U.S. Poverty Weekly Update May 3, 2016

May 3, 2016

U.S. Poverty Weekly Update May 3, 2016

“Let's extend full EITC to childless workers. Let's keep SNAP as a lifeline strategically administered and guaranteed by the federal government for all qualified Americans. And let's recognize these programs as both humanitarian policies and lucrative financial investments.”

– RESULTS Houston volunteers Kathleen Duncan, David Costello, and David Fleming in an April 25, 2016 op-ed in the Houston Chronicle

In This Week’s Update:

Quick Media Action: Urge Congress to Protect SNAP

Take Action!

Got Two Minutes? Submit a Letter to the Editor about Protecting SNAP (May Action)

This month, we are continuing our spring media push by standing up for hungry Americans. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s Taskforce on Poverty, Opportunity, and Upward Mobility is expected to make recommendations to Congress in the next several months. Anti-poverty advocates fear that their proposal will include cuts and/or restructuring of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) into a block grant to states. As highlighted on the RESULTS Blog last month, block-granting SNAP would be a disaster for the program and the tens of millions of people who depend on SNAP to help them put food on the table. Members of Congress need to know now – before the Taskforce releases its recommendations – that cutting or changing SNAP is wrong-headed and dangerous.

TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes to send a letter to the editor (LTE) to your local paper urging members of Congress to protect and strengthen SNAP. Use our online SNAP LTE alert to send your letter today. To increase the chance of getting published, personalize the text (even changing the subject line will help) and be sure to urge your members of Congress by name to stand up for SNAP. Once you get published, please let Jos Linn ([email protected]) so we can celebrate your success.

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Got Ten Minutes? Schedule a Meeting or Attend a Town Hall This Week

Your members of Congress are on recess this week. Why not pay them a visit and remind them that poverty is still a problem in this country and you’d like them to do something about it. Even more so, tell them to reject any efforts to undermine successful anti-poverty programs, like cutting or restructuring the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps). You can also tell them to stop taxing workers into poverty by expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for workers without children. Remember, if you are attending the RESULTS International Conference next month, House members will likely not be there (but Senators will be) so this is the time to meet with them. U.S. Poverty volunteers have had 33 face-to-face meetings so far this year. Let’s keep the momentum going by talking to them during this week’s recess.

TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes to contact your House and Senate schedulers about meetings and town halls they may be holding this week. You can find scheduler names, contact info, and website addresses on our Elected Officials page. If you’re not sure how to word a meeting request, see our sample request letter on the RESULTS website. Once you schedule a meeting or find an event you plan to attend, please contact Meredith Dodson ([email protected]) to set up a lobby prep call to help you get ready. And please don’t forget to fill out the RESULTS Lobby Report Form after your meeting so we’ll know how it went.

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Got Twenty Minutes? Write Your Own LTE, or Better Yet, Submit an Op-ed about SNAP (May Action)

As noted above, RESULTS is continuing our media push this month to draw attention to the importance of protecting and strengthening the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps). Tens of thousands of people are already losing SNAP benefits this year, which is bad enough. But that pales in comparison to what would happen if certain leaders in Congress have their way and convert SNAP into a block grant to states. Millions could lose benefits and SNAP would be ineffective in helping people in times of financial crisis. The simple fact is SNAP works. It lifts millions out of poverty each year and provides a crucial service to people when they fall on hard times.

Thanks to everyone who submitted media pieces last month about the EITC and SNAP. We had ten media pieces in April (7 letters to the editor, 2 op-eds, and 1 editorial). Let’s get at least 30 more by the end of May by submitting letters to the editor (and op-eds) this month about protecting SNAP. Laud the successes of SNAP so that misguided efforts to cut or change the program meet stiff resistance from Americans like you around the country.

The May Action has talking points to help you write your own letter to the editor. When writing your piece, please include new local SNAP data from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, as well as new local hunger data from Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap tool. These will increase the chance of you getting published. And if you’re hoping to make a big impact, consider doing an op-ed to your local paper. Op-eds get more prominence and allow you more room to discuss the issue. The May Action includes a sample op-ed you can copy and personalize to your local paper.

TAKE ACTION: Take twenty minutes to draft your own personalized letter to the editor or op-ed about protecting SNAP. Send a strong message to Congress urging them to put ending hunger at the top of their to-do lists. Use the May Action for talking points for SNAP letters to the editor and to see a sample op-ed you can also submit. If you need help with drafting or editing your letter or op-ed, please contact Jos Linn at [email protected]. Let’s get at least 30 media pieces published in May – send in your own letter or op-ed this week!

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You Know You Want to Attend the RESULTS International Conference

We know what you’re thinking. What a presumptuous title? How do they know what I want to do? Well, bear with us. We think we're on to something here.

Do you like RESULTS? Sure, you do. You wouldn’t be reading this Update if you didn’t. Well, the RESULTS International Conference (June 25-28 in Washington, DC) is like a RESULTS weekend binge. Everything you like about RESULTS – the people, our commitment to ending poverty, the resources we provide, the big-named allies we work with – are all on full display at the Conference. It gives you everything you like (and love) about RESULTS… and more.

Do you like having fun? We all do. And at the RESULTS International Conference, you get plenty of it. This is not your ordinary conference. If you’re envisioning boring speakers and endless PowerPoints, think again. The RESULTS Conference is as much a pep rally as it is an anti-poverty policy event. And it’s because of the people. RESULTS volunteers are some of the friendliest, liveliest, and most fun people you’ll ever meet. They cheer, they laugh, they cry, they holler, and they sing. If only because they know they’re doing something special and they’re among friends. Plus, we have karaoke. Enough said.

Do you like making a difference in the world? Yep. Again, you wouldn’t be connected to RESULTS if you didn’t. And this is perhaps the most important reason why you want to come to the Conference. You joined RESULTS to pay your part in creating a world free of poverty. The Conference provides you unique experiences to make that happen. You get to interact with world-renowned experts, advocates, and policy-makers. You get to learn amazing skills to strengthen your advocacy repertoire and engage others in this work. And most of all, you get to talk directly to the decision-makers and tell them how to make poverty history.

So what are you waiting for? Go to www.resultsconference.org and register for the RESULTS International Conference today. You know you want to.

Cost an issue? Apply for financial assistance at www.tinyurl.com/RESULTSScholUS.

Quick News

Use New Vote to End Hunger Toolkit. Vote to End Hunger launched in fall of 2015 with one main goal in mind: to elevate issues of hunger, poverty, and opportunity during the 2016 election cycle. RESULTS is a Steering Committee member, and we've been working with VTEH to raise awareness and educate the candidates, voters, and the public at-large to make ending hunger and poverty a top priority. Looking to engage in this effort? Check out the updated Vote to End Hunger Toolkit today. Also, please sign your local RESULTS group on as a supporter of Vote to End Hunger at: http://votetoendhunger.org/get-involved/organizations/.

Join in the Road to Rio Fundraising Challenge. Last week, RESULTS Executive Director sent an email inviting all of you to join our Road to Rio Fundraising Challenge. We hope you have all signed up for this exciting campaign. The money we raise will help support the advocacy work we are all doing benefit the advocacy work we are already doing. This online Friends & Family Campaign is a fun and easy way for us to all be fundraisers and celebrate the global collaboration of the 2016 Summer Olympics being held in Rio de Janeiro.  This is the first time we are coordinating with other RESULTS affiliates in the UK and Canada on a collective fundraising effort. You can get started by setting up your personal friends and family page here:  https://friendraising.donorpro.com/campaigns/322. If you need help setting up a page, please contact Jen DeFranco at [email protected]

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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.

Congressional Recesses: House and Senate: May 2 – 6. Request face-to-face meetings. After your meeting, please tell us how it went by filling out the RESULTS Lobby Report Form: www.tinyurl.com/RESLRF.

RESULTS Introductory Call, May 11, at 9:00 pm ET. If you want to learn more about RESULTS, register for an upcoming Intro Call on the RESULTS website.

RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Webinar, May 14 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 U.S. Poverty Free Agents Calls, May 17 at 1:00 pm and 8:00 pm ET. Join online at http://fuze.me/32256018 or by phone at: (201) 479-4595, Meeting ID: 32256018#.

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/.

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