U.S. Poverty Weekly Update December 16, 2015

December 16, 2015

U.S. Poverty Campaigns

Weekly Update | December 16, 2015

“I want to be an inspiration and voice for the many children and teens out there who feel like they’re at a dead end; something that poverty brings and something that can be stopped.”

– RESULTS Albuquerque volunteer and Expert on Poverty Andy Trujillo highlighted in a December 4 article in the Albuquerque Journal

In This Week’s Update:

Take Action Now! The Tax Deal is Out – Time to Finish the Job with One More Letter to the Editor!

We’re almost there. As you may have read this morning, last night congressional leaders unveiled fiscal year 2016 spending and the tax legislation. The deal makes a number of business tax credits permanent, while extending others for two or five years. Most significant for us, the bill finally makes the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) provisions from 2009 permanent. If passed, this means the EITC marriage penalty reduction and increased EITC for larger families, along with the lower $3,000 income eligibility threshold for the CTC, would all become permanent law. This will finally give working families the peace of mind in knowing that their EITC and CTC will not drop or disappear after 2017. As a reminder, 16 million Americans were at risk of falling into poverty or deeper into poverty, and over 50 million Americans, including 25 million children, would lose some or all of their tax credits.

Saving these key tax credits for millions of low-income working families in this larger proposed tax package is a huge victory for RESULTS advocates and our allies!

As the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ Louisa Warren noted on last Saturday’s U.S. Poverty National Webinar, it is significant step forward for working families and you deserve a great deal of credit for getting us to this point. Just a year ago, Congress was ready to make the business tax credits permanent without anything for working families. But your tireless efforts over the past two years, including at least 225 face-to-face lobby meetings, 140 EITC/CTC media pieces, and thousands letters, e-mails, and phone calls, have us poised to see this five-year effort to do what’s right for working families come true. Furthermore, if Congress had punted this once again, making the provisions permanent would have been much more difficult over the next two years.

The House is expected to vote on tax bill tomorrow (Thursday) and the spending bill on Friday;  the Senate likely will vote on them as one bill on Friday. This is not a perfect package (see more on the RESULTS Blog), but making these EITC/CTC provisions permanent is an important accomplishment. The only thing left to finish the job.

TAKE ACTION: Use the media to highlight the importance of the proposal to make the EITC/CTC provisions and reinforce the message that this needs to get done. We want to make sure this key victory for more than 50 million Americans doesn’t get overlooked. Tailor this template email (or use our online alert) to send off a quick letter to the editor to your local paper TODAY (to give editors a chance to print it before the final votes this week):

I am writing in response to coverage of Congress’s sweeping year-end tax and spending deal. What most headlines aren’t focused on is that the deal includes a critical lifeline for millions of working families across America, finally making key provisions of pro-work tax credits permanent.

The Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit are some of this country’s most effective policies, helping millions of working Americans make ends meet ever year. If Congress had again neglected critical provisions of these credits – otherwise set to expire – 16 million Americans, including 8 million children, would be forced into or deeper into poverty. I’m glad to see these provisions are made permanent in the proposed deal. Congress will vote on the deal this Thursday and Friday. We need to make sure this major step forward for more than 50 million Americans doesn’t get overlooked in Congress’s final work this year.

Getting letters to the editor and other media published this week will remind your community about this accomplishment while also laying the groundwork for future efforts to enact meaningful anti-poverty legislation. Thank you and good luck!

Quick Action Items

Give to RESULTS This Holiday Season! We want to send a heartfelt thank you to our volunteers and donors who have actively participated in helping us to reach our fundraising goals during 2015. Whether you hosted an event, attended an event, set up an online fundraising page, donated online yourself, asked friends and family for donations, or sent in an annual contribution – YOU helped get us get closer to closing our 2015 gap. While we are gaining ground on the shortfall, we are not quite there. But the good news is that there is still time to donate. Donate yourself and ask others to give through our website, or through one of the currently active RESULTS Friends and Family pages, help us reach that goal by December 31! 

Listen to RESULTS Experts on Poverty Storytelling Webinar. If you missed Monday’s RESULTS Experts on Poverty webinar, Powerful Speaking: Telling Your Story to Create Change, we urge you to listen to the recording of this excellent and inspiring presentation. And stay tuned for details of the follow-up Storytelling webinar on January 11.

Prepare for Group Planning Now. In January, RESULTS volunteers will do their annual RESULTS Group Planning. We urge you to get started now by completing the Individual Planning Form and also look over the Group Planning Guide and Group Plan Summary in the next few weeks. Then plan to do your Group Planning during the January 9 U.S. Poverty National Webinar (or set an alternative date for your group to meet and plan in January). You can find all the 2016 Group Planning materials on the RESULTS website

Happy Holidays!

RESULTS wishes each of you a very Happy Holiday and Best Wishes for a wonderful New Year!

Because of staff vacation schedules and the RESULTS annual holiday office closure, this will be the final U.S. Poverty Weekly Update of 2015. Our next Update will be on Tuesday, January 5, 2016.

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.

Congressional Recesses: House and Senate: Target adjournment for 2015 is December 18. Request face-to-face meetings.

RESULTS Holiday Break. RESULTS U.S. Poverty staff will be on vacation the next several weeks. Jos Linn will be on vacation beginning December 17, Meredith Dodson beginning December 22, and Kristy Martino beginning December 23. All RESULTS offices are closed from December 24 (beginning at 1pm ET) through January 3. Happy Holidays!

RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Webinar, January 9 at 12:30 pm ET. Because we urge groups to do 2016 Group Planning at this meeting, the webinar will likely last 75 minutes. Join the meeting online at http://fuze.me/28130766 or dial in by phone at (201) 479-4595, meeting ID: 28130766#. Listen to previous webinars on our National Webinars page.

RESULTS Powerful Speaking: Telling Your Story to Create Change webinar, January 11 at 8:30 pm ET. To participate, login at: http://fuze.me/27440970 or dial in at (201) 479-4595, Meeting ID: 27440970#. This is a follow up from the December 14 Storytelling webinar (listen to the recording here).

2016 RESULTS International Conference, June 25-28, 2016 in Washington, DC. Save the dates!

If you have a question, comment or suggestion for the RESULTS/RESULTS Educational Fund Board, please e-mail them to RESULTS Grassroots Board Member Lydia Pendley at [email protected]. You can download RESULTS’ most recent Annual Report at: https://results.org/about/annual_report/.

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