U.S. Poverty Weekly Update September 2, 2014
It is not enough to be compassionate. We must act.
— Dalai Lama
New and Urgent in This Week's Update
- Got Two Minutes? Make One Last Push to Meet with Members of Congress This Week (August Action)
- Got Ten Minutes? Register For RESULTS Media Webinars This Month (September Action)
- Got Twenty Minutes? Research Poverty Positions for your Media Outreach This Month (September Action)
Latest from Washington, DC
Got Two Minutes? Make One Last Push to Meet with Members of Congress This Week (August Action)
This is the last week of the August recess for Congress. Some members of Congress will be holding town halls this week, giving you one last chance this summer to talk to them about expanding economic opportunity in America. If there are no events scheduled this week and you were not able to get a sit-down meeting with your members of Congress, get ahead of the game and request a face-to-face meeting for later this fall. Congress will be on recess before the election in November so ask to get on their calendar during one of those home state visits. In addition, don’t forget to reach out to Congressional candidates, especially those running for open House or Senate seats.
TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes contact your House and Senate schedulers to find out if your members of Congress are doing any town halls or public events this month. The RESULTS Elected Officials page has contact information for both the local and DC offices of your members of Congress, and the RESULTS Election Guide has information on candidates for office in your state. See the August Action for very helpful information on preparing for and doing town hall meetings. In addition, be sure to ask the schedulers to set up a face-to-face meeting with your representatives and senators during one of the fall recesses. Use our downloadable meeting request letter or online form for your meeting requests.
Once you have a meeting scheduled or plan to attend a town hall, contact Meredith Dodson ([email protected]) to set up a lobby prep call. After your meeting or town hall, be sure to let us know what happened by filling out the RESULTS Lobby Report Form.
Got Ten Minutes? Register For RESULTS Media Webinars This Month (September Action)
September is the month with all eyes (for anti-poverty advocates) turn to the U.S. Census. That is because September is when the Census releases its annual data on poverty from the previous year. On September 16, the Census will release its data on poverty, income, and health coverage for 2013. This release is usually covered widely in the media (sadly, one of the few times when poverty in America makes national headlines). It is a big deal, as the information can be very helpful in educating members of Congress and the general public about poverty in the U.S.
For September, RESULTS is helping you take advantage of this opportunity. We want to make sure that the new poverty data is covered far and wide, from major media outlets to you hometown newspapers. And we’re looking to make a big impact by focusing on getting editorials published. Editorials talking about the need to address poverty in America and why policymakers should support specific tax policies like protecting and expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit (CTC) are very important – and will shape upcoming policy debates. Unlike a letter to the editor or op-ed (which are also important), an editorial is not just one person’s opinion; it is the position of the paper itself. That is something that catches a lot of attention and can carry a lot of weight.
We know not everyone is familiar with how to get an editorial published. RESULTS will teach you. So that we can maximize this media opportunity, we have a number of resources for you. In addition to the September Action and a U.S. Poverty Editorial Packet (out later this week), we are holding two webinars this month to help you make the best case possible for your paper to write about poverty in America. Register for and plan to attend these webinars and help make this a powerful media month.
TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes to register and save the date our webinars this month on generating media around the U.S. Census release of its 2013 U.S. poverty data. Here is the information on each webinar and the links where you can register:
- On Monday, September 8 at 8:00pm ET, RESULTS will host a Media Training webinar. On this webinar, the RESULTS Media Support Team will talk about best practices for reaching out to local editorial boards and working with editors to get the EITC and CTC into their coverage of the new poverty data. Register for the webinar TODAY at: https://www.fuzemeeting.com/webinar/register/1028546.
- On Tuesday, September 16 at 8:00pm ET, RESULTS will host a 2013 Poverty Data Webinar. On this webinar, we will review the data from the U.S. Census, which will have been released earlier that day. We’ll also talk about how to use the information with local editorial writers and what to expect from future data releases later in September. Register for the webinar TODAY at: https://www.fuzemeeting.com/webinar/register/1028550.
Got Twenty Minutes? Research Poverty Positions for your Media Outreach This Month (September Action)
As noted above, RESULTS is working to generate powerful media this month about poverty in America. We are using the September 16 U.S. Census poverty day release as a way to urge local newspapers to write editorials about U.S. poverty. When generating media, one of the things newspapers look is a local connection to the issue you are asking them to write about. A good way to make poverty “local” to your community is to highlight what your members of Congress think about the issue. When you can provide an editorial writer information about what your state or district’s elected officials have said about poverty, it makes for a better piece and something more appealing to them.
TAKE ACTION: Take twenty minutes to research what your members of Congress have done or said about poverty in America. Here are some suggestions:
- Go to the RESULTS Elected Officials page and find out how your members of Congress have voted on our issues. You can find their votes on specific bills, an overall score or how they’ve voted on legislation we support, as well as co-sponsorships of bills we support.
- Go to the RESULTS Election Guide to find out the candidates for office in your state. On each person’s individual page, you can find a link to their campaign website. Many of these websites will have sections about their positions on the issues. Look at those sections to see if they say anything poverty or the programs we support (EITC, CTC, SNAP, Head Start, child care, Medicaid, TANF, etc.).
- Search your members of Congress and candidate names on the internet along with key words such as EITC, Child Tax Credit, or poverty. Google also provides tips to help with internet searches.
- Read the newspaper you plan to reach out to and see if it has any articles about candidate positions that are relevant to RESULTS issues.
Gather this information and compile it into a document with brief summaries of the information you found along with links to the sources at which you found them. Save it and plan to use it with the editorial packet RESULTS will make available later this week. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Jos Linn ([email protected]) or Meredith Dodson ([email protected]) for help.
RESULTS continues its work to expand our reach and impact in the world by starting new RESULTS groups and supporting our 37 existing groups around the country. Already in 2014, we’ve started 5 new RESULTS groups, which cover four new states – RESULTS volunteers in 30 states directly communicate with 60 Senate offices and at least 118 House offices on a regular basis. We have several group start and outreach presentations coming up – let us know if you know people in these communities:
Salt Lake City, Utah. Local RESULTS volunteers are working to start a U.S. Poverty Group there to complement our strong global group and provide coverage for Senator Orrin Hatch, the key Republican leader on the Senate Finance Committee. If you know anyone in Utah, please contact Meredith at [email protected].
Tucson, Arizona. U.S. Poverty Organizer Myrdin Thompson is working to start new groups in Tucson. Their RESULTS outreach meeting is tentatively scheduled for September 23. If you know anyone in Tucson (also Phoenix), please contact Myrdin at [email protected].
Auburn, AL. U.S. Poverty Organizer Kristy Martino is working with students at Auburn University to start a new group in September. Their RESULTS outreach meeting is scheduled for September 23. If you know anyone in the Auburn area, please contact Kristy at [email protected].
Birmingham, AL. U.S. Poverty Organizer Kristy Martino is working with local advocates in Birmingham to start a new group in September. Their RESULTS outreach meeting is scheduled for September 25. If you know anyone in the Birmingham area, please contact Kristy at [email protected].
Boulder, CO. RESULTS Grassroots Manager Jos Linn is working with REAL Change Fellows to start a new campus group at the University of Colorado in Boulder. We hope the group will consist of both students and people from the community. If you know anyone in the Boulder area, please contact Jos at [email protected].
St. Louis, MO. Jos is also working with REAL Change Fellows in St. Louis to strengthen the local group there. They will be having an outreach meeting there this fall. If you know anyone in St. Louis, please contact Jos ([email protected]) for more details.
RESULTS is also working to start or build groups in Detroit, Louisville, Dayton, and St. Louis, among other places. If you are new to RESULTS or know someone who might be interested in our work in these communities or elsewhere, invite them to join our next RESULTS Introductory Call. These 30-45 minute calls provide a good overview of RESULTS and how you and others can get involved. The next RESULTS Intro Call is Wednesday, September 10, at 9:00 pm ET. To register for this or another upcoming Intro Call, go to: https://results.org/take_action/become_a_results_activist/. If you know anyone in these or other areas of the country, please contact Director of U.S. Poverty Campaigns Meredith Dodson at [email protected].
RESULTS Blog Posts Highlights Goals and Successes in our Face-to-Faces. This week, we conclude our RESULTS Blog series on face-to-face meetings. This week, Anne Child, RESULTS Regional Coordinator and RESULTS Austin volunteer, highlights the face-to-face meeting goals and successes we’ve achieved so far this year. She highlights were we are and where we need to go and includes some powerful grassroots stories about recent successes. Please feel free to share your story in the Comments section of the blog. And don’t forget to also read our August 11, August 18, and August 25 RESULTS blogposts on face-to-face meetings. We hope you’ve found this series helpful. If you would like us to do more of these in the future, please contact Jos Linn at [email protected] with your suggestions.
Join CHN Poverty Data Preview. Our friends at the Coalition on Human Needs will be holding a webinar on Thursday, September 11 at 2:00 pm ET to preview the poverty data release. Jared Bernstein, economist and former advisor to Vice President Joe Biden, will share his predictions on what the data will show. Tune in for more details in the coming week.
For updates on all our U.S. Poverty Campaigns, see our U.S. Poverty Campaigns Summary page on the RESULTS website.
Still looking for a great way to fundraise for RESULTS/REF before the year ends? We have some great Friends and Family Campaigns already set up on our new online platform you can register with and use immediately! Online fundraising is an easy and efficient way to raise funds for RESULTS and often times you can target your efforts around milestones or events in your own lives that would be of interest to others. Check out our brand new pages:
General Friends and Family Campaign (you can use this page to fundraise online ANY time you like!)
Race to End Poverty Page (you can use this for any physical challenge you are taking on – organized run, swim, bike, walk events or you maybe you want to challenge yourself to a specific number of miles in a certain time?)
Celebrations Friends and Family Campaign Page (you can use this to celebrate birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, graduations, any special event or milestone in your life you want to ask for donations during)
Virtual Thanksgiving Feast Friends and Family Campaign Page (you can use this to reach out to your friends and family during the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday timeframe)
If you need help setting up your page, or have questions about best practices for online fundraising, contact Jen DeFranco at [email protected].
Join Call on Building and Maintaining Your Action Network. Have people stopped into one of your RESULTS meetings and you're not sure how to engage them? Did you host a table at a RESULTS-related event and now you have a sign-in sheet full of names? Are you an Action Network Manager in your group? Cultivating folks who have shown interest in RESULTS and your group is time well spent. On this half-hour call, get some quick tips on how to engage these visitors to become more deeply enrolled in the work of RESULTS! The call is Thursday, September 18, 2014 at 1:00 pm ET. To participate, dial (712) 432-3100, passcode 761262.
Please Fill Out the Lobby Report Form. If you have not filled out a report for your recent lobby meetings, please take a few minutes fill out our online Lobby Report form at: http://tinyurl.com/LobbyReportForm. Please fill out the form for lobby meetings you have at home and in DC.
(See a complete calendar on the RESULTS website)
Upcoming Congressional Recesses: House and Senate: August 4 – September 5. Request face-to-face meetings.
Monday, September 8: RESULTS Media Training webinar, 8:00 pm ET. This webinar will train you on reaching out to local editorial writers about the upcoming 2013 poverty data release. Register for the webinar here: https://www.fuzemeeting.com/webinar/register/1028546.
Wednesday, September 10: RESULTS Introductory Call, 9:00 pm ET. Register for this or another Intro Call at: http://www.tinyurl.com/RESULTSMeetandGreet.
Saturday, September 13: RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Conference Call, 12:30 pm ET. Listen to previous conference calls online.
Tuesday, September 16: RESULTS Poverty Data Webinar, 8:00 pm ET. This webinar will review the data from the U.S. Census on poverty in 2013. Register for the webinar here: https://www.fuzemeeting.com/webinar/register/1028550.
Thursday, September 18: Training call for Building and Maintaining Your Action Network, 1:00 pm ET. (712) 432-3100, passcode 761262.
Main Office: (p) (202) 783-7100, (f) (202) 466-1397, 1101 15th St NW, Suite 1200, Washington, DC 20005. 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:
- Meredith Dodson, Director of U.S. Poverty Campaigns, (202) 783-7100, x.116, [email protected].
- Jos Linn, Grassroots Manager, U.S. Poverty Campaigns, (515) 288-3622, [email protected]
- Myrdin Thompson, U.S. Poverty Grassroots Organizer, (502) 295-1315, [email protected]
- Kristy Martino, U.S. Poverty Grassroots Organizer, (603) 531-7486, [email protected]
- Ann Beltran, U.S. Poverty Volunteer Lobbyist, [email protected]
- Jen DeFranco, Grassroots Development Associate, [email protected]
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.