U.S. Poverty Weekly Update | May 22, 2018

May 22, 2018

U.S. Poverty Campaigns

Weekly Update | May 22, 2018

“As a social worker, I see daily how SNAP is an essential safety-net program for my clients who are facing crises that turn their family stability upside down. The majority of my clients use SNAP benefits for less than a year when sudden life events (job loss, medical emergencies and weather disasters) leave families hungry and desperate for food.”

– RESULTS volunteer Dani Adams in an May 17 letter to the editor in the Rapid City Journal

Quick Media Action: Tell Congress to Protect Food Assistance

Take Action!

Got Two Minutes? Celebrate Last Week’s Victory in Protecting Food Assistance, and Continue the Public Pressure to Protect SNAP – Send that Letter to the Editor (May Action)

Last Friday, a Farm Bill that would have taken away food assistance from millions by slashing SNAP (formerly Food Stamps) failed dramatically 198-213 in the House. The work of advocates like you all has made a huge difference – many of you met with members of Congress, wrote one of the 113 letters-to-the-editor and other media pieces published by RESULTS volunteers across the country this year (or wrote a piece that wasn’t published, but paved the way for others), worked the phones, or leveraged the relationships you built with key staff as you emailed back and forth as the vote neared. While much of the press coverage has focused on the drama between factions of the majority party, if there weren't moderate GOP Representatives who opposed cuts to food assistance in this partisan bill, it would have passed.

We should take time to celebrate this victory AND we need to keep up the work — House leadership has signaled they will try to bring back this Farm Bill for another vote on June 22. It will be critical for us to shore up additional opposition to cuts to food assistance (and remind members of Congress how the bill got even worse on the House floor). In the coming weeks, the Senate is crafting its own farm bill: we need to make sure they craft a bipartisan bill that protects SNAP, which helps over 40 million people in this country buy groceries and put food on the table. Remind your members of Congress that a vote for this Farm Bill is a vote for more hunger in America.

TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes to submit a letter to the editor (LTE) to your local paper telling your members of Congress to oppose cuts to SNAP in any new Farm Bill. If you’ve sent one in but it didn’t get published, now is the time to try again.  The May Action has information to help you draft a powerful letter, or you can use our updated online templates (note: there are different versions of the message in this alert so if you’ve sent one already, hit refresh for the next one).

Got Ten Minutes? Get Time on Your Members of Congress’ Calendar Next Week

Congress will again be on recess the week of Memorial Day, starting Monday, May 28. If you have not had a face-to-face meeting recently, ask for one during this recess. It’s a great way to deliver your #LettersGetLOUD letters and new media you get published this month – and these conversations will be key, with House and Senate action on the Farm Bill in June. We know that talking face-to-face with Congress is the most effective way to make your voice heard. Make sure you are talking to them next week about protecting SNAP.

TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes to contact House and Senate offices about scheduling a face-to-face meeting with your members of Congress during next week’s recess. Tell them you want to talk about protecting access to food assistance under SNAP. Follow up from a previous request or, if you’ve never requested a lobby meeting before, use our online template to submit your request today. If you cannot get a face-to-face meeting, ask to meet with their staff to talk about protecting SNAP. Once you get a meeting scheduled, please contact Meredith Dodson for materials and messaging strategy to make the most of your conversation (also read the updated SNAP Lobby Request.

TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes to go to www.resultsconference.org/register and register for the 2018 RESULTS International Conference TODAY. Save $50 off your registration before it expires tonight.

Need additional help? If you are an active RESULTS U.S. Poverty volunteer and want to come to the Conference but need help with the cost, please fill out our RESULTS U.S. Poverty Scholarship application.

Got Twenty Minutes? Join the Support Moms, Champion Kids Friends and Family Fundraising Campaign

The RESULTS Spring Friends and Family Fundraising Campaign is in full swing, and it’s not too late to join the fun! This week we met the $5,000 match and are on our way to reaching our ambitious $40,000 goal.

Why fundraise? Grassroots fundraising provides needed funds for our work and is an effective way to grow your network of advocates and supporters. In fact: your work defeating the farm bill last week is a perfect example of what your friends and family can support with their investment in RESULTS. Share the success with your community, and then ask them to chip in to help build the political will to end poverty!

Need another reason to join? RESULTS’ Executive Director Joanne Carter has challenged us to have 100% group participation in grassroots fundraising in 2018. Join the Spring Friends and Family Campaign help us meet Joanne’s challenge and remember that every dollar counts!

TAKE ACTION: Take twenty minutes to check out the campaign online and get started by setting up your fundraising page. Lots of resources are available to help make your campaign successful including a Campaign Guide with email templates, sample social media posts, and tips for success. Mea Geizhals, Grassroots Fundraising Manager, is ready to with one-on-one help through email at [email protected] or on the phone at (202) 783-4800 x131. 

Quick News

Join Us at the RESULTS Conference to Learn More About Working with Congress from the Ultimate Insiders. Former Representative David Jolly (R-FL-13), who will speak at the RESULTS International Conference this summer, recently shared some of his tips for working with Congress on one of our national webinars – read more on our blog. Want to hear more? Register now if you haven’t already at www.resultsconference.org/register. Come beef up your advocacy skills, meet other advocates from around the globe, and raise your voice on Capitol Hill. Need some help to come? If you are an active RESULTS U.S. Poverty volunteer and want to come to the Conference but need help with the cost, please fill out our RESULTS U.S. Poverty Scholarship application.

Senate Fails to Override Payday Rule but Battle Continues Over Policies that Impact Racial Wealth Inequality. The Senate's deadline to override the Payday Lending Rule has passed. Issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Payday Lending Rule provides safeguards for at-risk consumers from payday lenders. While the Senate's opportunity to override the rule is gone, Congress still poses an ongoing threat to the CFPB's financial protections for consumers. One current threat is the House's expected vote on the “Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act,” which was recently passed in the Senate. This bill contains provisions that would be harmful to buyers of manufactured homes and home-buyers of color, which would exacerbate racial wealth inequality by making it harder for families of color to build wealth through homeownership.  

Capitol Hill Event Marks the 50th Anniversary of the Kerner Report. Last Thursday the Democratic Whip Task Force on Poverty, Income Inequality and Opportunity held a forum about the 50th Anniversary of the Kerner Report on race and poverty in America. The forum featured testimonies on the state of racial wealth inequality and poverty in America today relative to when the Kerner Report came out in 1968. Tianna Gaines-Turner of Witnesses to Hunger (and also a RESULTS Expert on Poverty) delivered a statement to the task force on her personal experience with poverty and what members of Congress should do to address the racial wealth divide. You can read Ms. Gaines-Turner's statement and recommendations here. Also, check out RESULTS Emerson Hunger Fellow Funke Aderonmu’s blogpost on the Kerner Report and its connection to housing and racial inequality.

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.

Memorial Day, Monday, May 28. All RESULTS offices closed.

House and Senate Recess, May 28-June 1. Submit your meeting request today. After any lobby meeting or town hall, please complete the RESULTS Lobby Report Form to let us know how it went.

RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Webinar, Tuesday, June 5 at 8:00 pm ET. Participate at http://fuze.me/32255914 or (201) 479-4595, Meeting ID: 32255914#.

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.

Please Fill Out the Lobby Report Form. After any lobby meeting, please fill out the RESULTS Lobby Report Form to let us know how it went. When you have a meeting where both U.S. and global poverty issues are discussed, please fill it out twice.

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