U.S. Poverty Weekly Update July 30, 2019

July 30, 2019

Quote of the Week

“The rent eats first, which means that sometimes paying for electricity, health care and food are not possible.”

– RESULTS St. Louis volunteer Sarah Miller in a July 26 letter to the editor in the Louis Post-Dispatch

Got Two Minutes? Put the Work in District Work Period (August Action)

August is approaching and that means Congress is leaving Washington for their annual summer recess. This recess, just like the others throughout the year, is referred to as a district or state “work period.” We like the word “work” in there because that’s exactly what we want them to do – work on the people’s business. To that end, the summer recess is the perfect time to schedule face-to-face meetings with members of Congress (especially if you did not meet with them in DC this month) to talk about affordable housing and expanding tax credits for working families. August is the perfect time to have a more substantive conversation about policies to address the affordable housing crisis and reduce racial wealth inequality. In addition, based on conversations many of you had at the Conference that helped refine our strategy, we are focusing on the opportunity to expand the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) this year by elevating that messaging for our August lobby meetings.

But in order to get a meeting you must act now. The House is already on recess and the Senate will leave DC later this week. Their schedules will fill up quickly so don’t wait until it’s too late. Put the “work” in state work period by requesting your face-to-face meeting today.

TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes to schedule meetings for the August. The August Action has resources to help you, including a script for calls or e-mails to schedulers (you can our online request as well). Be sure to also ask about town halls they are having during the recesses (and check www.townhallproject.com). Once you get a meeting or town hall in your calendar, please contact Meredith Dodson ASAP to set up a lobby prep call to help get you ready. We’ll have more about the August Action on the August Joint U.S. and Global National Webinar on Saturday, August 10 at 2:00 pm ET.

Got Ten Minutes? Complete Your Conference Experience with Follow-Up to Congressional Offices

The 2019 RESULTS International Conference was another great success. Hundreds of you from around the world came to DC and let Congress know that poverty is something to be confronted, not ignored. In hundreds of lobby meetings, you told them we can help people afford housing with a renters’ tax credit. You told them we can help working families by expanding the EITC and CTC. You told them we can save 16 million lives by fully funding the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria. And you told them we can ensure that children around the world have access to good nutrition.

But your Conference experience does not end when you leave DC. To ensure that our meetings on Capitol Hill were successful, we must follow up with offices about our requests. Follow-up is critical. It holds lawmakers accountable for what they promise to do, it gives you important information that can impact how our campaigns proceed for the rest of the year, and it helps you build the relationships with congressional offices necessary to effect change.

TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes to follow up from the RESULTS International Conference by contacting the aides you met with in DC to check on your requests. Thank them for meeting with you, provide any additional information they requested, and ask about the status of your requests. If they have not yet taken action, set up a time to check in again. If you have questions or need help with your follow-up, please contact Meredith Dodson or Jos Linn for assistance.

Also, please fill out the Lobby Report Form about your meetings from the Conference. This information is critical in helping us formulate the most effective strategies to move our issues forward in the coming months.

Got Twenty Minutes? Read New Paper on Racial Equity and the Tax Code

As part of RESULTS’ mission, we are committed to promoting policies that advance racial equity. Because of our country’s sad history of racial discrimination, communities of color continue to struggle to meet even basic economic parity with white households in the U.S. For example, White households own 8-10 times the wealth as Black and Hispanic households. Whites make up 90 percent of the top one percent wealthiest households, while Black and Hispanic households comprise only 4 and 3 percent respectively. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Our friends at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities have released a new paper on how the tax code could better promote racial equity. It is a great overview of this issue and an excellent resource for educating lawmakers and your community about tax policy and racial justice.

TAKE ACTION: Take twenty minutes to read CBPP’s “How the Federal Tax Code Can Better Advance Racial Equity” (one of the paper’s authors also has a great Twitter thread about the paper). Use the paper as a hook for new letters to the editor on housing and tax policy.

Quick News

Fill Out the Conference Survey. We are grateful that many of you were able to attend the RESULTS International Conference earlier this month in Washington, DC. We strive each year to make the Conference the best experience possible for our volunteers. To do that, we need your feedback on what worked, what didn’t, and what we can do to make next year’s event even better. Please take a few minutes to fill out our 2019 International Conference Survey. By doing so, you can enter our contest to win a free registration for next year’s Conference. The deadline to complete the survey is this Wednesday, July 31.

IC Materials and Photos. Materials used at this year’s International Conference can be found on our IC Resources page. Also, see pictures from this year’s Conference on our Flickr page.

Use Presidential Debates to Brush Up on Housing and Tax Plans. On July 30 and 31, the Democratic presidential candidates will have their second set of debates. Before you watch, see what the candidates they would do if elected about housing (Our Homes, Our Votes) and taxes (Americans for Tax Fairness).

SNAP Under Threat Again. Like a broken record, the Trump Administration is once again setting its sights on SNAP (formerly food stamps), proposing a new rule to cut benefits for 3 million people. They are proposing a new administrative rule removing “broad-based categorical eligibility” or (cat-el), which streamlines SNAP enrollment and allows states to expand enrollment for low-income people who need nutrition assistance (and is show to encourage work and savings among low-income households). We will have more details about opposing this rule soon, but you can submit early comments via FRAC’s online portal. Also, follow in the footsteps of RESULTS DC’s Yamuna Dasarathy with your own letter to the editor opposing cuts to SNAP.

Moving September Webinar to Coincide with Census Data Release. Every September, the U.S. Census releases its annual data on poverty. This is a key moment in our work as it provides us valuable information about the progress of anti-poverty efforts and provides an important opportunity to generate media about poverty in America. The 2018 data will be released on Tuesday, September 10. To provide you an overview of the data the day it is released, we are moving our September webinar to the same day, September 10 at 8:00 pm ET (a week later than normal). Stay tuned for more details.

Upcoming Events

August Congressional Recess. House: July 29-September 6; Senate: August 5-September 6. Submit your meeting requests today.

Saturday, August 10: RESULTS Joint U.S./Global Poverty National Webinar, 2:00 pm ET. Join at: https://www.fuzemeeting.com/fuze/f2988286/30204806 or dial (201) 479-4595, meeting ID 30204806. Find recordings and slides from previous webinars on the National Webinars page.

Tuesday, September 10: RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Webinar, 8:00 pm ET. Overview of 2018 U.S. Census poverty data. Join at: https://results.zoom.us/j/873308801 or dial (929) 436-2866 or (669) 900-6833, Meeting ID: 873 308 801. Find recordings and slides from previous webinars on the National Webinars page.

Find other events on the RESULTS Events Calendar.

U.S. Poverty Staff time out of the office: Meredith Dodson, August 2-18. Jos Linn, August 26-September 2.

Other Resources

Learn more about the RESULTS Experts on Poverty.

Do you have a new person in your RESULTS group or info to update? Use our Volunteer Information Form to add them.

Report your Grassroots Successes:

If you have a question, comment, or suggestion for the RESULTS/REF Board, please e-mail Steven McGee at [email protected]. View Board minutes and Annual Reports.

RESULTS Staff directory.

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