U.S. Poverty Weekly Update August 6, 2019

August 6, 2019

Quote of the Week

“A home is a human right, not a privilege.”

– RESULTS Cascades, WA volunteer Olivia Boulet in a July 26 letter to the editor in the Auburn Reporter

Got Two Minutes? Confirm Plans for Saturday’s Joint U.S./Global National Webinar (2pm ET)

Join us for the RESULTS Joint U.S. and Global Poverty Webinar this Saturday, August 10 at 2:00 pm ET. This is the opportunity for all RESULTS volunteers to celebrate the success of the 2019 RESULTS International Conference. You’ll hear stories from the Conference and have the chance to share about your experience. We’ll also look ahead to how we can build on the success of the Conference during the August recess and in our advocacy campaigns this fall. In addition to attending yourself, use Saturday’s webinar to also thank those who wrote letters for you to deliver in DC last month. Invite them to join you and hear about the impact they had.

TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes to prepare for the RESULTS Joint U.S. and Global Poverty National Webinar this Saturday, August 10 at 2:00 pm ET. Join online at: https://results.zoom.us/s/510407386 or dial in by phone at either (669) 900-6833 or (929) 436-2866, Meeting ID: 510 407 386. Confirm when and where your group will be meeting for the webinar. If you live in an area with both global and U.S. poverty advocates, do the webinar together, share about recent events, and coordinate actions during the August recess. The slides for the webinar will be available at the end of this week on our National Webinars page. If you have questions or need help, please contact Jos Linn.

Got Ten Minutes? Talk to Members of Congress about Housing in August (August Action)

Your representatives and senators are now home on recess until after Labor Day. They need to hear from you. Before leaving DC, they passed a budget deal, which fortunately will protect anti-poverty programs from deep cuts in FY2020 (exact funding levels will be finalized in the fall). However, these same programs will also not see huge increases in funding. For example, currently only 1 in 4 eligible households receives housing assistance and the $1.2 billion in funding the House approved for Housing Choice Vouchers will only add 9,000 new vouchers, far below the number needed to meet demand.

When there are only 37 affordable homes for every 100 extremely low-income families nationwide, something must be done. A renters’ tax credit would help low-income families afford a home by covering the cost of rent – up to the local Fair Market Rent – above what is considered affordable (30 percent of household income). As an illustration, in Carson City, NV, the Fair Market Rent for a three-bedroom home is $1,226 per month. If a family of five earns $23,000 per year ($1,917 per month), that rent amount would eat 64 percent of their household income. However, with a renters’ tax credit, their out-of-pocket rental cost would only be $575 per month (30 percent of $1,917); the renters’ credit would cover the remaining $651 ($1,226-$575). Imagine what an extra $651 per month could do for this family.

The renters’ credit is not a well-known idea …yet. By getting meetings and attending town halls this month, you can educate them on this idea and help create the momentum to not only get it recognition but passed into law in the next few years.

TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes to schedule meetings for the August. Use the August Action, which includes laser talks on how best to talk about our housing and tax issues (see more below on tax). Be sure to also ask about town halls they are having during the recesses (also check www.townhallproject.com). If you get a meeting scheduled or plan to attend an event in the next two weeks, please contact Jos Linn ASAP to set up a lobby prep call to help get you 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 Twenty Minutes? Maximize New Opportunity to Expand the EITC and CTC (August Action)

Leaders in Congress are pushing to pass another “tax extenders” bill, which is a series of business tax credits that Congress renews about every two years. In exchange for supporting another extenders bill, House leaders want expansions of the EITC, and CTC included in the package. Based on meetings some of you had at the RESULTS International Conference last month, a compromise is possible. This shows why these meetings are important and why we are urging you to talk housing and taxes in your meetings this month. A concerted effort reminding lawmakers that any “extenders deal” must include provisions for low-income working families will be key in making it happen. Fortunately, you know exactly how to do it; this is the same way you got the EITC and CTC improvements made permanent in 2015.

TAKE ACTION: Take twenty minutes to maximize this potential opportunity to help millions of low-income working individuals and families by expanding the EITC and CTC. Here is what you can do:

  1. In meetings, town halls, and follow-up e-mails to staff, urge House members to co-sponsor H.R. 3157, the Working Families Tax Relief Act. This bill is a broader expansion than what Congress is considering for the extenders package, but a large number of co-sponsors will signal tax negotiators that expanding the EITC and CTC must be part of any deal.
  2. In meetings, town halls, and follow-up e-mails to staff, urge Senate members to tell Senate leadership to adhere to the 2015 precedent that no business tax breaks should be extended or expanded without also helping low-income workers and families through expansions of the EITC and CTC.
  3. Brush up on your EITC and CTC knowledge by reading our S. Poverty EITC and CTC Policy Brief: Fixing Our Tax Code for Working Families (Word and PDF).

Find current laser talks and leave behinds for our tax credit campaign on our Lobbying page. If you have questions or need coaching, please contact Jos Linn for assistance.

Quick News

Please complete your Conference follow-up. If you have not done so yet, follow up with aides you met with during the Conference to thank them, provide any additional information, and ask about the status of your requests. Also, please fill out the Lobby Report Form about your meetings from the Conference. This information is critical in helping us formulate the most effective strategies to move our issues forward. Find Conference materials on our IC Resources page and pictures from this year’s Conference on our Flickr page.

Keep up your media success! RESULTS volunteers have gotten 350 media pieces published in 2019, including 132 on housing, 28 on tax policy, and 151 on the Global Fund. Your media reminds lawmakers of what’s important to their constituents. Keep reminding them by submitting letters to the editor about helping families afford a home and saving 16 million lives with the Global Fund.

Oppose new rule attacking SNAP users. The Trump Administration is proposing a new administrative rule to cut SNAP (formerly, food stamps) for 3 million people by removing “broad-based categorical eligibility” (cat-el). Cat-el allows states to streamline enrollment and offer SNAP to more people who need it. It has been proven to encourage work and savings among low-income households and contributes to SNAP’s effectiveness in reducing poverty. Use FRAC’s new comment portal to submit your comment opposing this latest attack on hungry families. The deadline to comment is September 23.

September webinar 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.

Wednesday, August 7: RESULTS Action Network Community of Practice webinar, 8:30pm 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.

Saturday, August 10: RESULTS Joint U.S./Global Poverty National Webinar, 2:00 pm ET. Join online at: https://results.zoom.us/s/510407386 or dial in by phone at either (669) 900-6833 or (929) 436-2866, Meeting ID: 510 407 386. Find recordings and slides from previous webinars on the National Webinars page.

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.

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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