U.S. Poverty Weekly Update February 7, 2017

February 7, 2017

U.S. Poverty Campaigns

Weekly Update | February 7, 2017

“When we have people in our community going without food, we have a community that is not reaching its potential.”

– RESULTS Salina (KS) volunteer Kimberly Trigg in a February 3 letter to the editor in the Salina Journal

In This Week’s Update:

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

Take Action!

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

Join us for the RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Webinar this Saturday, February 11 at 12:30 pm ET. This month, RESULTS volunteers have a great opportunity to meet some of their important First 100 Days goals. Both the House and Senate will be on recess the week of February 20, which gives you the opportunity to meet with members of Congress face-to-face in sit-down meetings or town halls. To help you get ready for these meetings, we are thrilled to have Kathy Saile, Associate Director of Government Affairs at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities join us on Saturday’s webinar. She will share with us the latest on proposed changes to SNAP and Medicaid and how advocates can keep the pressure on to protect these and other important anti-poverty programs. We’ll also discuss tips for town halls this month, and hear shares from the grassroots. Please plan to join this informative webinar.

TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes to remind your local RESULTS group about the RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Grassroots Webinar call this Saturday, February 11 at 12:30 pm ET. Coordinate with your group where you will meet for the call. The webinar is done through Fuze meeting. To join online, login at http://fuze.me/32255914 or dial in by phone at (201) 479-4595, Meeting ID: 32255914#. Plan to log in or call in no later than 12:25 pm ET. The slides for the February Webinar will be available later this week on our National Webinars page.

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Got Ten Minutes? Set Up Meetings and Attend Town Halls during the Presidents’ Day Recess (February Action)

Beginning February 20, House and Senate members will be on recess for a week. This is a great time to meet with them in your home states and districts as part our First 100 Days Campaign. As they try to figure out their next steps on their legislative agenda, they need to hear from you about protecting critical anti-poverty programs. Who is going to tell them that cuts or block-granting SNAP and Medicaid will force millions deeper into poverty? Who is going to urge them to address the racial wealth gap in tax reform and not make it worse with more tax cuts for the wealthy? In most cases, you are. This is what RESULTS volunteers do best – they highlight the important issues no one else is talking about. Make the most of this month’s recess – meet with members of Congress about poverty in America.

TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes to contact your House and Senate schedulers and request face-to-face meetings with your members of Congress the week of February 20. The February Action has tips to help you. Also, use our lobby meeting request form for requests and find scheduler names and contact information on our Elected Officials page. Be sure to ask about any town halls or public events your representatives and senators may be doing that week. As you get your meetings or town halls scheduled, please enter the meeting info into our First 100 Days Meeting Tracker: http://tinyurl.com/100daysmeetings and contact Meredith Dodson ([email protected]) to set up a lobby prep call to help you get ready.

Here are some resources to help with your meetings this month:

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Got Twenty Minutes? Urge Your Action Network to Write Letters You Can Hand Deliver

In a presentation RESULTS Grassroots Manger Jos Linn did this past weekend in St. Louis, he got a good question from an audience member: “If I go to a lobby meeting saying I represent others in the community, how do members of Congress and their staff know?” The answer is letters. A great way to let congressional offices know that the movement to end poverty is broader than just the people in the room is to deliver letters (preferably hand-written) from others in your community. It magnifies your message in the meeting and also lets the offices know that you know how to organize.

Not everyone can take the time to attend a lobby meeting; but almost anyone can take a few minutes to write a letter that you can then hand-deliver in your lobby meetings. Ask people in your Local Action Network (people you know who are willing to take action from time to time) to make their voice heard by writing letters this month.

TAKE ACTION: Take twenty minutes to reach out to people in your Local Action Network and urge them to write letters you can deliver to members of Congress and/or their staff in your upcoming First 100 Days lobby meetings. Tell them that you need their help in protecting Americans who rely on SNAP from block granting and cuts to the program. Send them a copy of our SNAP Outreach Action (Word version) and ask them to take a few minutes to write letters to both senators and their representative. Plan how you will collect the letters (pick them up, have them mailed to you, e-mail you scanned copies) and then deliver them in your meetings. In addition to the letters, please take any media you and your group has generated over the las year to your meetings.

Quick News

Controversial Nominees Get Votes Today. The Senate is voting on two very controversial nominees for President Trump’s Cabinet. Betsy Devos, nominee for Secretary of Education, was confirmed by a 51-50 vote (Vice President Pence broke the tie) this afternoon and a vote on Jeff Sessions for Attorney General is expected later today. Advocates from around the country have urged members of Congress to oppose these nominees. For Devos, because of her inexperience; for Sessions, because of his questionable record on civil rights. Despite Devos’ confirmation, the vote was as close as it could get and it demonstrated how organized opposition can work. This article in The Nation highlights how advocates in Alaska were able to mobilize and convince Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) to oppose her nomination. It is a lesson in how advocacy can and does make a difference.

Invite Tax Aides to EITC/CTC Briefing on February 13. Thank you to everyone who invited aides to the wealth gap briefing in Washington, DC last week (watch video from the event). Next week, Spotlight on Poverty and Tax Credits for Working Families will be hosting a briefing on what lies ahead in the 115th Congress for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC). With Congress contemplating major tax reform this year, events like this keep low-income tax credits on the front burner. Once again reach out to your House and Senate tax aides to see if they can attend this briefing as well. The event is next Monday, February 13 from 10:00 am – 11:30 am ET in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, SD-G50 in Washington, DC. Attendees can register here.

Join Storytelling Training Webinar Tonight. RESULTS has always emphasized the importance of sharing experiential stories in our advocacy work. Stories make a big difference; they are 22 times more likely to be remembered that facts alone. In our ongoing training for the First 100 Days Campaign, we are offering a storytelling webinar this evening (Feb. 7) at 9:00 pm ET to teach you how to you use your story to magnify the impact of your advocacy. To participate, login online: http://fuze.me/34116930; or via phone (201) 479-4595, Meeting ID 34116930#. Find out about other RESULTS trainings and events on our Events Calendar and find recordings of past trainings on our First 100 Days page.

Sign Your Group onto FRAC Nutrition Letter. Our friends at the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) are looking for signatories on a letter they will circulate to President Trump and members of Congress urging them to protect federal nutrition programs, including SNAP. Help us demonstrate broad grassroots support for these programs by signing your local RESULTS group onto the letter. You can read the letter and sign on here.

Read New Report on Race and Wealth. Demos and the Institute on Assets and Social Policy have a new report out – The Asset Value of Whiteness – looking at the true and false causes of the racial wealth gap. As RESULTS works to narrow the racial wealth gap, use this report as a resource for your advocacy efforts.

RESULTS Outreach Continues. Last weekend, RESULTS staff and volunteers participated in two events to educate and engage new people on our advocacy work. RESULTS Grassroots Manager Jos Linn traveled to St. Louis to participate in the local Educators for Social Justice Conference, which was organized by RESULTS St. Louis volunteer Sarah Miller. Jos presented before a packed room of teachers on how to use their voices for change. Meanwhile, Director of U.S. Poverty Campaigns, tabled at the annual Sister Giant Conference in Washington, DC. This conference is put on by RESULTS Board member Marianne Williamson. RESULTS advocates attended the Conference (as well as staff) and also lobbied their members of Congress on our issues while in DC. These events were great opportunities to show people eager to get involved how RESULTS can help them become great advocates. If you know such a person, invite him or her to join our next RESULTS Intro Call tomorrow, February 8 at 9:00 pm ET. RSVP at the RESULTS website.

Register for the RESULTS International Conference/Apply for REAL Change. The 2017 RESULTS International Conference will be here before you know it (July 22-25 in Washington, DC). Plan to join hundreds of advocates from around the world at this important event. Register today. Also, remember that RESULTS is now accepting REAL Change Fellowship applications. Encourage young people you know to apply.

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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: Jos Linn, February 17, March 18-26.

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

Training Call: Telling Our Stories of Self, Us, and Now to Engage Others, Tuesday, February 7, 9:00 pm ET. Login online: http://fuze.me/34116930; or via phone (201) 479-4595, Meeting ID 34116930#.

RESULTS Introductory Call, Friday, February 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, February 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.

Presidents Day, Monday, February 20. All RESULTS offices closed.

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#.

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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