U.S. Poverty Weekly Update June 26, 2018
U.S. Poverty Campaigns
Weekly Update | June 26, 2018
“The SNAP program is the bedrock program for hunger relief in New Mexico.”
– RESULTS Santa Fe volunteer Gerry Fairbrother (and co-author Sherry Hooper) in a June 23 op-ed in the Santa Fe New Mexican
Got Two Minutes? Call Your Senators to Protect SNAP (June Action)
Last week, the House passed their farm bill, 213-211. This is the bill that takes food assistance away from two million people by imposing harsh requirements on those struggling to find work and restricting the states’ ability to get people help when they need it. Thank you to everyone who called their representative to vote no on that bill; your calls helped make it a closer vote than expected. Fortunately, the Senate has taken steps in the opposite direction and crafted a farm bill that is bipartisan and protects SNAP (formerly known as food stamps). We need to make sure it stays that way.
With the Senate planning to vote this week, we can’t let SNAP become a last-minute target. Even a single harmful amendment could put that at risk. Amendments to impose a lifetime ban on SNAP for individuals with criminal convictions, further restrict state flexibility in providing SNAP, attack access to food assistance for immigrant and mixed status families, and privatize the administration of SNAP could be offered. Not only would these amendments restrict access to vital food assistance, they would make it more likely that bad provisions are included the final House-Senate compromise.
TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes to call your Senator at (888) 398-8702 and tell them to reject any amendments to Senate farm bill that undermine SNAP. When you call, deliver this simple message: I’m calling to urge the senator to protect food assistance by supporting the Senate farm bill and opposing any amendments that would cut SNAP or make harmful changes to nutrition assistance.
Got Ten Minutes? Please Sign Up for a Lobby Prep Call
One of the things RESULTS prides itself on is providing our volunteers the best preparation and training for lobby meetings with members of Congress. This resource has resulted in one of the most savvy and effective volunteer networks in the country.
Three weeks from today at the RESULTS International Conference (there’s still time to register!), RESULTS volunteers from around the world will do hundreds of meetings to talk about the end of poverty. To help you prepare for this important event, RESULTS holds lobby prep calls with volunteers coming to the Conference. On these calls, RESULTS Director of U.S. Poverty Campaigns Meredith Dodson goes over the issues to discuss in your meetings and explains what kind of response you might get from your members of Congress. These calls are a key part of having a successful Advocacy Day at the Conference. If you have not already done so, please sign up for one today.
TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes to fill out our Doodle poll to sign up for a Conference lobby prep call. When filling out the form, please put your name and your state (e.g. Harry Truman (MO)) so we can match you up with others from your state. Also, local group members who are not attending the Conference are welcomed to attend these calls as well. If you have any questions, please contact Susan Fleurant.
Also, if you can, please read the U.S. Poverty Conference Background Packets before your lobby prep call. Our SNAP backgrounder is now available and our Racial Wealth Equity backgrounder should be available later this week. You can find these and other helpful resources on the Conference Resources page.
Got Twenty Minutes? Set Up Lobby Meetings for Next Week and at the Conference (June Action)
Next week, Congress will be on recess for the Independence Day holiday. Then less than two weeks later, many of you will participate in Advocacy Day (July 17) at the RESULTS International Conference (there’s still time to register!). Now is the time to set up your meetings for these two events. Remember, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has canceled most of the August recess so if you want to meet face-to-face with your senator at home, put in a recess meeting request now. For both your meetings in DC and at home, you’ll want to discuss SNAP. With the House farm bill passed, negotiations over a compromise bill will begin in earnest once the Senate has passed its bill. Depending on who your members of Congress are, you may also get into issues related to housing and taxes as a means to narrow the racial wealth divide. Don’t miss the opportunity to weigh in on these important issues… and check of another action from the June Action.
TAKE ACTION: Take twenty minutes to contact your House and Senate schedulers to ask for meetings during next week’s recess and/or at the RESULTS International Conference. The June Action has information to help you. You can find House and Senate contact information on our Elected Officials page. If you need language for your request, use our sample Conference Meeting Request form (adapt it if using it for the recess) found on our Conference Resources page. Remember that many communities will hold Independence Day parades next week and politicians are likely to attend. If you cannot get a meeting or find a town hall near you next week, ask about local holiday parades and events that your members of Congress may be attending. If they are, go early, find the staging area, and go up to talk to them.
New U.N. Poverty Report on Poverty in the United States. In May, the United Nations released a poverty report pointing out that the United States has the highest rates of youth poverty, infant mortality, incarceration, income inequality, and obesity among all countries in the developed world. The report stated that policies over the last year, including the tax cut passed last December, would worsen poverty and inequality in America. In response last week, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley criticized the report saying it was “patently ridiculous for the United Nations to examine poverty in America.” She said the U.N. should instead focus its efforts on poverty in developing countries. Her criticism follows the Trump Administration’s decision earlier in the week to withdraw from the U.N. Human Rights Council.
Make the Last Week of our Fundraising Campaign Count. If you can believe it, we’re already nearing the end of June and our Support Moms – and Dads!, Champion Kids fundraising campaign. You have raised $24,787 from 170 donations. Because of your work, people from coast-to-coast have invested in our work to end poverty. As we enter this final phase of our campaign, we have an exciting opportunity to help us cross the finish line: all donations you raise between now and June 30 will go toward our Spring Match Campaign, helping us hit $50,000 in donations and unlock a $25,000 incentive match. If you’re not ready to start your own campaign this week, urge people you know to donate to someone else’s campaign page. Let’s see what we can do and finish this campaign strong! Contact Mea Geizhals with any questions you have. Let’s finish this campaign strong!
RESULTS Experts on Poverty Engaging New Audiences. Several members of the RESULTS Experts on Poverty cohort have traveled to present about their work in the past few weeks. Qiana Torregano of RESULTS Louisiana traveled to New York City to participate in a special Opportunity Agenda media training, Maxine Thomas of RESULTS Indianapolis traveled to Lexington for a new RESULTS group organizing meeting, and Pamela Covington of RESULTS Hampton, VA (along with RESULTS Director of U.S. Poverty Campaigns Meredith Dodson) spoke on a panel at the Ounce of Prevention Policy Exchange. 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 in becoming a member of the Experts on Poverty project, please fill out this application today.
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.
Happy Independence Day! Wednesday, July 4. All RESULTS offices closed.
U.S. Poverty Free Agents Calls, Tuesday, July 10 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.
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.