U.S. Poverty Weekly Update March 31, 2015

March 31, 2015

U.S. Poverty Campaigns

Weekly Update | March 31, 2015

“We have a short window to stop Congress from putting cuts and changes to SNAP on the “fast track”. Our senators and representatives need to protect vulnerable children and disabled from these harmful cuts.”

–RESULTS Bremerton volunteer Diana Tyree-Eddy in a March 26 letter to the editor in Kitsap Sun

In This Week’s Update:

Quick Action: Use the Media to Help Protect SNAP

Take Action!

Got Two Minutes? Attend a Town Hall during the Congressional Recess

Congress is on recess the next two weeks. With members back home, this is an ideal and important time to talk to them about protecting SNAP. Last week, the House and Senate passed their respective budget resolutions, both of which could lead to deep cuts to SNAP (learn more below and on the RESULTS Blog). When Congress reconvenes in mid-April, they will work to finalize a budget. Meeting with members of Congress and attending town halls in the next two week could make a big difference on what that looks like. Members of Congress need to hear from constituents back home that cuts to SNAP hurt real people and should not be a part of any final budget proposal. Tell them to stand up for hungry children and families by protecting SNAP.

TAKE ACTION: To two minutes to contact your House and Senate schedulers to see if your members of Congress are doing any town halls during the recess that you can attend during the recess (you can also check to see if you can get a last-minute face-to-face meeting; if you can’t, ask for one the next time they’re home). You can find contact information on our Elected Officials page. See our Activist Toolkit for a guide in making the most of town hall meetings. Once you get a meeting or town hall confirmed, please contact Meredith Dodson ([email protected]) for coaching on specific requests for your meeting. Be sure to bring copies of our SNAP and Tax Credit Lobby Meeting requests to these events.

Got Ten Minutes? Send in Your Letter to the Editor about Protecting SNAP (April Action)

Before leaving on recess, the House and Senate both passed their respective FY 2016 budget resolutions. The vote in the House was 228-199 and the vote in the Senate was 52-46. The House proposal is the worse of the two, which includes deep cuts and dramatic changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps). Estimates are that if the House SNAP cuts are enacted, 11-12 million Americans could their SNAP benefits. The House budget would fast track these cuts using the budget reconciliation process and would also convert SNAP into a block grant, leading to even more cuts in the program. The Senate budget does not assign cuts to SNAP specifically but it does assume cuts to various “mandatory” programs, which includes SNAP. Fortunately, the Senate proposal does not discuss block granting SNAP nor using reconciliation to enact SNAP cuts.

The goal over the next month is to keep SNAP cuts out of the final budget resolution or, at the very least, keep any proposed cuts out of the reconciliation process (which makes them easier to pass). Getting media published about protecting SNAP while members of Congress are home on recess is an excellent way to reach that goal. Send in your letter to the editor or op-ed today telling your representatives and senators to protect SNAP.

TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes to draft a letter to the editor or outline an op-ed about protecting SNAP in the 2016 budget. The April Action has talking points and resources to help you. In addition, the USDA just released new SNAP fact sheets for all U.S. congressional districts and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has state SNAP fact sheets as well. If you are short on time, use our SNAP LTE alert to send your letter today. Finally, if you’d like to up your media game and urge your local paper to write an editorial about protecting SNAP, we have a new SNAP editorial memo on the RESULTS website you can send to writers and editors. If you need help with your media work this month, please contact Jos Linn ([email protected]) for assistance.

Got Twenty Minutes? Register for the RESULTS International Conference and Invite Others to Join You

Have you registered for the 2015 RESULTS International Conference yet? It will be here sooner than you think. We are excited to announce that Dr. Jim Kim, President of the World Bank, will be joining us for this year’s conference. He will be speaking at our Congressional Reception on Tuesday, July 21 (start thinking of members of Congress you’d like to invite, more details later!). Dr. Kim joins our list of distinguished speakers coming to this year’s conference, including Jeffrey Sachs, Sister Simone Campbell, and Sen. Sherrod Brown.

If you’ve been to a RESULTS conference before, you know that it’s well worth your time and money. You’ll hear world-renowned speakers, you’ll get excellent policy and advocacy training, you’ll get to meet face-to-face with members of Congress and their staff, and you’ll get to have a lot of fun. This is RESULTS’ 35th Anniversary and we’ll be having a big party to celebrate at the conference. So why not share such an amazing experience with someone you know? Invite them to attend the conference with you and see for themselves how powerful an experience the RESULTS International Conference really is.

Don’t wait! Register for the 2015 RESULTS International Conference TODAY!

TAKE ACTION: To twenty minutes to get ready for an amazing experience at this year’s RESULTS International Conference:

  1. Register for the conference today. Registration is only $100 for active RESULTS volunteers (and only $200 for new folks). To secure a lower room rate at the Washington Court Hotel for our conference attendees, RESULTS is handling the hotel booking this year. Therefore, you will have to book and pay for your hotel room through the RESULTS website. You can change or cancel your hotel reservation for a full refund before June 1.
  2. Invite someone you know to attend the conference. Invite a friend, relative, fellow group member, or just someone you know who would enjoy the experience. The conference is a great opportunity to learn, advocate, and connect and who better to join you than someone you already know.
  3. Urge young people to apply for REAL Change. Our REAL Change Fellowship has become a great success, training the next generation of RESULTS advocates and leaders. REAL Changers kick off their fellowship year at the International Conference. If you know people between 18-28 years old who want to make a difference in the world, invite them to apply today; the deadline to apply is April 25. And remember, if you’re looking for new energy for your local group, or to get a group started in another area, REAL Change Fellows are a great way to do so.

House and Senate Budgets Ignore Working Families

While much of our focus lately around the new House and Senate budget proposals has been on what’s in them (i.e. cuts to SNAP and other anti-poverty programs), it’s important to note that there are also glaring omissions in these proposals as well. Namely, congressional leaders once again ignore the expiring improvements to the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC). Allowing these improvements to expire would force 16 million people – half of them children – into or deeper into poverty. Some senators also tried to attach amendments to the budget that would have cut certain immigrant families off the EITC, but those amendments ended up being dropped (for the time being); read more about these amendments in our RESULTS Blog post from RESULTS Hunger Fellow Tade Mengesha.

It is reprehensible that members of Congress would again ignore hard-working Americans and try to balance the budget on their backs. In a sad and ironic footnote, just days before the House passed its budget, the House Ways and Means Committee passed a full repeal of the estate tax, a huge tax cut for the wealthiest 0.3 percent of estates, and the Senate passed an amendment to its budget doing the same. Remind members of Congress that working families must come first in the budget. Use our online e-mail alert to tell your representatives and senators to protect tax credits for working families.

Be an Everyday Hero at This Year’s Conference!

It's a bird…It's a plane… No!…it's our RESULTS Everyday Hero!

Grab your cape and running shoes and plan to join us at our 3rd Annual Everyday Hero Dash 5k/1 Mile Fun Run at the 2015 RESULTS International Conference on Sunday, July 19 at 6:30 pm. Don’t miss your chance to help us celebrate our everyday superheroes and see all our RESULTS runners come out the hero when they finish! 

Advance registration is now open and will guarantee you a medal at the event. Race event tech shirts will also be available for purchase and will need to be purchased in advance. To register, click here

Upcoming Events

Go to the RESULTS Events Calendar to see a full list of RESULTS events.

Congressional Recesses: House and Senate: March 28-April 12. Request face-to-face meetings.

RESULTS Introductory Call, April 8 at 9:00 pm ET. If you are new to RESULTS, learn more about our work by joining our next RESULTS Intro Call. Register for an upcoming call on the RESULTS website.

Group Start in Colorado Springs, April 9 at 6:00 pm MT. Join and invite others to attend this 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.

RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Meeting, April 11 at 12:30 pm ET. Guest speaker: Rebecca Lenn of Media Matters. To join the meeting, login at http://fuze.me/28130766. If joining by phone, dial (201) 479-4595 and enter meeting ID: 28130766 when prompted.

Why Attend the RESULTS International Conference, April 16 at 8:00pm ET (repeated on April 17 at 1:00 pm ET). Join this preview of the RESULTS International Conference and why you should come. Join online at http://fuze.me/28157166 or by phone at (201) 479-4595, meeting ID 28157166.

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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