U.S. Poverty Weekly Update February 9, 2016

February 9, 2016

U.S. Poverty Campaigns

Weekly Update | February 9, 2016

“Protests by Martin Luther King Jr. did result in change. What would also help would be the follow-up of citizens speaking to their representatives. That is what recently helped make permanent the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit, which keep 16 million Americans from falling into — or deeper into — poverty.”

– RESULTS Snohomish (WA) volunteer Willie Dickerson in a January 31 letter to the editor in the San Francisco Chronicle

In This Week’s Update:

Quick Action: Send a letter to the editor urging leaders to expand the EITC for childless workers

Take Action!

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

It’s that time again. This Saturday, February 13 at 12:30 pm ET, RESULTS will host our monthly U.S. Poverty National Webinar. As you know, the February Action focuses on the racial wealth gap and race inequality in America. As such, RESULTS advocates are reading and discussing the book Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates (see more below). On the webinar, we'll discuss how the book relates to our work on the racial wealth gap, what you can do to move our poverty agenda forward during next week's congressional recess, and hear about your recent successes. We’ll also have an exciting announcement to make about the 2016 RESULTS International Conference. Please join us for this important webinar.

TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes to remind your local RESULTS group about the RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Conference call this Saturday, February 13 at 12:30 pm ET. Coordinate with your group where you will meet for the call. To join this Fuze webinar online, login at http://fuze.me/28130766. If you cannot join online, you can dial in by phone at (201) 479-4595, meeting ID: 28130766#. Plan to log in or call in no later than 12:25 pm ET. If you have questions about Fuze or how to log in, please contact Jos Linn at [email protected]. We will have the February 2016 National Webinar slides available later this week in the Take Action box on the RESULTS Homepage.

Got Ten Minutes or More? Continue Reading Between the World and Me (February Action)

In an effort to learn more about the racial wealth gap, this month we are learning more about the African-American experience in America by reading Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. We then encourage you to share your thoughts in a “book club”-type discussion during your monthly group meetings. Only by confronting and discussing these issues do we better understand them and become better advocates.

(We’re keeping this section short this week so you can keep reading the book.)

TAKE ACTION: Take ten or more minutes to continue reading Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Note the thoughts or insights you get from the book and then share them with your group during your February RESULTS group meeting. Review the February Action for resources on the racial wealth gap and sample discussion questions to get the conversation started at your meetings. If you are not able to read the book, read these two articles from Ta-Nehisi Coats to get an idea of the issues he’s try to highlight:

In addition, RESULTS will host an online “Virtual Book Club” discussion of Between the World and Me next week on Thursday, February 18 at 1:00pm and 8:00pm ET. This is an opportunity to discuss the book with RESULTS staff and volunteers around the country. Join whichever call is most convenient for you (U.S. Poverty Free Agents should plan to join one of these calls as well). To join the conversation, login at: http://fuze.me/27491886 or dial in by phone at (201) 479-4595 and enter Meeting ID: 27491886#.

Got Five Minutes More? Build on Bipartisan Momentum to Expand the EITC

Today, the Obama Administration sent its last budget request to Congress. The President’s Budget starts the annual budget process, though Congress and the President already agreed last fall to spending levels for FY 2017. As discussed in both the Wall Street Journal and on PBS’s Newshour, there is bipartisan support for one of the President’s proposals: expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for childless workers. Right now, workers without children in the home receive such a small EITC that they are actually taxed into poverty. This proposal would double the credit (to about $1,000 per year) and allow younger workers to claim it. A few key facts about the proposal, supported by House Speaker Paul Ryan and President Obama:

  • It would benefit 13.5 million Americans, including 1.5 million non-custodial parents
  • It would lift 500,000 hardworking Americans out of poverty
  • It would reduce the depth of poverty for another 10.1 million

As discussed at the White House “Conversation on Child Hunger in America” last month, President Obama also has proposed to increase access to summer meals for children, at a cost of $12 billion over the next decade. Also worth noting, The Hill reports that House Speaker Paul Ryan is considering joining forces with the Congressional Black Caucus to focus U.S. appropriations (the programs that go through the annual funding process, such as Head Start, WIC, job training, etc., but not mandatory programs such as SNAP and Medicaid) to persistently poor counties in the U.S. For more about the President's budget, read this analysis from our friends at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

TAKE ACTION: Use the success of last year’s tax deal to push your members of Congress to expand the EITC for childless workers. The best way to build support for this proposal is during face-to-face meetings with representatives and senators during the Presidents’ Day recess NEXT WEEK. You can find contact information and the names of the Washington DC schedulers on our Elected Officials page (under “Staff”), and see the January Action and our online meeting request tool for tips and messaging for requesting meetings. Also ask if they have any town halls scheduled for next week. If they’re booked up in February, ask for the next possible date to meet.

Once you get a lobby meeting scheduled, contact Meredith Dodson ([email protected]) to get tailored requests and messaging for your meeting. Use our updated tax credits laser talk to help you prepare, print off a copy of our updated U.S. Poverty Lobby Request to leave behind with your members of Congress, and don't forget to bring copies of any media you’ve generated in the last year.

Of course, you can amplify the message by submitting LTEs to local papers (below), and using our online alert to urge others to email Congress in support of expanding the EITC. 

Quick News

Use NH Primary to Generate Media about Poverty. Election coverage is always a good hook to get letters printed about important issues facing our country. Every time you see story in your paper about the election, write a letter in response linking it to the issue of poverty in America. For example, use today’s New Hampshire Primary election coverage as a hook to get a letter to the editor (LTE) printed in your local paper. Personalize and submit our online tax credit LTE and/or nutrition LTE urging leaders to protect and expand programs that lift and keep people out of poverty! Note: this is a good action to send to your Local Action Networks this month.

Join Growing your Group through Outreach Training Next Week. A healthy RESULTS group is one that is always looking to grow. New people bring new energy and passion to your work. However, not all of us are well-versed in how to do effective outreach to potential new advocates. Join this training webinar and discussion about how to do successful outreach. You'll learn outreach tips and skills from RESULTS staff, learn about outreach resources available to you, and get answers to your questions about how best to recruit new people. The webinar is next Tuesday, February 16 at 9:00 pm ET. To join the webinar online, go to: https://www.fuzemeeting.com/fuze/f2988286/31404402. To join by phone, dial (201) 479-4595, meeting ID 31404402.

Please Send in Your Group Plans. Thank you to everyone who has already sent in their 2016 Group Plan Summary (PDF version) outlining your group goals for this year. If you have not submitted your plan yet, please send a copy to Jos Linn at [email protected] as soon as possible.

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.

Congressional Recesses: House: February 13-21. Senate: February 13-21. Request face-to-face meetings.

RESULTS Introductory Call, February 10, at 9:00 pm ET. If you want to learn more about RESULTS, register for an upcoming Intro Call on the RESULTS website.

RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Webinar, February 13 at 12:30 pm ET. Join the meeting online at http://fuze.me/28130766 or dial in by phone at (201) 479-4595, meeting ID: 28130766#. Listen to previous webinars on our National Webinars page.

Presidents’ Day, February 15. All RESULTS offices closed.

RESULTS Outreach Webinar, February 16 at 8:00 pm ET. Join at https://www.fuzemeeting.com/fuze/f2988286/31404402 or dial (201) 479-4595, meeting ID 31404402#.

RESULTS Virtual Book Club Discussion: Between the World and Me, February 18 at 1:00 pm and 8:00 pm ET. These calls will be a virtual book club to discuss the book Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Anyone is welcomed to join the discussion. Note that U.S. Poverty Free Agents will participate in these calls in lieu of our regular third Tuesday calls in February. Join online at: http://fuze.me/27491886; or by phone at (201) 479-4595 and enter Meeting ID: 27491886. For more information, contact Jos Linn ([email protected]).

2016 RESULTS International Conference, June 25-28, 2016 in Washington, DC. Save the dates!

If you have a question, comment or suggestion for the RESULTS/RESULTS Educational Fund Board, please e-mail them to RESULTS Grassroots Board Member Lydia Pendley at [email protected]. You can download RESULTS’ most recent Annual Report at: https://results.org/about/annual_report/.

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