U.S. Poverty Weekly Update September 18, 2018
U.S. Poverty Campaigns
Weekly Update | September 18, 2018
“My parents applied for food stamps. They are two of the most hardworking people I know.”
– RESULTS REAL Change Fellow and Idaho volunteer Ellie Coburn in a September 11 op-ed in the Rexburg Standard-Journal
Got Two Minutes? Keep Pushing for New Media (September Action)
Your media and direct advocacy are working! Farm bill negotiations are stalled right now, mainly over SNAP. House leaders (and the President) continue to push for harsh new work requirements for SNAP, but Senate leaders are not budging. President Trump even personally called out Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) on the issue but despite the pressure, she and Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) are holding firm on passing a bipartisan bill that does not harm SNAP. This means that the work you have done to protect SNAP is working. Without your continued advocacy, negotiators might have been willing to compromise on harmful changes to the program.
Keep doing what you’re doing (RESULTS advocates have 27 media pieces so far this month, 215 for the year). With only a few days left before the September 30 deadline, lawmakers need to see even more media urging them to only support a bipartisan farm bill that protects SNAP.
TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes to send a letter to the editor (LTE) to your local paper urging Congress to protect SNAP in the final farm bill. See our new RESULTS Blog post for a sample LTE and other resources or use our online LTE action to send a letter today. If you have questions or need help, and to report any published media pieces, please contact Jos Linn.
Got Ten Minutes? Get to House Members and Candidates This Week
The House is on recess this week, even while there are several big agenda items left undone before the September 30 fiscal year deadline. However, if they are going to be home, then it is our duty to talk to them about the job they’re doing. Specifically, we want to make sure they are pushing their leadership to give up on their continued objections to passing a farm bill that protects SNAP. Their bill, which would cut or eliminate food assistance for two million people, is bad policy and bad politics. House members surely know that a bill that undermines SNAP has no chance to pass the Senate, evidenced by the simple fact that 86 Republicans, Democrats, and Independents voted for the Senate version of the farm bill that strengthens SNAP.
The recess is also a good opportunity to build those connections with candidates. Congress will have over 90 new members in January and if we want to influence their 2019 agenda, we must start now.
TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes to find congressional and candidate events this week to attend and ask a question. Contact House schedulers about any events your members of Congress are doing events this week (also look on www.townhallproject.com). Also, look on candidate websites or call their campaigns about any events. If you find an event, contact Meredith Dodson for lobby coaching and resources (including our updated congressional scorecard), and use our U.S. Poverty Laser Talks to talk about our issues.
Got Twenty Minutes? New Census Data Shows Anti-Poverty Programs are Important – Use Data for New Media (September Action)
Last week, the U.S. Census released its annual poverty data for 2017. The news was relatively positive with poverty showing a slight decline from 12.7 percent in 2016 to 12.3 percent in 2017 (39.6 million people). However, the change is not considered statistically different from 2016, which means the rate of decline seems to be slowing. Here are some other highlights from the data:
- Median household income increased for the third consecutive year from $60,309 (2016) to $61,372 (2017)
- The child poverty rate declined slightly to 17.5 percent, considered not statistically different from 2016 (18.0 percent)
- The Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM), which takes more factors into account than the official poverty measure, was essentially the same in 2017 (13.9 percent) as 2016 (14.0 percent)
- The SPM showed that SNAP lifted 3.4 million people over the poverty line in 2017
- The SPM showed that the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC) lifted 8.3 million people above the poverty line in 2017
- The rate of Americans without health insurance was unchanged (8.8 percent or about 25 million people)
What this data means is that the last thing Congress should be doing is proposing cuts to SNAP and other anti-poverty programs (such as work requirements for Medicaid). Poverty is still a problem and we need more, not less, investment in poverty-reduction resources. It also means the economy is not having a significant impact on poverty. Unemployment is low but if jobs don’t pay a living wage, programs such as SNAP, the EITC and CTC, Medicaid, housing assistance and others are essential (for an excellent analysis of the jobs issue, read Matthew Desmond’s new piece in the NY Times Magazine).
TAKE ACTION: Take twenty minutes to use the new Census data as a hook to draft and submit a letter to the editor telling your members of Congress to protect SNAP and other anti-poverty programs from cuts and changes. Use the September Action, our new RESULTS Blog post, and slides about the Census data to help you. We also have a template op-ed if you want to make a bigger media impact. Please contact Jos Linn if you have questions or need help and let him know when you get published. If you are looking for detailed, local data, use the 2017 American Community Survey to search for what you need (go to the American FactFinder and follow the guided instructions).
Support the Monthly Donor Match! For every new monthly donor who signs up in the month of September (regardless of amount), $1,000 will be donated to RESULTS from our Leaders for Action Matching Fund – up to $20,000! Monthly donors to RESULTS, known as our Investors in Change, provide a critical lifeline of support to the organization, ensuring a predictable and flexible source of revenue that allows us to quickly respond to new threats and opportunities. Help us maximize this great opportunity by becoming a new monthly donor today.
Call-in Day on Friday to Protest Reckless Tax Plan. The Joint Committee on Taxation has estimated the cost of the new House tax cut plan is $657 billion over the next ten years, although that understates the cost because the full effect of this new tax cut won’t be seen until year seven. The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimates the cost at $5 trillion over the next two decades (including interest). And to add insult to injury, the plan once again leaves working families almost completely out. The House wants to vote on the plan next week. Join the national call-in day this Friday, September 21 by calling your House members at (202) 224-3121 and tell them them to vote NO on this new, reckless tax plan.
Natural Disasters Worsen Wealth Inequality. In the wake of Hurricane Florence, a new report highlights the impacts these natural disasters have on worsening wealth inequality. In citing the new study, the National Low-Income Housing Coalition notes that “in counties with extensive hazard damages of at least $10 billion from 1999 to 2013, white households gained $126,000 in wealth, on average. By comparison, black households lost an average of $27,000 in wealth and Hispanic households lost $29,000.”
Listen to Anti-Oppression “Call-in/Call-out” Webinar. If you were unable to participate in last week’s anti-oppression webinar on our new RESULTS Call-in/Call-out Guide, the recording is now available here.
We Welcome New Intern Charles Palmer. RESULTS is pleased to announce that Charles Palmer of Barnegat, NJ and current Rider University student as our new intern with the U.S. Poverty Team. Charles is spending the semester studying in Washington D.C. at American University. He is a Political Science major and will graduate with a certificate in Leadership and is part of Rider’s model UN and Student Government Association. His interest in RESULTS comes from his belief that your voice can change the world and is best done through fighting for a cause that you are passionate about. We are grateful Charles will share his talents with us the next few months. Welcome, Charles!
November Webinar Moved Due to Election. To not interfere with Election Day, the November U.S. Poverty National Webinar will be Tuesday, November 13 at 8:00 pm ET
Save the Date for the 2019 RESULTS International Conference! Please mark your calendars for the 2019 RESULTS International Conference, July 13-16, 2019 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington, DC. We’ll have more details about the event in the coming months.
Upcoming Congressional Recesses: House: September 17-21.
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 New Advocate Orientation, Thursday, September 19 at 8:30 pm ET and Friday, September 28 at 1:00 pm ET. Learn more here.
RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Webinar, Tuesday, October 2 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.
RESULTS Action Network Community of Practice webinar, Wednesday, October 3 at 8:00pm ET. To join, log in: https://results.zoom.us/j/427674133 or dial in: 669-900-6833, Meeting ID: 427 674 133.
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.
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.