U.S. Poverty Weekly Update October 18, 2016

October 18, 2016

U.S. Poverty Campaigns

Weekly Update | October 18, 2016

“We don't hear or read much about poverty in this year's campaign. However, it would be a mistake to assume there either isn't that much here, or that we can't do anything about it.”

– RESULTS South Central PA volunteer Bruce Kessler in an October 14 op-ed in the Chambersburg Public Opinion

In This Week’s Update:

Quick Action: Generate Media about Ending Poverty in America

Take Action!

Got Two Minutes? Make This Election Matter (October Action)

“It definitely made me realize how the average person can make a large impact in their community and state.”

This was written by a student at Wofford College in South Carolina after a presentation about RESULTS at his school this week. This is someone who had never heard of RESULTS an hour beforehand. Yet you know what he says is true. You, the RESULTS volunteer, know that you are that average person making an impact in your community. You’ve heard it, you’ve seen it, you’ve done it.

So why not try the same for this year’s election. This month, we are urging you to seek out candidates for office and talk to them about the racial wealth gap. Just one question. That’s all it takes. Will your one question make a difference? Who knows? It could be ignored or glossed over. Then again, it could also spark an interest, or prompt additional questions, or empower an action. We never know what kind of impact our asking that question can have, but we do know happens when we don’t – nothing.

Take these last three weeks and make them mean something. Talk to a candidate or a staffer about the issues you care about. If we want to change how poverty is addressed in elections, we have to demand it. You have that power.

TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes to schedule a meeting with candidates (and members of Congress who are not running) or ask about candidate town halls you can attend to ask about the racial wealth gap. Use our Election Guide to find candidate websites and contact info, as well as our Elected Officials Guide for members of Congress. See the October Action and our October National Webinar resources for information to help you. As always, when you get a meeting or plan to attend a town hall, please contact Meredith Dodson ([email protected]) to help you get ready.

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Got Ten Minutes? Maximize Your Impact this Month by Meeting Candidates in Competitive Races (October Action)

As we work to interact with candidates this month, meeting with candidates in competitive House and Senate races can make an even greater impact on our issues going forward. Incumbents want to please as many voters as possible to retain their seat. Challengers are looking to make allies wherever they can. This means that discussions about poverty – which are often ignored at election time – could be ripe for discussion. Think of the advantage you’d have by educating a new member of Congress that under current trends, it would take the average African American household 228 years to accumulate the amount of wealth that the average white household holds today. Or reminding an incumbent that expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) can ensure that no American is taxed into poverty. Even if you cannot get a meeting with the candidate him/herself, meeting with their staff can be very fruitful. Building relationships now, before the election, and then following up afterward help you hit the ground running once the new Congress is sworn in in January. Make poverty a national priority for the next Congress by meeting with candidates and staff now.

TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes to contact the campaign offices of candidates who are in close races in your area. Ask to meet with the candidates themselves but if you cannot get a meeting, ask for a meeting with their policy staff to discuss addressing the racial wealth gap and expanding the EITC for childless workers. Read the October Action for tips on how to get a meeting and once you do get one, please contact Meredith Dodson ([email protected]) to set up a lobby prep call to get your ready.

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Got Twenty Minutes? Invite People to our November 15 Webinar with Dr. Maya Rockeymoore

As you know, RESULTS is hosting a National Outreach Webinar on Tuesday, November 15 at 8:00 pm ET. Our guest for that evening is Dr. Maya Rockeymoore, President and CEO of the Center for Global Policy Solutions (CGPS). Taking place just one week after this year’s historic election, Dr. Rockeymoore will share her thoughts on what the election outcomes means for addressing poverty and inequality in the next Administration and Congress and how you can influence lawmakers to make ending poverty a top priority.

Now, you may be asking yourself, why should someone who has perhaps never heard of RESULTS or Dr. Rockeymoore come hear her speak? One look at her resume and you’ll know why. Here are just some of the highlights of her stellar career:

  • Before CGPS, Dr. Rockeymoore served as the vice president of research and programs at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) and as senior resident scholar at the National Urban League
  • In Congress, she served as chief of staff to Congressman Charles Rangel (D-NY) and professional staff on the House Ways and Means Committee, giving her invaluable experience in tax policy
  • She is the author of The Political Action Handbook: A How to Guide for the Hip-Hop Generation and co-editor of Strengthening Community: Social Insurance in a Diverse America
  • She serves on the board of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare and the National Association of Counties and is a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance
  • She was named an Aspen Institute Henry Crown Fellow in 2004 and is the recipient of Running Start’s 2007 Young Women to Watch Award
  • She has appeared on NPR, CNN, Black Entertainment Television, ABC World News Tonight, Fox News, Al Jazeera, and C-SPAN
  • She has a unique insight into the workings of Congress not only as a former Capitol Hill staff person, but also because her husband is Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MN-7)

Dr. Rockeymoore is a voice well worth listening to. In addition to her accomplishments, Dr. Rockeymoore spoke at the 2015 RESULTS International Conference where she was a hit. She is smart, frank, funny, and passionate about enacting policy solutions to poverty. If you want to educate your friends and colleagues on what the election will mean on real issues affecting real people, Dr. Rockeymoore is the person to do it. Let’s give her a big welcome with a great online crowd on November 15.

TAKE ACTION: Take twenty minutes to invite people to attend the RESULTS National Outreach Webinar with Dr. Maya Rockeymoore on November 15 at 8:00 pm ET. This event is a great opportunity to expand your influence with your local members of Congress, not to mention bring us closer to a world free of poverty. It also gives you the chance to strengthen your local RESULTS group. RESULTS is doing this event to help make outreach easier for you so let’s all work together to make it a great success. Our Outreach Webinar page has new resources to help you both invite and plan your local event, including flyers, a sample agenda, participation forms, sign in sheets, and action sheets. If you have questions or need materials not listed above, please contact Jos Linn ([email protected]) for assistance.

Note: Because of the outreach webinar, there will be no U.S. Poverty Webinar on Saturday, November 12.

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Join Twitter Chat, Thank you Wofford and Experts, and Come See Us in Arkansas

Join us for the next Twitter #WitnessesChat with our RESULTS Experts on Poverty this Thursday, October 20 at 11:00 am ET. October is Domestic Violence awareness month. Awareness is all about conversation, education, and importantly, listening to those with first-hand experience. This is a great opportunity to become aware of the intersection of domestic violence and poverty and learn what you can do to help. For more information, visit this event page

Speaking of our incredible Experts, they have been busy sharing their stories and educating others on how to take action to fight poverty. Here are some recent highlights:

  • Maxine Thomas of RESULTS Indianapolis presented "The Experts Among You" at the Hunger Free Communities Summit on October 6
  • Qiana Torregano of RESULTS New Orleans presented "Wisdom from the True Experts" at the National Black Child Development Institute on October 2
  • Asia Bijan Thompson from Dallas, PA presented "Transforming Practice & Inspiring RDs to Counsel Food Insecure Clients" at the Food and Nutrition Conference & Expo on October 17

RESULTS would also like to thank our RESULTS Wofford advocates in Greenville/Spartanburg, SC for hosting Grassroots Manager for U.S. Poverty Campaigns Jos Linn for outreach events at Wofford College. Jos did two presentations yesterday before over 100 students, educating them on the importance of being engaged citizens. As a result, 11 new members signed up to become part of the Wofford group. The group’s next meeting is Monday, October 24 at 3:15 pm ET in Olin 210 on the Wofford campus. Jos sincerely thanks everyone for their help in making this a success, and deep thanks go to volunteers Begoña Caballero-Garcia and Heide Craig for their gracious hospitality.

Finally, if you are in or around Russellville, Arkansas next week, please join U.S. Poverty Grassroots Organizer Kristy Martino as she and a passionate group of Arkansas Tech University students launch a new RESULTS chapter on Monday, October 24 at 4:00 pm CT. For more information please contact Kristy at [email protected]

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Quick News

Keep Pushing Our Issues in the Media. Your media success continues – in the last week, you’ve gotten five new media pieces published, including three op-eds! (Dawn Pierce of RESULTS Boise, Bruce Kessler of RESULTS South Central PA, and Debbie Baskin of RESULTS Salt Lake City) That brings your total to 36 since September 1 and 130 for the year. Congratulations! Let’s keep it up. This week is the final Presidential Debate (tomorrow night). Will Chris Wallace ask a question about poverty? If he does, what will the candidates say? If he doesn’t, this means we’ve gone another election cycle with not one question about poverty to the candidates. All of these are good hooks for letters to the editor and op-eds this week. Use our online LTE alert to tailor and submit your letter today!

Share Your Stories with Us. RESULTS has created a new form to gather your advocacy stories to use to inform others about the power of citizen advocacy to share with and empower others. Go to our Voices of RESULTS form today and document your story today!

Join the new RESULTS Volunteers Facebook page. This new online resource is a place where you can share successes, pictures, challenges, best practices, and ask questions in your advocacy work. Go to https://www.facebook.com/groups/RESULTSVolunteers/ to sign up.

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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: Monday, October 3 – Friday, November 11. 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 U.S. Poverty Free Agents Calls, Tuesday, October 18 at 1:00 pm and 8:00 pm ET. To participate, login in at http://fuze.me/32256018 or dial by phone at (201) 479-4595, Meeting ID: 32256018#.

RESULTS Introductory Call, Tuesday, October 28 at 1:00 pm ET. If you want to learn more about RESULTS, register for an upcoming Intro Call on the RESULTS website.

Election Day, November 8. Be sure to register to vote!

RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Outreach Webinar, Tuesday, November 15 at 8:00 pm ET. Guest speaker: Dr. Maya Rockeymoore. Join 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 International Conference, Saturday, July 22 – Tuesday, July 25, 2017. Washington Court Hotel, Washington, DC. More details soon.

If you have a question, comment or suggestion for the RESULTS/RESULTS Educational Fund Board, please e-mail them to RESULTS Grassroots Board Member Vanessa Garcia at [email protected]. You can download RESULTS’ most recent Annual Report at: https://results.org/about/annual_report/.

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