U.S. Poverty Weekly Update June 30, 2015

June 30, 2015

U.S. Poverty Campaigns

Weekly Update | June 30, 2015

"One of the best ways to combat poverty is through the tax code.”

– RESULTS Bremerton (WA) volunteer Diana Tyree-Eddy in a June 25 letter to the editor in the Kitsap Sun

“The EITC, a lifeline to the poor, generates large decreases in poverty and substantial increases in employment, as well as decreasing the number of single parents receiving cash welfare.”

– RESULTS Bremerton (WA) volunteer Donna Munro in a June 18 letter to the editor in the Kitsap Sun

In This Week’s Update:

Quick Action: Urge Congress to Protect the EITC and CTC

Take Action!

Got Two Minutes? Celebrate Independence Day by Making Your Voice Heard

Independence Day is in part a celebration of American democracy. On July 4, 1776, the Founding Fathers essentially did the same thing many of you have done countless times before – they wrote a letter to those in power demanding change. It was an act of advocacy as much as an act of defiance. Advocacy, it turns out, is in our country’s DNA.

Since then, citizens have made it their business to demand the best of our elected leaders on matters they hold dear. Congress is on recess this week for the Independence Day holiday. What better way to celebrate the holiday than following in the footsteps of those courageous persons from 239 years ago by making your voice heard on the issues you care about.

TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes to contact your House and Senate schedulers to see if your representatives and senators are holding any public events you can attend this week. Use these events to remind your members of Congress that critical improvements to the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) will expire soon and that any tax bill this year should include a permanent extension of those improvements. Remember to ask if they are doing any local Independence Day parades. If they are, go early and find the parade staging area or end point of the parade and look for legislators and candidates. Many times they are just waiting around and have time to talk. You can find member website links and contact information on our Elected Officials page. If you do get a meeting or plan to attend an event, please contact Jos Linn ([email protected]) to get coaching on what to discuss.

Got Ten Minutes? Send Reminders to Your EITC/CTC Letter Writers (June Action)

The RESULTS International Conference begins in less than three weeks. The June Action focuses on getting people in your community to write letters about protecting working families who receive the EITC and CTC so you can deliver them to your members of Congress at the Conference. With the Conference only a few weeks away, now is a good time to remind people about writing their letters and coordinate when you will collect them. Remember to tell people that their letters help them be a part of your meetings in DC (or your next meeting in-district) and send a strong message to legislators that folks back home care about policies that reduce poverty.

TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes to contact your “letter-writers” about taking the June Action. Remind them that you will be heading to DC in just over two weeks and if they have not written their letters, please do so now. Ideally, they will write a letter to all three of their members of Congress, urging them to make the EITC and CTC improvements permanent. Also, be sure to make it easy for them to get the letters to you. Offer to pick them up or ask them to mail them to you or drop them in your mailbox. If need be, ask them to scan the letters (if hand-written) and e-mail them to you to print off. Finally, give them a deadline of a few days before you leave to get them to you. If you have questions or need coaching, please contact Jos Linn at [email protected].

Got Twenty Minutes? Schedule Face-to-Face Meetings with Congress to Protect the EITC and CTC (July Action preview)

For the next few weeks, RESULTS and many of our volunteers will be gearing up for their lobby meetings at the RESULTS International Conference (July 18-21) in Washington, DC. However, many of you cannot come to DC and even those who are know that one meeting is not enough. We have to keep pushing our message with our elected officials over and over again, taking every opportunity to talk to them about practical solutions to poverty in America.

Members of Congress will be on recess for most of August through Labor Day. This is an ideal time to meet with them face-to-face to talk about making the 2009 improvements to the EITC and CTC  permanent. Remember these credits lifted 8.8 million people out of poverty and reduced poverty for another 22 million in 2013. However, if Congress fails to make these provisions permanent, 16 million people, including 8 million children, could fall into or deeper into poverty. You can prevent that from happening by meeting with your members of Congress and telling them to put working families first.

TAKE ACTION: Take twenty minutes to read the July Action and start planning for face-to-face meetings in August. The House will be on recess August 3 through September 7 and the Senate will be on recess August 10 through September 7. Coordinate with your group on who will make the meeting requests and do the follow-up with the schedulers. Note that if you are coming to the RESULTS International Conference, you should be requesting meetings for Advocacy on July 21 now (see more below). Once you confirm a meeting, please contact RESULTS Director of US Poverty Campaigns Meredith Dodson ([email protected]) for coaching and preparation.

Getting Ready for the RESULTS International Conference

With only three weeks until Advocacy Day at the 2015 RESULTS International Conference, there’s a lot to be done before you come to DC. Let’s get to it:

  1. Register for the Conference Today! If you have not registered for this year’s conference, it’s still not too late. Register today at the RESULTS website. Also, to book a room for the conference, please send an e-mail with the details of your stay to [email protected].
  2. Set Up Your Lobby Prep Call. RESULTS staff do lobby prep calls before the conference to help you prepare for Advocacy Day (July 21). These calls are very informative and very important in helping you have powerful lobby meetings at the conference. If you have not scheduled a lobby prep call yet, please contact Jos Linn ([email protected]) to get one set up ASAP.
  3. Schedule Your Lobby Meetings. Contact your House and Senate schedulers today (see our Elected Officials page for names and contact info) to set up lobby meetings for Advocacy Day at the Conference. See our sample lobby meeting request as a template for your request. Contact Jos Linn ([email protected]) if you have questions.
  4. Tell RESULTS about Your Lobby Meetings. As you schedule your lobby meetings, please be sure to fill out our 2015 Conference Lobby Meeting Form for each meeting you set up so we can keep track of all the meetings at the Conference.
  5. Read the 2015 RESULTS U.S. Poverty Background Packet. The 2015 Packet (pdf) is now available on the Conference Resources page. It’s a great resource providing background information on our current U.S. Poverty Campaigns. Please read it – our Hunger Fellow Tade Mengesha and Interns Savannah Gross and Susan Fleurant put a lot of good work into it.  Note: If you want a copy of the packet at the conference, please print your own copy or download it to your mobile device and bring it with you.
  6. Attend our final Advocacy 101 Training. We’ll hold our final Advocacy 101 and What to Expect at the International Conference webinar next Thursday, July 9 at 1:00 pm ET. This webinar will provide you the basics of how to have a good lobby meeting and what to expect during Advocacy Day in DC. You can join the webinar online at: https://www.fuze.me/28699630 or by phone at (201) 479-4595, passcode 28699630.

For other resources please see our Conference Resources page. If you have any questions about the 2015 RESULTS Conference, please contact Jos Linn at [email protected]. Thank you to everyone who is coming and to everyone who is supporting people to come. We look forward to a great Conference. 

Quick News

Nicholas Kristof Highlights the Racial Wealth Gap. Nicholas Kristof published a New York Times article last week explaining that the debate over racism does not just stop at publicly removing the Confederate flag. Rather, Kristof calls out that, “America’s greatest shame in 2015 is not a piece of cloth… It’s that the net worth of the average black household in 2011 was $6,314, compared with $110,500 for the average white household, according to census data.” RESULTS appreciates Mr. Kristof highlighting the racial wealth gap; it is indeed a “shame” that we must confront now and work immediately to solve. RESULTS will talk more about this issue at the RESULTS International Conference and in the coming months.

ACA Lives On after Supreme Court Ruling. From RESULTS U.S. Poverty Intern Susan Fleurant: “On June 25, I joined a number of supporters of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) at the Supreme Court, holding signs demonstrating the number of people at risk of losing health care coverage in different states in the King v. Burwell case (in the picure below from Time Magazine, Susan is holding “AK” sign in front). The U.S. Supreme Court upheld health care subsidies by a vote of 6-3, safeguarding health insurance for over 6 million Americans in 34 states with federal marketplaces. This decision cements the ACA, which so far has provided health insurance to over 16 million Americans, and makes it more difficult for opponents to change the law in the future.  As the chant of ‘The ACA is here to stay’ continues to ring in my ears, there is still a lot of work to be done to expand Medicaid and ensure equitable access to quality health care for all Americans. But this decision provides a collective sigh of relief and a cause for celebration.”

Supreme Court Protects Housing Anti-Discrimination Law. Last week, the Supreme Court also ruled in an important housing case impacting racial inequality. In Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project, the Texas DoH was sued for granting too many housing credits to predominantly Black and poor neighborhoods and too few in White and wealthier neighborhoods, thus contributing to segregated housing patterns. Under the “disparate impact” theory, policies or practices that exclude a disproportionate percentage of people of color can still violate anti-discrimination laws even if they appear neutral. The Court ruled 5-4 that this disparate impact argument can apply to housing discrimination claims. This is an important step in ending racial discrimination and expanding opportunity for mobility for many more American families. To read more about the history of the disparate impact theory and the case, read this Huffington Post article.

Upcoming Events

Go to the RESULTS Events Calendar to see a full list of RESULTS events.

Take the RESULTS Grassroots Survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/MJYGK9B.

Next Congressional Recesses: House: June 29 – July 6, July 31 – September 7; Senate: June 29 – July 6, August 8 – September 7. Request face-to-face meetings.

RESULTS Introductory Call, July 8 at 9:00 pm ET. If you want to learn more about RESULTS, register for an upcoming Intro Call on the RESULTS website.

Advocacy Training: Advocacy 101 Training and What to Expect at the International Conference, July 9 at 1:00 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.

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.

RESULTS U.S. Poverty Free Agents Call, July 14 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]).

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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