U.S. Poverty Weekly Update October 16, 2012

October 16, 2012

“We must put pressure on Congress to assure that the expansions to [the EITC and CTC] are not allowed to expire at the end of the year; if they do, even more D.C. children will fall into poverty.”

—    RESULTS Maryland volunteer Lisa Peters in a letter to the editor in the Washington Post (10/12/12)

New and Urgent in This Week’s Update (Two-Ten-Twenty Actions)

Latest from Washington, DC

Organizational Updates

Got Two Minutes? Invite One Person to Your Outreach Event (October Action)

Just have a few minutes this week? Pick up the phone and spread the word about RESULTS!

TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes and invite one friend, colleague, or family member to join your local RESULTS group for the November National Conference Call on November 10 at 12:30 pm ET with Barbara Ehrenreich. Use our outreach laser talk and we’ll be posting other outreach tools, including flyers and e-mails you can tailor, on our National Outreach Event page.

Got Ten Minutes? Draft an “Inviting Script” for Your Outreach Event and Block out Time to Make it Happen (October Action)

There is a lot at stake for low-income families during the upcoming Lame Duck session of Congress (Nov 13 – Dec 31). Our advocacy will be critical to protect the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit for millions of low-income families — both ensuring that expiring improvements are extended beyond 2012 and to make sure any deficit reduction proposal/deal  protects these tax credits and other critical programs such as SNAP and Medicaid from cuts. To amplify our voice in this process, we’ll use October to focus on outreach. By spending time this month building our groups and solidifying our broader action network, we can strengthen our base and speak up more strongly in defense of society’s most vulnerable.  We are thrilled that Barbara Ehrenreich will join our November National Conference Call – this gives us a great “hook” to engage additional advocates.

In addition, RESULTS has an aggressive goal to have advocates in all 50 states (we cover 27 now) and 275 House districts (we cover 70) by 2015 as a part of our overall strategic plan to build our grassroots capacity to make an even bigger difference. Your support is critical to help us reach that goal — taking time this month to do outreach in your local community or reaching out to contacts you may have in another part of the country RESULTS may not cover will build a broader movement.  You can invite people to attend the call and then use that as an opportunity to talk about RESULTS and invite them to get involved. 

Special thanks to Mark Reynolds of the Citizens Climate Lobby for sharing their insights on building a stronger movement. Missed the call? Check out the recording of our October 2012 National Conference Call: Engaging New Advocates through Outreach and the October 2012 U.S. Poverty Conference Call Slides

TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes to draft your script (or a set of talking points) about why you’d like others to join RESULTS in our fight to protect core programs for low-income Americans this fall and build the movement to end poverty in the United States. We all know that talking about why RESULTS inspires us is what our friends and family is what will make the biggest difference when inviting folks, so personalize our outreach laser talk to talk about how your advocacy has made a difference.  In addition to your script, block out time in your calendar for the coming weeks to call to make calls and send emails to get the word out. We are designing the November call to be geared to new people and we’ll be posting other outreach tools, including flyers and emails you can tailor, on our National Outreach Event page.

Got Twenty Minutes?Reach Out to a Community Partner or “Grasstops” Contact About Your Outreach Event (October Action)

Our National Outreach Event with Barbara Ehrenreich is the perfect excuse to reach out to potential coalition partners and local “grasstops” – the kind of contacts that can get your members of Congress on the phone or get you a face-to-face meeting. If you are stumped about who to contact, see the suggested list of contact and other planning resources on in the October Action sheet.

TAKE ACTION: Take twenty minutes to reach out to local VITA (volunteer tax preparation), Head Start, community action, food bank and other local programs. Or, go for it and contact a high-level community leader. Adapt our outreach laser talk to introduce them to RESULTS and invite them to join (or perhaps “co-host” your local event on November 10).

Election Countdown: Get to Members of Congress and Candidates in the Coming Weeks

Many candidates, including current members of Congress, are holding public events this month, which gives the chance to tell them what you want them to do if elected. Face-to-face meetings, town halls, public appearances, call-in shows, and debates all present you with the opportunity to be heard.

Our goal? Make sure our members of Congress speak directly to congressional leadership expressing their support not only for legislation making the current expiring improvements to the  EITC and CTC permanent and that lawmakers also expressly include a principle that specifically protects EITC and CTC in any deficit reduction framework. We urge you to continue your follow up with Congressional offices until you get confirmation that your senators and representatives have voiced their support for both of these “asks” directly to key decision makers.

Congratulations to our new RESULTS group in Western MA for making sure they thanked anti-hunger champion Rep. Jim McGovern’s (D-MA-3) at a town hall meeting last night. And good luck to our RESULTS group in Columbus, who are meeting with Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-12-OH) this afternoon.

TAKE ACTION:  Request for face-to-face meetings with your representative and senators during the election recess. You can find a sample request in the August Action sheet or use our online request form. Be sure to follow up within a few days to confirm that your request was received and the status of it. Also, check candidate websites and call local offices to find out if they have any public appearances coming up. You can find contact information for Elected Officials as well as information on candidates on the RESULTS website. You can use and adapt our updated Tax Credit Laser Talk: Urge Congress to Protect Low-income Tax Credits and our  PowerPoint presentation on using public events to help you make the most of these events.

Once you get a meeting scheduled or if you plan to attend a public event to ask a question, please contact the RESULTS U.S. Poverty staff to help you plan your agenda and devise the best messaging to use in your meeting. Don’t have time this week to work on getting face-to-face with your member of Congress? Use our online alert to tell Congress to protect tax credits for low-income working families.

Over 1900 Organizations Sign SAVE for All Letter – Use it to Follow Up with Congressional Staff

As part of the SAVE for All campaign, the Coalition on Human Needs  circulated a letter to Congress urging House and Senate members to protect anti-poverty programs. It urges members of Congress to protect important programs like the Earned Income Tax CreditChild Tax CreditHead Startchild careSNAP, and Medicaid from proposed or automatic deficit reduction cuts. The letter urges a balanced approach to deficit reduction that includes targeted cuts as well as new revenue generated by ending costly tax cuts for the wealthy. RESULTS was proud to be one of the signers and thanks to many of you for signing your local group on as well.

TAKE ACTION: Touch base with your contacts in Congressional offices by sending a link to the SAVE for All letter along with a note. Here is sample text you can adapt: My local RESULTS group, along with over 1900 national, state and local group,s recently signed this SAVE for All campaign letter because we are concerned about the impact of sequestration on our community members, the individuals we serve and the programs that we work with. I am writing because we hope that __name of senator__ will advocate for the SAVE principles and protect low-income and vulnerable people from cuts to discretionary programs that fund education, nutrition aid, job training and housing as well as to essential services such as SNAP/food stamps, Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, Unemployment Insurance, and tax credits for low-income working families. The SAVE for All principles outline the choices we must make to avoid sequestration. We must raise revenues from fair sources, including ending the Bush-era tax breaks on income over $250,000. That alone would come close to replacing all the defense, international, and domestic cuts proposed under sequestration. We must also seek savings from targeting waste in the Pentagon and in other areas of defense spending.

If one member of your group follows up directly with the key staff and you want to amplify this message, use our online alert to tell Congress to protect tax credits for low-income working families.

Join the RESULTS Social Media Response Team

RESULTS is working to expand our online media presence. We recently formed the RESULTS  Social Media Rapid Response Team. This team receives suggestions from RESULTS staff on strategic actions they can take each week on platforms like Twitter and Facebook to spread the word about upcoming legislation, events, and RESULTS priorities.

We want you to be part of this team. Even if you’ve never really used social media before but would like to learn how to effectively use Twitter and Facebook, please join RESULTS for  a social media training call. The call will be hosted by Laura Ochoa, the RESULTS social media manage, and social media strategist Peter Daou this Thursday, October 18 at 9:00 pm ET. To participate, dial (866) 503-7713, passcode 4091413579. RSVP to Laura at [email protected].

Finally, if you already consider yourself fluent enough on Facebook and Twitter to share and retweet our messaging and would like to receive weekly actions to take, please contact about joining our Social Media Rapid Response Team!

RESULTS Outreach – Upcoming Meetings and Trainings

While RESULTS groups work on strengthening their local RESULTS groups and action networks this month, RESULTS staff is also working to expand and strengthen RESULTS’ network of volunteers. Here are a few events coming up — please forward this information to people you know in these areas:

  • October 17, Western MA: RESULTS New England Organizer Jenny Martin will be on “Upfront: Worker Radio” at 91.1 FM (WMUA) in Amherst, MA on October 17th, 4:30-5:30 pm ET. Tune in and listen to Jenny talk about RESULTS and urge others you know to do the same.
  • October 19, RESULTS Introductory Call. Urge people you know to join one of these 30-45 minutes calls, which provide a great introduction to RESULTS and our work for people who don’t know much about us. Any and all are welcomed to participate. The next call is this Friday, October 19 at 1:00 pm ET. To register for an upcoming call, go to www.tinyurl.com/RESULTSMeetandGreet.
  • October 20, Bonner Congress conference in Waynesburg, PA: RESULTS staff members Meredith Dodson and Allyson Goldsmith will be doing presentations at the Bonner Congress, helping students interested in advocacy learn how they can make a difference. For more details, contact Meredith at [email protected].
  • October 24-25, Lexington, VA: RESULTS staff members Meredith Dodson and Allyson Goldsmith will be doing presentations at Washington & Lee University in the hopes of starting a new RESULTS group on campus there. For more details, contact Meredith at [email protected].
  • October 24, Whitefish, MT: RESULTS Senior Associate for U.S. Poverty Campaigns Jos Linn will be hosting an informational call about RESULTS for advocates in Montana on Wednesday, October 24 at 8:00 pm MT. To participate, dial (218) 486-1611, passcode 2883622#. See and share about the call on Facebook or contact Jos ([email protected]) for more details.

Quick News

Keep Pushing the #TalkPoverty in Final Two Debates, including Tonight! Tonight at 9:00 pm ET is the second of three presidential debates, this one to be held a Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY. The final debate will be next Monday, October 22 at Lynn University in Boca Raton, FL. Unfortunately, at the first presidential debate and last week’s vice-presidential debate, poverty received very little attention. This despite the fact that 15 percent of Americans lived in poverty in 2011, including 1 in 4 children under age 6. But it’s not too late to weigh in with debate moderators about talking poverty at the remaining debates. Join the #TalkPoverty movement with our friends at Half In Ten using social media to tell debate moderators to make poverty a priority in the final two debate agendas.

New NWLC Report on State Child Care Cuts. Last week, the National Women’s Law Center released a new state-by-state report, Downward Slide: State Child Care Assistance Policies 2012. Some of the key findings:

  • Families in 27 states are worse off under one or more key child care policies in 2012 than in 2011.
  • Families in just 17 states are better off under one or more key child care policies in 2012 than in 2011.
  • This was the second year in a row in which the situation worsened for families in more states than it improved.

To see where your state stands on key child care assistance policies, download NWLC’s full report. Also check out our new blogpost on the high cost of child care and use our online alert to tell Congress you support funding for child care and Head Start.  

Fundraising News

Congratulations to Houston and Asheville partners on their fundraising events highlighting the theme “Every Child Deserves a 5th Birthday.” RESULTS Asheville hosted their first fundraiser in many years and raised $700 at an outdoor, family-friendly event with birthday games for kids. RESULTS Houston hosted a dinner with RESULTS Executive Director Dr. Joanne Carter and Dr. Jeffrey Starke of Texas Children’s hospital and raised over $69,000. We are grateful for the tremendous efforts of all of our fundraising volunteers at every level of event! Please contact Cindy Levin at [email protected] if you are interested in planning a fundraising event in your area this fall. The Development Team is here to help you.

Also, author, activist, and RESULTS Board member Marianne Williamson will be speaking for RESULTS in Detroit this Friday, October 19 at an event called “Consciousness and Activism” where she will be giving us a preview of her upcoming SISTER GIANT conference. Tickets are on sale online at http://tinyurl.com/mariannetickets.

RESULTS Activity Calendar

(See a complete calendar on the RESULTS website)

Congressional Recesses: House and Senate: September 21 – November 12. Request face-to-face meetings.

Thursday, October 18: RESULTS Social Media Rapid Response Team Intro/Training Call, 9:00 pm ET. To participate, dial (866) 503-7713, passcode: 4091413579. For more details and to RSVP, please contact Laura Ochoa at [email protected]

Friday, October 19: RESULTS Introductory Call, 1:00 pm ET. (712) 432-3100, passcode 761262. RSVP for the call.

Wednesday, October 24: RESULTS Montana Informational Call, 8:00 pm MT. (218) 486-1611, passcode 2883622#. For more details, please contact Jos Linn at [email protected]. See event details on Facebook.

Wednesday, October 24: RESULTS New Activist Orientation, 9:00 pm ET. (712) 432-3100, passcode 761262. RSVP to Lisa Marchal at [email protected]. (this is the second of two calls in the series; the first call is October 10).

Tuesday, November 6: Election Day.

Tuesday, November 13: Congress begins Lame Duck session in Washington, DC.

Tuesday, November 13: RESULTS Free Agents group (U.S. Poverty) call, 9:00 pm ET. (218) 486-1611, passcode 7378587# (RESULTS#). For more information, contact Jos Linn at [email protected]. (NOTE: Because of the holidays, this call will be on the second Tuesday of the month in November and December)

RESULTS Contact Information

Main Office: (p) (202) 783-7100, (f) (202) 466-1397, 1730 Rhode Island Ave, NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20036. If mailing a donation to our DC office, please address the envelope to the attention of Cynthia Stancil.

RESULTS U.S. Poverty Legislative and Grassroots Support Staff:

The RESULTS U.S. Poverty Update is sent out every Tuesday via email to RESULTS volunteers and allies all over the country. The purpose of these updates is to inform and activate RESULTS activists to take action on our U.S. poverty campaigns.

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