U.S. Poverty Weekly Update June 14, 2016

June 14, 2016

U.S. Poverty Campaigns

Weekly Update | June 14, 2016

“Montana is a beautiful place to visit. For all who live here, it should be a place where none go hungry."

– RESULTS Northwest Montana volunteer Karen Cunningham in a June 8 op-ed in the Whitefish Pilot

In This Week’s Update:

Take Action on SNAP!

Got Two Minutes? Urge People You Know to Write Letters to Be Delivered in DC

This month, we are working to make a big impact on poverty in America by having advocates make the case to Congress for ending poverty at the RESULTS International Conference. Fortunately, you don’t have to be in DC to participate. If you’re not going to DC, writing letters to be hand-delivered in those meetings is the next best thing. It’s a basic and easy action but it can have a profound impact. Imagine someone you know walking into a lobby meeting in DC with a stack of letters from back home. It sends a message that you care about these issues and that you can organize people into action. You can bet that that gets politicians’ attention.

TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes to send a message to people in your local Action Network and others you know urging them to write letters to be delivered in DC at the RESULTS International Conference. Send them our June Action and urge them to write on either using tax policy to reduce poverty and build savings or protecting SNAP or both. Copy and paste (and personalize) this to send them:

Dear friend of RESULTS,

This month, hundreds of RESULTS volunteers are traveling to Washington, DC on their own time with their own money to do one thing – urge our elected leaders to make ending poverty a national priority. With nearly 50 million Americans currently living in poverty, it is time for Congress to stop ignoring this issue and do something about it.

These committed volunteers could use your help as they head to DC. They want to deliver as many letters from constituents as possible when they meet lawmakers in Washington. Would you help by writing letters to your representative and both your senators about practical solutions to poverty in the U.S.? It is very easy. Just go to the RESULTS website to find talking points for writing powerful letters on how tax policy can reduce poverty and/or protecting programs that reduce hunger in America. I will then collect your letters by [tell them how you will get the letters].

Thank you so much for your support and making your voice heard on these important issues. If you have questions, please let me know.

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Got Ten Minutes? Write Your Letters to be Hand-Delivered to DC (June Action)

In addition to getting others to write letters to be delivered in DC, be sure to write your own as well. We are thrilled that so many RESULTS volunteers will be coming to DC at the end of next week to learn and lobby about U.S. poverty issues. However, only a fraction of our volunteer network will be there. The majority of our volunteers cannot make it to DC this year but we want you to be able to participate in this important event. As we discussed on last Saturday’s National Webinar, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s Poverty Task Force released its recommendations last week, which calls for drastic changes to anti-poverty programs by imposing harsh work requirements and giving more flexibility to states to consolidate and change programs (i.e. block granting). We need for members of Congress to know that these ideas are just veiled attempts to undermine programs such as SNAP and make poverty in America worse.

In addition, our National Webinar guest speaker Rachel Black of the New America Foundation educated us on the troubling wealth gap in America. She told us that about half of American families cannot come up with a mere $400 in case of emergencies and that one-quarter of all African Americans have less than $5 in savings. In a country that values the creation of wealth, far too many people are being left behind. But you can do something about it.

TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes to write letters to your members of Congress about protecting programs that lift and keep people out of poverty. The goal is have your letters hand-delivered in Washington, DC at this month’s RESULTS International Conference. The June Action features talking points for a letter about the tax policy and the wealth gap and talking points for a letter about protecting SNAP. If you can, write your representative and both senators about both issues; if not, choose one. Once you’ve completed your letters, get them to someone you know coming to the RESULTS Conference – deliver them, have them picked up, e-mail them, send them by raven, whatever it takes.

RESULTS deeply thanks Rachel Black for speaking on this month’s U.S. Poverty National Webinar. You can listen to more of what she shared with us, as well as the rest of the webinar, on our National Webinars page, where you can also download the webinar slides and summary.

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Got Twenty Minutes? Prepare for the Conference and Summer Recess Now

The 2016 RESULTS International Conference is fast approaching and there are lots of things to do to get ready. Like last week, here’s a list of things you can do to make your DC experience smooth, as well as prepare you and your local RESULTS group for a busy summer recess.

TAKE ACTION: Take twenty minutes to get ready for your work this summer, whether it is DC at the RESULTS Conference or back home during the congressional summer recess.

1. Set Up Your Lobby Meetings. Please contact your House and Senate schedulers to request DC lobby meetings for Tuesday, June 28. Also, schedule meetings for the summer recess, which begins July 18 and runs through Labor Day. Remember, House members will not be in DC during the Conference so you’ll want to meet with them back home. Find scheduler names and contact information on our Elected Officials page and a sample request letter on the RESULTS website.

2. Log Your DC Lobby Meetings. Please enter details of each DC lobby meeting you have scheduled into our Conference Lobby Meeting Log. If we don’t know about your meetings, we cannot provide you coaching for them.

3. Schedule a Lobby Prep Call. Our U.S. Poverty volunteers have done a great job at scheduling lobby prep calls with Meredith Dodson to get coaching for your lobby meetings in Washington. However, if you have not scheduled a call, please contact Jos Linn ([email protected]) to get one scheduled now. Also, please remember that Lobby Prep Calls are not just for DC lobby meetings. If you have a face-to-face meeting in your home state, Meredith wants to help you get ready. Contact Jos to get those calls scheduled as well.

4. Generate Letters for Lobby Meetings. As noted above, the June Action focuses on generating letters to be hand-delivered to members of Congress (in DC and in local lobby meetings). In addition to your local group members, look for opportunities to generate letters from others. Farmers’ markets, churches and other faith groups, book clubs, and other gatherings are easy ways to increase your letter count.

5. Read the 2016 U.S. Poverty Campaigns Background Packet. Get the latest information on our U.S. Poverty Campaigns in our new background packet. This information will help you get ready for lobby meetings in DC and at home. Note: If you want a copy at the Conference itself, please bring your own; we will not print copies Conference attendees.

6. Join the RESULTS Conference Orientation Call on Friday. Join RESULTS staff for an orientation on the 2016 RESULTS International Conference. Whether you’re new to the Conference or a veteran attendee, come hear tips to help you prepare, meet others coming to DC, and ask your questions. The webinar is this Friday, June 17 at 2:00 pm ET. You can register at:  or just join online at or via phone at (201) 479-4595, meeting ID 32908010#. 

7. Invite Congressional Aides to Two Events. As you schedule your lobby meetings, please invite aides to a briefing on Thursday hosted by RESULTS, the Coalition on Human Needs, FRAC, and others to provide evidence of effective and ineffective programs in light of the Ryan Poverty Task Force report. The event is this Thursday, June 16 at 1:00 pm ET at the Capitol Visitors Center in the Gabe Zimmerman Room (HVC 215), Washington, DC. People can attend in person or watch via livestream. Register on the CHN website. Also, please let aides know that RESULTS will host a briefing with our Experts on Poverty on Wednesday, June 29, tentatively set for 10:00 am ET. We hope to have the details finalized this week.

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Quick News

Advocates, Lawmakers Rally Against Bad Child Nutrition Bill. Last week, members of Congress including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA-12) and Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-3), along with advocates (including RESULTS’ Meredith Dodson), held a rally on Capitol Hill against efforts by House leaders to change child nutrition programs. The House proposal would loosen nutrition standards, scale back recent streamlining measures for low-income schools, and create a three-state pilot of block granting child nutrition programs. This latter item opens the door to block granting the entire program down the road and lead to deep cuts to these important programs. Show your support for a strong and robust child nutrition reauthorization by signing your local RESULTS group onto this letter opposing the House bill.

CFPB Announces New Rules on Predatory Lending. On June 1, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced new rules to protect low-income Americans who use payday or car title loans. These are short-term loans, typically targeted to low-income clients, which charge exorbitant interest rates and often leave clients in a “debt trap” where they have to keep taking out a new loan to pay the old one. The new rule would require lenders to assess whether clients can pay the interest and fees when due and still meet their basic financial needs. The rule is now in a comment period. The public can comment on the rule when it is published in the Federal Register in the coming weeks.

Vote in the Grassroots Board Election. Please remember to vote in our Grassroots Board election. Voting is now open and will run through Tuesday, July 5. All active RESULTS volunteers are eligible to vote. You can the candidate bios here. Please vote at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2016GRBMelection.

Join Intro Call on Friday. 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 this Friday, June 17 at 1:00 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, June 21 at 1:00 pm and 7:00 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]).

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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: June 27 – July 4 (House only), July 1 – 5 (Senate only), 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, June 17, at 1:00 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, June 21 at 1:00 pm and 7:00 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, July 9 at 12:30 pm ET. This will be a join call with RESULTS Global Poverty volunteers. Listen to previous webinars on our National Webinars page.

2016 RESULTS International Conference, June 25-28, 2016 in Washington, DC. Register at www.resultsconference.org!

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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