U.S. Poverty Weekly Update March 1, 2016
U.S. Poverty Campaigns
Weekly Update | March 1, 2016
“There’s this thing that happens that’s pretty powerful where Americans come together, using their voice to solve problems. And they don’t wait for permission from… the Congress to do it.”
– Robert Ross, CEO of The California Endowment, speaking on NPR’s On Being
In This Week’s Update:
- Got Two Minutes? E-mail Congress about Expanding the EITC for Childless Workers
- Got Ten Minutes? Tell Congress to Protect Workers Without Children by Expanding the EITC (March Action)
- Got Twenty Minutes? Connect Someone Your Know to RESULTS
- Request Face-to-Face Meetings (House on Recess Most of March)
- Register for the RESULTS International Conference
- Quick News
- Upcoming Events
Quick Action: Register for the 2016 RESULTS International Conference!
Got Two Minutes? E-mail Congress about Expanding the EITC for Childless Workers
Now that we’ve finalized our 2016 U.S. Poverty Campaigns (see details below), one of our policy requests this year focuses on expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for workers without children. Because of the way the tax code is written, this group of workers is the only group that is actually taxed into or deeper into poverty. Expanding the EITC for these workers would benefit 13.5 million people and lift 500,000 people out of poverty. It is also one of the few things in Washington that has bipartisan support, including House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI-1) and President Obama (D). This is the focus of our March Action. Get started right now by e-mailing your members of Congress today urging them to stop taxing low-income workers into poverty – expand the EITC now!
TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes to send an e-mail to Congress urging them expand the EITC for workers without children in the home. This builds on our successful 2015 effort to save the expiring provisions of the EITC and Child Tax Credit (CTC). Use our online e-mail alert to tell your members of Congress to protect these workers by expanding the EITC for these workers in 2016. Also send the alert out to your Action Networks, urging them to take action as well. Here is an example e-mail:
Last December, you helped us protect 16 families from deeper poverty by making low-income tax provisions permanent. Help us build on that success by urging Congress to expand the Earned Income Tax Credit for workers without children. Because of a glitch in the tax code, these workers are actually taxed deeper into poverty. There is bipartisan support in Congress to fix this problem. Use our online alert to tell Congress to expand the EITC for childless workers now. Alert: http://capwiz.com/results/issues/alert/?alertid=9823986&MC_plugin=2201.
Got Ten Minutes? Tell Congress to Protect Workers Without Children by Expanding the EITC (March Action)
At the start of 2014, RESULTS launched an overarching multi-year campaign focused on Creating Economic Mobility: Building Ladders out of Poverty. Our goal through the campaign is to enact policies that:
- Ensure that all Americans have the financial means to earn enough income to make ends meet,
- Stay on their feet while working to become financially independent, and
- Build the savings and assets to weather financial emergencies and save for the future.
Last month, the RESULTS Board of Directors approved our 2016 campaign proposal during their meeting in Washington, DC. We will continue our multi-year Economic Mobility Campaign, focusing on Building Financial Stability and Combatting Wealth Inequality. In evaluating our campaign strategies, we will put an explicit emphasis on the drivers of the racial wealth gap as a root cause of poverty. While there is not much opportunity to move policies in an election year, the possibility of tax reform in 2017 offers opportunities to enact asset-building policies and address wealth inequality. In 2016 we’ll continue to educate ourselves on how government policies have created structural racism and advocate for policies that address the racial wealth gap.
As part of our Economic Mobility campaign, this month we’ll build bipartisan momentum to expand the EITC for childless workers, and by the time of the RESULTS International Conference we’ll incorporate a second policy ask that will focus on access to savings and wealth. Our second, more targeted campaign is Building Political Momentum to End Hunger and Poverty in a Crucial Election Year, engaging with current members of Congress, Senate hopefuls, and some House candidates to protect and strengthen nutrition programs, especially the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps), along with our Economic Mobility campaign priorities.
TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes to write letters to your House and Senate members urging them to build on the EITC/CTC success from last December by expanding the EITC for workers without children. Use the March Action for talking points and background information to help with your letters. Once you’ve submitted your letters, assign someone from your group to follow up with your House and Senate tax aides about the issue. Ask them what their boss’ position is on the issue and when will he/she speak with tax leaders and pushing it forward.
Got Twenty Minutes? Connect Someone Your Know to RESULTS
Last week, the RESULTS “Expansion” Team met in Boise, ID for a training retreat. The retreat was designed to help us better reach out to new people and new communities to get involved with this important work. We shared strategies, goals, and best practices in two days of intensive training. The retreat also included an outreach meeting to grow our presence in the Boise area, which netted the group four new activists (some global-focused, some domestic-focused). Welcome, new RESULTS Boise advocates!
In addition, RESULTS Director of U.S. Poverty Campaigns Meredith Dodson and U.S. Poverty Organizer Kristy Martino have spent the last three days at the National Anti-Hunger Policy Conference in Washington, DC. Joining them are RESULTS Experts on Poverty Maxine Thomas, Andy Trujillo, and Qiana Torregano. They are presenting on the importance of advocacy and how to use stories to influence policymakers. Today they will spend time on Capitol Hill lobbying Congress on hunger and poverty issues. This conference brings hundreds of advocates from all over the country, helping us not only train new people but also hopefully getting them interested in RESULTS.
TAKE ACTION: Take twenty minutes to help RESULTS grow our volunteer network. Look through your contacts and social media friends and urge them to learn more about RESULTS and our work. We are specifically looking for activists in North Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, West Virginia, Arkansas, Oregon, Wisconsin, Arizona, South Dakota, and Arizona (although we welcome people from other states as well). Here are ways you can plug them into RESULTS over the next few weeks:
- Invite People in Milwaukee to an Informational Call Tonight at 8:00 pm CT. RESULTS Grassroots Manager for U.S. Poverty Campaigns Jos Linn will be hosting a RESULTS Informational Call tonight (March 1) at 8:00 pm CT to build support for a new group in Milwaukee. If you know people in the Milwaukee area, urge them to login at http://fuze.me/27491886 or dial in at (201) 479-4595 and enter Meeting ID: 27491886#. If you have questions, contact Jos at [email protected].
- Invite Someone to a RESULTS Intro Call. RESULTS holds bi-monthly 30 minute Introductory Calls to teach new people about RESULTS and how to get involved. It is a great way for new people to see if RESULTS is something they want to do. Invite someone you know to our next call, which is Wednesday, March 9 at 9:00 pm ET. People can register for an upcoming call at: https://results.org/take_action/become_a_results_activist/#Introductory%20Call.
- Urge a Young Leader to Apply for REAL Change. Want to engage young people in our advocacy work? Urge them to apply for the 2016-17 REAL Change Fellowship. Fellows attend the RESULTS International Conference and then get on-going training throughout the year to take action on our issues and bring RESULTS to their local communities. If you or someone you know is 18-30 years old, encourage them to apply at https://results.org/realchange.
- Connect to Our Expansion Staff. Perhaps you know someone you want to connect to RESULTS one-on-one. While everyone who attends and Intro Call or applies for REAL Change gets personal follow-up from RESULTS staff, you may know someone who would prefer to talk to a staffperson first. We’re happy to do that. Contact U.S. Poverty Organizer Kristy Martino ([email protected]) to set up an introduction.
Request Face-to-Face Meetings (House on Recess Most of March)
Members of Congress are spending a great deal of time in their home districts this month, which means you have more opportunities to meet with them face-to-face. The House will be on recess March 4-13 and again March 24-April 11. In addition, the Senate will be on recess March 21-April 1. With most of attention focused on the presidential election, members of Congress need to be reminded that they have important work to get done this year. For example, if there is strong bi-partisan support to increase the EITC for workers without children, why are they not doing it now? You as constituents can tell them that millions of American individuals and families are counting on them to get things done, not take a year off from important decisions to campaign.
Meeting with House members now is especially important because the House will be on recess on Lobby Day during the 2016 RESULTS International Conference. If you have not met with your House and Senate members this year, please contact their schedulers this week to set up a meeting this month. Take advantage of these recesses to push them to make ending poverty a priority now.
You can find scheduler names on our Elected Officials page and a sample meeting request on our website. You can also read and print out of 2016 Lobby Meeting Request Sheets (bottom of box at right on our U.S. Poverty Campaigns page). Once you get a meeting set, please contact Meredith Dodson ([email protected]) to set up a lobby prep call to help you prepare for it.
Register for the RESULTS International Conference
Want to be part of something special? Then register for the 2016 RESULTS International Conference. The International Conference is our biggest event of the year. Last year, we had over 500 people attend what was one of our most powerful conferences. We aim to go bigger and better this year. From top-notch speakers to innovative trainings on policy and advocacy to a powerful day lobbying on Capitol Hill, this even is not to be missed. We have already started outlining the agenda for this year’s conference, which is designed to ensure that you have the most informative and inspiring experience possible. If this is your first, fifth, or twentieth conference, you will not be disappointed.
The conference is June 25-28 at the Washington Court Hotel in Washington, DC. RESULTS volunteers can register now through April 30 for only $125, which is a steal (non-volunteers can register for only $225). Don’t miss out on this special event. Go to www.resultsconference.org and register today!
Let Us Know How Your February Book Club Discussions Went. Last month, RESULTS volunteers took action by reading Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates, a critically-acclaimed and award-winning memoire about race in America. As we focus our efforts more and more on addressing the racial wealth gap, we hope to keep this conversation going. Please let us know who your discussions went last month. What did you learn? Did you set next steps? Please e-mail Jos Linn ([email protected]) with your feedback about the book and your local discussions.
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: House: March 4 – 13, March 24 – April 11. Senate: March 21 – April 1. Request face-to-face meetings.
RESULTS Introductory Call, March 9, 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, March 12 at 12:30 pm ET. Join the meeting online at http://fuze.me/28130766 or dial in by phone at (201) 479-4595, meeting ID: 28130766#. Listen to previous webinars on our National Webinars page.
RESULTS Advocacy 101 Training, March 31 at 2:00 pm ET. To join this advocacy training, go to: https://www.fuzemeeting.com/fuze/f2988286/31404402. To join by phone, dial (201) 479-4595, meeting ID 31404402#.
2016 RESULTS International Conference, June 25-28, 2016 in Washington, DC. Register now 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/.