U.S. Poverty Weekly Update June 2, 2015

June 2, 2015

U.S. Poverty Campaigns

Weekly Update | June 2, 2015

“We should be urging those in power to address the unjust widening of the racial wealth gap, the underpinning of poverty for those who are born into a certain background or skin color.”

– RESULTS Seacoast (NH/ME) volunteer (and staff person) Kristy Martino in a May 26 letter to the editor in the Portland Press Herald

In This Week’s Update:

Quick Action: Register for the RESULTS International Conference!

Take Action!

Got Two Minutes? Set Up Face-to-Face Meetings for the July 4 Recess

Congress is back in DC this week, but only for a few weeks. Get a jump on things by setting up face-to-face meetings when they return home for the Independence Day recess, June 29-July 3. Meetings that week give you a great opportunity to follow up on your letters about making the EITC and CTC improvements permanent that you wrote in May. Remember, studies show that meeting face-o-face with constituents is the number one way to influence members of Congress on an issue. But you can’t do that if you don’t request a meeting.

TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes to contact your House and Senate schedulers to schedule a meeting during the Independence Day recess. Submit a new request or follow up on one you’ve recently submitted. Tell them you want to discuss how to expand economic mobility in America (using tools such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC)) and protect key nutrition programs like SNAP. Remember that many members of Congress also have meeting request forms on their websites. You can find scheduler names and website links on our Elected Officials page. Once you get a meeting confirmed, please contact Meredith Dodson ([email protected]) to set up a call to prepare you for your meeting. Be sure to take copies of our Tax Credit and SNAP Lobby Meeting requests with you to these events.

Also, if you’ve recently had a face-to-face meeting, please tell us how it went by filling out our 2015 RESULTS Lobby Report Form.

Got Ten Minutes? Learn about the Racial Wealth Gap and Enlist Help from Others to Make a Difference (June Action)

As the income inequality debate has gained traction over the last few years, the conversation has sidestepped wealth inequality and the racial wealth gap. With all the focus on income, the public doesn’t realize that the wealth gap is far worse. In 1963, the families in the highest income brackets had six times the wealth of families in the middle; in 2013, they had twelve times the wealth. Racial wealth disparity is even more striking: in 2011, for every $1 dollar that white Americans hold in wealth, black Americans hold only $0.06 and Latino Americans hold only $0.07. Discriminatory public policies, both past and present, and the federal tax system have produced this racial wealth gap.

As we at RESULTS know, federal government policy is a key tool in the movement to end poverty in America. The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) lifted 8.8 million people out of poverty in 2013, and SNAP boosted the income of 4.8 million Americans above the poverty line. In the short term, RESULTS is focused on shaping tax legislation that will pass later in 2015 – by making sure Congress prioritizes key EITC and CTC  provisions that are set to expire if Congress doesn’t act. Over the longer term, RESULTS views tax policy as a critical instrument to address inequality in America, including the racial wealth gap. This month, we’ll focus on generating letters from others in our communities urging lawmakers to protect and expand the EITC and CTC as their top 2015 tax priority to amplify our requests in congressional meetings.

TAKE ACTION:  Take ten minutes to read through the June Action. Educate yourself about the racial wealth gap in America and then use that information to urge others into action. Ask people in your local Action Network or others you know to write letters to urge Congress to address the wealth gap in America, starting with tax fairness and two of the basic protections against growing inequality – the EITC and CTC. Use our new EITC/CTC Outreach Action Sheet to help people write their letters and then gather them together to hand deliver them to your members of Congress at the RESULTS International Conference or your next meeting in your home district.

Got Twenty Minutes? Take the 2015 RESULTS Grassroots Survey

RESULTS prides itself on the amazing volunteers – YOU – who make our work successful. You do the work that brings us closer to a world free of poverty. In addition to your amazing advocacy work, we also value your opinion on how RESULTS can best support you and make our advocacy more effective and inspiring. We would like your feedback now. We have created a new 2015 Grassroots Survey on various subjects concerning our work. Please take a few minutes to give us your thoughts.

TAKE ACTION: Take twenty minutes to complete the new 2015 RESULTS Grassroots Survey. Your input is vital to making RESULTS the best it can be. Go to: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/MJYGK9B and take the survey today. Thank you in advance for sharing your ideas with us.

Start Getting Ready for the International Conference (and it’s not too late to register)

Thank you to everyone who has already registered for the 2015 RESULTS International Conference. We are so excited you’re coming! This will indeed be one of our best conferences ever and one reason it will is because you’ll be there. Here are a few things you can do this week to make your conference experience a great one.

TAKE ACTION:  Take twenty minutes to start getting ready for the RESULTS International Conference. Here’s how:

  1. Register for the conference. If you haven’t registered for the conference yet, it’s not too late. The registration fee is still a bargain at $200 for active volunteers and $300 for non-volunteers. REGISTER TODAY!
  2. Book your hotel room! For those coming to the conference, you must book your hotel room now. If you do not have your room booked by June 8, we cannot guarantee you’ll get a room or the discounted room rate. To reduce cost for you, this year RESULTS is handling the hotel reservations; you can only book your room on the RESULTS Conference Registration page (if you have already registered for the conference but still need to book your hotel, go to the registration page, click the “Already registered?” link, and follow the instructions).
  3. Apply for RESULTS Conference scholarship assistance. We still have some money available to help with travel and hotel costs for the conference. If you want to come to the conference but need financial help getting there, please fill out our RESULTS U.S. Poverty Activist Scholarship Fund form. Do so now before the money runs out. Also, check out the RESULTS Blog for ideas on how to fundraise to help you come to DC.
  4. Attend tonight’s RESULTS Advocacy Training at 8:00 pm ET. This webinar –  Advocacy 101 Training and What to Expect at the International Conference – will provide you the basics of how to have a good lobby meeting either at home or in DC during the Conference. You’ll also learn what to expect during our conference Lobby Day in DC. You can join the webinar online at: https://www.fuze.me/28699630 or by phone at (201) 479-4595, passcode 28699630. We will repeat this webinar again on June 24 at 9 pm ET and July 9 at 1 pm ET.
  5. Bring a friend and get a chance to go to the Gala. Any RESULTS volunteer who recruits a new person to attend the 2015 International Conference will be entered into a raffle to win two free tickets to the RESULTS 35th Anniversary Benefit Gala on July 22 with Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus. We will also provide the winner a free room night at the conference hotel for July 22. Once you get a friend to register for the conference in advance, let Jos Linn ([email protected]) know who you are and the person you registered and we’ll enter you into the raffle for Gala tickets.
  6. Use the Conference Checklist. Whether you’re new to the conference this year or are coming back again, visit our Conference Resources page to find helpful information to help you prepare for this year’s conference, including our new 2015 International Conference Checklist. If you’re not sure what you should be doing now to get ready for your DC trip, the Checklist will show you. In the coming weeks, we’ll be loading other materials onto the resources page, including our 2015 U.S. Poverty Campaigns Legislative Handbook.

RESULTS Mourns the Loss of Bob Dickerson

RESULTS lost a volunteer legend and wonderful man over the weekend, Bob Dickerson of RESULTS Seattle. No one was more passionate about ending poverty than Bob. He literally dedicated his life to this work. Although most notable for his global poverty advocacy, Bob frequently worked with our U.S. Poverty staff to raise awareness of our domestic poverty issues as well and was always gracious and grateful to those he worked with. He will be deeply missed.

Learn more about Bob’s extraordinary life on our website from RESULTS Executive Director Joanne Carter: https://results.org/blog/remembering_bob_dickerson/

Quick News

Register for Tomorrow’s Storytelling Webinar. Our friends at the Coalition on Human Needs (CHN), along with a number of other organizations are partnering to launch a new campaign, “Community Voices: Why Nutrition Assistance Matters.” Their goal is to gather personal experiences about nutrition assistance programs from communities across the country and share them with media and policymakers. They seek to dispel myths about these programs and increase understanding of how important they are to millions of Americans. To get things started, join the kickoff webinar tomorrow, June 3 at 2:00 pm ET to learn how you can take part in this new campaign, why stories are so important, and practical tips for interviewing true experts on poverty. Register for the webinar at the CHN website.

Sign Your Group onto Letter Supporting Child Poverty Reduction Act. Last week, Reps. Danny Davis (D-IL-7), Gerry Connolly (D-VA-11), and Barbara Lee (D-CA-13) introduced The Child Reduction Act of 2015 (H.R. 2408). This bill would set a goal to cut child poverty in half in ten years and eliminate it within twenty years. To build momentum for this legislation, First Focus are circulating a letter for groups to sign on as supporters of the bill. We urge you to sign your local RESULTS group onto letter at the First Focus website. The deadline to add your group is Friday, June 12. 

Register for June 9 Budget Webinar. Our friends at CHN will also be hosting a webinar next week to overview the recent budget passed by Congress. Remember that this budget calls for deep cuts to everything from housing to health care to Head Start. During this webinar, you will learn exactly where things are and what to expect in the coming months. Ellen Nissenbaum, Senior VP for Government Affairs at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities will speak, and you’ll hear interviews with local housing and youth experts about how federal cuts have impacted people. The webinar is next Tuesday, June 9 at 1:30 pm ET. You can register for the webinar at the CHN website.

Upcoming Events

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.

Advocacy Training: Advocacy 101 Training and What to Expect at the International Conference, June 2 at 8:00 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 June 24 at 9 pm ET and July 9 at 1 pm ET.

RESULTS Introductory Call, June 10 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 National Meeting, June 13 at 12:30 pm ET. Listen to previous conference calls and meetings on our National Conference Calls page.

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]).

Independence Day Holiday, July 4. All RESULTS offices closed on July 3.

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.

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