U.S. Poverty Weekly Update March 18, 2014

March 18, 2014

If we want more Americans to gain upward mobility, we must support policies meant to increase economic self-sufficiency.

— RESULTS Montana volunteer Karen Cunningham in a March 13 op-ed in the Daily Interlake

New and Urgent in This Week's Update (Two-Ten-Twenty Actions)

Latest from Washington, DC

Organizational Updates

Got Two Minutes? Call House and Senate Schedulers about Meetings and Town Halls

Representatives and senators are home this week on recess, which means it’s time to follow up on your face-to-face meeting requests. RESULTS volunteers are already making the most of the recess. Yesterday, volunteers in Baltimore had a great meeting with Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MA-7). In addition, volunteers in Cincinnati, Houston, and Connecticut have meetings scheduled or plan to attend town halls this week. Make the most of the time your members of Congress are home. Call today about getting on their schedule this week!

TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes to call or e-mail the schedulers for your members of Congress to set up face-to-face meetings during this week’s recess. Remember, you can’t get on their schedule if you don’t make the request. Use our downloadable meeting request letter or our online version to make your requests today. Also ask the schedulers about town halls or public events you can attend this week (you can check congressional websites for local events as well). Find aide names, contact info, and website links on our Elected Officials page. Be sure to put in requests for all the representatives your group covers and both senators in your state. Use our U.S. Poverty Town Hall Questions to ask a question at the event and take a copy of our 2014 Economic Mobility Request Sheet when you go to your meeting.

Because Meredith Dodson is on vacation this week, please contact Jos Linn ([email protected]) for help in preparing for your meetings or town halls.

Got Ten Minutes? Urge Members of Congress to Support Families Facing Financial Hardship (March Action)

As reported in the New York Times this week, today’s economy is just not working for millions of low-wage workers in the United States. If we don’t start investing in policies that help lift and keep people out of poverty, this problem is only going to get worse. As authors Eric Liu and Nick Hanauer say in The Gardens of Democracy, our economy has to be watched, cultivated, and maintained like a garden, otherwise imbalances appear and threaten the entire system (e.g. the Great Recession).This is why RESULTS is focusing on economic mobility in our 2014 U.S. Poverty campaigns.

As part of that effort, we want to help families save for the future. For decades, policymakers have recognized the importance of building savings and assets to the American economy. We invest hundreds of billions of dollars each year in helping people build wealth. Incentives for owning a home, saving for retirement, and investing in the stock market are just a few of the tax breaks available to Americans. Unfortunately, the benefits of these and other tax provisions overwhelmingly benefit the wealthy while low-income taxpayers are left out in the cold.

RESULTS supports the Financial Security Credit (FSC). The FSC would help low-income Americans receive some of the benefits of our national asset building efforts. By making it easy for people to save at tax time and giving them a partial match for their savings, we help low-income individuals and families weather those financial emergencies and build a better future.

TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes to take the March Action. Write letters to your members of Congress about the Financial Security Credit and urge them to talk to tax leaders about including it in any new tax legislation. Also urge your House members co-sponsor H.R.2917, the Financial Security Credit Act of 2013. The March Action has talking points and background information to help you. For more information about the FSC and our 2014 Economic Mobility Campaign, check out our resources from last weekend’s March U.S. Poverty National Conference Call.

Got Twenty Minutes? Use Your “What is RESULTS” Laser Talk for Meetings and Outreach

On our March RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Conference Call, RESULTS San Fernando Valley volunteer Anita Lee walked us through our new Financial Security Credit Laser Talk. This is a great resource to educate your members of Congress about low-income asset building and the Financial Security Credit during this week’s recess. But there’s also another laser talk you should always have at the ready. That is your “What is RESULTS” Laser Talk. As long-time volunteers well know, there are a lot of people – members of Congress, the media, community members, and potential new volunteers – who know nothing of RESULTS. Your What is RESULTS Laser Talk gives them the basics of who we are and what we do. And because it’s your story, it’s an easy laser talk to create.

Do you have your What is RESULTS Laser Talk? If someone asks you “what is RESULTS?” how would you answer? All of us have been or will be asked to explain RESULTS. Being prepared for that question is better than stumbling to figure out what to say on the spot. With many of you potentially meeting members of Congress this week, you’ll want to have your RESULTS Laser Talk ready to go. That not only means knowing what you want to say but practicing it (things are typically not as eloquent out loud as we hope the first time we say them). And we have a great suggestion for how to practice.

In April, we are planning a big national outreach event to introduce new people to RESULTS. Our hope is that new people will join your groups, form new groups, and become new Free Agents. We’ll have more details and an exciting announcement about that in the coming weeks, but for now, help lay the groundwork for a successful outreach event by practicing your RESULTS Laser Talk with someone new. Call up a friend, have coffee with someone, send someone a personal e-mail, chat with someone on Facebook – use your RESULTS Laser Talk to tell them about RESULTS and invite them to get involved.

TAKE ACTION: Take twenty minutes to draft and practice your RESULTS Laser Talk. The key to any great laser talk is to tell a story. Use your RESULTS experiences to craft a powerful laser talk about RESULTS, why you do it, and inviting them to learn more. If you’re unsure what to say, see our “What is RESULTS?” Laser Talk on our website (and our Activist Toolkit on how to write an EPIC Laser Talk). Once you have your talk written and practiced a couple of times, contact someone you want to learn more about RESULTS and do your laser talk for them. This will not only prepare you for the inevitable “What is RESULTS?” question you’ll get in meetings and correspondence, but help get new people involved in our work.

If you need help with crafting or practicing your laser talk (before you try it out on someone new), please contact Jos Linn ([email protected]).

Outreach and Training – Welcome Iowa City, Free Agents and Media Calls Tonight

RESULTS would like to welcome our newest U.S. Poverty group! Last week, RESULTS Grassroots Manager Jos Linn traveled to Iowa City, IA to help start a new group. With the help of some dedicated and fastidious planners and inviters, we had nearly 20 people in the room for the presentation. It was a great discussion and in the end, ten people chose to form a new RESULTS group (seven people at the meeting plus three more who want to join but could not be there). The group starts its “new group training” on March 25. It’s not too late to get involved. If you or someone you know is interested in joining the Iowa City group, please contact Jos at [email protected]. Welcome Iowa City!

RESULTS Free Agents Calls TODAY at 1pm and 9pm ET. If you live in an area with no active RESULTS group, we invite you to join our RESULTS U.S. Poverty Free Agents. Our Free Agents meet monthly via conference call to give each other support in taking action on our issues. The next RESULTS U.S. Poverty Free Agents Calls are today, March 18 at 1:00 pm ET and 9:00 pm ET (choose whichever call is most convenient for you). The call-in number is (443) 453-0034, passcode 703096.

RESULTS Media Support Webinar TONIGHT at 8pm ET. The RESULTS Media Support Team is also meeting tonight, March 18 at 8:00 pm ET. RESULTS Deputy Director of Communications Colin Smith will be leading the discussion about editorials. Editorials are almost always based on relationships developed over time with the editorial board of your community newspaper. Learn how to approach editors and make a positive impression. To participate, go to http://fuze.me/23656947. To join by phone, dial (201) 479-4595, meeting number: 23656947.

Finally, RESULTS staff will be doing presentations in the next few weeks to expand RESULTS’ reach and impact. If you know people in these areas, please let us know.

  • March 23: Meredith Dodson ([email protected]) will be presenting at Ecumenical Advocacy Days in Washington, DC.
  • March 26-27: Myrdin Thompson will be in Memphis, TN to work on starting a new group there. Contact Myrdin for details ([email protected]).
  • April 1: RESULTS Gig Harbor (WA) Group Start Meeting, 6:30 pm PT, 87 Raft Island, Gig Harbor, WA. Contact Jos Linn for details ([email protected]).
  • April 4-6: Meredith and Kristy Martino will be doing outreach in New Hampshire and Maine. Contact Kristy Martino for details ([email protected]).
  • April 9: Meredith Dodson will be in Boston meeting with volunteers there. For details, contact Meredith at [email protected].

Register for the RESULTS International Conference; REAL Change Deadline is THIS Friday

The RESULTS/RESULTS Educational Fund 2014 International Conference kicks off on June 21 here in Washington, DC, and this year, we're offering participants the opportunity to go deep into particular focus areas – leadership and media skills – during the first day of the conference.

Ending poverty and giving everyone the opportunity to realize their potential will require leadership – not just from those in appointed or paid positions, but from all of us. But what kind of leadership is required of us? In the 20th anniversary edition of the book, Reclaiming Our Democracy, RESULTS founder Sam Daley-Harris outlines commitments needed by any organization wishing to successfully empower and transform average people into leaders and champions. Leadership Day 2014 at the conference (June 21) will draw on these commitments to strengthen the leadership of anyone ready to create breakthroughs in expressing their own political power, inspiring others to action, honing our ability to speak powerfully and coach others, building deep relationships, and engaging others in our work.

Or perhaps you know how to write a great letter to the editor, but wonder what's next? Media Skills Day 2014 (also on June 21) will take the long view on our work with the media, exploring how to "think like a journalist," build strong media relationships, make national and global issues relevant to our local communities, and maximize the impact of our media successes. Participants will get hands-on practice, hear straight from journalists, and leave with resources to support them in their future media successes.

No matter which skills track you chose, we look forward to seeing you at the RESULTS/RESULTS Educational Fund 2014 International Conference opening celebration beginning at 1:15pm on Saturday, June 21! We need your voice and your vision with us this June to reach policymakers and the media and shape national and global political priorities. Register for the conference TODAY!

Also, remember that applications for the REAL Change Fellowship Program are due this Friday, March 21! RESULTS will train you, bring you to the International Conference, and support you in getting RESULT started in your community. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity. If you are between the ages of 18 and 28 years old, we urge you to apply for the fellowship today.  To learn more, check out www.results.org/realchange and encourage others you know to apply!

Quick News

Conference Call Guest LaNae Havens Profiled in Local Paper. RESULTS volunteer and Circles Leader LaNae Havens, and a guest speaker on this month’s National Conference Call, was profiled in an excellent article in the Albuquerque Journal this past weekend. The article recounts the financial struggles LaNae has faced as a single mom, and how Circles and RESULTS helped her to her turn things around and encouraged her to share her story with policymakers. Check out the piece and share it with people you know. And it’s not too late to generate your own media about poverty in America by taking the February Action. If you need help, please contact Jos Linn ([email protected]) or Deputy Communications Director Colin Smith ([email protected]). We thank LaNae for sharing her story and inspiring others to make a difference in the world. Note that LaNae will be a guest speaker at the RESULTS International Conference this June – register today!

Thank Senators for Reauthorizing Child Care Assistance. By a vote of 96-2, the Senate has voted to reauthorize the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG). This is the first time CCDBG has been reauthorized in nearly 20 years. The bill (S.1086) will improve the health and safety of children in child care settings, make it easier for families to get and keep the child care assistance they need, enable children to have more stable child care, and strengthen the overall quality of child care. Call your Senate offices today at (202) 224-3121 (you can find your senators on the RESULTS Elected Officials page) and leave a message with the receptionist thanking your senators for voting yes to help working parents and their children access quality, affordable child care.

Watch “Paycheck to Paycheck” Free for the Next Week. The HBO documentary Paycheck to Paycheck: The Life & Times of Katrina Gilbert premiered last night. RESULTS Organizer Kristy Martino commented after seeing it, “There are many unknowns about those living in poverty. Documentaries like Paycheck to Paycheck serve us all, even in showing just one face.  The more we can relate to those in need and step back from statistics and graphs, the more likely we are to feel compelled to make a change.” If you did not see it, you can watch it for free online until March 24. You can also go to ShriverReport.org to learn more about the documentary and events designed to raise awareness of poverty in America.

For updates on all our U.S. Poverty Campaigns, see our 2014 U.S. Poverty Campaigns Overview on the RESULTS website.

Fundraising Update – RESULTS Educational Fund is a Four Star Organization!

You probably already knew that RESULTS Educational Fund is top notch poverty-fighting organization, but did you know that we have a 4-star rating by Charity Navigator, America's premier independent charity evaluator? Charity Navigator is often a first stop for potential donors who want to research us online. If they haven't heard about us before, it's an important step for many people in their giving decision. So, in your outreach and fundraising, be sure to mention our 4-star Charity Navigator status, so our donors can feel great about their contributions to RESULTS!

Also, if you’d like to receive one of our new “Fundraiser to Go” resource kit in the mail to throw your own Celebration of Everyday Heroes, please contact Cindy Levin or Jen DeFranco.


Please Send in Your 2014 Group Plans! If you have not submitted your 2014 Group Plan Summary, please submit a copy to Jos Linn at [email protected]. You can find all the Group Planning materials on our Group Resources page.

Give Feedback to Grassroots Board Members. The four RESULTS Grassroots Board Members (Heide Craig, Lydia Pendley, Ginnie Vogts, and Beth Wilson) would like to hear from you if you have questions or ideas about RESULTS and our work. Send your questions or suggestions to Heide at: [email protected].

RESULTS Activity Calendar

(See a complete calendar on the RESULTS website)

Upcoming Congressional Recesses: House and Senate: March 17-21, April 14-25. Request face-to-face meetings.

Tuesday, March 18: RESULTS Media Support Webinar, 8:00 pm ET. Join online at: http://fuze.me/23656947. To join by phone, dial (201) 479-4595, meeting number: 23656947

Tuesday, March 18: RESULTS U.S. Poverty Free Agents Calls, 1:00pm ET and 9:00 pm ET. (443) 453-0034, passcode 703096.

Friday, March 28: RESULTS Introductory Call, 1:00 pm ET. Register for this or another Intro Call at https://results.org/take_action/become_a_results_activist/.

Tuesday, April 1: RESULTS Gig Harbor (WA) Group Start Meeting, 6:30 pm PT. 87 Raft Island, Gig Harbor, WA. Contact Jos Linn for more details ([email protected]).

Saturday, June 21 – Tuesday, June 24: RESULTS International Conference, Washington, DC. REGISTER TODAY!

RESULTS Contact Information

Main Office: (p) (202) 783-7100, (f) (202) 466-1397, 1101 15th St NW, Suite 1200, Washington, DC 20005. If mailing a donation to our DC office, please address the envelope to the attention of Cynthia Stancil.

RESULTS U.S. Poverty Legislative and Grassroots Support Staff:

The RESULTS U.S. Poverty Update is sent out every Tuesday via email to RESULTS volunteers and allies all over the country. The purpose of these updates is to inform and activate RESULTS activists to take action on our U.S. poverty campaigns.

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