U.S. Poverty Weekly Update July 12, 2016
U.S. Poverty Campaigns
Weekly Update | July 12, 2016
“I am outraged that some politicians attack key programs that help our neighbors struggling with poverty.”
– RESULTS Boise volunteer and Expert on Poverty Dawn Pierce in a June 21 letter to the editor in the Idaho Statesman
- Got Two Minutes? Request Face-to-Face Meetings for the Summer Recess (July Action)
- Got Ten Minutes? Time to Check on Your Lobby Requests (and Fill Out the RESULTS Lobby Report Form)
- Got Twenty Minutes? Share Your Conference Experience with Your Community
- Quick News
- Upcoming Events
Got Two Minutes? Request Face-to-Face Meetings for the Summer Recess (July Action)
This is Congress’ last week in Washington for the rest of the summer. Beginning this weekend, both the House and Senate will be on recess through Labor Day (September 5). The first two weeks will be wrapped up with the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, but then all of August they will be in their home districts, available to meet with you. With the election coming up this fall, it may be harder and harder to meet with members of Congress in sit-down meetings as they campaign for re-election. This makes the summer recess an important window of time in which to talk to them. Already they are thinking of what issues Congress should focus in the run-up to and after the election. Help make sure addressing poverty is one of them.
TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes to take the July Action by requesting face-to-face meetings for the congressional summer recess. Contact DC or local schedulers and ask about their availability to meet with your local RESULTS group. The issues you want to focus on are expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for childless workers and enacting policies that reduce the widening wealth gap in America. Find DC scheduler names and contact information on our Elected Officials page and use our sample request letter if you need help with request language. If you cannot get a meeting, ask if your members of Congress will be holding town halls or public events during the recess.
Once you do get a meeting or plan to attend a town hall/event, please contact Meredith Dodson to get coaching on what to discuss ([email protected]). Also, after any face-to-face meeting, please fill out our Lobby Report Form to let us know how it went.
It’s been two weeks since the wildly successful RESULTS International Conference. At the Conference, many of you urged Congress to address poverty by expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for workers without children, asked them to acknowledge and fix the racial wealth gap, and stood up for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Now is the time to find out what your members of Congress have done with regard to your requests. Have they spoken to tax leaders about the EITC? Have they voiced opposition to block granting SNAP? Whatever the issue, it’s important to follow up with their offices to see if they have followed through on the requests you made. Even if they didn’t commit to doing anything, follow up to urge them to take action.
In addition to following up, we also need you to follow up with us. Specifically, we need you to fill out the RESULTS Lobby Report Form for each meeting you had in Washington (and for any you’ve had at home as well). Knowing how your meetings went is critical information for us. It allows us tailor our message and devise the best strategies for moving our agenda forward. It also allows us to demonstrate to allies and donors just how effective RESULTS volunteers are. Please take a few minutes to fill out the form for each meeting you’ve had at: www.tinyurl.com/RESLRF.
TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes to first follow up from your recent lobby meetings in DC or at home. Contact the aides you met with and ask them about the status of your request. Keep the conversation going so you can build strong relationships with these offices. Find aide names and contact information on our Elected Officials page. If you need resources from the Conference in your follow-up, go to our 2016 Conference Resources page.
In addition, please go to www.tinyurl.com/RESLRF to fill out the RESULTS Lobby Report Form today. Be sure to fill out the form for each meeting you had and remember that if both global and U.S. poverty issues were discussed in the same meeting, you should fill the form out twice (one for global, one for U.S.). If you need help with reporting or your follow-up, please contact Jos Linn ([email protected]) or Meredith Dodson ([email protected]).
The 2016 RESULTS International Conference was one of the biggest and most successful Conferences we’ve ever had. People from around the world came and heard from notable speakers such as Dr. Paul Farmer, Tavis Smiley, and our fabulous Experts on Poverty. They spent days on Capitol Hill lobbying members of Congress on the end of poverty in over 300 lobby meetings. Most of all, they gathered and shared their common experience of being passionate, caring people who want to make a difference. If you were there – this year or in years past – you know what we’re talking about.
The Conference is a unique experience that energizes and inspires those who are able to attend it. But don’t keep it to yourself. RESULTS volunteers are amazing people – you do things that most people don’t do. And that is (or can be) inspiring to a lot of people. Think of the time before you were involved in RESULTS. Did you believe that you sit down and speak face-to-face with lawmakers about poverty? Did you understand that you could generate powerful media on these issues? Did you know you could leverage billions of dollars in the fight against poverty? Maybe you did, but many of us did not. And there are countless more out there who don’t know they can. But you can show them.
TAKE ACTION: Take twenty minutes to share your Conference experience with others in your community. Here are a few ideas to spread the word:
- Designate time in your next RESULTS meeting – or schedule a meeting specifically for this – to share about your experience at the Conference. Bring pictures and stories, not only about what happened, but how it made you feel. Invite new people to come hear about your trip. You never know who will be inspired by your story and want to get involved.
- Ask if you can speak about your Conference experience at an upcoming community meeting or event. Perhaps you have a religious group you work with, or a book club you belong to, or a Happy Hour you attend. See if you can get on the agenda to share about your experience.
- Draft and submit an op-ed about your trip to DC. Talk about what you saw, heard, and felt while you were in DC. Again, sharing your experience not only helps us get closer to a world free of poverty, it empowers others to become active members in our democracy. Think of how many people who are starved for hope and optimism from our political process right now – you have an answer for them.
If you need help with these community engagement strategies – or if you want help in brainstorming more – please contact Jos Linn at [email protected]. Good luck and let us know what you do!
Welcome New Grassroots Board Member Maxine Thomas! RESULTS is thrilled to announce that RESULTS Indianapolis (U.S. Poverty) volunteer and RESULTS Expert of Poverty Maxine Thomas has been elected as the newest Grassroots Board Member to the RESULTS/RESULTS Educational Fund Board. Maxine is a passionate advocate who has done extraordinary advocacy work at both the national and local level on issues of poverty. She will be a great representative of the grassroots and bring a unique perspective of someone who has experienced poverty to the RESULTS Board. Congratulations, Maxine! We also deeply thank volunteers Tadeo Melean of RESULTS Kansas City and Charles Wallace of RESULTS Austin for also running this year. We were fortunate to have such wonderfully diverse and qualified candidates from which to choose. Thank you all.
New Report Highlights Importance of Social Security to Children in Poverty. A new report from the Center on Global Policy Solutions is highlighting the importance of Social Security in reducing child poverty, an often overlooked aspect of the program’s success. According to the analysis, 6.4 million children benefitted from Social Security in 2014 and the program reduced the overall poverty rate among children by 17.3 percent. We tend to associate Social Security with helping retirees but it’s important to remember that it goes far beyond that, benefiting families and children and keeping tens of millions of Americans out of poverty each year.
Join Intro Call Tomorrow. If you or someone you know wants to learn more about how to be an agent of change with RESULTS, join our next bi-monthly RESULTS Introductory Call tomorrow, July 13 at 9:00 pm ET. Register for the call on the RESULTS website.
Join Free Agents Calls Next Tuesday. If you live in an area with no RESULTS U.S. Poverty group but would like support taking action, join our RESULTS Free Agents. We meet monthly to update you on what we’re working on and help you take action in your community. The next Free Agents calls are next Tuesday, July 19 at 1:00 pm and 8:00 pm ET (join whichever one is convenient). Join online at http://fuze.me/32256018 or by phone at: (201) 479-4595, Meeting ID: 32256018#. Contact Jos Linn if you have questions ([email protected]).
Congressional Recesses: July 18 – September 5 (House and Senate). Request face-to-face meetings. After your meeting, please tell us how it went by filling out the RESULTS Lobby Report Form: www.tinyurl.com/RESLRF.
RESULTS Introductory Call, July 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, July 19 at 1:00 pm and 8:00 pm ET. Join online at http://fuze.me/32256018 or by phone at: (201) 479-4595, Meeting ID: 32256018#.
RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Webinar, August 13 at 12:30 pm ET. Listen to previous webinars on our National Webinars page.
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/.