U.S. Poverty Weekly Update June 7, 2016

June 7, 2016

U.S. Poverty Campaigns

Weekly Update | June 7, 2016

“Speaker Ryan’s misunderstandings of SNAP have him wanting to block grant it. Block grants would destroy SNAP’s ability to provide to families that need it the most.”

– RESULTS Salt Lake City volunteer Michael Brown in a May 30 letter to the editor in the St. George Spectrum

In This Week’s Update:

Quick Media Action: Tell Congress to Protect SNAP!

Take Action!

Got Two Minutes? Prepare for the U.S. Poverty National Webinar this Saturday at 12:30 pm ET

Join us for the RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Webinar this Saturday, June 11 at 12:30 pm ET. With today’s release of the Paul Ryan Poverty Task Force recommendations, we’ll have a lot to talk about. We’ll highlight some of the findings from the Task Force and talk about building on the tax credits for working families to build financial stability and savings. We’ll also preview this month’s RESULTS International Conference and how you can share in the experience, whether you’re coming to DC or not. We look forward to you joining us.

TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes to remind your local RESULTS group about the RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Conference call this Saturday, June 11 at 12:30 pm ET. Coordinate with your group where you will meet for the call. The webinar is done through Fuze meeting. To join online, login at http://fuze.me/32255914; if you cannot join online, dial in by phone at (201) 479-4595, Meeting ID: 32255914#. Plan to log in or call in no later than 12:25 pm ET. If you have questions about Fuze or how to log in, please contact Jos Linn at [email protected]. We will have the June 2016 National Webinar slides available later this week in the Take Action box on the RESULTS Homepage.

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Got Ten Minutes? Write Letters on U.S. Poverty to be Hand-Delivered to DC (June Action)

Too often the rhetoric about poverty in America focuses on the “failure” of anti-poverty programs, despite evidence that anti-poverty programs reduce poverty by about half. Just last week, RESULTS Experts on Poverty powerfully shared how programs such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and SNAP (formerly the Food Stamp program), impact their lives. Of course, there is more to be done – we must push for ending poverty to be a top political priority, with specific proposals to strengthen anti-poverty programs.

Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan’s Task Force on Poverty released its recommendations. At first analysis, the proposals from House Speaker Ryan would by and large leave millions of Americans worse off. The recommendations focus on:   

  • requiring safety net program participants to work,
  • giving states flexibility and streamlining anti-poverty programs,
  • changing policies that “trap” people into poverty while “getting the incentives right” to move people away from participating in safety net programs, and
  • measuring results.

While there were not a tremendous amount of detail in the Task Force proposals, as we detail in our U.S. Poverty Campaigns Background Packet and May Action Sheet, proposals that shift oversight of SNAP and other key programs to the states in the name of “flexibility” and “streamlining” are just a veiled way to say “block granting” (lump sum payments to states). As we have discussed previously, this could be devastating. The focus on work requirements, especially with limited support for education and job training, is also extremely dangerous. In addition, many anti-poverty advocates have pointed out the stark contrast between House Republican leaders rhetoric versus their “budget priorities, however, are unmistakable – they would cut programs for low- and modest-income people dramatically.”

At a simultaneous event as the release of the Ryan Poverty Task Force, RESULTS 2016 International Conference Speaker Senator Sherrod Brown made a powerful case for building on the success of efforts to save key tax provisions last year to expand the EITC for workers without children. Watch his remarks, along with speeches by Representatives Hoyer, DeLauro, and Moore (a 2015 RESULTS conference speaker) here.  In the months and years ahead, we will push policymakers to make ending poverty a top priority with policies that will make a real difference.  

TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes to write letters to your members of Congress about protecting programs that lift and keep people out of poverty. The goal is have your letters hand-delivered in Washington, DC at this month’s RESULTS International Conference.  We also urge you to use those ten minutes to urge your friends and family to do the same.  Our June Action will feature two different sets of talking points you can use in your letters:

  • one side will focus on creating economic mobility by ensuring no American is taxed into poverty, and policies that help us begin to address wealth inequality and the racial wealth gap by building on tax credits for low-income Americans and
  • the other side will focus on protecting and strengthening SNAP, given the threats to the program’s structure posed by the Ryan Task Force recommendations.

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Got Twenty Minutes? With Two Weeks Left, Prepare for the RESULTS Conference Now

In just over two weeks, RESULTS’ biggest event of the year will begin – the 2016 RESULTS International Conference. We’re looking forward to a great Conference, with over 400 people from around the world descending on Washington, DC to make the case for ending poverty in the U.S. and around the world. There is still time to register and be a part of this exciting experience. For those of you already planning to come, there are a number of things you will want to do before you come to DC so you can make the most of your experience while there.  

TAKE ACTION: Take twenty minutes to get ready for the RESULTS International Conference beginning June 25 at the Washington Court Hotel in Washington DC.

1.Read the 2016 U.S. Poverty Campaigns Background Packet. The packet provides detailed information about our current U.S. Poverty Campaigns that will help you at the Conference and on Advocacy Day (June 28). It is also helpful for actions and meetings back home (so everyone should read it). Note: If you want a copy at the Conference itself, please bring your own; we will only print a few shared copies for reference.

2.Schedule a Lobby Prep Call. To help you get ready for your lobby meetings in DC, we hold pre-Conference lobby prep calls with advocates from each state to provide individualized, detailed coaching on your members of Congress. These are very important to your preparation for your DC meetings. RESULTS Director of U.S. Poverty Campaigns Meredith Dodson provides the coaching. She is generally available during the day and also has some open evening slots on Thursday, June 16. If you have not participated in a Lobby Prep Call for this year’s Conference, please contact Jos Linn ([email protected]) to get one scheduled now.

3.Set Up Your Lobby Meetings. Please contact your House and Senate schedulers to request meetings for Advocacy Day on Tuesday, June 28. You can find scheduler names and contact information on our Elected Officials page and a sample request letter on the RESULTS website. As you schedule your lobby meetings, please let aides know that we doing a briefing with the RESULTS Experts on Poverty on Wednesday, June 29, tentatively set for 10:00 am ET. We will have more details to share in the coming days.

4.Please Log Your Lobby Meetings. Once you get your lobby meetings scheduled, please enter the details of each one into our Conference Lobby Meeting Log. This is very important as it helps us know what kind of support you need on Advocacy Day.

5.Read the Conference Checklist. Our 2016 RESULTS Conference Checklist has a wealth of information and resources to help you get ready. Please look it over. You can find it and other helpful information on our Conference Resources page.

Finally, as a preview of our time in DC, invite your House and Senate aides to attend a briefing on June 16 sponsored by RESULTS, the Coalition on Human Needs, FRAC, and others. The event will provide an “evidence-based discussion of effective and ineffective anti-poverty programs and how the Ryan poverty plan measures up.” The event is Thursday, June 16 at 1:00 pm ET at the Capitol Visitors Center in the Gabe Zimmerman Room (HVC 215), Washington, DC. People can attend in person or watch via livestream. Register on the CHN website.

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Quick News

RESULTS Experts on Poverty Twitter Chat a Hit! Last week RESULTS hosted our very first "Twitter chat" featuring our inspiring Experts on Poverty. Throughout 2015 and 2016, our Experts have been developing, refining, and sharing their first-hand experiences of poverty. These stories are critical to our work, and too often, those in power do not understand what it is really like to live in poverty in America. In the words of Expert Sharvonne Williams (Indianapolis, IN), "I love to make people aware! Often times they are oblivious to what the REAL issues are! I have a story." Our Experts on Poverty program has created a platform to amplify the voices of the real experts and Twitter is a great place to have a conversation, learn, and share stories. If you missed our Twitter chat, you can relive the experience via our Storify recap or search for #ExpertsOnPoverty via Twitter. Thank you to all of our powerful Experts (returning Mentors, and new folks joining the cohort this year) and to all the organizations and fellow Tweeters who joined in to share. We have so much to learn from you and within one hour and 140 characters at a time, you made a huge impact. 

Vote in the Grassroots Board Election. Please remember to vote in our Grassroots Board election. The nominees for the upcoming open seat are Tadeo Melan of RESULTS Kansas City (U.S. Poverty), Maxine Thomas of RESULTS Indianapolis (U.S. Poverty), and Charles Wallace of RESULTS Austin (Global Poverty) are running for the position. You can read their candidate bios here. Voting is now open and will run through Tuesday, July 5. All active RESULTS volunteers are eligible to vote. Please vote at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2016GRBMelection.

Join Intro Call Tomorrow Night. If you or someone you know wants to learn more about how to be an agent of change with RESULTS, join our next bi-monthly RESULTS Introductory Call tomorrow night, June 8 at 9:00 pm ET. Register for the call on the RESULTS website.

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Upcoming Events

Go to the RESULTS Events Calendar to see a full list of RESULTS events. Also, find a list of the RESULTS U.S. Poverty staff with contact information on the RESULTS website.

Congressional Recesses:  June 27 – July 4 (House only), July 1 – 5 (Senate only), July 18 – September 5 (House and Senate). Request face-to-face meetings. After your meeting, please tell us how it went by filling out the RESULTS Lobby Report Form: www.tinyurl.com/RESLRF.

RESULTS Introductory Call, June 8, 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 Webinar, June 11 at 12:30 pm ET. Join the meeting online at http://fuze.me/32255914; or by phone at (201) 479-4595, Meeting ID: 32255914#. Listen to previous webinars on our National Webinars page.

RESULTS U.S. Poverty Free Agents Calls, June 21 at 1:00 pm and 7:00 pm ET. Join online at http://fuze.me/32256018 or by phone at: (201) 479-4595, Meeting ID: 32256018#.

2016 RESULTS International Conference, June 25-28, 2016 in Washington, DC. Register at www.resultsconference.org!

If you have a question, comment or suggestion for the RESULTS/RESULTS Educational Fund Board, please e-mail them to RESULTS Grassroots Board Member Lydia Pendley at [email protected]. You can download RESULTS’ most recent Annual Report at: https://results.org/about/annual_report/.

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