U.S. Poverty Weekly Update June 19, 2018
U.S. Poverty Campaigns
Weekly Update | June 19, 2018
“Calling, writing and visiting those who represent us in Congress can help not only protect the SNAP program, but create the political will to battle the larger problem of poverty in America.”
– RESULTS Snohomish, WA volunteer Willie Dickerson in a June 17 letter to the editor in the Everett Herald
Got Two Minutes? Get Media This Week to Protect SNAP in House and Senate Farm Bills (June Action)
The next few weeks could be critical for the future of SNAP. Later this week, the House is expected to re-vote on their harmful Farm Bill (H.R. 2). The bill would take food off the table for 2 million people with its harsh new work requirements and elimination of broad-based categorical eligibility for states. We want to do all we can to again defeat this bill. Meanwhile, the Senate will likely begin debate on their bill early next week. While the current bill is good on SNAP, we do expect harmful SNAP amendments during debate. Our job is to keep them out of the final Senate Farm Bill (for more details on the House and Senate bills, see below).
TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes to call on your members of Congress in the media to protect SNAP. Use the June Action for language if you want to write your own letter or use the RESULTS online template to send a letter today. Remember to mention your members of Congress by name in your letters. If you get published, let us know and cross that item off your list of actions for the month. If you need help with your letters, please contact Jos Linn for assistance.
Got Ten Minutes? Get Your Action Networks Ready for Coming House and Senate Votes (June Action)
With impending action on SNAP in both the House and Senate, this is an important time to be activating your local Action Networks. You’ve done a great job generating letters and calls to protect SNAP, and we need it again. The House is expected to re-vote on their Farm Bill proposal this week and the Senate is hoping to start debate on its Farm Bill next week.
For the House, the message is simple – vote NO on H.R. 2. This bill, which was defeated in May, imposes punishing new work requirements on SNAP recipients and restricts state flexibility in running SNAP, putting millions at risk of greater hunger. For the Senate, the message is to oppose amendments to the Farm Bill that are harmful to SNAP. The current version of the Senate Farm Bill is pretty good – it is a bipartisan bill that protects SNAP from the harsh changes in the House. However, amendments during the Senate floor debate could undermine both SNAP and the bipartisanship needed to pass it (see more about amendments below).
RESULTS will send you action alerts in the coming days with instructions on who to call and what to say. We want as many calls as possible, which your local action networks are perfect for. Let them know to be ready for action soon.
TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes to contact your local action networks about protecting SNAP. Let them know that both the House and Senate are planning action on their Farm Bills in the coming days and you’ll need their help to protect SNAP. Tell them you’ll send e-mails when it’s time to act with instructions on who to call and what to say. Send them a link to the June Action for background info (and remember, this helps you cross off another action for the month). Also, if anyone from your group is coming to the RESULTS International Conference next month, also invite your action network members to write letters you can take with you to Washington (use the Laser Talk in the June Action for guidance). If you have questions or need help, please contact Jos Linn.
Got Twenty Minutes? Contact Senate Ag Aides about Opposing Amendments that Hurt SNAP (June Action)
While we’ll be urging calls to the House later this week about SNAP, our focus needs to be on the Senate. The Senate is our only hope for a bipartisan Farm Bill that protects SNAP. While the current version of that bill does do this, we could see several amendments harmful to SNAP in the floor debate. These could include:
- Denying food assistance to individuals with certain criminal convictions and their families
- Returning citizens already have a greater risk of poverty and in many states, SNAP is their only option for help
- By restricting food assistance for returning citizen parents, this provision would harm children in these families
- As a reminder, given higher incarcerations rates for people of color, this provision would exacerbate racial wealth inequality
- Restricting when states can waive time limits for persons subject to work requirements under SNAP
- These waivers are critical in times of high unemployment
- 30 states covering 600 counties could lose waivers — taking food off the table for 100,000s
- Drug testing of SNAP recipients
- Based on false assumption that low-income people are more prone to drug use
- In states that have tried drug testing, it has proven costly and ineffective
- Requiring a photo ID to get SNAP benefits
- Serves more as a barrier to benefits than reducing fraud (which is already low)
- Privatizing the administration of SNAP, i.e. private companies determine eligibility
- Introduces profit motive into managing SNAP
- Workers have less training to handle the unique circumstances of low-income clients
- Previous attempts at privatization have not gone well
- Restrict access to food assistance for immigrant and mixed status families
These proposals are bad policy. They would hurt persons receiving SNAP and jeopardize any hope for a bipartisan Farm Bill. We will know in the next week which of these amendments will be considered.
TAKE ACTION: Take twenty minutes to contact your Senate Agriculture aides about opposing any amendments to the Farm Bill that would cut or weaken SNAP, or enacts barriers to people accessing food assistance. All Senate offices should be contacted, especially moderate Republican and moderate Democratic offices. These moderate voices will be critical in pushing back on these proposals. Point persons for each senator in your group should make these calls. Remind them that adopting any of any amendments harmful to SNAP will reduce the chance of passing a Farm Bill this year. If you want specific coaching for these calls, please contact Jos Linn for assistance.
Get Ready for DC Lobby Meetings with Lobby Prep and the Background Packet
Four weeks from today, hundreds of advocates attending the RESULTS International Conference will ascend Capitol Hill to meet with lawmakers to talk about poverty. Advocacy Day on the Hill is the most important part of the Conference. Therefore, we want to make sure you are ready even before you get to DC. To help, please sign up ASAP for a Lobby Prep Call with RESULTS Director of U.S. Poverty Campaigns Meredith Dodson ASAP. Meredith will review the U.S. Poverty issues you’ll be lobbying on at the Conference and how best to talk about them with your members of Congress. These calls are important to your Conference experience so please sign up today. When filling out the Doodle poll, please put your name and your state (e.g. John Smith (CA)). If you have any questions, please contact Susan Fleurant.
Also, our 2018 U.S. Poverty Legislative Background Packet will be available on the Conference Resources page this week. This packet provides you detailed information about the issues we are working on. It is a tremendous resource for Advocacy Day at the Conference and your work in your home districts. Please read the packet before your Lobby Prep Call with Meredith if you can and definitely read it before coming to DC. If you want a copy at the Conference, please bring your own; we will not be printing copies for each attendee.
Finally, it’s not too late to register for the Conference. Register today! And if you need help with expenses, apply for scholarship assistance (for active U.S. Poverty volunteers) while we still have funds available.
Separating Families is Wrong. As with most Americans, RESULTS is appalled at the Trump Administration policy of separating families when they try to cross the border and can have long-term impacts on children. #Keepingfamiliestogether is about basic right and wrong. Our partners at MomsRising have a template letter to the editor for taking action. In addition, the Administration is also considering another rule that would punish immigrant families for using programs that help put food on the table & provide health care. We cannot stand for policies that tear families apart or strip people of basic human needs.
Two Weeks Left for the Spring Friends and Family Campaign. The RESULTS Spring Friends and Family Fundraising Campaign goes through the end of June. Help us reach our $40,000 goal by June 30. It’s not too late to start. Use the resources in our Campaign Guide to get started and contact Mea Geizhals, Grassroots Fundraising Manager, for any help you need.
Submit Your Bob Dickerson Award Nominations. Nominate a volunteer you know for this year’s Bob Dickerson Grassroots Leadership Award. Share how the volunteer has achieved RESULTS’ mission, why they are a powerful citizen advocate, and how they inspire you. Nominations are due this Friday, June 22.
Experts on Poverty Application Open. We are looking for new people to join the RESULTS Experts on Poverty cohort. These advocates educate, inspire, and inform volunteers and policy makers about the real hardships people experiencing poverty face. If you or someone you know is interested, please fill out this application today.
New Report Highlights the Problem of Finding Affordable Housing. According to a report by the National Low-Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC), there’s not a single US state where a minimum wage worker can afford a two-bedroom rental apartment. At the federal minimum wage of $7.25/hour, workers would have to work 122 hours per week every week all year to afford a modest two-bedroom in any state, county or metropolitan area in the US.
Upcoming U.S. Poverty staff time off: Meredith Dodson, July 4-6. Jos Linn, afternoon of July 3 and July 21-29. Funke Aderonmu, June 29.
U.S. Poverty Free Agents Calls, Tuesday, June 19 at 1:00pm and 8:00pm ET. Login at http://fuze.me/32256018 or dial in by phone at (201) 479-4595, Meeting ID: 32256018#.
2018 RESULTS International Conference, July 14-17, Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington, D.C. There is still time to register for our biggest event of the year! Watch the 2018 Conference video and share it (along with our flyer) with others you know.
Happy Independence Day! Wednesday, July 4. All RESULTS offices closed.
RESULTS Join U.S. and Global Poverty National Webinar, Saturday, August 11 at 2:00 pm ET. Participation info TBA.
Get Your RESULTS Promo Materials. If you need banners, pens, stickers, or business cards for your local RESULTS work, fill out our Materials Order Form and we’ll send them to you.
Got a Question for the RESULTS Board? If you have a question, comment, or suggestion for the RESULTS/RESULTS Educational Fund Board, please e-mail Steven McGee at [email protected]. View published Board minutes on the RESULTS website, as well as our Annual Reports.
Please Fill Out the Lobby Report Form. After any lobby meeting, please fill out the RESULTS Lobby Report Form to let us know how it went. When you have a meeting where both U.S. and global poverty issues are discussed, please fill it out twice.
|2018 U.S. Poverty Campaigns Success Grid|
|Total to Date||2018 Goal||Details|
|Face-to-Face Mtgs||33||200||13 Senators, 20 Representatives|
|Media||133||500||121 LTEs, 10 Op-Eds, 1 editorial, and 1 article/TV/radio in 32 states|
|# of people reached through outreach||448||500||Monthly #LettersGetLOUD meetings and 21 other outreach events|
|# of new U.S. Poverty volunteers from existing groups||16||100|