U.S. Poverty Weekly Update June 16, 2015
U.S. Poverty Campaigns
Weekly Update | June 16, 2015
In This Week’s Update:
Quick Action: Take the RESULTS Grassroots Survey!
Got Two Minutes? Ask One Person to Write a Letter about the EITC and CTC (June Action)
As reviewed on the June 2013 U.S. Poverty National Meeting last weekend, this month we are generating letters from people about protecting and expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC). These letters will be delivered to members of Congress in lobby meetings in DC or back home. Having letters hand-delivered ends a two-fold message. First, it shows members of Congress that their constituents want tax fairness to be a top priority. Second, it shows them that you have the power to create grassroots support on an issue; if you’re capable of doing that, you’re capable of doing that on other things too, which they will remember. Help us send that message.
TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes to contact one person you know and ask them to write a letter in support of the EITC and CTC. You can figure out the logistics of how to collect it for a lobby meeting later – for now just make the request. Personalize the language below to ask someone you know to take action:
I hope this finds your well. I’m writing because I want your help with something. As you know, I volunteer with RESULTS in the fight against poverty in America. Right now, we are working to make sure millions of low-income, working families are protected against a looming financial threat because Congress refuses to make important tax provisions permanent. They have no problem passing tax cuts for big corporations and multi-millionaires but low-income children and their families get ignored.
I will be meeting with our members of Congress this summer to talk about this issue and I would love to hand-deliver a letter from you, telling them to act. Delivering letters from you and others in our community helps send a strong message that we want our elected officials to help those who need it most. And it’s very easy. You can download this EITC/CTC outreach action sheet and use it to write your letters – it has all the information you need. Or you can go here to find a pre-written letter you can personalize and print off. It’s that simple. Ideally, it would be great if you would write three letters (to Rep. _____________, Sen. ___________ and Sen. __________). I’ll follow up on how to get the letters from you.
Will you help?
We’re only a month away from nut the 2015 RESULTS International Conference. We are looking forward to a great conference and seeing many of you there. One of the highlights of the conference – and the most important part, for that matter – is Lobby Day on July 21. This is when advocates at the conference march up Capitol Hill to meet with members of Congress and their staff, urging them to make ending poverty a priority. These meetings are empowering, inspirational, and productive. And they require preparation.
You will have time at the conference to prepare, but we don’t want you to wait until you get to DC to get started. To help you start preparing now, we want to schedule “lobby prep” calls with those of you coming to DC and RESULTS Director of U.S. Poverty Campaigns Meredith Dodson. On the call, Meredith will coach you on what issues to make a priority with your specific members of Congress, what to say to them, and what aides to include in your meetings. These calls are very important and very helpful in making your Lobby Day experience meaningful and effective. They last 30-45 minutes and we will start doing them next week.
TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes to contact Jos Linn ([email protected]) with the dates and times your group members can do a lobby prep call with Meredith. Meredith is available June 22-26, July 6-11, and July 13-16. Daytimes are preferable but she is available to do some evening calls, if need be. On last weekend’s National Meeting, we asked your group to figure our two or three dates when you could do a call. Send Jos all the dates your group is available to do a call. The goal is to have everyone from your group coming to DC on the same call, if at all possible (other group members are welcomed to participate too). If you have multiple U.S. Poverty groups in your state, we’ll do our best to include them. Also, if you have new REAL Change Fellows from your state coming to the conference, RESULTS staff will work to get them on the call too. Please don’t wait – let’s get your lobby prep call scheduled now and start your conference experience off right.
And remember, it’s not too late to register the RESULTS International Conference – REGISTER TODAY!
RESULTS is very grateful that legendary Congressman John Conyers (D-MI-13) was able to speak with us on last Saturday’s RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Meeting. As the current, longest-serving member of Congress, his has a wealth of experience, some of which he shared on the call. With regard to the racial wealth gap, Congressman Conyers told us that this gap is a serious problem and it’s getting worse, pointing out that for every $1 in wealth a white household has, African-American and Latino households hold less than 7 cents. He reminded us that public policy played a large role in creating this disparity, starting with slavery and then discriminatory policies after the Civil War that allowed white Americans to reap the benefits of their labor and pass those onto their children while communities of color were denied the same opportunity. He agreed with RESULTS that protecting expanding the EITC and CTC is important in reducing this disparity and also pointed out that creating a National Health Program and working to achieve full employment (he has introduced legislation on both) are also essential to creating more wealth equity. Congressman Conyers closed his remarks by thanking RESULTS for the work we do and said he looks forward to seeing us in Washington for the RESULTS International Conference next month.
This month, you can stand with Congressman Conyers and all those who care about wealth inequality and the racial wealth gap by telling Congress to do what it should have done six years ago – make the 2009 improvements to the EITC and CTC permanent. It’s important to remember that the EITC and CTC are particularly beneficial for communities of color. Typically, these communities experience higher rates of poverty – African Americans make up 12 percent of the population but 19 percent of those working while still in poverty and Latino/as are about 17 percent of the working population but 28 percent of the working poor. If Congress allows the EITC and CTC improvements will expire, millions of Americans will be pushed deeper into financial distress, including millions of people of color. If we are to make any kind of difference on the wealth gap, it has to start with committing to not make things worse.
TAKE ACTION: Take twenty minutes to take the June Action. Use the list of people you created last week and start reaching out to them, asking them to take action to protect children and working families who get the EITC and CTC (use the language above, if you like). Ask them to write a letters to each of their members of Congress about making the EITC and CTC improvements permanent. Remind them that their letters are a powerful statement of support as you deliver them in person to your members of Congress. The June Action has all the information you need to help you. If you have questions or need coaching for your outreach for this action, please contact Jos Linn at [email protected].
RESULTS deeply thanks Congressman Conyers for being on this month’s National Meeting. If you’d like to hear his remarks, as well as take our Racial Wealth Gap Quiz, you can find the recording, slides, and of the call on our National Conference Calls page.
Watch Sam Daley-Harris on Thom Hartman’s Show. Several weeks ago, RESULTS Founder Sam Daley-Harris appeared on “The Big Picture” with host Thom Hartman. Sam reflected on his creation of RESULTS and how essential it is to keep people engaged in political advocacy. He also explained his view of how to overcome political cynicism and get organized into action. Watch the 7-minute interview and share it with others. Find the interview at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHRod_YLYdk&feature=youtu.be&t=45m1s.
RESULTS Working with Young Leaders. Last weekend, RESULTS Emerson Hunger Fellow Tade Mengesha traveled to Davidson College in North Carolina for their Summer Leadership Institute (SLI). The Bonner Program works with college students to design projects that help low-income people in their communities. RESULTS has partnered with Bonner for a number of years, helping them to include advocacy in their work. Tade did a presentation at the conference and met lots of interesting people, a number of whom seem interested in getting involved. Speaking of young leaders, we are also very excited about the new class of REAL Change Fellows who will be joining us in DC next month. The 2014-15 class has been an exceptional group to work with and we have high hopes that this year’s class of 100 young leaders can replicate their success. If you are a new REAL Change Fellow, welcome – we look forward to working with you!
Invite People to RESULTS Meeting in Michigan This Weekend. RESULTS Director of U.S. Poverty Campaigns Meredith Dodson will be traveling to Ypsilanti, MI (suburb of Detroit) this weekend to participate in a Poverty Forum. The event is this Saturday, June 20 from 2:00 – 4:00pm ET at Washtenaw Community College, Morris Lawrence Building, ML 101, 4800 E. Huron River Drive in Ann Arbor (map). If you know anyone in the Ann Arbor/western Detroit area, please invite them to attend. Contact Meredith ([email protected]) for more details.
Go to the RESULTS Events Calendar to see a full list of RESULTS events.
Next Congressional Recesses: House and Senate: June 29 – July 6. Request face-to-face meetings.
RESULTS U.S. Poverty Free Agents Call, June 16 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]).
Advocacy Training: Advocacy 101 Training and What to Expect at the International Conference, June 24 at 9:00 pm ET. Join online at: https://www.fuze.me/28699630 or by phone at (201) 479-4595, passcode 28699630. This webinar will also be repeated on July 9 at 1 pm ET.
RESULTS Introductory Call, June 26 at 1:00 pm ET. If you want to learn more about RESULTS, register for an upcoming Intro Call on the RESULTS website.
Independence Day Holiday, July 4. All RESULTS offices closed on July 3.
RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Meeting, July 11 at 12:30 pm ET. Listen to previous conference calls and meetings on our National Conference Calls page.
Attend the RESULTS International Conference, July 18-21. Join us for the RESULTS International Conference at the Washington Court Hotel in Washington, DC. This is the biggest event of the year for RESULTS. Register TODAY!
Find a list of the RESULTS U.S. Poverty staff with contact information on the RESULTS website.