U.S. Poverty Weekly Update December 8, 2015

December 8, 2015

U.S. Poverty Campaigns

Weekly Update | December 8, 2015

“These pro-work tax credits meant my mother could schedule our doctor visits and eye exams, and purchase a desperately needed new set of tires for her car. She even used some money toward payment on a used car so [my brother] Clay and I could get back and forth to work.”

– RESULTS Houston volunteer Cacie Waters in a December 1 op-ed in the Houston Chronicle

 “As a divorced parent of three special-needs children, these tax credits assist families like mine afford the unknown expenses of their care or to fill the gap in my wages when I have to miss work to tend to their needs.”

– RESULTS Free Agent and Expert on Poverty Yolanda Gordon in a December 5 letter to the editor in the Rock Hill Herald (SC)

In This Week’s Update:

Quick Action: Tell Congress to Enact a Tax Deal that Saves Key EITC and Child Tax Credit Provisions

Take Action!

Got Two Minutes? Prepare for the U.S. Poverty National Webinar this Saturday at 12:30 pm ET

The RESULTS U.S. Poverty Monthly National Webinar is this Saturday. A lot has happened over the last week as Congress looks to wrap up its work for the year. The biggest news is that Congress is working on a large tax extenders bill that could include making the 2009 Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit (CTC) provisions permanent (see more below). Tune into the call to learn the latest and how you can help move this forward. You’ll also learn how you can improve your advocacy skills through storytelling with shares and preview of a training next week with our Experts on Poverty. Finally, we’ll celebrate your amazing success from 2015 and how you can get started early on planning for an even better 2016. Please plan to join us for the final webinar of 2015!

TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes to remind your local RESULTS group about the RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Webinar this Saturday, December 12 at 12:30 pm ET. Coordinate with your group where you will meet for the call. We use Fuze Meeting for these monthly webinars; to join the meeting online, login at http://fuze.me/28130766. If you cannot join online, you can dial in by phone at (201) 479-4595, meeting ID: 28130766#. Plan to log in or call in no later than 12:25 pm ET. If you have questions about Fuze or how to log in, please contact Jos Linn at [email protected].

The slides for this month’s Webinar will be available later this week in the Take Action box on the RESULTS Homepage. We urge you to download them and have them ready to scroll through on your own during the Webinar.

Got Ten Minutes? Tax Deal Looming – Tell Congress to Protect Working Families NOW!

Because of the outstanding grassroots advocacy work of RESULTS volunteer advocates and others, we could be close to a major tax deal that will save key pro-work tax provisions for millions of low-income families. Congress is negotiating a deal that would make billions in tax breaks for business permanent, but also make expiring provisions of the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit (CTC) permanent as well. While negotiations are ongoing and could change on a dime, your advocacy work on the EITC and CTC has helped get us to this point and it’s going to take a big effort to make it happen.

It is particularly important for Congressional Democrats to hear AGAIN from constituents that support getting this deal done in the next few days. Many have expressed reservations about the tax package, which includes making some business tax provisions permanent that have a history of broad bi-partisan support. RESULTS believes Congress can and must include bill language  that saves these critical EITC and Child Tax Credit provisions as well, especially since the business tax credits will likely be extended anyway. If the EITC and CTC provisions are ignored again this year, it will be much harder to make them permanent before they expire in 2017. There are many groups working to support a final tax deal that saves these key EITC and Child Tax Credit provisions, but with a lot left on its plate, Congress needs to hear from many people back home that this is a top priority. 

TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes to call your House tax aides (and Senate if you didn’t last week) toll free at (855) 976-1895 (courtesy of MomsRising) about supporting a tax extenders bill that makes the expiring EITC and CTC provisions permanent. If you cannot call, please e-mail them. Find their names and contact information on the RESULTS Elected Officials page. Tailor these talking points for your calls and emails:

With a few days left in the Congressional session, it is imperative that Congress act to make the critical EITC and CTC provisions permanent in any tax agreement that moves forward. This issue is too important to wait until 2017, when new challenges may emerge that make it difficult or practically impossible to save the improvements and keep millions of working Americans from losing their tax credits. This year – when there is interest in both parties in making permanent some business tax credits that are routinely extended one or two years at a time – is the best opportunity to make the EITC and CTC improvements permanent as well. 

While I understand that some lawmakers are concerned about the size of this tax proposal, the consequences of inaction would be high for working families: if Congress fails to save the EITC and CTC improvements in time, [XX] children, and [XX people in your state] overall, will fall into or deeper into poverty and millions more will find it harder to meet their families’ basic needs.

As the negotiations over business tax extenders and the EITC and CTC continue, we urge the representative/senator to speak with his/her colleagues in the leadership and do everything he/she can to ensure that the EITC and CTC improvements are made permanent this year. Working families in our state are counting on the representative/senator to be their voice.

Be sure to customize your message with EITC and CTC statistics from your state before sending it. Find the number of people and children impacted in your state at: www.cbpp.org/research/federal-tax/state-fact-sheets-the-earned-income-and-child-tax-credits. If e-mailing, we also urge you to include links/copies of any media that you have generated.

Finally, please urge people in your local Action Network and others you know to join in the effort by sending their own emails to Congress. Send the following message to them via e-mail and Facebook today:

America's working families need your help. Congress is finalizing a tax bill that could preserve key tax provisions that help low-income families make ends meet, but they could also pass a bill that ignores these families and simply cuts taxes for big business. Make sure Congress puts working families first by making key provisions of the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit permanent in this tax bill. Use the RESULTS tax credit alert to send your message today: http://capwiz.com/results/issues/alert/?alertid=9823986.

Got Sixty Minutes? Join the RESULTS Experts on Poverty “Storytelling” Webinar on December 14

RESULTS has long trained advocates on the most effective ways to influence lawmakers, the media, and people in your community. One of the most effective ways to influence policy and opinions is through storytelling. Stories provide a reality to issues that facts alone cannot convey. Studies show that stories are 22 times more likely to be remembered than facts alone. However, storytelling is not always easy. It is a skill that has to be practiced and honed.

This year, RESULTS embarked on our Experts on Poverty Project. The project is designed to raise the voices of people who have experienced poverty firsthand through the telling of their own story. The project has been a great success with many of our Experts engaging lawmakers, the media, and their community on our issues primarily by sharing their stories. While these extraordinary people are experts on poverty, there were not always experts on telling their story. They had to learn the best ways to share a powerful narrative that not only informed people, but also inspired them to action. Now they want to help you do the same.

This Monday, December 14 at 8:30 pm ET, RESULTS will host Powerful Speaking: Telling Your Story to Create Change. This webinar will feature our several of our Experts on Poverty. They will share how they’ve developed their own stories, why these stories truly matter, and how you can draw from your own experiences to speak powerfully about poverty. Come learn how you can use your story to create change.

TAKE ACTION: Take sixty minutes next Monday, December 14 at 8:30 pm ET to attend the RESULTS Powerful Speaking: Telling Your Story to Create Change webinar. Anyone is welcomed to attend. The webinar will be done through Fuze Meeting. To participate, login at http://fuze.me/27440970 or dial in by phone at (201) 479-4595, and enter Meeting ID: 27440970#. Feel free to invite others to attend as well.

Amplify Your Voice by Sending in a Letter to the Editor about the EITC and CTC

As noted above, Congress is working on a final tax extenders bill that could include a permanent extension of the expiring EITC and CTC provisions. RESULTS volunteer advocates have done amazing work pushing Congress to save key EITC and CTC provisions in the media this year. To date, RESULTS volunteers have generated 86 media pieces in 2015 about protecting families who receive the EITC and CTC (out of 180 total media pieces). Let’s keep it going. Amplify your work with House and Senate offices by sending in a letter to the editor to your local paper urging Congress to make sure they make the EITC and CTC improvements permanent before they adjourn for the year. Use the RESULTS tax credit media alert to send your letter today. Be sure to personalize it with your own story, local data, and/or a reference to a recent article in the paper before sending it. For questions or coaching, please contact Jos Linn ([email protected]).

Get Started on 2016 Group Planning Now

On this weekend’s National Webinar, we’ll take a few minutes to celebrate your amazing successes in 2015. That success was created in part last January when local RESULTS groups did their annual RESULTS group planning. Next month, we will again do group planning (more information coming soon), but you can get started now. Please download and fill out the Individual Planning Form (also in PDF form) to take stock of your own personal successes, skills, and goals. By doing so, you’ll be good to go when your group meets to plan in January. We also urge group leaders to bring copies of the form to the National Webinar this weekend to give to group members to complete. If you have questions about the form or group planning in general, please contact Jos Linn ([email protected]). 

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 Introductory Call, December 9, 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, December 12 at 12:30 pm ET. Join the meeting online at http://fuze.me/28130766 or dial in by phone at (201) 479-4595, meeting ID: 28130766#. Listen to previous conference calls and meetings on our National Webinars page.

RESULTS Powerful Speaking: Telling Your Story to Create Change webinar, December 14 at 8:30 pm ET. To participate, login at: http://fuze.me/27440970 or dial in at (201) 479-4595, Meeting ID: 27440970#.

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 Holiday Break. All RESULTS offices are closed from December 24 through January 3. Happy Holidays!

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/‚Äč

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