U.S. Poverty Weekly Update January 5, 2016

January 5, 2016

U.S. Poverty Campaigns

Weekly Update | January 5, 2016

“It is encouraging to know that even in a divided government, Congress and the president are likely to agree on at least one issue.”

– RESULTS DC volunteer Lisa Peters in a December 17 letter to the editor about the EITC and CTC in the Washington Post

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? Do Your Happy Dance for Making Tax Credits Permanent!

It is not often we have a victories to celebrate – so it is important to mark the occasion when your advocacy has made an impact on poverty in America. In case you missed RESULTS Executive Director Joanne Carter’s December 18 email:

Just before the holidays, Congress made crucial provisions of the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit (CTC) permanent at long last, sending a lifeline to millions of hardworking Americans all across the country.

This is an incredible moment for us at RESULTS, and we have you to thank for it. It is because of your tireless efforts — including at least 225 face-to-face lobby meetings, 145 EITC/CTC media pieces, and thousands of letters, e-mails, and phone calls over the last two years — that 50 million Americans won’t have to worry about their tax credits disappearing. They will be able to pay for basic things like heating, groceries, and car repairs. And 16 million Americans won’t be forced into poverty or deeper into poverty.

Thank you for making this possible through your powerful actions and advocacy.

TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes to celebrate, or celebrate yet again. While our actions don’t often include physical exercise (rather, we focus on exercising our democratic rights), we suggest you get up and dance around, or high five the closest five people to you. YOU made a difference, and a big difference at that! And it’s definitely worth a happy dance. 

Got Ten Minutes? Prepare for Group Planning on the U.S. Poverty National Webinar this Saturday at 12:30 pm ET (January Action)

Happy New Year! RESULTS hopes that all of you had a very happy holiday season and that your 2016 is already turning out great. We’re jumping into the year with both feet with our first National Webinar of 2016 this Saturday at 12:30 pm ET. It being January, this means the focus of the call will be 2016 Group Planning. Group Planning is an integral part of RESULTS success over the years. By taking time to set goals and plan for the year, you and your group are setting yourselves up for success. You can bet that our victory in December in making the EITC and CTC provisions permanent was sewn  last January during your Group Planning.

On the webinar, we will again give you two options for planning. For those groups who want to do their planning on the webinar with RESULTS staff, we will go through the entire Group Plan Summary, giving you time along the way to complete each section. So that you have enough time to complete the form, the webinar may run long (no more than an extra 15 minutes). For groups who wish to do planning at their own pace on Saturday, you will start the call as normal and then staff will signal when you can sign off the Webinar to start your own planning. Once you’re done on Saturday, please send a copy of your Group Plan Summary to your Regional Coordinator and to Jos Linn at [email protected]. Note: if you are not able to do planning on Saturday, please schedule a date to do it this month. We want to have all Group Plans submitted by January 31.

TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes to remind your local RESULTS group about the RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Conference call this Saturday, January 9 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 January 2016 National Webinar slides available later this week on the RESULTS Homepage.

Before Saturday, please do the following:

  1. Please read the January Action for more details about 2016 Group Planning. You can find all the 2015 Group Planning resources on our Group Resources page of the RESULTS website.
  2. Have each group member complete the 2016 Individual Planning Sheet (Word format or PDF format) and bring it to the call. See more below.
  3. Have the group leader or Group Planning facilitator read through the Group Planning Guide (Word format or PDF format).
  4. Print off the Group Plan Summary (Word format or PDF format) and bring it on Saturday.

If you have questions about group planning, please contact Jos.

Got Twenty Minutes? Complete Your 2016 Individual Planning Sheet before Saturday’s Group Planning Session (January Action)

As mentioned above, we’ll be focusing on 2016 Group Planning on this Saturday’s RESULTS National Webinar. RESULTS groups do group planning every January to set goals for the year; it is an important process that has helped RESULTS create our legislative, outreach, and media successes over the years. The first step in this process is for you to decide what you individually want to accomplish this year. This is a very important step because your individual goals help shape your group’s goals. RESULTS makes this easy with our one-page Individual Planning Form. Be sure to include everything you want to do – your goals may be unique and something others in your group did not include. Simply download the form, fill it out, and bring it to the call on Saturday. It’s that simple.

TAKE ACTION: Take twenty minutes to complete your 2015 Individual Planning Sheet (Word format or PDF format). Each group member should fill out this form and bring it to the National Conference Call this Saturday at 12:30 pm ET. If you cannot be on the call this Saturday with your group, please send your completed Individual Planning Form to your group leader before Saturday so he/she can include your goals in your group’s plan. Note: for U.S. Poverty Free Agents, we’ll also do group planning on our calls on January 19.

Join Experts on Poverty Follow Up Webinar this Monday, January 11

This Monday, January 11 at 8:30 pm ET, RESULTS will host our follow up webinar to December's Powerful Speaking: Telling Your Story to Create Change. December’s webinar was a great success and we hope you will join this webinar too. If you were on the December webinar or not, you’ll find this follow-up presentation helpful. In addition to hearing more from our inspiring Experts on Poverty, we will also give participants an opportunity to share their own stories (or portions of stories they are developing) and provide helpful coaching and feedback so you can speak powerfully to a variety of audiences. If you haven't started drafting your narrative, check out our storytelling workbook, start writing, and bring something to share on Monday! 

To participate in Monday’s webinar, login via Fuze at: http://fuze.me/27440970 or dial in by phone at (201) 479-4595, Meeting ID: 27440970#. This webinar is open to all, but it may be helpful for you to go back and listen to the December webinar beforehand to catch up. You can find that recording here.

Quick News

Kemp GOP Presidential Forum on Poverty and Expanding Opportunity. This Saturday, the Jack Kemp Foundation will host a forum in Columbia, SC, featuring 2016 presidential candidates and other government leaders to discuss their ideas for fighting poverty and expanding opportunity. Confirmed participants are former governor Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Gov. Chris Christie, Carly Fiorina, Gov. John Kasich, and Sen. Marco Rubio. The forum will be moderated by House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI-1) and Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) and will be broadcast on C-SPAN.

To spotlight the importance of making ending hunger a priority in the conversation, the Vote to End Hunger campaign will host a press conference this Friday and amplify the message via Twitter and Facebook. In addition, Vote to End Hunger is urging the forum moderators to ask candidates their plans to end hunger, alleviate poverty, and create opportunity (ie the "Vote to End Hunger question") via email at [email protected]. Want to know more how you can engage back home? If you missed the previous Vote to End Hunger webinars on engaging candidates, sign up for the January 13 webinar.

Learn about The Color of Debt on This American Life. One proponent of the growing Racial Wealth Gap is predatory lending and subsequent debt collection. ProPublica recently produced a stunning report called "The Color of Debt, How Collection Suits Squeeze Black Neighborhoods" that illustrate how closely linked debt collection and the racial wealth gap are. The disparity is so stark; you can visually see the geographic lines outlining black neighborhoods where collection suits hit the hardest. You can explore the findings and an interactive app at the ProPublica site, or you can hear first-hand stories, and listen to author Paul Kiel who was featured in Act III of This American Life’s Status Update episode.

Read the White House Report on SNAP (Formerly Food Stamps). Last month, the White House Council on Economic Advisors released a report (pdf) that documents SNAP’s effectiveness in promoting economic security, food security, and positive health and education outcomes. However, the research also shows that SNAP benefit levels are too low. RESULTS and other anti-hunger advocates are concerned about the possibility of proposed cuts to SNAP, though due to your hard work last year, we are unlikely to see cuts in 2016 through the budget process.

Watch State of the Union Address Next Week. On January 12 at 9:00 pm ET, President Obama will make his final State of the Union address of his presidency. Learn what his priorities will be in his final year in office. You can watch the speech on most major networks.

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 National Webinar, January 9 at 12:30 pm ET. Because we urge groups to do 2016 Group Planning at this meeting, the webinar will likely last 75 minutes. 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.

RESULTS Powerful Speaking: Telling Your Story to Create Change webinar, January 11 at 8:30 pm ET. To participate, login at: http://fuze.me/27440970 or dial in at (201) 479-4595, Meeting ID: 27440970#.

Learn How to Effectively Research Your Members of Congress. Join our popular “Researching Your Members of Congress” training to show you how to get helpful information on the background, voting record, and issue positions for your members of Congress. The training is this Tuesday, January 12 at 9:00 pm ET. To join online, https://www.fuzemeeting.com/fuze/f2988286/31404402 or dial (201) 479-4595, Meeting ID 31404402#.

RESULTS Introductory Call, January 13, 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 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]).

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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