U.S. Poverty Weekly Update March 8, 2016
U.S. Poverty Campaigns
Weekly Update | March 8, 2016
“President Obama and House Speaker Ryan both support bipartisan efforts to expand the EITC for low-income workers without children. Let's build on last year's tax package by taking the next step to fix this gap in tax policy in 2016.”
– RESULTS Action Network member William Deignan in a February 1 letter to the editor in the Lowell Sun (MA)
In This Week’s Update:
- Got Two Minutes? Prepare for the U.S. Poverty National Webinar this Saturday at 12:30 pm ET (Note the New Fuze Number)
- Got Ten Minutes? Contact House Schedulers about Meetings This Week
- Got Twenty Minutes? Tell Congress to Expand the EITC for Childless Workers (March Action)
- Use REAL Change to Grow Your Group
- Welcome Keithlee Spangler, our 2016 Congressional Hunger Fellow
- Quick News
- Upcoming Events
Quick Action: Build on Recent Tax Victory – Urge Congress to Expand the EITC and Child Tax Credit
Got Two Minutes? Prepare for the U.S. Poverty National Webinar this Saturday at 12:30 pm ET (Note the New Fuze Number)
We’re looking forward to a great National Webinar this Saturday, March 12 at 12:30 pm ET. Building on our work last month where we educated ourselves on the issue of race in America, we’ll be taking a closer look at the racial wealth gap on this month’s Webinar. We are pleased that Patrick Hain, Program Associate in the Center for Community and Economic Opportunity at the Annie E. Casey Foundation (AECF). Patrick will be taking with us about new data from AECF on racial wealth inequality in America. We’ll also discuss and get trained on the March Action and hear about some of your recent successes. Please join us for this informative webinar.
TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes to remind your local RESULTS group about the RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Conference call this Saturday, March 12 at 12:30 pm ET. Coordinate with your group where you will meet for the call. To join this Fuze webinar online, login at http://fuze.me/32255914; if you cannot join online, you can dial in by phone at (201) 479-4595, Meeting ID: 32255914# (note that these are new Fuze access numbers). Plan to log in or call in no later than 12:25 pm ET. If you have questions about Fuze or how to log in, please contact Jos Linn at [email protected]. We will have the March 2016 National Webinar slides available later this week in the Take Action box on the RESULTS Homepage.
Guess who’s back home this week? You guessed it – your House members. The House is on recess until March 13. This is a great chance to talk about and hand-deliver your letters on expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for workers without children. If you cannot meet with them this week, they will be on recess again March 24-April 11. In addition, the Senate will be on recess March 21-April 1. Take advantage of this time when your members of Congress are home to push them to address poverty in America.
TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes to contact your House and Senate schedulers about setting up meetings for this month’s recesses. Start with the House as they are home this week. If you cannot get a meeting, ask if they are holding any town halls or public events this week. You can find scheduler names on our Elected Officials page and a sample meeting request on our website. Be sure to also read and print out of 2016 Lobby Meeting Request Sheets (bottom of box at right on our U.S. Poverty Campaigns page). Once you get a meeting set, please contact Meredith Dodson ([email protected]) to set up a lobby prep call to help you get ready for it.
Got 20 Minutes? Tell Congress to Expand the EITC for Childless Workers (March Action
This month, we are pushing Congress to build on your 2015 EITC/CTC success by expanding the EITC for childless workers. We urge you to write letters to your representatives and senators telling them how the tax code currently punishes these workers by taxing them deeper into poverty. This happens because their EITC is so low, it is inadequate to offset the taxes they have to pay. Remember, the EITC was originally created to help offset the impact of payroll taxes for low-income workers. While the EITC (and CTC) do a great job at this for families, workers without children in the home – including many non-custodial parents – are left behind. For example, a full-time worker making $12,494 per year owes $984 in income and payroll taxes but only receives $184 from the EITC.
Expanding the EITC, which has bipartisan support in Congress, would potentially reduce this worker’s economic burden and potentially lift her above the poverty line (depending on how much Congress expands it). Congress should be making it easier for workers to climb the economic ladder, not greasing the rungs so they can’t get a leg up.
TAKE ACTION: Take twenty minutes to write letters to your House and Senate members urging them expand the EITC for workers without children. Use the March Action for talking points and background information to help with your letters. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has updated their EITC/CTC State Fact Sheets which have some state data to help you. Be sure to use that information in your letters. Once you’ve submitted your letters, assign someone from your group to follow up with your House and Senate tax aides to find out their boss’ position on the issue and if and when they will take action on it.
One of the most promising projects over the last few years at RESULTS has been the RESULTS REAL Change Fellowship. What was started as a way to engage younger people in our work has now become a powerful leadership development program. REAL Change Fellows attend the RESULTS International Conference (with most of their expenses covered) where they get in-depth training and also lobby with other RESULTS volunteers on Capitol Hill. They then return home to continue their work in their communities, getting ongoing support throughout the year through regular training calls and one-on-one coaching from staff.
As a result, REAL Change Fellows are now a powerful voice in our work both in Washington, DC and their home communities. Just in the last few months, REAL Change Fellows have started or restarted three U.S. Poverty groups (Kansas City, MO; Chicago, IL; Manhattan, KS) and working on a new one as we speak (Milwaukee, WI). Fellows have also become powerful members of existing groups, even taking on key leadership roles of these groups (Baltimore, MD; St. Louis, MO; Houston, TX) just to name a few.
Why not use REAL Change to grow your group? Wouldn’t it be great to have one of these young leaders join your efforts? If you know anyone 18-30 years old wanting to make a difference, invite them to apply for the 2016-17 REAL Change class. In addition, if you know any young people in the states where we want to recruit new advocates (NC, GA, MS, AL, WV, AR, OR, ID, WI, AZ, and SD), invite them to apply as well. This is great way to grow and strengthen your local group and magnify our voice around the country. You can find more information on REAL Change at https://results.org/realchange, including a downloadable flyer and link to the online application.
We are thrilled to welcome our newest Congressional Hunger Fellow to RESULTS. Keithlee Spangler a native of St. Louis and a recent graduate of Truman State University in Missouri with a degree in environmental ethics, with concentrations in outdoor education and sustainable agriculture. In college, Keithlee worked with after-school garden programs, taught environmental studies classes, and developed community garden projects to address food insecurity. She also worked to double SNAP benefit amounts at the local farmers market, developed a closed-loop food system for the campus co-op, apprenticed on local farms, and worked on a petro/electric-free homestead for two years. After graduation, Keithlee worked in a small intentional community in California with young people on a curriculum focused on peace, justice, and sustainability.
As part of the Congressional Hunger Fellowship, Keithlee spent the first six months working in the field. She worked at the Capuchin Soup Kitchen’s Earthworks Urban Farm in Detroit, MI, where she developed an evaluation tool to strengthen the Earthworks Agricultural Training (EAT) program, an program designed to help community members develop skills to become active leaders in the local food system. She also surveyed the community and EAT alumni about co-operative enterprises that could improve individual and community access to entrepreneurial opportunities.
We are grateful to have Keithlee’s energy and expertise at RESULTS for the next few months and are looking forward to getting to know her and putting her knowledge and skills to good use. Welcome Keithlee!
Join EITC Messaging Webinar on Thursday. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) and The Hatcher Group are hosting a webinar this week on how to best talk about the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) with policymakers and the public. Louisa Warren, Assistant Director of State Engagement & Partnerships at CBPP, will recap recent successes around the EITC and what to expect in 2016. Meg Bostrom, co-founder of the Topos Partnership, will present findings from new research around the EITC and how you use this information in your communications work. The presentation will include videos and examples of how state groups have put the messages to use thus far. This could be very helpful in your EITC advocacy this year. The webinar is this Thursday, March 10 at 2:00 pm ET. Click here to register.
Please Join Us in DC for the RESULTS International Conference. We are 109 days away from RESULTS’ biggest event of the year – the 2016 RESULTS International Conference, June 25-28 in Washington, DC. The conference brings people together from all over the world to learn the latest on our issues, to get trained on being powerful advocates, and to meet with members of Congress and their staff on Capitol Hill about ending poverty in the U.S. and around the world. We have advocates who have come to the conference for years because it is that powerful an experience. We hope you will join us. RESULTS volunteers can register for only $125 (until April 30). Register today and be a part of something special!
Check Out the Latest in our Outreach Efforts. RESULTS U.S. Poverty staff is working to expand our national network of volunteers this spring. Read our new RESULTS Blog post to see all the areas in which we are working and how you can help.
Congressional Recesses: House: March 4 – 13, March 24 – April 11. Senate: March 21 – April 1. Request face-to-face meetings.
RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Webinar, March 12 at 12:30 pm ET. Join the meeting online at http://fuze.me/32255914; or by phone at (201) 479-4595, Meeting ID: 32255914#. Listen to previous webinars on our National Webinars page.
RESULTS Introductory Call, March 25, at 1:00 pm ET. If you want to learn more about RESULTS, register for an upcoming Intro Call on the RESULTS website.
RESULTS Advocacy 101 Training, March 31 at 2:00 pm ET. To join this advocacy training, go to: https://www.fuzemeeting.com/fuze/f2988286/31404402. To join by phone, dial (201) 479-4595, meeting ID 31404402#.
2016 RESULTS International Conference, June 25-28, 2016 in Washington, DC. Register now at www.resultsconference.org!
If you have a question, comment or suggestion for the RESULTS/RESULTS Educational Fund Board, please e-mail them to RESULTS Grassroots Board Member Lydia Pendley at [email protected]. You can download RESULTS’ most recent Annual Report at: https://results.org/about/annual_report/.