Thank you, Grace!

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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.

U.S. Poverty Staff Vacation Schedules: Meredith Dodson, August 6 – 21. Jos Linn, July 30 – August 7 and August 31 – September 5. Kristy Martino, August 5.

Congressional Recesses: July 18 – September 5 (House and Senate). 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 Candidate Engagement Training, August 2 at 12:00 pm ET. To participate, login online at http://fuze.me/33195710, or dial in by phone at (201) 479-4595, meeting ID 33195710#.

CFED Racial Wealth Gap Webinar, August 3 at 3:00 pm ET. Register at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/9169044442496663810.

RESULTS Introductory Call, August 10, at 9:00 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, August 13 at 12:30 pm ET. Listen to previous webinars on our National Webinars page.

RESULTS Candidate Engagement Training, August 16 at 9:00 pm ET. To participate, login online at http://fuze.me/33195710, or dial in by phone at (201) 479-4595, meeting ID 33195710#. Note: U.S. Poverty Free Agents should attend this training in lieu of our August support call.

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 download RESULTS’ most recent Annual Report at: https://results.org/about/annual_report/.

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