U.S. Poverty Weekly Update March 13, 2018

March 13, 2018

U.S. Poverty Campaigns

Weekly Update | March 13, 2018

“I hope policymakers will remember that decisions in Washington deeply affect working families and have a profound impact on children, here in Grand Forks and nationwide.”

– RESULTS Free Agent Kathleen Ness (ND) in a February 26 letter to the editor in Grand Forks Herald

Quick Media Action: Educate Congress about the Importance of Food Assistance and Health Care

Take Action!

Got Two Minutes? Set Up Lobby Meetings (March Action)

How can you make sure that your members of Congress truly understand the importance of protecting SNAP and Medicaid? What would send a strong message to Farm Bill negotiators that families must have enough food on the table? By meeting with them face-to-face. RESULTS volunteers are great at all kinds of advocacy from writing letters to generating media, but face-to-face lobby meetings are their bread and butter. It’s hard not to be effective when you are sitting across the table from decision-makers and their staff. These meetings are one big reason why Medicaid is still intact, why SNAP is not a block grant, and why the EITC and CTC have only gotten bigger in the last ten years.

Congress will be on recess for two weeks starting the weekend of March 23. Set up face-to-face meetings for those weeks so you can do what you do best – making the case for ending poverty.

TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes to contact your House and Senate offices to schedule face-to-face lobby meetings during the upcoming spring recess. Use our online template to customize, print, and send your meeting requests today. The March Action has resources to help you. As you plan for your meeting, make sure you collect all the #LettersGetLOUD letters you’ve generated over the last few weeks to take with you. When you get a meeting or town hall, please contact Meredith Dodson for coaching and materials and visit our U.S. Poverty Campaigns page for updated lobby requests to take to your meetings. And please fill out the RESULTS Lobby Report form after any meeting to let us know what happened.

Got Ten Minutes? Keep Up the #LettersGetLOUD Momentum (March Action)

Our #LettersGetLOUD campaign continues to roll along with RESULTS volunteers from around the country writing and reading their letters to influence lawmakers and engage new advocates. We cannot let up now. We expect House leaders to release their new Farm Bill proposal at any time now, which could include cuts and changes to SNAP. With one in eight Americans still struggling in poverty, we cannot make the situation worse with needless changes to programs that we know work well. That’s why it is imperative that you meet with lawmakers this month during the spring recess (see above) and show them the organizing power you have in your community by delivering as many #LettersGetLOUD letters as possible.

It’s important to remember that #LettersGetLOUD is also a tool to help improve the health of your group. We know that keeping a local advocacy group active and healthy is a tough job, so we designed this campaign to make it easy for you to succeed in growing your group and local Action Networks. This “leading with action” approach creates a simple entry point (writing letters) for new people to take action. Once they see the ease in doing so, they may be inclined to do more. But like any other tool, it only works when you use it.

TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes to schedule your next #LettersGetLOUD meeting and invite new people to attend. Share with people you know the opportunity you already have – the opportunity to make a difference. The March Action and #LettersGetLOUD pages have all resources you need to create a successful meeting, including action sheets, an invitation Laser Talk, meeting sign-in sheets, and more. And don’t forget to share your efforts on social media (check out our volunteers reading letters on Twitter and Facebook) so people from far and wide can see the work you are doing. If you need help with outreach for #LettersGetLOUD, please contact Jos Linn for assistance.

Got Twenty Minutes? Make a List of People to Invite to Lobby Meeting (and Invite Them) (March Action)

As you prepare for face-to-face and aide meetings during the congressional Spring Recess (March 26 – April 6), it’s important to remember that these meetings are not just an important policy moment, they are also key organizing moments. When someone attends a lobby meeting for the first time, it’s thrilling. Nervousness, excitement, determination, passion, relief and a host of other emotions roll over you and no matter how the meeting turns out, you feel energized afterward. You want to do more. RESULTS volunteers know this feeling, but many of our fellow Americans – in fact, most of them – do not. You can give it to them.

Hopefully, you have already been using the #LettersGetLOUD campaign to reach out to new people to write letters and learn more about anti-poverty advocacy. Take that engagement to the next level by inviting these people, be they individual advocates or representatives of partner organizations, to attend your upcoming lobby meetings. Show them firsthand what speaking truth to power looks like.

TAKE ACTION: Take twenty minutes to make a list of people to invite to your lobby meetings during the Spring recess. Invite people who have participated in your recent  #LettersGetLOUD meetings, grasstops leaders you are wanting to build partnerships with, and new people who have yet to get engaged. Once you have your list, start personally contacting people to invite them to your meetings. Don’t get discouraged if people say no – even one additional person is a victory. The March Action has tips for how to make the most of these meetings.

Quick News

Welcome New Emerson Hunger Fellow Funke Aderonmu! We are excited to have our newest Emerson Hunger Fellow Funke Aderonmu join the RESULTS U.S. Poverty team for the next few months.  Funke is from California and is a recent graduate of UC Davis with degrees in economics and international relations. While in college, she was involved in anti-poverty and social justice work both in the US and abroad. She volunteered with the UC Davis Innovation Institute for Food and Health working on local food insecurity issues and later spent time in Kenya working on a project providing clean energy fuels to low and middle-income households. As part of her Fellowship, Funke spent the last six months working with DC Greens, a nonprofit working to advance food justice through food education, food access, and food policy. She now joins us to work on the policy side of hunger and poverty. We are thrilled that Funke can share her talents and gifts with us. She will be here through July. Welcome, Funke!

REAL Changers Have Successful Policy Retreat. Last week, over 60 current and former REAL Change Fellows attended their Mid-Year Policy Retreat in Washington, DC. After getting two days of training, they ascended Capitol Hill last Tuesday for a day of lobbying. They had 100 meetings to discuss U.S. and global poverty issues. REAL Change has become a key asset in our work to end poverty. Many of our current volunteers are REAL Change alums and they are helping blaze the trail for RESULTS’ next generation of leaders. If you or someone you know wants to be a part of this exciting program, apply for the 2018-19 REAL Change class. Spaces are limited so apply today.

Why Come to the RESULTS Conference? Ask Tiffany Hsu. 2014 REAL Change alum Tiffany Hsu has an excellent new RESULTS Blog post sharing about her first experience at the RESULTS International Conference and how it changed the course of her life. She is urging all RESULTS volunteers to set the stage for their next life-changing moment by attending the 2018 RESULTS International Conference, July 14-17 in Washington, DC. Read her story and then go to www.resultsconference.org to register today.

Apply for Scholarship Assistance to Come to DC. If you are an active U.S. Poverty volunteer and need help with travel or lodging costs for the RESULTS International Conference, apply for scholarship assistance at www.tinyurl.com/RESULTSScholUS.

Generate Media to Protect SNAP and Medicaid. Have you sent in a letter to the editor lately? If not, use our online template to send a letter today urging your members of Congress to oppose cuts or structural changes to SNAP and Medicaid.

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.

Upcoming U.S. Poverty staff time out of the office: Meredith Dodson, March 9-13. Jos Linn, March 21-25.

U.S. Poverty Free Agents Calls, Tuesday, March 20 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#.

RESULTS Introductory Call, Thursday, March 22 at 8:30 pm ET. To participate, call (712) 775-8972, passcode: 761262. Register here.

House and Senate Recess, March 26 – April 6. After any lobby meeting, please complete the RESULTS Lobby Report Form to let us know how it went.

RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Webinar, Tuesday, April 3 at 8:00 pm ET. Participate at http://fuze.me/32255914 or (201) 479-4595, Meeting ID: 32255914#.

RESULTS Introductory Call, Wednesday, April 4 at 8:30 pm ET. To participate, call (712) 775-8972, passcode: 761262. Register here.

RESULTS Introductory Call, Friday, April 20 at 1:00 pm ET. To participate, call (712) 775-8972, passcode: 761262. Register here.

2018 RESULTS International Conference, July 14-17, 2018, Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington, D.C. Registration is now open – register today. Watch our new 2018 Conference video and share it (along with our flyer) with others you know!


Other Resources

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 them to RESULTS Grassroots Board Member Steven McGee at [email protected]. View the most recently published Board minutes on the RESULTS website, as well as RESULTS’ most recent Annual Report.

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