U.S. Poverty Weekly Update January 23, 2018
U.S. Poverty Campaigns
Weekly Update | January 23, 2018
“Decades of mean-spirited, stereotyped and inaccurate messaging about poor people (and, not just coincidentally, people of color) have enabled this callous disregard for their humanity and well-being.”
– RESULTS Washington DC volunteer Katharine Landfield in a January 17 letter to the editor in the Washington Post
Quick Media Action: Tell Congress to Reject Cuts to Anti-Poverty Programs
Got Two Minutes? Call Congress to Protect Critical Anti-Poverty Programs
Congress will soon be starting FY2019 budget negotiations. In those negotiations, there will be talk of cutting anti-poverty programs such as Medicaid and SNAP to address the federal debt – debt greatly created by Congress’ relentless pursuit of needless, unpaid-for tax cuts. But we can nip that debate in the bud here and now. Remember, in a closely divided Congress such as this, the only way Republican leaders can pass deep cuts to anti-poverty programs is through budget reconciliation. Without it, they would need 60 votes in the Senate to pass any cuts, votes they are unlikely to get. So, if we can prevent any reconciliation instructions in their 2019 budget resolution, the likelihood of those cuts being passed this year significantly drops. Take this opportunity to hopefully avert the budget showdowns we endured last year.
TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes to call your representative and both senators urging them to oppose any effort to cut or restructure Medicaid, SNAP, and other anti-poverty programs in 2018. Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask for your congressional offices (you’ll have to call separate for each office). You can find your representatives and senators on our Elected Officials page. When the receptionist answers, leave this message:
My name is ___________________ and I am a constituent of Sen./Rep. _______________ and a RESULTS volunteer advocate. I want to leave him/her a message to oppose any budget that threatens cuts to basic assistance programs like SNAP (formerly Food Stamps), Medicaid, and the Earned Income Tax Credit. Cuts to these programs are a thinly veiled demand that low-income Americans pay for new tax cuts for the rich. Instead, I urge Sen./Rep. ________________ to focus on strengthening effective anti-poverty policies to expand opportunity and ensure that all Americans can make ends meet. Will you tell Sen./Rep. _______________ to oppose any measures that take away health and nutrition assistance from struggling Americans and ask him to relay his opposition to leadership?
Got Ten Minutes? Please Complete and Submit Your 2018 Group Plans (January Action)
Thank you to all our RESULTS volunteer groups who have completed and submitted their group plans or have a planning meeting already on the calendar. Group planning is one of the things that set RESULTS apart from other advocacy groups. Creating a plan is setting an intention – an intention that you want to use your talents to achieve something important to you, and in this case, important to millions of others. When you do that, you unleash your creativity to do great things and dramatically increase your chances of success.
This year, the RESULTS U.S. Poverty Team has a goal of getting group plans from 80 percent of our volunteer groups. That’s not merely a number – it is also a promise. A promise that RESULTS staff and volunteer leaders will support you throughout the year to achieve your goals. When we work together in this way, we take enormous strides toward the day when poverty is history.
TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes to finish your planning and submit your completed Group Planning Summary to Jos Linn ([email protected]). If you have not scheduled a planning meeting yet, schedule one as soon as possible so you can get started on your 2018 successes. Use the January Action for guidance and find all the group planning resources and forms on the Group Resources page. Even if your plan is not complete, submit what you have. You can always change it and submit a revised plan later. Please submit a copy of your 2018 Group Planning Summary to Jos by January 31 (if you’re planning meeting is scheduled for early February, submit your plan once your meeting is done).
Got Twenty Minutes? Prime the Pump for #LettersGetLOUD
In February, RESULTS will launch its #LettersGetLOUD campaign. This campaign is designed to harness the energy of this political moment in our history to affect policy, energize volunteers, and engage new advocates. The campaign will center around writing letters, but that’s just the beginning. To magnify their impact, we want you to read those letters out loud in your local groups meeting, record it if possible, and share it with others. That way, you use a simple action like letter-writing to introduce advocacy to others. In addition, you’ll hand-deliver your letters to members of Congress in lobby meetings in your community and at the RESULTS International Conference.
The hope is that by inviting others to share this experience, you will empower them to take action. That could lead to new advocates in your local RESULTS groups and a richer, more engaged local action network (people in your community willing to take action on our issues when asked). Helping our groups get new volunteers and expanding their local action networks is a specific goal of RESULTS in 2018. We’ll have more about #LettersGetLOUD in the coming weeks but you can get people ready even before that.
TAKE ACTION: Take twenty minutes to share the new RESULTS Volunteers Facebook Video urging people to call Congress on the issues they care about. Send it via Facebook, Twitter, or e-mail. Be sure to include anyone who has previously said they would like to help (i.e. any current lists you have). Download and edit this sample message you can send.
Government Shuts Down for 3 Days; More Fights Loom Ahead. As covered relentlessly over the weekend, leaders in Congress were unable to come up with a FY2018 budget deal when the current continuing resolution (CR) expired on Friday night. That led to a partial shutdown of the government over the weekend. The main sticking point was the fate of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), those undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. when they were children and have lived here ever since. President Obama had instituted protections for these “Dreamers” against deportation but President Trump announced in September that he would end those protections in March. Democrats and some Republicans want permanent protections included in any budget deal. The shutdown ended when Democrats in the Senate agreed to another temporary CR based in exchange for a promise by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to address the issue before the new CR expires on February 8. This gives them three weeks to negotiate a deal or face another shutdown.
CHIP Finally Reauthorized. While the manufactured crisis of the shutdown was short-lived (and unnecessary if leaders would focus more on problems than politics), one good thing that came out of it was the reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). CHIP provides health coverage for 9 million children whose families earn too much money to qualify for Medicaid but earn too little for private coverage. The program’s funding expired in September 2017. The CR passed yesterday reauthorizes the program for another six years, giving states the needed funds to avoid shutting down their programs. This is a victory for millions of lower-income children and their families, which is a win for all of us.
Register for the International Conference. Registration for the 2018 RESULTS International Conference (July 14-17 in Washington, DC) is now open. Register for the Conference today at www.resultsconference.org.
Town hall project. The House is on recess this week. Look for local town halls in your area using www.townhallproject.com. If you find an event near you, contact Meredith Dodson to get coaching on what to say. Both the House and Senate will be on recess the week of February 19. Use the January Action to request a lobby meeting when they are home.
RESULTS Self-Care Tip of the Week. With all the craziness going on in politics and the news, it is important to take regularly take time to pause, breathe, and re-energize yourself. This week, take time enjoying the outdoors. If the weather permits, venture outside to enjoy the fresh air.
House Recess, January 22-26. After any lobby meeting, please complete the RESULTS Lobby Report Form to let us know how it went.
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.
RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Webinar, Tuesday, February 6 at 8:00 pm ET. Participate at http://fuze.me/32255914 or (201) 479-4595, Meeting ID: 32255914#.
Pennsylvania “Join the Fight Against Poverty” Training, Saturday, February 17 at 10:00am ET. Featuring RESULTS Expert on Poverty Asia Bijan Thompson. Al Beech/Wood Side Food Pantry, 190 S Sprague Ave, Kingston, PA. For more information contact [email protected].
House and Senate Recess, February 19-23. After any lobby meeting, please complete the RESULTS Lobby Report Form to let us know how it went.
U.S. Poverty Free Agents Calls, Tuesday, February 20 at 1:00pm and 8:00pm ET. Login at http://fuze.me/32256018 or dial in by phone at (201) 479-4595, Meeting ID: 32256018#.
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.