U.S. Poverty Weekly Update August 21, 2018

August 21, 2018

U.S. Poverty Campaigns

Weekly Update | August 21, 2018

“I urge [Sen.] Roberts and [Rep.] Marshall to fight for Kansans by pushing for no harmful changes to SNAP by promoting the bipartisan Senate version of the Farm Bill.”

– RESULTS REAL Change Fellow and Manhattan, KS volunteer Jonathan Cole in an August 5 letter to the editor in The Mercury

Got Two Minutes? Two More Weeks of Recess – Keep Looking for Events to Talk about SNAP (August Action)

The August recess is half over, and House members will be home for another two weeks (Senators will be home again for the long Labor Day weekend). It is imperative that we keep the pressure on members of Congress about protecting SNAP in the new farm bill. Negotiations on a final compromise with the House will ramp up quickly in September. Our goal is for members to return to DC next month and tell leadership “All I heard from people during the recess was ‘Protect SNAP!’ People are really upset about the House changes.” And this goes for congressional candidates too. We want anyone running for Congress to know that, if they get elected, their constituents want SNAP protected. They need to hear it at every event.

TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes to check for town halls or other events in your area with members of Congress and candidates. Contact House and Senate schedulers about events in your area (also check www.townhallproject.com) and search for events on campaign websites. The August Action has tips to help you, including sample questions to ask on all our U.S. Poverty issues. Also, view the August National Webinar slides and listen to the recording for an excellent training on how to make the most of candidate events. See our new Elections page for additional resources including where to submit reports from events you attend. Once you get a meeting or town hall in your calendar, please contact Meredith Dodson ASAP to set up a lobby prep call to get you ready.

Got Ten Minutes? Circle Back with Key Aides about Protecting SNAP

The politics of SNAP are heating up. Sen. Jon Cornyn (R-TX), the second highest-ranking Republican in the Senate, called for House and Senate negotiators to include new work requirements to the final farm bill, calling the House’s new work requirements “very common sense.” He was joined by House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA-1) saying, “we put really good work requirements in place to help people get off food stamps and back into the workforce so they can become part of the American dream.” Yet, these leaders seem unconcerned with data that says these and other changes in the House farm bill would results in two million people losing all or part of their SNAP benefits. Nor do they have a problem with placing a tremendous new burden on states to find people jobs without any evidence that it will work nor the resources to make it work.

All this underlies the fact that the fight to protect SNAP is far from over. It is imperative that representatives and senators keep pushing leadership to abandon these harmful changes to SNAP in the House bill.

TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes to reconnect with Senate and House Agriculture aides to remind them to protect SNAP. Start with Senate Democrats but make sure all members of Congress are contacted. You want their bosses to tell House and Senate farm bill negotiators that they will only support a farm bill that is bipartisan and protects SNAP. If you are not sure what to say, here is some language to get you started:

Dear ______________,

You and I have corresponded about this issue several times over the last few months, but I wanted to reiterate my concern over proposed changes to SNAP in the House version of the farm bill. Just this week, high ranking members of both the Senate (Sen. Cornyn) and House (Rep. Scalise) renewed their call for the House work requirements to be included in the final farm bill. I urge your boss, Sen./Rep. _____________ to oppose these efforts. The House bill is not about helping people find work; it is about punishing people who need help. It’s punitive response to unemployment and huge new burden on states to find people jobs will do far more harm than good. The Senate has the right approach – it’s bi-partisan, it helps families keep food on the table, and it makes smart investments to help people find work.

Please tell Sen./Rep. ______________ to once again remind farm bill negotiators that he/she will only support a farm bill that is bipartisan and protects SNAP. I would appreciate hearing back from you and what kind of response Sen./Rep. receives from these conversations. Thank you for your time.

Got Twenty Minutes? Generate Media about Protecting SNAP

In September, RESULTS will focus on generating lots of media. The 2017 U.S. Census Poverty Data will be released on September 12, which is a great hook for getting letters to the editor and op-eds published. We’ll use the poverty data release to argue for protecting SNAP and other safety net programs while also pushing Congress to do more to address poverty in America.

But don’t wait three weeks to make an impact. House members are home now, and Senators will come home for Labor Day. While they are home, make sure they see letters to the editor about protecting SNAP in the final farm bill. Your letters will remind them that despite all the distractions out of DC and unprecedented attacks on the media itself, their constituents are keeping their eye on the ball and won’t tolerate policies that are destined to increase poverty in the U.S. Of particular value are letters highlighting the negative impact SNAP cuts on rural areas in the U.S. (this was just reiterated in a lobby meeting with Senate staff this morning). You can find state data on SNAP in rural areas here

TAKE ACTION: Take twenty minutes to draft and submit a letter to the editor this month urging your members of Congress to protect SNAP. Tailor our online template into a personal letter and send it in today. If you need help with your letters, contact Jos Linn for assistance and please send him a link to your letter when it gets published.

Quick News

Welcome New Grassroots Board Member Qiana Torregano. We are pleased to announce that RESULTS volunteers have elected Qiana Torregano of RESULTS New Orleans as our newest Grassroots Board member. She is replacing outgoing Board member Beth Wilson of RESULTS Kitsap, WA. Qiana was born and raised in New Orleans, LA and serves as a K-8 English Language Arts Master Teacher for Algiers Charter Schools Association. She holds a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Southern University A&M College-Baton Rouge. She has been active in RESULTS for four years, serving as a proud member of the Experts on Poverty Cohort (learn more about Qiana here). We welcome Qiana’s expertise, experience, and passion for justice to the Board. We also greatly thank Beth for her tireless service while on the Board for the last six years. Beth’s commitment to you – the RESULTS volunteers – and our mission is unwavering, and we are happy that she will remain active as a volunteer and Regional Coordinator for RESULTS. Thank you, Beth, and congratulations, Qiana!

Join the RESULTS Action Network Community of Practice. An Action Network is a loosely organized band of community-based advocates and supporters connected to a RESULTS group or chapter. As Action Network members learn that their voice matters, they are the most likely candidates for joining groups. The new Action Network Community of Practice will work together to identify the best ways to recruit, organize, manage, and inspire our local Action Networks. Join us for our first webinar on Wednesday, September 5 at 8:30pm ET. To join, log in: https://results.zoom.us/j/427674133 or dial in: 669-900-6833, Meeting ID: 427 674 133.

Join 2017 Census Data Webinar. From CHN: “Unemployment is down, but workers’ pay is losing ground.  Did low-income people make gains in 2017?  What is helping; what’s standing in the way? CHN will hold its annual Census webinar to prep you for the new data coming out on September 12-13. You’ll get the forecast from economic expert Jared Bernstein and training from CHN Executive Director Debbie Weinstein on how to get the facts for your community, congressional district, state and nation. Our Moderator is Ellen Teller, Director of Government Relations at the Food Research & Action Center.” The webinar is Thursday, September 6 at 2:00 pm ET. Register today!

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 U.S. Poverty staff time off: Jos Linn, August 25-September 3.

House Recess, July 30-September 3. Use our online request to schedule meetings now.

U.S. Poverty Free Agents Calls, Tuesday, August 21 at 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.

RESULTS New Advocate Orientation, Friday, August 24 at 1:00 pm ET. Learn more here.

Labor Day, Monday, September 3. All RESULTS offices closed.

RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Webinar, Tuesday, September 4 at 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.

Join the RESULTS Action Network Community of Practice, Wednesday, September 5 at 8:30pm ET. To join, log in: https://results.zoom.us/j/427674133 or dial in: 669-900-6833, Meeting ID: 427 674 133.

RESULTS New Advocate Orientation, Thursday, September 13 at 8:30 pm ET and Friday, September 28 at 1:00 pm ET. Learn more here.

Other Resources

Get Your RESULTS Promo Materials. If you need banners, pens, stickers, or business cards for your local RESULTS work, fill out our Materials Order Form and we’ll send them to you.

Got a Question for the RESULTS Board? If you have a question, comment, or suggestion for the RESULTS/RESULTS Educational Fund Board, please e-mail Steven McGee at [email protected]. View published Board minutes on the RESULTS website, as well as our Annual Reports.

Please Fill Out the Lobby Report Form. After any lobby meeting, please fill out the RESULTS Lobby Report Form to let us know how it went. When you have a meeting where both U.S. and global poverty issues are discussed, please fill it out twice.

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