U.S. Poverty Weekly Update March 10, 2015

March 10, 2015

U.S. Poverty Campaigns

Weekly Update | March 10, 2015

“Hunger is a political issue, and there are several things politically that are keeping people hungry – not funding food stamps adequately, not funding school lunches adequately. So there is a political solution to the problem of hunger.”

– Celebrity chef Tom Colicchio

In This Week’s Update:

Quick Action: Urge Congress to Protect Hungry Children and Families

Take Action!

Got Two Minutes? Get Ready for the RESULTS National Meeting This Saturday at 12:30pm ET

Please join us this Saturday, March 14 at 12:30 pm ET for the RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Meeting. With Congress looking at significant cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps), we’ll get you ready to stand up to these attacks with congressional offices and through the media. Please plan to join us for this important call.

Also, please note that we are once again using Fuze Meeting for this call, just as we did last month for the Nicholas Kristof webinar. Please read carefully the instructions below as to how to login online or call in using your phone.

TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes to remind your local RESULTS group about the RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Meeting this Saturday, March 14 at 12:30 pm ET. Coordinate with your group where you will meet for the call. To join the meeting, login at http://fuze.me/28130766. If you cannot join online, you can join via phone by calling (201) 479-4595 and entering meeting ID: 28130766 when prompted. Plan to log in or call in no later than 12:27 pm ET. If you have questions about Fuze or how to log in, please contact Jos Linn at [email protected]. We will have the March 2015 Conference Call Overview slides available later this week on the RESULTS Home Page in the “Take Action” box in the top right-hand corner.

Got Ten Minutes? Use New SNAP Fact Sheets in Your Calls to Ag Aides (March Action)

Now that Congress has resolved the impasse of 2015 funding for the Department of Homeland Security, it is full steam ahead on Capitol Hill with the FY 2016 budget. Unfortunately, it looks more and more like that train will try to steamroll over Americans receiving benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

It began a few weeks ago when Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX-11), the new Chair of the House Agriculture Committee held a hearing about SNAP. It is the first hearing of many he plans as a “top-to-bottom review of the program.” While it is certainly helpful to periodically review any program’s efficacy and make changes to improve performance, that doesn’t seem to be the case here. Remember that Congress just finished a two-year long debate over the last Farm Bill in early 2014 where SNAP was already cut by $8.6 billion. What is there new to review? Sadly, it seems that Rep. Conaway’s SNAP “review” is more about finding ways to cut the program than making it better.

But you don’t have to sit idly by and watch it happen. Back in 2013, House Farm Bill negotiators wanted to cut SNAP by nearly $40 billion. You stood up and said no. As a result of your advocacy and that of allies around the country, those deep cuts were rejected. You can do it again. By calling the agriculture aides in your House and Senate offices, you can tell them that SNAP is too important to play games with. Having them weigh in with budget negotiators can help us protect SNAP once again. To assist you, our friends at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities have updated their SNAP state fact sheets you can use in these conversations.

TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes to call the agriculture aides in your House and Senate offices urging them to tell their bosses to protect SNAP. Specifically, their bosses should tell budget negotiators to reject requests to assign cuts to the Agriculture Committees in the budget resolution (which would come from SNAP). The March Action has talking points for your conversations and background information. If you have questions or need coaching for your calls, please contact Jos Linn ([email protected]). You can find aide names on our Elected Officials page. After your conversations, send the aides a copy of our SNAP Lobby Meeting Request.

Got Twenty Minutes? Call House Schedulers about Town Halls This Week

The House is on recess this week and there’s no better time to talk to them about the 2016 budget. We expect both House and Senate Budget Committees to introduce and debate their respective budget resolutions next week and it’s looking more and more likely that they will try to include SNAP cuts. Time is running out to influence what will be in those budget proposals. Talking with them in person at local events and town halls no only gets them on the record for their stance, it educates in your community about the importance of these programs. Contact schedulers to see if your representative is holding any town hall or public events this week. If he/she is, plan to go and ask a question about protecting SNAP in the 2016 budget.

TAKE ACTION: To twenty minutes to contact your House schedulers about any town halls or public events this week. You can find contact information on our Elected Officials page. If you can attend an event, please contact Meredith Dodson ([email protected]) for coaching on specific questions to ask. Be sure to use SNAP data for your state and poverty data from your congressional district at these events and bring copies of our new SNAP and Tax Credit Lobby Meeting requests to give your members of Congress or their staff. If there are no events to attend this week, request a face-to-face meeting with your representatives and senators for the April recess (March 18-April 12).

More of the Good, More of the Bad in New Tax Bills

There is more good news on our 2015 Economic Mobility campaign. As mentioned last week, Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA-1) has introduced H.R. 902, the Earned Income Tax Credit Improvement and Simplification Act, which would make the 2009 improvements to the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) permanent (see co-sponsors here). We now have its companion bill, H.R. 1286, which would make the 2009 improvements to the Child Tax Credit (CTC) permanent as well. The bill was introduced by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-3) on March 4 and it already has 125 co-sponsors. RESULTS strongly supports these bills and urges all members of Congress to get behind them.

In the Senate, we expect to see the Working Families Tax Relief Act reintroduced any day now. This bill would essentially make the same changes to the EITC and CTC as H.R. 902 and 1286. RESULTS strongly supports this bill as well. But the news is not all good. Last week, Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced their new tax plan, which would make significant and detrimental changes to the tax code. According to our friends at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the plan would eliminate taxes on capital gains and dividends and cut corporate taxes, changes that heavily favor people at the top of the income scale, while allowing provisions to help low-income working families to expire. When meeting with your members of Congress this spring, urge them to co-sponsor H.R. 902, H.R. 1286, and the Working Families Tax Relief Act bills and oppose efforts to cut taxes for the wealthy. See our new Economic Mobility Lobby Meeting Request for details on our requests and use our EITC/CTC action alert to urge your members of Congress to stand up for working families today!

Fundraising Update – Join our 35 for 35 Campaign!

Introducing the 2015 Friends and Family Incentive Program! This year you can earn great RESULTS “swag” by participating in a Friends and Family Campaign (FFC) sometime during the calendar year. That's right! You can earn water bottles, t-shirts, tote bags and fleece pull-overs just for participating in any one of our FFCs in 2015.  

To make it even easier to participate, we are offering even more monthly themes to use for your campaigns. Our new themes include World TB Day, Donate Your Tax Refund, Let Freedom Ring, RESULTS 35th Anniversary , Back to School, and many more. Just check out our updated website for details on each monthly campaign and the new incentive program, then pick the campaign that works best for you or your group. And we are here to help you. Please contact Jen DeFranco ([email protected]) to ask how the development team can support your efforts to make your FFC campaign a success! 

Help us Celebrate 35 years! Our FFC goal for 2015 is $35,000 because it is RESULTS 35th year – 35 for 35!  Will you be part of the celebration by participating in Friends and Family?

Welcome Tade Mengesha!

We are pleased to introduce Tade Mengesha, our 2015 Congressional Hunger Fellow. Tade started last week and will working with our U.S. Poverty Team through the summer. Tade is a native of the Denver, CO area and a graduate of Northwestern University where she studied social policy. Tade spent the first six-months of her Hunger Center Fellowship working for a hunger and health program in Seattle, where she researched and evaluated how the organization’s meals program impacted the health outcomes of its clients. She will spend the next six months working on hunger and tax policy with us here at RESULTS. We are thrilled to have her as part of our team. Welcome Tade!

Upcoming Events – Invite People to These Outreach and Training Events

Upcoming Congressional Recesses: House: March 6-15, March 28-April 12; Senate: March 28-April 12. Request face-to-face meetings.

Meet Up in Birmingham, AL on March 16 at 7:00 pm ET. RESULTS organizer Kristy Martino is traveling southward next week and will be meeting with potential new RESULTS advocates in Birmingham, AL. If you know anyone in the Birmingham area, please invite to meet her at the Urban Standard (2320 2nd Ave N) between 7:00 – 8:30pm CT. Contact Kristy at [email protected] for details.

Group Start Meeting in Atlanta, GA on March 17 at 6:00 pm ET. Join Kristy Martino and other potential volunteers for community outreach event to start a new RESULTS U.S. poverty group in Atlanta. The meeting is at the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library, Central Branch (One Margaret Mitchell Square) in the 3rd Floor meeting room. It is free and open to the public. If you know anyone in Atlanta, please invite them to attend. Contact Kristy at [email protected] for details.

RESULTS Free Agents, March 17 at 1:00 pm and 8:00 pm ET. Our U.S. Poverty Free Agents will meet next week for their monthly support calls. If you live in an area with no active RESULTS U.S. Poverty group, please join us online at: http://fuze.me/27491886 or by phone at (201) 479-4595, Meeting ID: 27491886. Contact Jos Linn ([email protected]) for details.

RESULTS Media Training, March 18 at 8:00 pm ET. Join us for this training on how to get letters to the editor and op-eds published. To join, go to: http://fuze.me/28074102. To join by phone, dial (201) 479-4595 and enter Meeting ID: 28074102.

Tax Policy Training in North Carolina, March 19 at 6:00 pm ET. RESULTS and MomsRising have rescheduled their event, “Putting Working Families First: Building a Fair Tax Policy for All", an evening of discussion, training, and taking action to put working families first in NC. The event is now set for March 19, 6:00 – 7:30 pm ET at Full Frame Theatre, 320 Blackwell Street #101 in Durham, NC. This event will also be the start of a new RESULTS U.S. Poverty chapter for the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area. Contact Kristy Martino at [email protected] for details.

RESULTS Introductory Call, March 27 at 1:00 pm ET. If you are new to RESULTS, learn more about our work by joining our next RESULTS Intro Call. The next call is Friday, March 27 at 1:00 pm ET. Register for this or another call on the RESULTS website.

Group Start in Colorado Springs, April 9 at 6:00 pm MT. On April 9, we’re holding a community outreach event to start a new RESULTS U.S. Poverty group in Colorado Springs, CO. The event is 6:00 – 8:00 pm MT at Old Colorado City Library, Meeting Room, 2418 West Pikes Peak Ave, Colorado Springs, CO. Contact Kristy Martino at [email protected] for details.

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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