U.S. Poverty Weekly Update February 28, 2017

February 28, 2017

U.S. Poverty Campaigns

Weekly Update | February 28, 2017

“I understand what it is to struggle to afford groceries. Many years ago, as a single mother living in deep poverty with two children, the challenge to provide them adequate meals sometimes sent me into a panic. Had it not been for receiving food stamps while I worked to get back on my feet, there would have been more instances of my children and I scrambling for food.”

—RESULTS Expert on Poverty Pamela Covington in a February 16 letter to the editor in the Newport News Daily Press

In This Week’s Update:

Quick Media Action: Tell Lawmakers to Protect Health and Nutrition Programs

Take Action!

Got Two Minutes? Congratulations on Great Recess Week… Now Look Ahead (February Action)

Thank you to all of you who worked to set up face-to-face meetings and attend town halls during last week’s congressional recess. Last week alone, RESULTS volunteers had at least 14 face-to-face encounters with members of Congress, plus many of you had meetings with local staff. That brings our total up to 22 face-to-faces in 2017. Excellent! Be proud of yourselves for working hard to bring the issue of poverty in front of lawmakers so early in the legislative session.

We also know that many of you tried unsuccessfully for meetings or your members of Congress did not hold any town halls. No worries. Congress will be going back on recess in March and April so you have more opportunities to meet with them (or meet again to follow up from last week’s meetings). Get started now by requesting meetings with representatives and senators today.

TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes to keep the First 100 Days momentum going by contacting your House and Senate schedulers to set up meetings for the next congressional recesses. Senators are scheduled to be home March 21-April 1 and representatives will be home April 10-21. Get your request in now so you can get on their calendar. Find scheduler names at: http://capwiz.com/results/dbq/officials/ and use the February Action for help in requesting meetings. Be politely persistent about meeting face-to-face. If you cannot get a meeting in the next recess, ask to go further out on the calendar to get a meeting. If your face-to-face is a few months away, ask to meet with local staff in the meantime.

Once you schedule a meeting, 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? Fill Out Your Lobby Report Form

If you were part last week’s success in getting meetings or attending town halls and asking a question, there’s one more step to take. Please fill out our Lobby Report Form. These forms are critical to our work. First, it lets us know that you had a meeting. While we try to keep on top of all meetings before they happen, occasionally we don’t find out until after the fact. Therefore, your report lets us know for sure that a meeting happened. Second, we get the information directly from the course. Instead of the information being relayed through a staff person or someone else, we get the accurate and comprehensive account of what happened from you. Finally, and most importantly, the information you give up about how the meeting or town hall went is vital. You may hear a new fact or argument or development from your member of Congress, which allows us formulate our work going forward and adjust our strategy and tactics.

TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes to fill out the RESULTS Lobby Report Form: www.tinyurl.com/RESLRF. Please fill it out in the following situations:

  • You have a sit-down face-to-face meeting with a member of Congress
  • You have a sit-down meeting with congressional staff
  • You ask a question at a live or telephonic town hall or other public event
  • You speak with congressional staff at a town hall or public event

If you attend an event but don’t get the opportunity to ask a question, you don’t need to fill out the form. But keep any notes you took from the event to use in your preparation for your next face-to-face meeting. If you have questions about reporting your lobby meetings, please contact Jos Linn ([email protected]).

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Got Twenty Minutes? Use President Trump’s Speech as a Hook for New Media

Tonight at 9:00 pm ET, President Trump will make his first official speech to Congress (presidents don’t do a “State of the Union” in their first year). He is expected to outline a number of priorities for his budget. From early reports, he will ask for almost a 10 percent increase in defense spending, along with drastic cuts to non-defense discretionary (NDD) programs (many of the programs we support). A preliminary estimate from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) is that these NDD cuts amount to 11 percent below last year’s funding levels. If passed, this could be devastating for many agencies and programs serving the public good.

His speech will garner a great deal of media coverage tomorrow and the rest of this week, and will thus be a great hook for media in your local newspapers. Use coverage of tonight’s speech to remind members of Congress and your community what the right priorities are. RESULTS volunteers have gotten 88 media pieces in 2017 – you’re on pace to shatter our all-time media record of 243, set in 2001. The more lawmakers see your media pieces in the paper about protecting the safety net, the harder it will be for them to follow through on their plans to gut SNAP, Medicaid, and others.

TAKE ACTION: Take twenty minutes to draft and send a letter to the editor using President Trump’s congressional speech as a hook. Remind readers that ending poverty must be a top priority in Congress and for President Trump. If you need help getting started, use our updated online LTE alert. Be sure to mention your members of Congress by name when asking them to take action.

Also, if you’re interested in joining a conversation about state of race issues in America under President Trump, join the Advancement Project’s “State of Race” Facebook Live event at 8:00 pm ET tonight, an hour before the President’s speech. From the Advancement Project: “We’ll discuss the current state of our union five weeks into the new administration and explore how movements are rising up to protect the families, schools, and neighborhoods that have been the backbone of our nation’s success.” As RESULTS works to address racial injustice and its intersections with poverty, plan to join this conversation.

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March Is a Good Time for Outreach (March Action preview)

By all indications from what President Trump will outline in his speech to Congress tonight, it is going to be all hands on deck for anti-poverty advocates. Programs supported by both RESULTS U.S. Poverty and Global Poverty advocates are at risk. The more people we engage in this movement, the more pressure Congress will feel to break from these draconian proposals. Outreach can help make that happen.

RESULTS staff members are already working to use March for outreach. Grassroots Manager Jos Linn will be in Milwaukee and Chicago this week to enlist new volunteers and support existing ones in those two cities (contact Jos for details). Then this weekend, Director of U.S. Poverty Campaigns Meredith Dodson and Grassroots Organizer Kristy Martino will be in Washington, DC for the REAL Change Mid-Year Retreat. This event will include over 50 REAL Change Fellows, who will get additional training and then lobby RESULTS issues on Capitol Hill next Tuesday. Kristy will also be attending the National Anti-Hunger Policy Conference, sponsored by FRAC and Feeding America. RESULTS Experts on Poverty Pamela Covington and Yvonne Montoya will be speaking and sharing their stories at the conference and empowering others to take action on hunger and poverty issues.

Time is of the essence in protecting programs that lift and keep Americans out of poverty. As part of the First 100 Days Campaign, use March to empower and engage others in your work to end poverty. The March Action (out later this week) will highlight the recent research Congressional Management Foundation which confirms that the kind of grassroots, constituent advocacy you do is the most effective way to change policy. Use that information to educate others about the power they have to make a difference. The Action will also include a sample outreach meeting agenda you can use to host RESULTS meetings, advocacy trainings, or briefings on threats to anti-poverty programs. We’ll also have PowerPoints available for presentations and materials you can use to get others into action.

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Quick News

Join in the National Call-in TODAY. With the significant threats to U.S. and global anti-poverty programs coming out of President Trump’s speech tonight, RESULTS is working to shape the response right now. Earlier today, RESULTS sent out a call-in alert soon urging you to call your representatives and senators urging them to protect global and domestic anti-poverty programs. Please call today and then forward this alert to your local action networks and urge them to call.

Join “Book Club” Webinar on Race and Advocacy. Are you interested in exploring the critical relationship between advocacy and anti-oppression? Please join RESULTS for a virtual opportunity on Thursday, March 16 at 8:00 pm ET for a conversation around the book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration In the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander. We invite you to this webinar beginning the discussion around systematic oppression in the United States and how it relates to our RESULTS global and domestic poverty campaigns. This will be the first of four sessions to discuss the book. To participate, login at http://fuze.me/34326078 or dial in by phone (201) 479-4595 Meeting ID: 34326078#.Please Send in your Group Plans. Please finish and submit your First 100 Days Plan ASAP at: www.tinyurl.com/First100Plan.

Last Day to Sign Your RESULTS Group onto FRAC Nutrition Letter. Signing your local RESULTS group onto the Food Research and Action letter to President Trump and Congress urging them to protect important nutrition programs. The deadline to sign on is tomorrow, March 1.

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: Senate, March 21-April 1; House, April 10-21.

RESULTS Milwaukee Outreach Meeting, Wednesday, March 1 at 6:00pm CT. Zablocki Branch Library, 3501 S. Oklahoma Ave, Milwaukee, WI. Contact Jos Linn for details ([email protected]).  

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

RESULTS Introductory Call, Friday, March 8 at 9:00 pm ET. If you want to learn more about RESULTS, register for an Intro Call on the RESULTS website.

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 Race and Advocacy “Book Club” Webinar, Thursday, March 16 at 9:00 pm ET. Join this conversation around the book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration In the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander. To participate, login at http://fuze.me/34326078 or dial in by phone (201) 479-4595 Meeting ID: 34326078#.

RESULTS U.S. Poverty Free Agents Calls, Tuesday, March 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 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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