U.S. Poverty Weekly Update February 21, 2017

February 21, 2017

U.S. Poverty Campaigns

Weekly Update | February 21, 2017

“It's amazing how a school can come together to help the community, and absolutely staggering how many people need to be fed. So, it is truly puzzling that our politicians are gearing up to attack the very programs that low-income, hardworking people depend on, like Medicaid and SNAP.”

—RESULTS Russellville (AR) volunteer Tyler Schuermann in a February 11 letter to the editor in the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette

In This Week’s Update:

Quick Media Action: Remind Congress that Americans Want a Strong Safety Net

Take Action!

Got Two Minutes? Ask about Town Halls in Your Area (February Action)

Here we are! The congressional recess has started and many members of Congress are holding town halls this week to hear from constituents. With threats to SNAP and Medicaid looming, as well as plans for a big tax overhaul in the mix, members of Congress need to hear from you now. Plan to attend a town hall this week and ask lawmakers to end poverty in America!

TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes to contact your House and Senate schedulers to ask about town halls or public events their bosses are doing this week. Also check their websites (find them at: http://capwiz.com/results/dbq/officials/) and https://townhallproject.com/ to see if they have any events listed that you can attend. The February Action also has tips to help. If you find an event, use this framework to craft your own town hall question:

  1. “I am very concerned about proposals to decimate key anti-poverty programs – not only the Affordable Care Act & Medicaid, but also SNAP (formerly Food Stamps).”
  2. Share why you care. Use a personal story, state or local data, etc.
  3. “Will you fight to protect the core financing & structure of SNAP and other safety net programs?”

If you find an event you plan to attend, enter the meeting info into our First 100 Days Meeting Tracker and contact Meredith Dodson ([email protected]) to set up a lobby prep call to get you ready.

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Got Ten Minutes? No Town Halls? Push for the Face-to-Face Meeting (February Action)

Thank you to all the RESULTS volunteers who have been working to find and attend town halls this week to ask questions about SNAP, the ACA, the EITC, and the racial wealth gap. Sadly, some of you have discovered that members of Congress are canceling town halls at the last minute or not holding them at all. Well, take those lemons and make some lemonade by requesting face-to-face meetings with your members of Congress.

As noted last week, the Congressional Management Foundation’s new report once again confirms that in-person meetings with constituents is the most effective way to influence members of Congress (read more about the report on the RESULTS Blog). Remind members of Congress of this fact by requesting your own meeting today to talk about protecting programs and services that reduce poverty in America.

TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes to contact House and Senate schedulers about setting up face-to-face meetings this week or during their next visit back to your state or district. The February Action has a step-by-step guide for requesting a meeting, including language to use in your request (the Action also has town hall tips). Note that some groups have found success in setting up meetings right before or after other public events at which your members of Congress are attending.

Find scheduler names on our Elected Officials page. As with any face-to-face encounter, once your meeting is set, please contact Meredith Dodson ([email protected]) to schedule a lobby prep call to get your ready (and enter the meeting into our First 100 Days Meeting Tracker). Finally, don’t forget to take the following to you meeting:

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Got Twenty Minutes? Use Your Lobbying Actions to Invite New People to Get Involved

This week’s congressional recess spurring activity in communities around the country. Not only is this a great opportunity for town halls and face-to-face meetings, it is a great opportunity to invite new people into your local RESULTS work. With a flood of new people engaging in the political process, many for the first time ever, what better way to show them the power citizen advocacy than by “showing them the ropes” yourselves? After all, RESULTS advocates are some of the savviest advocates around. Invite new people to attend a town hall with you or a face-to-face meeting or a meeting with aides you have scheduled. Who better to show others how easy and empowering it is to do it? RESULTS volunteers in San Francisco are already using this strategy to engage new people.

Giving people this opportunity will help them see the impact these meetings can have not only on lawmakers and their staff, but on themselves. RESULTS has countless stories of new advocates attending meetings and then commenting afterward “I had no idea I could do this.” Share the power of advocacy with others you know.

TAKE ACTION: Take twenty minutes to reach out to new people as part of the RESULTS First 100 Days Campaign. Use your upcoming lobby meetings and town hall excursions as a way to show new people what they can accomplish as anti-poverty advocates. Invite them to attend and play a role if they want. Your example can be the catalyst for creating a whole new generation of engaged citizens.

For assistance, invite new or existing volunteers to listen to our Town Hall Advocacy Training, which took place last week. Learn the tips to being an effective advocate at a public event. Listen at: https://www.fuzemeeting.com/replay_meeting/68c3a948/8204090.

Finally, if you have a more formal outreach event planned in your area, please don’t feel like you have to reinvent the wheel. RESULTS has materials to help you including brochures, action sheets, PowerPoint presentations, registration forms, etc. Please contact Jos Linn ([email protected]) with your materials request.

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Quick News

Please Send in your Group Plans. Please finish and submit your First 100 Days Plan ASAP at: www.tinyurl.com/First100Plan. The 100th day of 2017 will be here sooner than you think. If you have not started planning, find Group Planning Resources on our First 100 Days page; the January U.S. Poverty Action also has tips to help.

Last Week to Sign Your RESULTS Group onto FRAC Nutrition Letter. Stand with advocates working to protect SNAP and other nutrition programs by signing your local RESULTS group onto the Food Research and Action letter to President Trump and Congress. The deadline to sign on is March 1.

KS Advocates to Attend Farm Bill Hearing. Later this week, Senate Agriculture Chair Pat Roberts (R-KS) will hold the first of several hearings on the Farm Bill, which is set to expire in 2018. The hearing, which is in Manhattan, KS, is open to the public and RESULTS volunteers from Kansas will be in attendance to ask Chairman Roberts to protect SNAP (which is part of the Farm Bill). You can watch the hearing this Thursday, February 23 at 2:00 pm ET on the Senate Agriculture Committee website.

See How Policies Impact the Racial Wealth Gap. The Institute of Assets and Social Policy and Demos have once again teamed up to create a useful tool in your advocacy – the Racial Wealth Audit. Ever wonder how increased homeownership would impact the racial wealth gap? What about education? Or Income? Check out this helpful resource to find what is and isn’t effective in reducing the racial wealth gap.

Register for the RESULTS International Conference. The 2017 RESULTS International Conference is coming (July 22-25 in Washington, DC). Join hundreds of advocates from around the world at this great event. Early bird registration is still open. Register today.

Urge Young Advocates to Apply for REAL Change. RESULTS is now accepting REAL Change Fellowship applications. The Fellowship is open to 18-30 year olds who want to become powerful advocates for the end of poverty. It includes attending the RESULTS International Conference and ongoing training throughout the year. If you know any young potential new advocates, please urge them to apply today. Slots will fill up quickly.

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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: Kristy Martino, March 10; Jos Linn, March 18-26.

Upcoming Congressional Recesses: House and Senate: February 20-24.

RESULTS U.S. Poverty Free Agents Calls, Tuesday, February 21 at 1:00 pm and 8:00 pm ET. To participate, login at http://fuze.me/32256018 or dial by phone at (201) 479-4595, Meeting ID: 32256018#.

RESULTS Introductory Call, Friday, February 24 at 1:00 pm ET. If you want to learn more about RESULTS, register for an Intro Call on the RESULTS website.

RESULTS REAL Change Mid-Year Retreat, March 5-7. Washington, DC. Apply for the 2017-18 REAL Change Fellowship today.

RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Webinar, Saturday, March 11 at 12:30 pm ET.  Participate at http://fuze.me/32255914 or (201) 479-4595, Meeting ID: 32255914#. Listen to previous webinars on our National Webinars page.

Training Call: Creating Bi-Partisan Support for our Issues in our Communities: A Learning and Sharing Lab, Wednesday, March 15 at 9:00 pm ET. Login online: http://fuze.me/34116938; or via phone (201)479-4595, Meeting ID 34116938#.

RESULTS International Conference, Saturday, July 22 – Tuesday, July 25, 2017. Washington Court Hotel, Washington, DC. Registration is now open!

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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