U.S. Poverty Weekly Update September 11, 2018

September 11, 2018

U.S. Poverty Campaigns

Weekly Update | September 11, 2018

“One thing students shouldn’t have to worry about is how they are going to eat. But the reality is that there are students experiencing hunger.”

– RESULTS REAL Change Fellow and Las Vegas volunteer Sidney Betancourt in an September 2 letter to the editor in the Las Vegas Sun

Got Two Minutes? Send in a Quick Letter to the Editor (September Action)

As farm negotiations continue, keep the pressure on lawmakers to ensure they pass a bipartisan bill that protects SNAP. The media is an excellent way to publicly remind lawmakers that their constituents care about the actions they take, like protecting access to food assistance. If you want a quick hook for your letters, mention that the U.S. Department of Agriculture released new food insecurity data last week showing that overall food insecurity dropped in 2017 by 0.5 percent (from 12.3 to 11.8), but that child food insecurity remains unchanged (around 8 percent). Therefore, the last thing Congress should be doing is cutting assistance and making things worse.

TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes to send a letter to the editor to your local paper urging Congress to protect SNAP in the final farm bill. Use our online LTE action to get started (if possible, take a few moments to personalize it to increase the chance of getting published). If you have questions or need help, please contact Jos Linn.

Got Ten Minutes? Submit Your Own Letter to the Editor or Op-ed about Protecting SNAP (September Action)

House and Senate farm bill negotiators are still at, but not making much headway. Last week, House Agriculture Committee Chair Mike Conaway (R-TX-11) offered a “compromise” farm bill to his Senate counterparts. No details were released but according to Senate Agriculture Committee Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), it wasn’t “even close to being something the Senate could accept.” With the House on recess next week, chances are dwindling that they can reach a deal before the September 30 deadline (they would likely continue the current farm bill as an alternative). This means the pressure you’ve been putting on members of both parties to protect SNAP is working. Keep it up.

On last week’s U.S. Poverty National Webinar, RESULTS Director of Communications Colin Smith provided some great tips on how to use the media to keep that pressure on. He outlined a unique to write letters to the editor. He reminded us that sometimes the “hook” for a letter – that fact or story that gets people’s attention – is the hardest part to writing it and can serve as a barrier if you get stuck. Instead, Colin recommended you start from the end and work backward. Write your call to action first, since you already know what that will be (protect SNAP). Then write the middle part – the “why it matters” section. This is the part that comes from the heart; of why you care about SNAP. It’s the reminder that the House farm bill is bad policy and it’s wrong to take food off the table of people who are struggling. Use local data about SNAP’s impact and remind readers, editors, and members of Congress that decisions made on Capitol Hill have real, human consequences for people across the country.

After doing this, instead of being stuck at the beginning, you now have 2 out of the 3 pieces ready to go. That just leaves the hook, which you can do by referencing an article already in the paper. That’s what papers like; they want people to join a conversation. And remember, the new U.S. Census poverty data comes out tomorrow; that is also an easy hook. Check out more tips from Colin in the webinar slides and recording. The farm bill is close to the finish line. Let’s make sure that whatever crosses that line ensures that hungry Americans are protected.

TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes to draft a letter to the editor telling your members of Congress to protect SNAP and other anti-poverty programs. Use the September Action for guidance, as well as the slides and recording from our September U.S. Poverty National Webinar. If you are looking to do more than a letter to the editor, try an op-ed; it will give you more room to write and bigger coverage in the paper. We have a template op-ed to use as well. Please contact Jos Linn if you have questions or need help.

Got 30 minutes? Join the Census Data Overview Webinar Tomorrow at 9pm ET

Tomorrow morning the U.S. Census will release its report on poverty, income, and health coverage for 2017. This data is vital in understanding how we are doing as a country in the fight against poverty. It also provides with important information in your advocacy work (and the release itself serves as a great hook for letters to the editor). To help you understand what’s contained in the report and how best to use it, RESULTS Director of U.S. Poverty Campaigns Meredith Dodson will host a 30-minute webinar tomorrow, September 12 at 9:00 pm ET. She will briefly overview the data for you with plenty of time for you to ask questions. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn about the new poverty data just hours after its release.

TAKE ACTION: Take thirty minutes to attend the RESULTS Census Data Overview webinar tomorrow, September 12 at 9:00 pm ET. Join at https://results.zoom.us/j/956438447 or dial either (929) 436-2866 or (669) 900-6833. Meeting ID: 956 438 447.

Quick News

RESULTS Advocates on the Move. Last week three of RESULTS Experts on Poverty, Maxine Thomas, Clara Moore, and Alexa Williams, presented at the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society's Hunger Seminar, speaking to participants about the impact of policies on hunger. before participants met with members of Congress the next day to discuss the Farm Bill and SNAP. Their presentation is available via a Facebook Live video. Also last week, RESULTS Director of US Poverty Campaigns spoke at Prosperity Now's Prosperity Summit, also before participants journeyed to Capitol Hill, to share advocacy tips from the RESULTS Activist Toolkit. This week, RESULTS U.S. Poverty Grassroots Manager Jos Linn travels to Deadwood, SD, to meet with the relatively new group from Spearfish, and this weekend, RESULTS Advocate and Expert on Poverty Yolanda Gordon will travel to Phoenix for a training with the new RESULTS group in formation there. Join the fun! If you are new to RESULTS, know someone new to RESULTS, or want to become a RESULTS advocate, please join us for our New Advocate Orientation. Sign up here

House Recess Next Week. The House will go on recess again next week. Use this opportunity to get in front of representatives and candidates to talk about our issues. Contact your House offices to ask about meetings or events during the recess (also look on www.townhallproject.com). If you get a meeting or find an event to attend, please contact Meredith Dodson for lobby coaching and resources.

House Pushing New Tax Cuts. House leaders are doubling down on their $1.5 trillion tax cut for the wealthy in 2017 with a plan for new tax cuts this year. Under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the individual tax cuts will expire over the next ten years; only the corporate tax cut was made permanent. House leaders now want to make the individual tax cuts permanent too, most of which would go to wealthy households. The House Ways and Means Committee will meet Thursday to mark up the bill and a vote is expected later this month. If enacted, this would deprive the government of estimated $2.8 trillion in revenue, which would put funding for programs that help low- and middle-income Americans at great risk. Fortunately, the Senate is not expected to take up this new tax plan before the election.

Join Anti-Oppression Webinar on September 13. Please join our next anti-oppression webinar to discuss why anti-oppression work matters for our advocacy and overview our new RESULTS Call-in/Call-out Guide. The webinar is this Thursday, September 13 at 9:00 pm ET. To join, login at: https://results.zoom.us/j/292298302 or dial (669) 900 6833, Meeting ID: 292 298 302.

Save the Date for the 2019 RESULTS International Conference! The dates for the 2019 RESULTS International Conference have been set: July 13-16, 2019 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington, DC. Please mark your calendars and plan to attend. We’ll have more details about the event in the coming months.

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.

Upcoming Congressional Recesses: House: September 17-21.

RESULTS U.S. Poverty Census Data Overview webinar, Wednesday, September 12 at 9:00 pm ET. Join at https://results.zoom.us/j/956438447 or dial either (929) 436-2866 or (669) 900-6833. Meeting ID: 956 438 447.

RESULTS New Advocate Orientation, Thursday, September 13 at 8:30 pm ET and Friday, September 28 at 1:00 pm ET. Learn more here.

Anti-Oppression Webinar: Call-in/Call-out Training, Thursday September 13 at 9:00 pm ET. To join, login at: https://results.zoom.us/j/292298302 or dial (669) 900 6833, Meeting ID: 292 298 302.

U.S. Poverty Free Agents Calls, Tuesday, September 18 at 1:00 pm and 8:00 pm ET. Join at: https://results.zoom.us/j/324294681 or dial by phone at (929) 436-2866 or (669) 900-6833, Meeting ID: 324 294 681.

RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Webinar, Tuesday, September 4 at 8:00 pm ET. Join at: https://results.zoom.us/j/873308801 or dial (929) 436-2866 or (669) 900-6833, Meeting ID: 873 308 801.

Indigenous People’s Day, Monday, October 8. All RESULTS offices closed.

RESULTS Virtual Thanksgiving Feast Fundraising Campaign, November 2018. Contact Mea Geizhals, Grassroots Fundraising Manager, with any questions and look for more information soon.

RESULTS International Conference, July 13-16, 2019. More details soon.

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.

Got a Question for the RESULTS Board? If you have a question, comment, or suggestion for the RESULTS/RESULTS Educational Fund Board, please e-mail Steven McGee at [email protected]. View published Board minutes on the RESULTS website, as well as our Annual Reports.

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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