U.S. Poverty Weekly Update January 13, 2015

January 13, 2015

U.S. Poverty Campaigns

Weekly Update | January 13, 2015

New and Urgent in This Week's Update

Latest from Washington, DC

Organizational Updates

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Got Two Minutes? Send in Your Group Plans (January Action)

Thank you to everyone who attended the January U.S. Poverty National Conference Call this past weekend. We had 100 volunteers on the call to hear Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN-5) remind us that advocates like you are what make the difference in dealing with society’s biggest problems. His message was an inspiring kick-off for our 2015 RESULTS Group Planning. We greatly thank Congressman Ellison for taking time out of his busy schedule to speak with us on Saturday.

The rest of the conference call was dedicated to helping you and your groups do your group plans. We hope you found it helpful. Group Planning is such an important part of RESULTS’ success; we are grateful that many of you took time to complete your plans on Saturday. If you did not do planning on Saturday, please set a date in January for you and your group to do it. If you did do planning on Saturday, please send us a copy of your plans (send to [email protected]).

TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes to send a copy of your 2015 Group Plan Summary to RESULTS Grassroots Manager Jos Linn at [email protected]. Even if you did not complete your plan on Saturday, please send Jos what you have now. You can always resubmit your plan with any changes you make later. Sending us a copy now allows us to get started right away in supporting you in reaching your 2015 goals. If you are having trouble sending Jos your plan, please contact him and he will work to help you submit it.

To date, here are the groups who have submitted their plans already: Aurora (CO), Des Moines, Iowa City, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Santa Fe, Cincinnati, and Columbus. Thank you!

If you did not do your planning on Saturday, please schedule a meeting with your group this month to do it. Use the January Action to help with planning; you can find all the 2015 Group Planning resources on our Group Resources page of the RESULTS website. If you’d like to use the conference call materials for your planning, or if you’d like to hear more of what Congressman Ellison said, you can find the call recording, slides, and summary on our National Conference Calls page.

Got Ten Minutes? Schedule Your Face-to-Face Meetings and Join Researching Your Members of Congress Training This Week (January Action)

The 114th Congress was sworn in last week in Washington, DC. With a bunch of new legislators and new leadership in the Senate, it is important that they hear from constituents right away on the issues they care about. As Rep. Keith Ellison said on the RESULTS National Conference Call last Saturday, it is “time to task.” We have to be relentless in getting the message out to lawmakers and our communities that poverty is a serious problem and we have the means to solve it.

Meeting with your representatives and senators in person is essential if we are going to solve the problem of poverty. Poverty is not an individual problem, it is a societal one. 46 million Americans living in poverty cannot be blamed on 46 million bad decisions. It is instead a symptom of systemic inequalities in our economy, in our communities, and in our governance. We have the power to correct them, but we need Congress’ help. Without the public policy in place to combat poverty and injustice, nothing will change. You can help stop the injustice of poverty starting today.

As you work to set up face-to-face meetings this month, remember that researching your members of Congress is very important in preparing for those meetings. This is especially true this year with so many new members of Congress. To help you, RESULTS is hosting its popular Researching Your Members of Congress training this week. Long-time RESULTS volunteer Allison Gallaher will show you how to get helpful information on the background, voting record, and position on the issues for each of your members of Congress. The webinar will be given twice this week: Tomorrow (Wednesday), January 14 at 9:00 pm ET and again Thursday, January 15 at 1:00 pm ET. To join online, go to http://fuze.me/27200038. To join by phone, dial (201) 479-4595, meeting ID 27200038.

TAKE ACTION: Call or e-mail the schedulers for your members of Congress (MoC) to set up face-to-face meetings for upcoming recesses. Tell them you want to meet with them to discuss how we can work together and address poverty here in America. Be sure to put in requests for all the representatives your group covers and both senators in your state. The January Action has information to help with your requests and you can use our updated online request letter to e-mail or fax your request in today. You can find scheduler names and contact information on the Elected Officials page of the RESULTS website.

The point persons for your MoCs should take the lead on requesting meetings. If you are not the point person, check in with your point people to see if they sent the request and/or if they need help. Set a goal to get all your requests in this week. The House will be on recess later this week and both the House and Senate will be on recess in mid-February. Also, don’t forget to ask about town halls they may be doing in your area. If you need help or guidance with your requests, please contact Jos Linn ([email protected]) for assistance. Once you confirm a lobby meeting, please contact Meredith Dodson ([email protected]) for help in preparing for your meeting.

Finally, don’t forget to attend our Researching Your Members of Congress training tomorrow at 9:00 pm ET or Thursday at 1:00 pm ET.

Got Twenty Minutes? Register for the RESULTS International Conference!

At long last! After months of bated breath, registration for the 2015 RESULTS International Conference is now open! The conference is July 18-21 at the Washington Court Hotel in Washington, DC. We are excited about this year’s event, with two amazing speakers already lined up:

Jeffrey D. Sachs is a world-renowned professor of economics, leader in sustainable development, senior U.N. advisor, bestselling author, and syndicated columnist whose monthly newspaper columns appear in more than 100 countries. He has twice been named among Time Magazine’s 100 most influential world leaders. He was called by the New York Times, “probably the most important economist in the world,” and by Time Magazine “the world’s best known economist.” A recent survey by The Economist Magazine ranked Professor Sachs as among the world’s three most influential living economists of the past decade.

Sister Simone Campbell has served as Executive Director of NETWORK since 2004. She is a religious leader, attorney, and poet with extensive experience in public policy and advocacy for systemic change. In Washington, she lobbies on issues of peace-building, immigration reform, healthcare and economic justice. Around the country, she is a noted speaker and educator on these public policy issues. During the 2010 congressional debate about healthcare reform, she wrote the famous “nuns’ letter” supporting the reform bill and got 59 leaders of Catholic Sisters, including LCWR, to sign on. She has led three cross-country Nuns on the Bus trips, focused on economic justice, comprehensive immigration reform, and (most recently) voter turnout.

These two alone are worth the trip but that’s only the tip of the iceberg. We’re working on confirming more great speakers with more exciting speaker announcements in the coming weeks and months. This is in addition to the top-notch advocacy and policy trainings you receive at the conference and the amazing community of volunteers you’ll meet from around the world. Don’t wait another minute – sign up today to join us in DC this summer!

TAKE ACTION: Take twenty minutes to register for the 2015 RESULTS International Conference today, July 18-21 in Washington, DC. Registration is now OPEN at https://results.org/events/IC_2015/. Active RESULTS volunteers can sign up now for only $100. Don’t miss out on RESULTS’ biggest event of the year!

Start Preparing for National Outreach Event with Nicholas Kristof – Attend Outreach Training Tonight at 9pm ET

On February 14 at 2:00 pm ET, RESULTS is hosting a national outreach event with New York Times columnist and best-selling author Nicholas Kristof. We want you to use this opportunity to grow and strengthen your local RESULTS groups. Mr. Kristof is in the midst of promoting his new book, A Path Appears, a sweeping tapestry of people who are using research, evidence-based strategies, and brilliant ideas to make the world a better place.” In his book, he talks about RESULTS and at recent public events has urged attendees to join our work. We are thrilled Mr. Kristof can be with us on February 14 to inspire and inform us and others on being powerful advocates for change.

Because of Mr. Kristof’s international prominence and expertise, this is a great opportunity for RESULTS groups to engage new people in our important work. The February 14 National Outreach Event is a ready-made opportunity to do so. As we talked about on last weekend’s national conference call, we urge you to use this national event, which will likely be a video conference call with Mr. Kristof, to invite people in your community to participate and hear how they can get involved with our work.

To help you get started, RESUTLTS is hosting trainings this month on how to make the most of the event. These special trainings will show you whom you can invite from your community, how to get people to show up, and strategies to use this event to grow your group. We hope you will join us and learn how you can use this event to engage more people in anti-poverty advocacy. The trainings will be TONIGHT, January 13 at 9:00 pm ET and again Wednesday, January 21 at 1:00 pm ET. To join the meeting online, go to http://fuze.me/27334294. To join by phone, dial (201) 479-4595 Meeting ID: 27334294. We will also have materials you can use to promote the event, which you can find on the RESULTS website.

You can also get ready for the event by watching the documentary series, A Path Appears, on PBS later this month. The film “will take viewers on a journey across the country, and across the globe, to drive home the universality of gender inequality and the roots of vulnerability. The series will lead viewers to a deeper understanding of these critical issues and the proven methods of bringing about change.” The film will air in three parts on January 26, February 2, and February 9 (for U.S. poverty advocates, the Feb. 2 installment will discuss early childhood education). Check your local PBS listings for details. Encourage people you know to watch the series and then invite them to hear from Mr. Kristof with us on February 14.

Hit the Ground Running on our 2015 U.S. Poverty Campaigns –Invite Tax Aides to EITC Briefing and Attend Budget Battles Webinar

Last week, the RESULTS Board officially approved our 2015 U.S. Poverty Campaigns. This year, we will continue our work on Creating Economic Mobility by pushing Congress to protect and strengthen work supports such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) in tax reform negotiations, as well as urging Congress to address the growing wealth gap – and in particular the racial wealth gap – in America. We’ll also work fervently to protect the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) from cuts and detrimental changes that would force hungry children and families deeper into poverty.

TAKE ACTION: So you can hit the group running on our 2015 U.S. Poverty Campaigns, here are two things you can do in the next two weeks to educate yourself and others about these important issues:

Invite Tax Aides EITC Briefing on January 30. 2015 marks the 40th Anniversary of the EITC. To mark the occasion, CFED and Tax Credits for Working Families will be hosting a tax briefing on January 30, annual EITC Awareness Day. The briefing will include leading researchers, policymakers, advocates, and taxpayers to share their knowledge and first-hand experience with the EITC. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) will speak on the importance of these programs and on the path forward in Congress and Professor Kathryn Edin of Johns Hopkins University will present insights from her new book, It’s Not Like I’m Poor, drawn from in-depth interviews with over 100 low-income families. There will also be a panel discussion on the policy around the EITC and individual experiences of those directly impacted. Help educate your lawmakers about the importance of the EITC by inviting the tax aides from your House and Senate offices to attend this briefing. Send them the registration link to the event: http://cfed.org/knowledge_center/events/etic_awareness_day_discussion/ and urge them to attend. You can find the names of the tax aides on our Elected Officials page.

Attend Budget Battles Webinar on January 22. To help you get a better understanding of the threats that face anti-poverty programs in the 114th Congress, our friends at the Coalition on Human Needs (CHN) and Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) will host a “Budget Battles” webinar on January 22 at 1:00 pm ET. The new Congress has more members who favor cuts to Medicaid, SNAP, and many other programs, threatening services low-income people need. Support will also increase for massive tax cuts favoring the wealthy and corporations. Hear from national experts Joel Friedman and Ellen Nissenbaum of CBPP and Debbie Weinstein of CHN about how and when Congress will take up its new round of critical budget decisions and how to protect vital programs. This will be an important and informative webinar. Register TODAY at the CHN website.

Quick News

New Bill Would Use the EITC to Counter Payday Loans. From Sen. Sherrod Brown’s office: “With millions of Americans turning to payday loans to make ends meet, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) outlined a plan to provide short-term cash advances through their employers while bypassing high interest rates that keep consumers trapped in a cycle of debt. The Early Refund EITC is an alternative to costlier, predatory lending options. Brown’s plan would allow working Americans to draw upon already-earned EITC benefits before tax day. Instead of receiving traditional lump sum payments at tax time, workers who are eligible for EITC could opt to receive the Early Refund EITC – a zero-interest, zero-fee advance on the tax credit for which the worker has already qualified. To participate, workers would enroll in the program through their employers mid-year and request an advance payment. The size of the Early Refund EITC would be capped at $500 – well above the size of the typical payday loan but far below the average EITC payment – and would be deducted from the EITC lump sum the worker receives at tax time.” You can read more about the plan here.

TalkPoverty Debuts New Radio Show. Our friends at TalkPoverty.org have announced the launch of TalkPoverty Radio, a new radio miniseries on Sirius XM satellite radio. The show will be co-hosted by Rebecca Vallas and Tracey Ross and is designed to “elevate the conversation around poverty in America, dispel stereotypes and myths, and educate listeners through authentic stories and diverse perspectives. It will take a fresh and fearless look at the issue of poverty and the growing movement that is fighting to dramatically reduce it.” SiriusXM’s new channel, Insight (channel 121), will air the program beginning Saturday, January 17 at noon ET. A new episode will air every Saturday at noon through February 21. For more information about the show, go to the TalkPoverty Radio website for details and then plan to tune in this Saturday.

Watch State of the Union Address on January 20. Next Tuesday, January 20, President Obama will travel to Capitol Hill to deliver his annual State of the Union speech. In his speech, the President will outline his agenda for 2015, which is expected to focus on his economic policies, both recent successes and new proposals. The speech is scheduled to begin at 9:00 pm ET and will be carried by most major networks. Be sure to watch.

Fundraising News – Thank You!

We want to thank the many volunteers who committed their time to fundraising in 2014. Whether you assisted with a large scale event, hosted a house party, participated in a Friends & Family campaign, or made a donation yourself, your work did not go unnoticed. We are incredibly grateful for each and every one of you and your continued commitment to RESULTS. Your development team looks forward to engaging in more fantastic events and campaigns with you all in 2015.


Join RESULTS Intro Call Tomorrow at 9 pm ET. The first RESULTS Introductory Call of 2015 is tomorrow (Wednesday), January 14 at 9:00 pm ET. If you are new to RESULTS and want to learn more about us and how to get involved, go to www.tinyurl.com/RESULTSMeetandGreet/ to register for the call. All are welcome. If you cannot make Wednesday's call, click on the link and register for one of these bi-monthly calls that fits your schedule.

Join RESULTS Free Agents Calls Next Tuesday at 1pm or 8pm ET. Next week will also serve as the first RESULTS U.S. Poverty Free Agents calls of the new year. On this month’s calls, we’ll do group planning with our Free Agents. We are pleased that RESULTS Director of U.S. Poverty Campaigns Meredith Dodson will join us to discuss our 2015 U.S. Poverty Campaigns and how Free Agents can work with their members of Congress on these issues. The calls are next Tuesday, January 20 at 1:00 pm ET and 8:00 pm ET. To join online, go to: http://fuze.me/27491886. To join by phone, dial (201) 479-4595, Meeting ID: 27491886. For questions, contact Jos Linn ([email protected]).

Contact Grassroots Board Members with Your Questions. If you have questions or suggestions for the RESULTS Board, please contact Grassroots Board Member Lydia Pendley at [email protected].

RESULTS Activity Calendar

(See a complete calendar on the RESULTS website)

Upcoming Congressional Recesses: House: January 15-19, February 14-23; Senate: February 14-22. Request face-to-face meetings.

Tuesday, January 13: Outreach Basics to Make the Most of RESULTS National Outreach Event with Nick Kristof, 9:00 pm ET. Join at: http://fuze.me/27334294. To join by phone: (201) 479-4595, meeting ID 27334294.

Wednesday, January 14: Researching Your Members of Congress online training, 9:00 pm ET. To join online, go to http://fuze.me/27200038. To join by phone, dial (201) 479-4595, meeting ID 27200038.

Wednesday, January 14: RESULTS Introductory Call, 9:00 pm ET. Register for the Intro Call at: https://results.org/take_action/become_a_results_activist/#Introductory%20Call.

Thursday, January 15: Researching Your Members of Congress online training, 1:00 pm ET. To join online, go to http://fuze.me/27200038. To join by phone, dial (201) 479-4595, meeting ID 27200038.

Tuesday, January 20: RESULTS U.S. Poverty Free Agents Calls, 1:00 pm and 8:00 pm ET. To join online, go to: http://fuze.me/27491886. To join by phone, dial (201) 479-4595, Meeting ID: 27491886.

Wednesday, January 21: Outreach Basics to Make the Most of RESULTS National Outreach Event with Nick Kristof, 1:00 pm ET. Join at: http://fuze.me/27334294. To join by phone: (201) 479-4595, meeting ID 27334294.

Saturday, February 14: RESULTS National Outreach Event with Nicholas Kristof, 2:00 pm ET. Listen to previous conference calls online.

Saturday, July 18 – Tuesday, July 21, 2015: RESULTS International Conference, Washington Court Hotel, Washington, DC. Registration opening soon!

RESULTS Contact Information

Main Office: (p) (202) 783-7100, (f) (202) 466-1397, 1101 15th St NW, Suite 1200, Washington, DC 20005. If mailing a donation to our DC office, please address the envelope to the attention of Cynthia Stancil.

RESULTS U.S. Poverty Legislative and Grassroots Support Staff:

The RESULTS U.S. Poverty Update is sent out every Tuesday via email to RESULTS volunteers and allies all over the country. The purpose of these updates is to inform and activate RESULTS activists to take action on our U.S. poverty campaigns.

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