U.S. Poverty Weekly Update January 19, 2016

January 19, 2016

U.S. Poverty Campaigns

Weekly Update | January 19, 2015

“With regard to taxes, let’s update our laws to remove the loopholes that allow some people to legally avoid obeying it, and ensure we keep policies that protect us all.”

– RESULTS Columbus volunteer Rachael Dorothy in a January 10 letter to the editor in the Columbus Dispatch

In This Week’s Update:

Quick Action: Build on Recent Tax Victory – Urge Congress to Expand the EITC and Child Tax Credit

Take Action!

Got Two Minutes? Submit Your Group Plan (January Action)

It’s already starting to look like an exciting year for RESULTS groups around the country. Judging by the goals groups have set for themselves, this year will be another successful year of grassroots advocacy for the end of poverty in America. Group Planning is such an important part of your and RESULTS’ success over the years and this year is no different. Numerous media pieces, face-to-face meetings, and outreach events are just some of what’s on tap for a number of groups. Have you submitted your Plan yet? We want to add your group’s goals to those we’ve already seen. Help make 2016 another impactful year by submitting your Plan today.

TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes to submit your 2016 Group Plan Summary (PDF version) to Jos Linn at [email protected]. If you have not completed your Group Plan yet, please schedule a time this month to finish group planning. The January Action has information and links to help you with planning. Our goal is to complete the process in January and have all Group Plans submitted by January 31. Contact Jos with questions or if you have trouble submitting your Plan.

Got Ten Minutes? Contact Schedulers about Meetings and Town Halls This Week (January Action)

The House is on recess all this week. This is a great opportunity to meet with House members and ask them what their 2016 priorities are for addressing poverty in America (the Senate will be on recess in February). And this being an election year, your meetings can help not only set the priorities for this year’s Congress, but the next one as well.

In addition to meetings, check to see if your members of Congress are doing town halls during the recess too. Be sure to include potential candidates in your inquiries as well. Once you get a meeting scheduled or know a town hall you plan to attend, please contact Meredith Dodson ([email protected]) to set up a lobby prep call to help you get ready. She can provide you with the most pertinent request, as well as individualized coaching for your particular members of Congress.

TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes to contact schedulers to set up face-to-face meetings with your representatives and senators. Start with House members as they are on recess this week. If you cannot get a sit-down meeting, be sure to ask if they have any town halls scheduled this week. See the January Action for tips on requesting meetings, including the language to use in your verbal or written request. You can find contact information and the names of the Washington DC schedulers on our Elected Officials page (under “Staff”). Be sure to contact Senate offices as well to schedule face-to-face meetings during their recess the week of February 15 (the House will be on recess that week too). Once you confirm a meeting, please contact Meredith Dodson ([email protected]) for coaching, materials, and requests for your meeting.

Got Twenty Minutes? Invite Tax Aides to Tax Credit Briefing on January 29

Next Friday, January 29, is EITC Awareness Day. This is an annual recognition by the IRS and other national and local groups of the important of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). With the recent victory on preserving vital improvements to the EITC and Child Tax Credit, which you played a key role in make happen, this year’s Awareness Day will take on new meaning. And there is potential to build on that success by expanding the EITC for workers without children, something both parties support.

As part of EITC Awareness Day, our friends at the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED) and Tax Credits for Working Families are hosting a Capitol Hill Policy Forum: What’s Next for Tax Credits for Low-Wage Workers? on January 29. The event will be “bringing together legislators, advocates, scholars and taxpayers. The aim is to share their knowledge and first-hand experience with refundable tax credits, while addressing what this tax deal means and what can be done to improve a programs even more.” This is a great opportunity for your House and Senate aides to learn more about the importance of tax credits focused on low-income individuals and families.

TAKE ACTION: Take twenty minutes to call or e-mail your House and Senate tax aides and urge them to attend the January 29 EITC briefing. Tell them that this is a great opportunity to learn about the effectiveness of low-income tax credits and the importance of building on the recent EITC and CTC success to help make work pay for more Americans. The briefing is Friday, January 29 from 9:00 – 11:30 am ET at the U.S. Capitol Visitors' Center, Rooms SVC 208-209. Find your aide names on our Elected Officials page and then send them the registration link so they can sign up to attend: https://eventgrid.com/Events/19159/capitol-hill-policy-forum-whats-next-for-tax-credits-for-low-wage-workers.

RESULTS Outreach Update

As we begin 2016, RESULTS is already actively working to expand our grassroots network of volunteers advocating on U.S. Poverty issues. Here is a list of recent and upcoming events we’ve been working on.

Last week, RESULTS Director of US Poverty Campaigns Meredith Dodson and Aleah Qreshi from the RESULTS Wofford/Spartanburg group spoke to a group of students from Wofford College in Washington, DC about RESULTS work on tax policy. In addition, RESULTS Experts on Poverty Bonita Cuff and Angela ("Nikey") Sutton, along with Meredith, led a training for several Witnesses to Hunger after the opening of the DC Witnesses photo exhibit (also see this great feature about the Witnesses to Hunger). Thanks to our Wofford friends and Witnesses for connecting with RESULTS during their stays in DC.  

In addition, RESULTS Grassroots Manager for U.S. Poverty Campaigns Jos Linn will be traveling to Kansas City next Tuesday, January 26 to complete the new group training with our new Kansas City group. He hopes to also meet with our new group in Manhattan, KS on that trip. In addition, Jos is working with one of our REAL Change Fellows in Milwaukee to start a new group there this spring. Their first RESULTS Milwaukee Informational Call on February 11 at 7:00 pm CT. If you know anyone in these areas, please contact Jos ([email protected]) for more details.

RESULTS U.S. Poverty Organizer Kristy Martino has a number of events coming up as well. She will first be in Atlanta, GA for a Storytelling Matters: Community Advocacy Workshop on Thursday, February 11, 6:30 – 8:30pm ET. The workshop will be held at Georgia State University in the Urban Life Building, 140 Decatur St. Atlanta, GA 30303.

Kristy will next be in Portsmouth, New Hampshire for the Let’s Talk About Poverty Community Forum on Wednesday, February 17, 6:00 – 8:00 pm ET. The forum is at The Music Hall Loft, 131 Congress Street, Portsmouth NH 03801.

Finally, Kristy and other RESULTS organizing staff will be hosting a RESULTS Boise Group Start and Workshop on Tuesday, February 23, 6:30 – 8:00 pm MT in the Sycamore Room at the Library! at Collister, 4724 West State Street, Boise, ID 83703. You can RSVP for the Boise event at: http://resultsboise.eventbrite.com. If you know people in these areas, please invite them to attend one of these events; for more details, contact Kristy at [email protected].

Quick News

Child Nutrition Reauthorization Markup Starts Wednesday. On January 21, the Senate Agriculture Committee will meet to begin “marking up” its proposed Child Nutrition Reauthorization legislation — which you can watch online. Child nutrition reauthorization covers a number of programs including school breakfast and lunch programs, summer feeding programs, and Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). According to our friends at the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), there are a number of important improvements in this new bill, including program streamlining, increasing snacks and meals, piloting expanded summer food programs, and expanding the eligibility age for children in WIC. As you may remember, based on the insights of the Witnesses to Hunger, RESULTS supported expansion of the WIC program in our written requests at the 2015 RESULTS International Conference. We congratulate the Witnesses for their successful push to include this in the bill. Finally, the Committee has stated that, unlike in 2010, they will not be using money for SNAP to pay for child nutrition programs in this legislation (good news!). We will continue to monitor Child Nutrition reauthorization and other threats to and opportunities to strengthen nutrition programs.

Final Report on SaveUSA Released. SaveUSA, a pilot program started in New York City back in 2008 to encourage low-income Americans to save their tax refunds, has released its final findings. RESULTS has worked to enact the Financial Security Credit and has touted SaveUSA as an example that this kind of tax-time savings can really work. The findings show that two-thirds of participants received the “match” deposit (which means they saved their money for at least a year) and the amount saved increased by $522 or 30 percent for those in the program. Read the full report at: http://www.mdrc.org/publication/encouraging-nonretirement-savings-tax-time.

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: January 14-24, February 13-21. Senate: February 13-21. Request face-to-face meetings.

RESULTS U.S. Poverty Free Agents Calls, January 19 at 1:00 pm and 8:00 pm ET. 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]).

RESULTS Introductory Call, January 29, at 1:00 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.

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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