U.S. Poverty Weekly Update September 20, 2016

September 20, 2016

U.S. Poverty Campaigns

Weekly Update | September 20, 2016

“Fighting against poverty has always been in me.”

– RESULTS REAL Change Fellow Luc Pierre-Louis in a September 16 article in the Florida International University News about RESULTS

In This Week’s Update:

Quick Action: Generate Media about Ending Poverty in America

Take Action!

Got Two Minutes? Send in Your Letter to the Editor Today (September Action)

Last week, the U.S. Census released its 2015 poverty data, which showed that one in seven Americans were living in poverty in 2015 (43 million). The data also showed that the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) were integral in preventing millions more from falling below the poverty line; the EITC and CTC lifted 9.2 million of them out of poverty in 2015 (second only to Social Security). Don’t let this big news get lost in the craze of the election coverage. In fact, addressing poverty and the programs that combat it should be a top election issue.  Help focus candidates and lawmakers on this important issue by sending a letter to the editor today highlighting the poverty data and the need to expand the EITC to help more people trying to make ends meet.

TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes to use our updated online alert to send a letter to the editor to your local paper urging Congress and candidates to take action on poverty. If your local paper covered the poverty data release, mention it in the letter and personalize your letter with local data on how expanding the EITC would benefit people in your state. If you need help customizing your letters, please contact Jos Linn ([email protected]).

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Got Ten Minutes? Use Local Poverty and EITC Data to Personalize Your Letters and Op-eds (September Action)

With the new U.S. Census 2015 poverty data and Supplemental Poverty Data released last week, there is plenty of information to make for a strong letter to the editor or op-ed this month. However, newspapers like to see how this information relates to people in their readership. Fortunately, there is new data that can provide you that state and local data.

First, last Thursday the Census released its new American Community Survey (ACS) data, which provides you national, state, county, city, and congressional district level information. Want to get the attention of your member of Congress? Write a letter pointing out how many people were living in poverty in his/her district in 2015. Go to the ACS American Fact Finder website, click on the “Guided Search” link, and follow the steps (if you need help, contact Jos Linn for assistance). Also, our friends at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) have updated their Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) state fact sheets to include new data on how expanding the EITC would impact veterans, young people, and rural workers in your state.

TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes to research local data to include in your letters to the editor and op-eds this month. Use the ACS American Fact Finder and CBPP EITC state fact sheets to find helpful local data for your media pieces. The September Action has talking points that include highlights from the new data as well as sample letters to the editor to get you started. In addition, if you want to try for an op-ed this month, we have an op-ed template you can use to get started (personalize it to make it your own). You can find media outlets in your state in our Media Guide. Be sure to sure to reference any poverty data stories recently in the paper and call on members of Congress and/or candidates by name to take action. If you need help, please contact Jos Linn ([email protected]).

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Got Twenty Minutes? Be Strategic in Your Media Outreach (September Action)

You might have noticed that there is an election going on this fall. In fact, from the media’s perspective, it’s as if there is nothing else going on. While it is important to take the election seriously, there’s a lack of substance in the election coverage as media outlets race to cover the latest deleted Tweet or misstep during a speech. The issues, with few exceptions, are getting left behind. But you have the power to change that.

This month we are trying to turn the attention back to one of our most important issues – poverty. By getting media published this month highlighting new poverty data from the Census, you can help refocus the debate back to issues we need to be talking about. It won’t be easy, but it can be done, especially if you are strategic about it. By planning now only what to write but how to write and submit it, you can make a difference. Here are some things you can do to increase the chances of getting published:

  1. Make it personal. Share personal stories in your media piece illustrating the issue (or a story you can relate to the issue). Stories make your piece more compelling for editors and readers.
  2. Make it local. Include state and/or local data about the issue. Newspapers prefer to data that relates to their readers. See above for state and local data resources. In addition, if you can refer to a recent article in the paper in your piece, that will help too.
  3. Send in numerous pieces. If your local RESULTS group is targeting a specific paper, send in multiple letters on the same subject (but not the same letter). This increases the chances that the paper will print one of them. To ensure that your group is doing this, please check in with your fellow group members this week to see how they are doing on their letters (or op-eds) and when they will submit their pieces to the paper.
  4. Don’t give up. Not every letter gets printed. If the paper does not contact you about printing your letter or if it does not show up in the paper within a few days, submit it to another paper. Find media outlets in your state in our Media Guide.

TAKE ACTION: Take twenty minutes to write and submit a letter to the editor or op-ed about ending poverty in America. Be strategic in how you take this month’s action by following the suggestions above. For talking points and sample letters, see the September Action. We also have a sample op-ed you can use as a template for your own piece. If you have questions or need help, please contact Jos Linn ([email protected]) for assistance.

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Fundraising Survey Deadline Tomorrow – Have You Shared Your 2017 Plans?

We’re just a few weeks before the RESULTS annual budgeting process begins and we need your input. For the last few weeks, we’ve been asking RESULTS group and volunteers to think about their 2017 fundraising plans and share their plans and goals with us. This helps us best allot resources to our most important work through the budget and help our Development Team better plan for the coaching, support, and materials you will need next year. Please take a few minutes to fill out the 2017 Fundraisning Survey today. The deadline is tomorrow, September 21. If you have questions, please contact Mea Geizhals at [email protected].

Quick News

Join Experts on Poverty Twitter Chat THIS Thursday. This Thursday, September 22, many our powerful Experts on Poverty will be joining Witnesses to Hunger for a Twitter chat focused on poverty and the election. You can follow along with #WitnessesChat and join the conversation! Check out Witnesses to Hunger’s latest chat recap on storify and our Experts on Poverty chat from June here

Request Lobby Meetings and Look for Town Halls in October. Congress is still working to finalize a temporary budget extension this week that would keep the government open until mid-December. They are hoping to finish this week (earlier than scheduled) so they can go home to campaign. Welcome them home by requesting face-to-face meetings and asking if they plan to do town halls during the recess. Use this opportunity to remind them that this election is about real issues like ending poverty. Use our online alert to request a meeting and find scheduler contact information on our Elected Officials page.

New RESULTS Groups Get Local Media Attention. Last week, our new RESULTS groups at the University of Mississippi in Jackson and at Florida International University in Miami got nice write-ups about their RESULTS work by their school media outlets. Check them out to see what great work these new, young volunteers are doing in their communities.

Tune in Monday to See If Poverty Question is Asked. Next Monday, September 26 is the first Presidential Debate. Vote to End Hunger has been circulating a petition to get debate moderators to ask a question about poverty in one of the debates. Last week, VTEH delivered the 600,000 petition signatures to Lester Holt of NBC News, the first debate moderator. They also delivered them to the Clinton and Trump campaigns. Tune into the debate next Monday evening to see if it worked.

Save the Date for the 2017 RESULTS International Conference! The dates for the 2017 RESULTS International Conference are set: July 22 – 25, 2017 at the Washington Court Hotel in Washington, DC. Please mark your calendars. We’ll have more details and registration information soon.

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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: Monday, October 3 – Friday, November 11; Senate: Monday, October 10 – 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, September 20 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, Friday, September 30 at 1:00 pm ET. If you want to learn more about RESULTS, register for an upcoming Intro Call on the RESULTS website.

RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Webinar, Saturday, October 8 at 12:30 pm ET. 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.

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

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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