U.S. Poverty Weekly Update March 20, 2018

March 20, 2018

U.S. Poverty Campaigns

Weekly Update | March 20, 2018

“A life of poverty is already filled with logistical obstacles and stigma. It is exceptionally cruel to add hardship that makes it emotionally and physically more difficult for kids to excel at school and for adults to hold secure employment.”

– RESULTS St. Louis volunteer Cindy Changyit Levin in a March 15 op-ed in St. Louis Jewish Light

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

Take Action!

Got Two Minutes? The Best Thing to Do This Week – Request a Meeting (March Action)

What is the best two minutes you can spend this week? Reading Tweets from the President? Playing with a fidget spinner? Standing in the closet trying to decide what to wear? While those things may be fun, they are not the best thing you can do. The best two minutes you can do is contact your congressional offices to request a meeting during the upcoming spring recess. Why the best? Because you are good at it. RESULTS volunteers are some of the best advocates around and you’ve made great things happen. How? By talking with lawmakers face-to-face. But if that’s not reason enough, then remember that this can’t wait. Politicians continue their attacks on Americans experiencing poverty and we need every voice we can muster to join them in this fight to protect access to food assistance and health care.

TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes to contact your House and Senate offices to schedule face-to-face lobby meetings during the spring recess (March 26-April 6). The March Action has resources to help including a template for making this request (you can also use our online template), and be sure to check out our Winter 2018 Nutrition and Health Laser Talk (Word version). When contacting offices, also ask about town halls during the recess too (and visit www.townhallproject.com). 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. And please fill out the RESULTS Lobby Report form afterward to let us know how it went.

Got Ten Minutes? Farm Bill Hits Snag Over SNAP – Use #LettersGetLOUD to Protect It (March Action)

Who knew that simply writing letters would create so much enthusiasm? But that’s exactly what you have done with the #LettersGetLOUD campaign. And you can bet it makes a difference. With all the attention in the media and Congress on other issues, your efforts at breaking through the noise means that when poverty issues are discussed, more likely than not you had a hand in it. That’s why we need to keep this up.

Just last week, news broke that efforts to create a bipartisan Farm Bill have stalled because of proposed changes to SNAP (formerly food stamps) that Democratic members of the House Agriculture Committee had not seen. Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-MN-7) protested so Committee Chair Mike Conaway (R-TX-11) decided to delay release of the proposal to continue negotiations.

That gives you more time to use #LettersGetLOUD to write more letters about protecting SNAP, getting others to do the same, and delivering these letters to lawmakers in your lobby meetings. Take the Northern Virginia RESULTS group as an example – they have delivered 90 letters to members of Congress in the last few weeks. Follow in their footsteps by continuing your letter-writing this month and delivering them in your upcoming lobby meetings.

TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes write your next round of #LettersGetLOUD letters at your March RESULTS meeting and invite new people to join you. Focus on urging your members of Congress to tell Agriculture Committee members to protect SNAP from cuts, structural changes, or further restrictions on access (such as stricter time limits on benefits). Make sure to share your efforts on social media (be sure to “tag” your members of Congress through their Facebook and Twitter accounts), then deliver the letters to your members of Congress during the spring recess. If you are not able to secure a meeting with them for this recess, drop the letters off at their local office and work on generating more for when you do get a meeting. If you need help, please contact Jos Linn for assistance.

Got Twenty Minutes? Good Start for 2018, Now Let’s Ramp It Up

As we approach the end of the first quarter of 2018, let’s take stock and celebrate the work you’ve accomplished so far this year. You’ve gotten off to another great start. The grid below shows the status of our U.S. Poverty work through the number of face-to-face lobby meetings, media published, outreach, and volunteer recruitment. Congratulations!

2018 U.S. Poverty Success Grid      
  Total to Date (2017) 2018 Goal Details
Face-to-Face Mtgs 16 (36) 200 6 Senators, 10 Representatives
Media 42 (126) 500 38 LTEs, 3 Op-Eds in 19 states
# of people reached through outreach 121 500 #LettersGetLOUD meetings and 7 formal outreach events
# of new U.S. Poverty volunteers from existing groups 4 100  

However, there is always room for improvement. As you can see, we have some ambitious goals for this year and we are still poised to meet them. But we’ll have to work to get there. Remember, our work is not to increase these numbers for numbers sake. These are ways we use to measure the impact you have on our issues. And obviously, the more success you have, the bigger the impact.

TAKE ACTION: Take twenty minutes to review our 2018 U.S. Poverty Success Grid and use it as motivation. Review your 2018 group plan and see where you are in your own goals. How can reaching your group or individual goals add to our organizational goals? Or if you have yet to complete your group plan (it’s not too late!), what goals can you set to maximize your impact on our issues? One easy way to make an impact is through the media. Use our online media alert to send a letter to the editor today urging members of Congress to protect families needing food assistance and health care.

We will update this grid each week so you can see our overall progress on our 2018 goals. If you have questions or would like to strategize ways to maximize your impact, please contact Jos Linn.

April National Webinars Will Focus on Anti-Oppression Efforts

RESULTS wants to play an active role in calling out and dismantling systemic forms of oppression. We realize that if we are to achieve our mission of ending poverty, we must open our ranks to everyone, especially those experiencing oppression, and we must actively work to dismantle the built-in mechanisms of oppression. The challenge for many of us is that, if we are not part of an oppressed group, we may not recognize when oppression is occurring nor understand the experiences of those affected. Therefore, part of our anti-oppression effort must be our own personal learning – to understand what is going on, how oppression affects others, and how we can undo the structures that perpetuate it.

Our U.S. Poverty National Webinar on April 3 (as well as the Global Poverty National Webinar on April 14) will focus on understanding this issue, what RESULTS is doing about it, and how to address these issues locally. We’re also planning additional trainings on April 17 and May 15 to keep this conversation going. We hope you will join us. This will be the start of a journey for some of us, and the continuation of a journey for others. Our goal is to give everyone in RESULTS an opportunity to learn about systemic oppression and how we can be allies and activists in dismantling it.

Quick News

No State Has Enough Affordable Housing. On average, for every 100 extremely low-income families, there are only 35 affordable rental homes available in the U.S., according to the Affordable Rental Home Gap Map from the National Low-Income House Coalition. Not one county has enough affordable rental space to meet its need, resulting in a seven million homes shortage. Lack of affordable housing particularly impacts black and Latino households and can result in poor health outcomes, chronic psychological stress, instability, and a cycle of eviction. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is tasked with addressing the housing shortage but funding for HUD has decreased since 2010 and it’s not likely to improve. In fact, President Trump and HUD Secretary Ben Carson have proposed cuts to HUD programs that would result in 200,000 people losing federal rental assistance. Read more in the NLIHC “The Gap” report.

Let’s Get Moving! Come to the 2018 RESULTS Conference. Have you registered for the  2018 RESULTS International Conference, July 14-17 in Washington, DC? It’s less than four months away. Don’t miss out on RESULTS’ biggest event of the year. Early bird rates are still available so go to www.resultsconference.org to register today! And if you are an active U.S. Poverty volunteer and need help with travel or lodging costs for the Conference, apply for scholarship assistance at www.tinyurl.com/RESULTSScholUS. Preference is given to those who apply before April 15.

Apply for REAL Change. We are still accepting applications for the 2018-19 REAL Change Fellowship. If you are 18-30 years old and want to make a difference on ending poverty, apply today for this exciting opportunity.

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: 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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