U.S. Poverty Weekly Update May 12, 2015

May 12, 2015

U.S. Poverty Campaigns

Weekly Update | May 12, 2015

“With the escalating income disparity in the United States, Congress should fulfill its democratic/moral obligation to feed the poor by standing up for hungry families and rejecting any budget that proposes cuts to SNAP.”

– RESULTS San Diego volunteer Donna Shanske in an April 20 letter to the editor in The San Diego Union-Tribune

“I was a single mother with two young sons when I went back to college so I could provide a better life for us. SNAP (food stamps) made that possible!”

– RESULTS Houston volunteer Becky Hopson in an May 5 letter to the editor in The Houston Chronicle

In This Week’s Update:

Quick Action: Tell Congress to Protect Tax Credits for Working Families!

Take Action!

Got Two Minutes? Urge Congress to Protect Working Families (May Action)

As discussed on last Saturday’s U.S. Poverty National Meeting, tax issues could be coming to the forefront in Congress over the next few months. This gives us the chance to put tax fairness before their faces as they debate various tax issues (see more below) and push Congress to protect working families who receive the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC.

TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes to send an e-mail urging Congress to protect families who receive the EITC and CTC. Use our online e-mail action to tell Congress to permanently extend important improvements to the EITC and CTC before they expire. Find out more information in the May Action.

Got Ten Minutes? Register for the RESULTS International Conference

The 2015 RESULTS International Conference is fast approaching. In just over two months, hundreds of advocates from around the world will gather in Washington, DC to make the case for ending poverty in our world. We want you to be part of that event. This year’s conference has a wealth of speakers such as “Nuns on the Bus” Sister Simone Campbell, economist Jared Bernstein, World Bank President Dr. Jim Kim, Nobel Peace Prize winner Prof. Muhammad Yunus, progressive champion Sen. Sherrod Brown, and author/activist Marianne Williamson. These powerful speakers come to our conference because of you. Your reputation of being effective and persistent advocates who get things done motivates these speakers to come back year after year. They want to meet you as much as you want to meet them. Give them the opportunity to by registering to attend the conference today!

Also, remember that conference registration rates go up in just three weeks! The $100 registration rate for active RESULTS volunteers (and $200 rate for non-volunteers) lasts only until June 1. After that, each rate will increase by $100.

You also must book your hotel room before June 1. Book your hotel through RESULTS when you register for the conference. If you’d like to find a roommate for the conference, send a message that you are looking for one to [email protected].

Apply for RESULTS Conference scholarship assistance. We know coming to the conference requires a financial investment. RESULTS has some scholarship money available to help people who need financial assistance to come to DC. If you want to come to the conference but need financial help getting there, fill out our RESULTS U.S. Poverty Activist Scholarship Fund form. Also, check out the RESULTS Blog for ideas on how to fundraise to help you come to DC.

New Conference Resources Available. If you're coming to DC, check out our Conference Resources page for materials to help you have a great experience, including our new 2015 Conference Checklist.

Got Twenty Minutes? Tell Members of Congress to Push for Tax Fairness (May Action)

Thank you to Regina “Reggie” Oldak of the National Women’s Law Center for sharing her insights and expertise on tax issues on last weekend’s RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Meeting. Reggie discussed the importance of tax fairness in helping everyday American families get and stay out of poverty. She pointed out that right now, the tax code is skewed much more in favor of wealthy individuals and big corporations that regular working families. As an example, she provided a detailed overview of the federal estate tax, which Republicans in the House and Senate are working to repeal. She pointed out that the estate tax only impacts the wealthy of the wealthy – the wealthiest 0.3 of estates – yet repealing the tax would cost us $270 billion over the next ten years. In contrast, that money could be used to expand child care, create universal pre-K, and provide free community college tuition for two years and still have money left over. The continued priority of cutting taxes for multi-millionaires shows how the tax code became so unbalanced in the first place.

However, Reggie said we also have upcoming opportunities to get back on track. While she does not expect major tax reform this year, there will be tax bills debated in 2015. Replenishing the Highway Trust Fund, raising the debt ceiling, and passing another round of business tax extenders will all have to be dealt with this year. These windows of opportunity give advocates like you the chance to demand Congress put working families first. Specifically, urging lawmakers to, at the very least, include a permanent extension of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) improvements in any tax bill they take up. These improvements are critical to working families across America. If they are allowed to expire in 2017, 16 million people, including 8 million children, will fall into or deeper into poverty. You can start laying the groundwork for these tax changes now.

TAKE ACTION: Take twenty minutes to take the May Action. Write letters to your House and Senate members urging them to support policies that promote tax fairness for all. Urge them to make the 2009 improvements to the EITC and CTC permanent. The May Action provides you talking points and background information for your letters. Also, contact your congressional schedulers to request meetings to talk about the EITC and CTC in-person with your members of Congress. Both the House and Senate will be on recess week of Memorial Day. Use our online request form to request a meeting today. Once you get a meeting, please contact Meredith Dodson ([email protected]) for coaching on what to discuss. Be sure to bring copies of our Tax Credit and SNAP Lobby Meeting requests to any meetings you attend. For information on all our 2015 U.S. Poverty Campaigns, see our Current Campaigns Summary.

Again, we sincerely thank Reggie Oldak for speaking with us this month. To learn more about what she discussed on our May National Meeting, as well as get all the other information and resources from the meeting, listen to the recording, and download the slides and summary of the meeting on our National Conference Calls page.

Quick News

Color of Wealth Summit Provides Key Insights on the Racial Wealth Gap. On April 30, RESULTS Director of US Poverty Campaigns Meredith Dodson and RESULTS Emerson Hunger Fellow Tade Mengesha attended the Color of Wealth Summit, hosted by the Center for Global Policy Solutions and Insight Center for Community Economic Development. The event provided a space for politicians, advocates, and policy experts to discuss America's widening racial wealth gap. Read what Tade learned at the summit in her new RESULTS Blog Post.

Thank You for GiveBIG! Thanks to our fantastic donors, we raised over $10,000 for RESULTS from last week’s Seattle Foundation’s GiveBIG Campaign. We easily earned the special Global Challenge grant of $5,000, bringing our total raised funds to over $15,000. Thank you to everyone who gave to RESULTS as part of this event. Your contributions allow us continue to support you in creating the political will to end poverty.

New Analysis Shows Safety Net Making Huge Difference on Poverty. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has a new analysis showing, based on new data, that the social safety net reduced the U.S. poverty rate by more than half in 2012. The two most effective programs at reducing poverty that year were the EITC/CTC and SNAP, both lifting over ten million people out of poverty. Be sure to let your members of Congress know about this research when taking the May Action and in upcoming lobby meetings.

Upcoming Events

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

Next Congressional Recesses: House and Senate: May 23-31. Request face-to-face meetings.

RESULTS Introductory Call, May 13 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.

RESULTS U.S. Poverty Free Agents Call, May 19 at 1:00 pm and 8:00 pm ET. Join online at: http://fuze.me/27491886; or by phone at (201) 479-4595 and enter Meeting ID: 27491886. For more information, contact Jos Linn ([email protected]).

RESULTS Group Start in Salt Lake City, May 19 at 7:30 pm MT. Contact Meredith Dodson ([email protected]) for more details.

Advocacy Training: Advocacy 101 Training and What to Expect at the International Conference, June 2 at 8:00 pm ET. Join online at: https://www.fuze.me/28699630 or by phone at (201) 479-4595, passcode 28699630. This webinar will also be repeated on June 24 at 9 pm ET and July 9 at 1 pm ET.

RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Meeting, June 13 at 12:30 pm ET. Listen to previous conference calls and meetings on our National Conference Calls page.

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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