U.S. Poverty Weekly Update March 26, 2019

March 26, 2019

Quote of the Week

“Everyone deserves a roof over their head.”

–  RESULTS Oklahoma advocate Mark Cagle in a March 23 letter to the editor in the Tahlequah Daily Press


Note that the U.S. Poverty National Webinar is next Tuesday, April 2 at 8:00 pm ET. Please make plans for where and with whom you will do the webinar. Find more details about the webinar in our Events Calendar and in next week’s Update.


Got Two Minutes? Ask Your Members of Congress to Sign Onto Housing “Dear Colleague” Letter (deadlines this week)

Every year members of Congress have a chance to submit their priority requests to the Appropriations Committees to fund their priority issues. Right now, Congress is in the thick of that annual process. To build broad support for increasing housing assistance by $5 billion (over two years) and get approximately 340,000 new families Housing Choice Vouchers, RESULTS is focused on House and Senate “Dear Colleague” letters – a great tool for members of Congress to collectively show that increased resources for rental assistance is a priority. Help get as many signers as you can. The deadline to get House signers is this Friday, March 29 and Senate signers is next Monday, April 1. Please follow the instructions below to get your members of Congress on the letters.

TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes to get your representative and senators on the housing “Dear Colleague” letter THIS WEEK. Use these tips from RESULTS Senior Advisor for Global Policy & Government Affairs Crickett Nicovich to get your request seen:

  1. Check this chart to see if your representative and senators have already signed onto the House and Senate letters. If the answer is yes, send a quick thank you to the housing aide. If the answer is no (or “I don’t know”), go to the next step.
  2. Coordinate with your group ASAP to confirm that the point persons for each member of Congress will make the request.
  3. Draft an email to the congressional staffer who covers housing but don’t send it yet. See below for sample language.
  4. Call the housing staffer in Washington, DC to ask that his/her boss to sign the letter (find office contact info here). If you get the staffer, great! Tell him/her why you are calling and ask for the sign-on (you can adapt talking points from below). If you don’t get the staffer on the phone, please leave a voicemail.
  5. Send the email, either thanking them for talking to you and reiterating your request or saying that you left a voicemail and this is your follow up to it.
  6. If you haven’t gotten a response by tomorrow, hit Reply All on your e-mail asking if they got your previous request and to sign on to the letter.
  7. If they are submitting their own appropriations requests, they may ask you to fill out a form asking for specific details on the account. Immediately contact Crickett ([email protected]) for help.

Sample e-mail (please read and personalize to the recipient):

Dear _____________________,

Thanks for taking a moment to chat about Housing with me / I just left you a voicemail about Housing issues and RESULTS priorities. I want to follow up with a quick email on the details.

We know that millions of low-income working families struggle to find affordable housing in the U.S. A National Low-Income Housing Coalition study shows that a worker making the prevailing minimum wage cannot afford a two-bedroom apartment anywhere in the U.S., and the supply of rental units available for less than $800/month has dropped by 261,000 since 2005 (Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University). Currently only one in four eligible low-income households receives federal housing assistance. An increase of $5 billion in Housing Choice Vouchers would help address the housing crisis, funding 340,000 new “Section 8” vouchers over two years.

Rep. Nadler is circulating a sign-on letter to demonstrate support for substantial new investments in housing assistance, with a deadline of March 29. / Sen. Merkley is circulating a sign-on letter to demonstrate support for substantial new investments in housing assistance, with a deadline of April 1.

[Add anything personal you want]

Will your boss sign on to the Nadler letter / Merkley letter (or: include $24 billion for Tenant Based Rental Assistance in his/her personal requests for the THUD FY20 bill)? It would be great to see Rep. _______________ work with Chair Price and Ranking Member Diaz-Balart / Sen. _______________ work with Chair Collins and Ranking Member Reed to make a meaningful difference in getting more low-income families access to housing in the next fiscal year. In addition, if you have a form for official submission that you’d like me to fill in, please send that my way.

Thank you.

[Your name and city]

Got Ten Minutes? Keep Working to Get April Meetings (March Action)

We are less than three weeks from the April congressional recess. As noted above, the budget process is picking up steam and members need to hear from you now on the importance of housing assistance. Millions of families across the country struggle each day to keep a roof over the heads. You have the chance to help them by getting face-to-face meetings during the April recess (April 15-26). Don’t wait until their schedules are full – submit your requests now!

TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes to request face-to-face meetings for the April recess to talk about affordable housing. Use the March Action and our meeting request (online or Word doc) to request meetings now (use the Legislator Lookup tool to find scheduler names). Please contact Meredith Dodson when you get a meeting scheduled for lobby coaching (find lobbying resources on our lobbying page). We will discuss the recess on next Tuesday’s National Webinar (8:00 p.m. ET).

Got Twenty Minutes? Connect with New People to Build the Movement to End Poverty

One of the objectives of our Set the Agenda campaign is to build the movement to end poverty by introducing new people to the work of RESULTS. Many of you have already done that by inviting new people to attend lobby meetings, outreach events, and fundraisers. Thank you. It important to keep reaching out to people in your community about how important their voices are to our work. Inviting new people to advocate on these issues will hasten our success. See tips below for reaching out to new people this month.

TAKE ACTION: Take twenty minutes to cultivate potential new volunteers and allies by doing the following:

  • Reach out to new people to attend lobby meetings or other events with you. If you invited someone earlier, invite them again. Keep giving them opportunities to take action.
  • Organize a letter-writing event in your area. Reach out to people you know to come write letters about funding for affordable housing in the federal budget.
  • Reach out to local housing organizations. Find out what kind of work they are doing and explore ways you can work together (offer to do an advocacy training, invite them to a lobby meeting, etc.).
  • Every time you have a new person attend a RESULTS meeting or event, ask for their name, phone, and e-mail up front. Don’t wait and risk them leaving before they can provide it to you.
  • When a new person attends a RESULTS meeting or event, designate one person to follow up with them by phone. Call to ask what promoted them to come, how they liked the meeting, and what level of involvement they would like to have. The key is to be proactive. Go to them; don’t just hope that they’ll come back. And remember, our staff regularly lead RESULTS orientation calls that are ideal for helping new people learn about RESULTS.

Quick News

Last Week to Secure $10,000 Match. We’re only 5 donors away from getting our full $10,000 match ($500 for every new monthly donor) for our March Investors in Change campaign. But time is running out; you only have until this Sunday, March 31 to sign up. Help us meet the full match by Becoming an Investor in Change today (and inviting someone else to join you)!

Come to the RESULTS International Conference. Register for the 2019 RESULTS International Conference, July 13-16 in Washington, DC today. Watch our new International Conference video, share it, and then register today!

Keep Up the Media Blitz! RESULTS volunteers have gotten 45 U.S. poverty media pieces published in March. Wow! Let’s make it at least an even 50 before the end of the month. Use our online letter to the editor action to send your letter today.

Upcoming Events

Tuesday, April 2: RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Webinar, 8:00 pm ET. Join at: https://results.zoom.us/j/873308801 or dial (929) 436-2866 or (669) 900-6833, Meeting ID: 873 308 801. Find recordings and slides from previous webinars on the National Webinars page.

Wednesday, April 3: RESULTS Action Network Community of Practice webinar, 8:00pm ET. To join, log in: https://results.zoom.us/j/427674133 or dial in: 669-900-6833, Meeting ID: 427 674 133. You can also join our Facebook and e-mail groups.

RESULTS New Advocate Orientation, Thursday, April 4 (8:30pm ET); Tuesday, April 9 (12:00 pm ET); Wednesday, April 17 (8:30pm ET). Get started at: https://results.salsalabs.org/volunteer/index.html.

Monday, April 15-Friday, April 26: Congressional Recess. Submit your meeting requests today.

Tuesday, April 16, U.S. Poverty Free Agents Calls, 1:00 pm and 8:00 pm ET. Join at: https://results.zoom.us/j/324294681 or dial by phone at (929) 436-2866 or (669) 900-6833, Meeting ID: 324 294 681.

Saturday, July 13-Tuesday, July 16, 2019: RESULTS International Conference. Register today at www.resultsconference.org!

Find other events on the RESULTS Events Calendar.

U.S. Poverty Staff time out of the office: Meredith Dodson, March 29, April 15-19.

Other Resources

Learn more about the RESULTS Experts on Poverty.

Report lobby meetings in our Lobby Report Form and report any published media in our Grassroots Media Form.

If you have a question, comment, or suggestion for the RESULTS/REF Board, please e-mail Steven McGee at [email protected]. View Board minutes and Annual Reports.

RESULTS Staff directory.

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