U.S. Poverty Weekly Update February 20, 2018

February 20, 2018

U.S. Poverty Campaigns

Weekly Update | February 20, 2018

“No child should ever be hungry. We shouldn't live in a society where it's okay to take food away from children.”

– RESULTS Pennsylvania volunteer and Expert on Poverty Asia Bijan Thompson in a February 19 article in Bustle

Quick Media Action: Tell Congress to Reject Cuts to Anti-Poverty Programs

Take Action!

Got Two Minutes? Call about Last-Minute Meetings and Town Halls to Deliver Your #LettersGetLOUD Letters (February Action)

Congress is on recess this week. With the President’s budget recently released, members will be looking for input from constituents about what issues they should focus on in the coming months. Make sure you are part of that discussion. When the President is threatening to take food away from families by cutting SNAP or taking health care from people on Medicaid, members of Congress need to hear from you that these proposals are wrong.* Meetings and town halls this week also give you the chance to deliver your first batch of #LettersGetLOUD letters reiterating that message.

TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes to contact your House and Senate offices about scheduling a last-minute lobby meeting (or follow up on a previous request) or attending town halls during this week’s recess. Use our online template to customize, print, and send your meeting requests today and visit www.townhallproject.com to find town halls in your area. Be sure to visit our U.S. Poverty Campaigns page for updated lobby requests you can give to members of Congress and their staff. If you cannot get a meeting this week, ask for one the next time your members of Congress are home.

When you get a meeting or town hall, please contact Meredith Dodson ASAP for coaching and materials. After your meeting or town hall, please fill out the RESULTS Lobby Report form to let us know how it went.

*Don’t get too distracted by the President’s Harvest Box proposal (delivering boxes of basic food to SNAP participants in lieu of using EBT cards at the grocery store). It has little chance of becoming law and is not something you should spend time on in a lobby meeting. Instead, focus on opposing President Trump proposal to cut SNAP by nearly 30 percent, which would be devastating for millions of American families and dramatically increase hunger in the U.S.

Got Ten Minutes? Please Submit Your 2018 Group Plans

Has your group met to plan your goals and outcomes for 2018? If so, have you submitted your group’s plan? The U.S. Poverty Team of staff and Regional Coordinators are standing by to support you in reaching your 2018 goals. But we need your plans first. Help us make 2018 another fabulous advocacy and outreach year by RESULTS volunteers – send your plans in today!

TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes to submit your group plans to Jos Linn at [email protected]. Copy and scan the 2018 Group Plan Summary into an e-mail and hit send. If you haven’t had your planning meeting yet, simply let Jos know when it is. It will reduce Jos’ stress level and spare you the repeated requests to send him your plans. Win-win!

Got Twenty Minutes? Use #LettersGetLOUD to Reach Out to Leaders in Your Community (February Action)

The #LettersGetLOUD campaign has gotten off to a great start. Groups around the country are meeting, writing, reading letters urging Congress to protect families who put food on the table with SNAP or take their children to the doctor because of Medicaid. And this week, many will be delivering their first set #LettersGetLOUD letters to members of Congress in meetings and at town halls.

But remember that #LettersGetLOUD is not just about writing letters about building the movement to end poverty. Hopefully, you’ve already reached out to new people to invite them to attend your letter-writing meetings. Have you also reached out to community allies? There are people in your community that can be powerful partners with you in raising awareness of these issues. Faith communities, other advocacy organizations, students, social justice groups are just some of the groups who may find common cause with you in writing letters, sharing videos, attending lobby meetings, or all the above. Also look at non-traditional allies; groups that maybe you’ve not thought to reach out to. For example, your local Chamber of Commerce may see the economic value in protecting SNAP from block grants and insulting ideas (grocery retailers are already lining up against the President’s Harvest Box proposal*). The local hospital association likely cares about Medicaid and would be concerned about new barriers to access. And don’t overlook local politicians who have expressed concern about poverty, fairness, justice, or supporting local business (remember that anti-poverty programs produce a lot of local spending). The more diverse a coalition you build, the stronger your message comes across.

TAKE ACTION: Take twenty minutes to research grasstops leaders in your community and make a plan to reach out to them. Magnify your local #LettersGetLOUD work by calling or e-mailing contacts in these groups and invite them to meet for a cup of coffee, lunch, or a visit to their office to introduce yourself and what you do with RESULTS. Tell them you’re interested in working with them to raise awareness of these important issues and help create a community where everyone has a chance to thrive. Let them know about #LettersGetLOUD and if there is some way they would want to participate. Be sure to offer to support their work on these issues as well. If you would like coaching on identifying groups or what to say when you meet with them, contact Jos Linn for assistance.

Quick News

Conference Scholarship Application Now Open. Do you want to attend the 2018 RESULTS International Conference? Of course, you do. But is getting the money to cover travel and hotel expenses a challenge? Then apply for scholarship assistance. If you want to come to the Conference, we want to help you get there. Apply at www.tinyurl.com/RESULTSScholUS. Also, urge other you know to attend the Conference – start by sending them the 2018 Conference flyer!

REAL Changers Coming to DC in March. Many of our 2017-18 REAL Change Fellows will be traveling to DC next weekend to attend the REAL Change Spring Policy Summit. At the summit, they will learn about RESULTS priority issues in depth and the federal budget process, then head to Capitol Hill to lobby on our issues. If you have a current fellow in your area and would like them to deliver  #LettersGetLOUD letters in their DC meetings, contact them ASAP to coordinate. And if you know someone who would make a great candidate for our 2018-19 REAL Change class, urge them to apply for the Fellowship. Slots are limited so apply today.

Order Materials for Your #LettersGetLOUD Meetings and Other Events. If you are looking to up your presentation game for local meetings and events with banners, pens, stickers, or business cards, fill out our Materials Order Form and we’ll send them to you.

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 time out of the office: Kristy Martino: February 20-March 4. Meredith Dodson, March 9-12. Jos Linn, March 21-25.

House and Senate Recess, February 19-23. After any lobby meeting, please complete the RESULTS Lobby Report Form to let us know how it went.

U.S. Poverty Free Agents Calls, Tuesday, February 20 at 1:00pm and 8:00pm ET. Login at http://fuze.me/32256018 or dial in by phone at (201) 479-4595, Meeting ID: 32256018#.

New Jersey “Storytelling for a Cause” Training, February 22 at 7:00pm. Morris County Public Library 30 Hanover Ave., Whippany NJ. RSVP on Facebook.

REAL Change Mid-Year Policy Summit, March 3-6. Washington, DC.

House and Senate Recess, March 26 – April 6. After any lobby meeting, please complete the RESULTS Lobby Report Form to let us know how it went.

2018 RESULTS International Conference, July 14-17, 2018, Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington, D.C. Registration is now open – register today. Watch our new 2018 Conference video and share it (along with our flyer) with others you know!

If you have a question, comment or suggestion for the RESULTS/RESULTS Educational Fund Board, please e-mail them to RESULTS Grassroots Board Member Steven McGee 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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