U.S. Poverty Weekly Update December 13, 2016

December 13, 2016

U.S. Poverty Campaigns

Weekly Update | December 13, 2016

“Now more than ever, we need to focus on making things better for the hardworking people of this community and America as a whole. Dismantling our safety net is not the way to accomplish that.”

– RESULTS Wofford College (SC) Joshua Adams in a December 9 letter to the editor in the Greenville News

In This Week’s Update:

Quick Action: Urge Lawmakers to Protect the Safety Net

Take Action!

Got Two Minutes? Tell Your Members of Congress to Protect the Safety Net (December Action)

The social safety net faces a daunting future. Already leaders in the new Congress are drawing up plans to roll back progress we’ve made on reducing poverty over the last five decades. Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) are two of the biggest targets, with members of Congress talking about repealing Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion, as well as converting SNAP into a block grant to states, thus undermining its effectiveness and forcing people off the program. 

Let the new Congress know that dismantling the safety net is a horrible idea. They should focus on positive steps that reduce poverty, not push more Americans into hardship.

TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes to send our updated letter to the editor alert to your local paper urging members of Congress to protect important safety net programs. Be sure to edit the form to mention your members of Congress by name in your letter. You can also send additional letters focusing specifically on SNAP or the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) through our website. Send the alert(s) to others your know and urge them to write letters as well. Once you get published, please send a copy and link to Jos Linn ([email protected]).

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Got Ten Minutes? Use New Report to Highlight Importance of Safety Net Programs in the Media (December Action)

Last week, the House Agriculture Committee released a new report on the effectiveness of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps). House Ag Committee Chair Mike Conaway said “Over the past two years, it was clear that there is sincere, bi-partisan interest in ensuring that SNAP is meeting the needs of those it is intended to serve.” When the report was released, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack released a statement saying:

After holding 16 hearings on SNAP over the past two years, the House Agriculture Committee reached a simple conclusion: SNAP provides a critical nutrition safety net for millions of low-income Americans, and we need to do all we can to protect and strengthen the program so it can continue effectively serving American families in need… As Congress begins working on the 2018 Farm Bill, they must protect SNAP and resist pressure to weaken the program by turning it into an ineffective block grant.

This report is a good reminder that even critics of SNAP continue to have a hard time justifying radical changes to the program. It is also reiterates the absolute necessity of safety-net programs in alleviating the harsh realities of hunger and poverty. Use the release of this report as a “hook” for letters to the editor to remind readers and your members of Congress (by name) that no American should have to live in poverty and that SNAP, Medicaid, and other safety-net programs are essential reaching that goal.

TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes to write and submit your own letter to the editor telling your members of Congress by name to stand firm and oppose efforts to dismantle important anti-poverty programs. Use recent stories in your local paper or in the national news as a hook for your letters. RESULTS volunteers have gotten 169 media pieces published on U.S. poverty issues in 2016. Let’s hit 200 pieces by the end of December and send the strongest message possible to Congress to protect the safety net. The December Action has talking points and a sample letter to help you get started; you can find media outlets in your state using our Media Guide. If you need help with drafting, fact-checking, or editing your letter, contact Jos Linn ([email protected]) for assistance.

If you don’t have time to write your own letter, use our online media alert to send a quick LTE today.

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Got Sixty Minutes? Learn How to Talk about RESULTS (Post-Election) in Webinar Tomorrow Night

Since November 8, have your friends been talking about what they can do now? Was your Thanksgiving dinner conversation all about our country’s political future? Has your Facebook feed filled with calls to action? To help you better navigate these situations, RESULTS is hosting a new webinar tomorrow night on how to talk about RESULTS in this new political environment. We’ll talk through new messaging strategies for recruiting volunteers and getting new people to take action with RESULTS following the election. We’ll share new tools and templates, dig into messaging research, and learn from each other about how to move people to action.

TAKE ACTION: Take sixty minutes to join the “After the Election – How to Talk about RESULTS” Messaging Webinar tomorrow, December 14 at 8:00 pm ET. To participate in this important webinar, login at http://fuze.me/32274178 or dial in by phone at (201) 479-4595, Meeting ID: 32274178#.

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RESULTS First 100 Days: Set Up Meetings Now

As noted on Saturday’s Joint National Webinar, we previewed our new RESULTS First 100 Days Campaign. Designed to coincide with the first 100 days of the new President and Congress, we are making a strong push to influence new and returning lawmakers about the need to end poverty once and for all. As RESULTS Executive Director Joanne Carter said on Saturday’s webinar, “I think there is real opportunity to build relationships with other leaders in other ways that make our work more powerful. There is much we do not know about this new political environment. We know Congress will be more important than ever to protect critical programs like SNAP which are under real threat.”

For this campaign, our goal is to have 100 percent of RESULTS groups and Free Agents meet face-to-face with their members of Congress or meet with local staff in person with participation by DC policy staff. After the holidays, we’ll have resources to help you and provide you ongoing support throughout the campaign. In fact, group planning in January will focus on the First 100 Days, instead of the entire year, so you can put all your energy into this effort. We’ll also track your progress and celebrate your successes all along the way. Let’s make the First 100 Days something Congress will remember all year long!

TAKE ACTION: Get started now on our First 100 Days Campaigns by requesting face-to-face meetings with your members of Congress (both House and Senate). Use our Elected Officials page or Election Guide to find contact information for returning and new members of Congress. For language to use in your requests, use our online lobby meeting request form. Contact Jos Linn ([email protected]) if you need help with scheduling your meetings. Once you get a meeting scheduled, contact Meredith Dodson ([email protected]) to set up a lobby prep call to get you ready. You can also find our updated Lobby Requests on our website.

For the recording, slides, and summary of Saturday’s Joint National Webinar, go to our National Webinars page.

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Quick News

Need Outreach Materials – Order Them Now! If you anticipate doing any outreach in the first half of 2017, we urge you to order any materials you need before the end of 2016. Fill out our new RESULTS Materials Order form today to request RESULTS signs, banners, stickers, business cards, etc.

Learn How to Stand Up to Threats to the Safety Net. Join our friends at the Coalition on Human Needs and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities for a webinar this Friday on the threats anti-poverty programs face in the new Congress. Experts will share what to expect in the and how you can fight back against these reckless policies. This webinar will be an important tool for you going into the new year – please plan to join. The webinar is this Friday, December 16 at 12:00 pm ET. Register today at the CHN website.

Invite Someone to the Final RESULTS Intro Call of the Year. If you know someone looking to make a difference after this year’s election, use the new messaging you learn tomorrow night to invite them to join our final RESULTS Introductory Call of 2016. The call is this Friday, December 16 at 1:00 pm ET. They can register for this or a 2017 Intro Call on the RESULTS website.

Sign Your RESULTS Group on to SAVE For All Letter. SAVE for All is currently circulating a sign-on letter to the incoming Administration and Congress about “standing firm against dismantling the services and protections people need and for proven investments to extend opportunity and economic security to all.” We strongly urge your local RESULTS groups to sign onto this letter today. The deadline to sign on is January 5, 2017.

RESULTS Offices Closed During Holidays. Please note that all RESULTS offices will be closed for the holidays from Saturday, December 24 through Monday, January 2. We will reopen on Tuesday, January 3. Please note that some RESULTS staff will be gone for additional time (see below for U.S. Poverty Team vacation schedules). We hope you and yours have a safe and happy holiday!

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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.

Upcoming staff vacations: Jos Linn, December 16 (1pm ET) – January 2; Kristy Martino, December 21 – January 2; Meredith Dodson, December 22 – January 2.

RESULTS U.S. Poverty Free Agents Calls, Tuesday, December 13 at 1:00 pm and 8:00 pm ET. To participate, login in at http://fuze.me/32256018 or dial by phone at (201) 479-4595, Meeting ID: 32256018#.

RESULTS Election Messaging Webinar, Wednesday, December 14 at 8:00 pm ET. Login at http://fuze.me/32274178 or dial in by phone at (201) 479-4595, Meeting ID: 32274178#.

RESULTS Introductory Call, Monday, Friday, December 16 at 1:00 pm ET. If you want to learn more about RESULTS, register for an Intro Call on the RESULTS website.

RESULTS Offices closed, Saturday, December 24 – Monday, January 2. Happy Holidays!

RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Webinar, Saturday, January 14 at 12:30 pm ET.  Listen to previous webinars on our National Webinars page.

RESULTS International Conference, Saturday, July 22 – Tuesday, July 25, 2017. Washington Court Hotel, Washington, DC. Registration will be open very soon!

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 view the most recently published minutes from Board meetings on the RESULTS website, as well as download RESULTS’ most recent Annual Report.

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