U.S. Poverty Weekly Update February 10, 2015

February 10, 2015

U.S. Poverty Campaigns

Weekly Update | February 10, 2015

“Congress should make protecting and strengthening the earned income tax credit and the child tax credit a top priority.”

– RESULTS Austin volunteer Martha Rogers in a February 7 letter to the editor in the Austin American-Statesman

In This Week’s Update:

Quick Action: RSVP for the RESULTS webinar discussion with Nicholas Kristof this Saturday at 2:00 pm ET!

RSVP Today

Got Two Minutes? RSVP for the Nick Kristof Webinar!

It’s finally here! The RESULTS webinar discussion with New York Times columnist and author Nicholas Kristof is this Saturday, February 14 at 2:00 pm ET. We are very excited about this event. There is also a great deal of demand for people to participate. We have a limited number of lines for groups to participate in the webinar. So that all our active groups and volunteers can participate, we ask that RSVP for the webinar as soon as possible. For groups, simply designate one person to do fill out the form. We urge volunteers in close proximity to please watch the webinar together to ensure we have enough lines for everyone. If you’d like to get connected to a local RESULTS U.S. Poverty group watching the event, please contact Jos Linn at [email protected]. If you cannot participate with a local group, please RSVP today.

TAKE ACTION: To two minutes to RSVP for the Nick Kristof webinar today to reserve your spot. There is a lot of demand to participate in this event and we have a limited number of spots available. Once the available lines fill up, we will not be able to add more people to the call. Also, RESULTS groups should plan to join the webinar on Saturday no later than 1:50 pm ET. We will have slides for the webinar available later this week, which you can find in the “Take Action” box of the RESULTS homepage.

Got Ten Minutes? Confirm Invitees for Your Local Nicholas Kristof Event (February Action)

We are all very excited about the RESULTS webinar with Nicholas Kristof this Saturday at 2:00 pm ET. It promises to be an informative and inspiring event. Many of you are rightly taking advantage of this event to hold local outreach meetings on Saturday to help grow and strengthen your local RESULTS group. You’ve been inviting new people to come hear Nicholas Kristof speak and learn more about RESULTS and your local efforts. That is exactly what we’d hoped you would do. But to ensure a good event, people need to come.

It’s never too late to start inviting people to come. If you still have people you can invite, please do. People will surprise you, even with a last minute invitation. For those you’ve already invited who said yes (or maybe) they will attend your local event, plan to make confirmation calls to these people later this week as a final reminder. These calls are essential. Things come up, people forget, people lose their invitation, so these reminder calls ensure they will remember when and where to be on Saturday.

TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes to do confirmation calls to the people who responded yes or maybe to your local Nicholas Kristof event. Plan to call on Thursday or Friday of this week (even Saturday morning would work, if need be) so it stays fresh in people’s minds. If you have a large crowd coming, divide of up confirmation calls among your group members. Also, if you have others you have yet to invite, invite them personally to attend your event. Visit our Nicholas Kristof Event Materials page, which includes a laser talk you can use for inviting, as well as full-page and half-page customizable flyers. If you need help with your outreach this week, please contact Jos Linn at [email protected], (515) 288-3622. See you Saturday!

Got Twenty Minutes? Make Sure You Have Everything Ready to Go for Saturday’s Webinar (February Action)

In these final days before Saturday’s webinar, you’ll want to make sure you have everything ready to go for a powerful and successful outreach event. In addition to your inviting and confirmation calls this week, you’ll want to make sure you have your agenda finalized, your roles defined, and your materials available (see below). It’s up to you how you conduct your meeting but we do recommend that it include time to talk about your local RESULTS group (and your successes), time to discuss the webinar, and time to take an action.

Most importantly, you want to build in time at the end to invite new people to make their voices heard for the end of poverty by joining your local RESULTS group. Invite them to join your group and attend your next local meeting. If you want to grow and strengthen your group, that request is critical. Successful outreach is completely dependent on your asking people to get involved. Therefore, designate someone to do your “ask,” and have them write it out and practice it before Saturday. The more confident your request, the more likely people will join.

TAKE ACTION: To twenty minutes to do final preparations for your local outreach event during the Nicholas Kristof webinar on Saturday. If you need agenda ideas for your local meeting, see our Outreach Guide for the Nicholas Kristof Webinar. Here is a list of materials you will want to have on hand:

  • RESULTS Sign-In Sheet to record everyone who attends your event
  • RESULTS Participation Forms for people who want to join your group or Local Action Network
  • Outreach Action Sheets to write letters about protecting SNAP at your meeting
  • Pens and paper for people to take notes and write letters
  • The date, time, and location of your next local RESULTS meeting (put in a flyer if possible)

Also, if you have a question you would like RESULTS to ask Nicholas Kristof on Saturday, please submit your question on our RSVP page. You can also submit questions directly to Meredith Dodson at [email protected].

If you additional need help with planning your local event or how to word your request to participate, please contact Jos Linn at [email protected].

Threats to SNAP Loom in the Budget Process – Take Action on Saturday and in Face-to-Face Meetings

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) is the first line of defense against hunger in America. Currently, over 46 million people – almost half of them children – receive SNAP benefits. SNAP lifted almost 5 million people out of poverty in 2013 (US Census) and has been found to significantly reduce hunger and poor health in children. Roughly one in five children in the U.S. (16 million) participated in SNAP last year according to the Census Bureau.

Despite the success and continued need for SNAP, hungry families are facing serious hardship when Congress moves forward with its budget process in March. The last few years, House leaders have proposed drastic changes to SNAP. The so-called “Ryan Budget” proposed in 2014 put forward $137 billion (18 percent) in cuts to SNAP, along with many other anti-poverty programs. These changes would have forced millions of children and families off the program. Nearly 70 percent of the cuts in last year’s Ryan Budget came from programs like SNAP that serve low-income Americans. Unfortunately, with new Republican leadership in Congress, we could see similar or even deeper cuts proposed in 2015, putting SNAP at even greater risk.

TAKE ACTION: Congress is working on their budget proposals now with floor action expected in March, so it is important that we make our voices heard now! After the Nicholas Kristof webinar is finished on Saturday, take time to discuss what you heard with people in the room and then take a few minutes to take action on SNAP. Print off our Action Sheet on protecting nutrition programs to use at your meeting.

Protecting SNAP is also a key request for face-to-face meetings with members of Congress. Next week, Congress will be on recess, giving you a great opportunity to discuss the importance of SNAP program with your senators and representatives. Request a meeting and once you get one confirmed, contact Meredith Dodson ([email protected]) for coaching on specific requests for your meeting. In addition, be sure to bring TalkPoverty.org data by Congressional District: http://talkpoverty.org/poverty/.

Upcoming Events

(See a complete calendar on the RESULTS website)

Upcoming Congressional Recesses: House: February 14-23, March 6-15, March 28-April 12; Senate: February 14-22, March 28-April 12. Request face-to-face meetings.

Training Webinar: Moving New RESULTS Advocates Along the Ladder of Engagement, February 11, 9:00 pm ET. Join online at https://www.fuzemeeting.com/fuze/f2988286/27334410 or by phone at (201) 479-4595, Meeting ID: 27334410.

National Outreach Event with Nicholas Kristof, February 14 at 2:00 pm ET. Listen to previous conference calls online.

RESULTS U.S. Poverty Free Agents Call, February 17 at 1:00 pm and 8:00 pm ET. Join online at: http://fuze.me/27491886. Join by phone at (201) 479-4595, Meeting ID: 27491886.

RESULTS Introductory Call, February 18 at 9:00 pm ET. Register for the call on the RESULTS website.

Training Webinar: Advocacy 101 – How to Have an Effective District Lobby Meeting, February 17 at 9:00 pm ET and again February 18 at 1:00 pm ET. Join online at http://fuze.me/27334614 or by phone at (201) 479-4595, Meeting ID: 27334614.

RESULTS International Conference, July 18-21 at the Washington Court Hotel, Washington, DC. Register TODAY!

Find a list of the RESULTS U.S. Poverty staff with contact information on the RESULTS website.

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