U.S. Poverty Weekly Update January 2, 2018
U.S. Poverty Campaigns
Weekly Update | January 2, 2018
“We must tell our lawmakers not to make sacrificial lambs of the children, the elderly, the ill and the working poor to pay for the tax legislation.”
– RESULTS Houston volunteer Kathleen Duncan in a letter to the editor in today’s Houston Chronicle
In This Week’s Update:
- Got Two Minutes? Confirm a Time for 2018 Planning
- Got Ten Minutes? Lay the Groundwork for Protecting Basic Health and Nutrition Assistance
- Got Twenty Minutes? Build the Public Outcry to Protect Anti-Poverty Policies
- Upcoming Events
Got Two Minutes? Confirm a Time for 2018 Planning
This new year brings new threats to anti-poverty programs and there is a lot at stake (more below). You can shape the congressional agenda for next year by identifying goals and leadership opportunities for your local advocacy efforts – and for many, that means getting together with your local RESULTS group for a group planning meeting.
RESULTS’ annual group planning process is one of the main reasons RESULTS volunteers have been so successful over the years in building the political will to end poverty. On our first National Grassroots Webinar of the year next Tuesday, our focus will be planning after we preview our 2018 U.S. Poverty Campaigns and briefly overview the planning process. We’ll end the call early (after about 40 minutes) to give you and your group time to do your planning next Tuesday or at another time. Ideally, most groups will do their planning after the webinar; if not, schedule to complete it before the end of this month. You can find Group Planning resources on the Group Resources page of our website.
TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes to coordinate with your local RESULTS group to set a time for group planning – perhaps in conjunction with the RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Grassroots Webinar call next Tuesday, January 9, at 8 pm ET. Coordinate with your group where you will meet for the webinar – or what your plan will be to get together to create your plans for the year. To join next Tuesday’s webinar, login at http://fuze.me/32255914 or dial in by phone at (201) 479-4595, Meeting ID: 32255914#. You can get a start on the process by completing your Individual Planning Form. Each group member should fill out this form and bring it to your group planning this month. If your group is doing planning during the webinar but you cannot attend, please send your completed Individual Planning Form to your group leader before the meeting so he/she can include your goals in your group’s plan.
Got Ten Minutes? Lay the Groundwork for Protecting Basic Health and Nutrition Assistance
Last year’s tax battle was a tough one, with Congress passing huge tax breaks for the wealthy that will add $1.5 trillion to the federal budget deficit. As RESULTS Executive Director Joanne Carter reminded us in her message after the vote:
“We know that federal anti-poverty programs are likely to be some of the first on the chopping block. This could show up as direct funding cuts or as changes making it harder for people to qualify for support. It may well come under the veil of “welfare reform,” but it’s not reform at all. It’s slashing funding for programs like SNAP (formerly Food Stamps) and Medicaid – which provide nutrition to millions and health care to 1 in 5 Americans – to offset tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy.
But while the threats are real, the outcome is far from guaranteed. That’s where you come in. I believe we can, and we must, win this second part of the fight. If members of Congress do not hear from their constituents on policies that reduce poverty, they could do real harm to millions of families around the country. Don’t let that happen.”
TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes to proactively stop attempts to cut basic assistance programs like Medicaid and SNAP by submitting a letter to the editor to your local paper urging your members of Congress to protect anti-poverty programs from any cuts. Tailor the template in our online tool to send a personalized letter to the editor.
Got Twenty Minutes? Share Information about Upcoming Policy Battles with Your Network
Even though the tax plan passed Congress, we must continue educating voters, policymakers, and the media about the problems with the tax bill so we can be in a stronger position for the next step of the tax fight in 2018—which House Speaker Paul Ryan and other Congressional leaders have said is to cut entitlement programs to “control costs” (translation: pay for the deficit increase caused by tax cuts for the top – via deep cuts that are not at all “reform”). There is some disagreement about whether cutting basic assistance programs like Medicaid and SNAP should be a top priority and cutting these programs is unpopular with voters – we must build momentum to stop deep cuts to effective anti-poverty programs! It will be critical to our work over the next weeks to urge lawmakers to oppose cuts and very harmful changes to crucial anti-poverty programs such as Medicaid and SNAP. In addition to stating our strong opposition to such threats, we must take this opportunity to propose solutions that create opportunity for all. Together, we can start 2018 off with a positive vision for our country.
TAKE ACTION: Take twenty minutes to reconnect with people in your network – thanking those that took action, sharing the RESULTS message after the tax vote and some of the media pieces above (along with anything you’ve gotten published!), perhaps relaying your own story and goals for 2018, and ask them to how they want to get involved.
RESULTS for the International Conference. Registration for the 2018 RESULTS International Conference is now open. The Conference is July 14-17 in Washington, DC. It promises to be a great experience for all who attend. Don’t wait – register now for the 2018 Conference at www.resultsconference.org.
RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Webinar, Tuesday, January 9 at 8:00 pm ET. Participate at http://fuze.me/32255914 or (201) 479-4595, Meeting ID: 32255914#.
Louisiana Storytelling & Advocacy Training Session, Saturday, January 13 at 5:00pm CT. Women's Resource Center, 1221 Truxton Street, Gretna, LA. Featuring RESULTS Expert on Poverty Qiana Torregano. For more information, contact Meredith Dodson.
Iowa (Des Moines) Presentation on Poverty and Young Children, Monday, January 29, 2018 at 6:30pm CT. Franklin Avenue Library, 5000 Franklin Ave, Des Moines, IA. More details soon. Contact Jos Linn for more information.
Iowa (Iowa City) Presentation on Poverty and Young Children, Tuesday, January 30, 2018 at 6:30pm CT. St. Mark’s United Methodist Church, 2675 E. Washington Street, Iowa City, IA. More details soon. Contact Jos Linn for more information.
If you have a question, comment or suggestion for the RESULTS/RESULTS Educational Fund Board, please e-mail them to RESULTS Grassroots Board Member Steven McGee 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.