U.S. Poverty Weekly Update September 25, 2018

September 25, 2018

U.S. Poverty Campaigns

Weekly Update | September 25, 2018

“Making cuts or changes to SNAP won’t help anyone find work or move out of poverty.”

– RESULTS Austin volunteer Ginger Hansel in a September 18 letter to the editor in the Austin American-Statesman

Got Two Minutes? Finish Out September with a Strong Media Push (September Action)

Farm bill negotiations are coming down to the wire again. House leaders are still insisting that the farm bill include new work requirements for SNAP; Senate leaders continue to hold firm that it should not. Because of this, the current farm bill is likely to expire at the end of this month without a new farm bill to replace it. Leaders don’t seem concerned at this point, stating that finishing it can wait until after the election (funding for programs will last until December, and in the case of SNAP, beyond that).  

In the meantime, we must keep telling Congress to protect SNAP. You’ve done an excellent job so far this year, with 207 media pieces on SNAP in 2018. Keep it up!

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. Use our online LTE action to send a letter today (for additional resources, see the September Action and our RESULTS Blog post). If you have questions or need help, and to report any published media pieces, please contact Jos Linn.

Got Ten Minutes? Oppose New “Public Charge” Rule that Punishes Immigrant Families

This weekend, the Trump Administration announced a new immigration rule that will have a devastating impact on low-income families. When someone applies for a residency in the U.S., i.e. a green card, immigration officials determine if this person will be a public charge. Under current law, they look to see if the person is or is likely to become primarily dependent on cash assistance (e.g. TANF funds) or long-term care under Medicaid. If so, they are deemed a public charge and their residency application can be denied.

Under the new rule announced last Saturday, the definition of public charge would be greatly expanded to include a person who has merely received, or is judged likely to receive in the future, government assistance (remember, undocumented immigrants are barred from getting assistance so this rule targets legal immigration). The programs considered would be expanded to include all non-emergency Medicaid services, SNAP, Medicare part D (prescription drug benefit), and rental assistance, and housing assistance. In addition, if a person’s family income is below 125 percent of the federal poverty line ($31,375 for a family of four), their application could be denied, even if they received no assistance.

The impact of this rule will be harsh. First, it creates a wealth test for immigration. Only those who have wealth can get in and stay. And as we know from history, wealth tests are de facto race and nationality tests. Second, and more alarming, the rule will prompt legal residents to forego assistance when it is needed for fear of being deported. We’ve already seen this happen, with immigrants already in the U.S. getting off assistance based just on the rumor of the rule. This will put children and families at risk of malnutrition, poor health, homelessness, family separation, and poverty. In effect, this new rule is forcing immigrant families to make an impossible choice – stay here and live in poverty or seek help and risk deportation. As an organization dedicated to ending poverty everywhere, RESULTS will not stand for this cruel new policy (for more information about this issue, go to https://www.protectingimmigrantfamilies.org).

TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes to speak out against the new public charge rule. See our new RESULTS Blog post and use our new public charge letter to the editor to action to urge people to oppose this harsh new rule. Because this is an administrative rule, it does not go through Congress. Therefore, once the rule is officially published in the Federal Register, there will be a 60-day public comment period. The goal is to generate overwhelming opposition through the comments, which could force the Administration to abandon the rule. We will direct you to where to make comments when the public comment period begins.

We will discuss this issue in more detail on our U.S. Poverty National Webinar next Tuesday, October 2 at 8:00 pm ET.

Got Twenty Minutes? Get A Jump on Candidate Engagement as Election Season Heats Up

The House planning to go on recess at the end of this week and the Senate likely to leave in early October. Both chambers will not return until after the November election. But this legislative lull does not foretell a quiet six weeks for RESULTS.

This election is no routine endeavor. There are more than 90 open House seats and 3 open seats in the Senate. This means dozens of new members of Congress need to be educated about our issues (not to mention incumbents and those who might upset them). In October, our focus will be on ways to not only engage these candidates, but also others in our community. We need more voices in this movement if we are to create a world without poverty. Election season is a great opportunity to engage new people as they are paying closer to attention to the issues and how they can take action.

Get started now. Candidates are already out there talking to voters. Start looking for these events now and plan to attend. If you find an event you plan to attend, please let us know and we will help you get ready.

TAKE ACTION: Take twenty minutes to look for candidate events in your area. Here are some places to start looking:

Visit our Elections page for tools to resources to help you, including signing up for one-on-one coaching for candidate events. In addition, when you find an event you plan to attend, contact Meredith Dodson for help on what questions to ask.

Quick News

5 Days Left for Monthly Donor Match! 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. To increase our monthly donor base, our Leaders for Action Matching Fund will donate $1,000 to RESULTS for every new person (up to 20) who signs up to be a monthly donor in September. But time is running out – we only have 5 days left. Become a new monthly donor today!

Join Multi-Cultural Outreach Call Tomorrow Night. In order to end poverty, we need to build and strengthen RESULTS groups that are inclusive, welcoming, and valuable. To help with this, join our Captivating the Masses: Multi-Cultural Outreach and Recruitment webinar, tomorrow, September 26, 9:00 pm ET. Learn how to develop and maintain a balanced body of volunteers and discover practices that you can take back to your chapter to jump start your plan. Our guest speaker will be Valerie Bane, Public Affairs Director, Sacramento Chapter of Citizens' Climate Lobby. To participate, login at: https://results.zoom.us/j/852534950 or call in  (669) 900-6833, meeting ID 852 534 950.

House to Vote on New Tax Plan This Week. House leadership is moving forward with $2.8 trillion in new tax cuts for the wealthy, with votes expected on Thursday and Friday of this week. These cuts would make the individual tax cuts passed last year permanent, which would primarily benefit wealthy households and would again leave working families almost completely out. Instead, Congress should be using the tax code to invest in policies that help lower-income Americans build wealth and financial security.  Call you House members at (202) 224-3121 this week and tell them to vote NO on this new, reckless tax plan.

New Study Confirms Expanded EITC Can Work. For several years, RESULTS has been advocating for an expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for workers without children. These workers are the only group taxed into or deeper into poverty by the U.S. tax code. Congress has ignored calls for an expansion, but a new study shows that it can work. A pilot program in New York City (“Paycheck Plus”) provided low-income, childless adults with a $2,000 income bonus each year. Of the 6,000 people who participated over a three-year period, they show an increase in after-tax income, employment rates, and child support payments, while severe poverty among the group dropped. Researchers believe that a nationwide expansion of the EITC for childless adults could have an even bigger positive impact.

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. Learn more at www.resultsconference.org.

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: October 1-November 9.

RESULTS New Advocate Orientation, 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.

U.S. Poverty Free Agents Calls, Tuesday, October 16 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 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. Learn more at www.resultsconference.org

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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