U.S. Poverty Weekly Update September 30, 2014

September 30, 2014

Until we evolve to a place where we can talk about a living wage, please help spread the word of the “Cliff Effect” and make our efforts to increase the minimum wage to the magic number – $10.90 an hour and no less!

 — RESULTS Albuquerque volunteer Dee Ivy in a September 23 letter to the editor in the Albuquerque Journal

People like Ana Franco, mentioned in the story, deserve fair tax treatment that will keep them out of extreme poverty. Congress can help Ana and people like her by making permanent the 2009 extensions of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC) when tax reform is undertaken.

— RESULTS REAL Change volunteer David Costello in a September 28 letter to the editor in the Houston Chronicle

Congress needs to make the improvements to the EITC and CTC permanent.

— RESULTS Gig Harbor (WA) volunteer Donna Munro in a September 23 letter to the editor in the Kitsap Sun


New and Urgent in This Week's Update

Latest from Washington, DC

Organizational Updates

Got Two Minutes? Find a Candidate Town Hall and Plan to Attend (October Action)

Congress is currently on recess and will be until after the November election. This means they are home and available to meet with constituents. Since many of them are campaigning for re-election, there’s a good chance your local members of Congress will be doing town hall meetings over the next few weeks. In addition, candidates for office will also be holding public events. With the new poverty data showing that the economic recovery is not doing enough for low-income Americans, these town halls are an important opportunity to tell elected officials and candidates to make ending poverty a priority.

TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes to contact congressional campaigns and congressional offices about upcoming events you can attend. You can find candidate information at: http://results.capwiz.com/election/home/ and information about members of Congress at: http://capwiz.com/results/dbq/officials/. If you find an event, plan to go and ask a question. Please contact Meredith Dodson ([email protected]) once you know you’re attending a meeting or town hall to help you get ready. You can also find sample questions on our U.S. Poverty Town Hall Questions page.

Also, plan to join our “Pre-Election Bird-Dogging: Getting Poverty Issues on the Radar” training webinar tomorrow, October 1 at 9:00 pm ET. Want to know how to get candidates to make a public commitment on your issue (aka bird-dogging)? Join us to talk about great bird-dogging techniques, useful as you attend town hall meetings and seek to get our issues talked about in the run-up to the election. Register at: https://www.fuzemeeting.com/webinar/register/1029466. To join the webinar via conference call, dial (201) 479-4595, passcode: 25949862.

Got Ten Minutes? Follow Up with Newspapers about Your Editorial Request (September Action)

As we move into October and our next action, let’s take time this week to make one last push for editorials about poverty and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC). There’s still time to get newspapers to write about this issue and with election season now heating up, there’s no better time to do so. Candidates are doing debates and seeking endorsements so a prominent editorial about poverty in your local paper could prompt candidates to speak out or motivate media outlets to ask them questions about how they would deal with poverty.

If you have not reached out to a local editor or editorial writer about doing an editorial about poverty and the EITC/CTC, do so now. If you have, follow up again. Keep pushing your local media to make ending poverty a priority, just like you do with members of Congress. If you’ve struck out with one paper, contact another paper in your area or state or reach out to a weekly paper/monthly magazine to see if they will publish something. Let’s make poverty a key issue in this year’s election!

TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes to contact or follow up with editors and writers about writing an editorial on poverty and the EITC and CTC. See the September Action for tips to help you, as well as our list of resources for doing media outreach this month here. If you have questions or need coaching for your media outreach, please contact Jos Linn ([email protected]) or Meredith Dodson ([email protected]).

Got Twenty Minutes? Reach Out to Candidates to Talk about Poverty and Taxes (October Action)

We’re heading into the most intense part of the fall campaign season. Our televisions are inundated with ads, e-mail inboxes are full of campaign messages, and candidates are doing all they can to woo voters and attract votes. It’s a crazy time, but also an opportune one.

Let’s remember what’s at stake. The next Congress could be making major changes to the tax code, including changes (good or bad) to the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC). Current Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-OR) has said that he is eager to do major tax reform sooner rather than later. Furthermore, if Senate control switches to Republicans, they have indicated that might use reconciliation in next year’s budget to do tax reform (reconciliation bills cannot be filibustered). Finally, Paul Ryan (R-WI-1) has hinted that he would like to take over the House Ways and Means Committee from retiring Chair Dave Camp (D-MI-4). Considering Rep. Ryan’s recent House budgets have included major changes to the tax code, it is assumed he would welcome reform as well.

All this makes the relationships we build with current and future members of Congress so important. By meeting with members of Congress, we have been able to build support for tax changes that would help low-income Americans get out and stay out of poverty. In fact, this year has been a banner year for you as volunteers. RESULTS U.S. volunteers have met face-to-face with members of Congress 101 times so far in 2014 – 74 meetings with 44 different representatives and 27 meetings with 23 different senators. That’s more meetings than any year in the last decade. Congratulations! These meetings are essential in building political will.

Facing a new Congress in January, it’s important that we start now kindling new relationships and cementing old ones. Many allies and opponents are retiring this year and new faces will replace them. Many friends and foes are running again but there is no guarantee they will win. Meeting with them know and educating them about RESULTS and our issues will help you to build the relationships we will need right after the election (in the Lame Duck session) and when the new Congress is sworn in next year. Don’t wait – schedule time to meet with candidates today.

TAKE ACTION: Take twenty minutes to contact congressional candidates to set up face-to-face meetings with them in October. Use the October Action to guide you through the process. Make sure to include current members of Congress running for re-election or higher office, as well as newcomers running against incumbents or for open seats. Stay non-partisan and reach out to all the major candidates in your local races. You never know who might become an important ally. You can find candidate information at: http://results.capwiz.com/election/home/. Of course, if you have not met with your retiring member of Congress lately, put in requests to meet with them as well. They will still be making important decisions in the lame duck session of Congress (find contact information for them on our Elected Officials page).

Once you get a meeting scheduled, please contact Meredith Dodson ([email protected]) immediately to set up a call to prepare you. She will give you personalized coaching on the candidate or member of Congress and what specific requests to make. Once you’ve had a meeting, please fill out our online Lobby Report form at: http://tinyurl.com/LobbyReportForm to let us know how it went.

RESULTS Outreach – Success in the South and Southwest

Thank you to everyone who supported our busy week last week of outreach. Here’s the exciting news of what happened.

Arizona. Last week, U.S. Poverty Organizer Myrdin Thompson traveled to Tucson, Arizona and had the opportunity to meet with Michael McDonald, Director of the Community Food Bank, Ken Briggs and Pia Seebach-York of United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona, Alok Appadurai of Fed By Threads, RESULTS volunteer Emily Waldron, and other concerned community members to help get a new RESULTS presence in southern Arizona. They explored ideas of how to engage more people in our advocacy work. For example, Mr. McDonald spoke about how impactful it would be to have locals, who volunteer to fill bags of food for people, end their shift by sending a message to Congress asking them to support the EITC. Myrdin looks forward to continuing these conversations and working with advocates in Tucson to strengthen and expand their group. If you know people in Tucson, please contact Myrdin at [email protected].

Alabama. Also last week, U.S. Poverty Organizer Kristy Martino traveled to Alabama to help not one, but two RESULTS groups get started. In a state that ranks near the bottom in protecting tits citizens from poverty, Kristy was excited to be with such enthusiastic, bright, and passionate people first at Auburn University in Auburn, AL and then again in Birmingham, the scene for many heartbreaking and victorious civil rights moments. 

At Auburn, the Delta Sigma Pi Business Fraternity has chosen to work with RESULTS as part of their service to the community. There will be committees formed within their 60-plus member chapter for both U.S. and Global RESULTS work. As expected, the conversation was lively and these future leaders in business were truly invested in diving into the causes and solutions for poverty. Don't ever let anyone tell you millennials don't care!

In Birmingham, church members, city revitalization organizers, artists, and even politicians came together to learn more about RESULTS. One participant is currently running for judge and was interested in the issue of poverty and how it so profoundly affects his community. As part of the meeting, people made phone calls to Senators Richard Shelby and Jeff Sessions asking them to put working families first. Kristy was honored to meet with all these fine people in Alabama and looks forward to working with them to build a strong RESULTS presence in the state.

Both the Auburn and Birmingham groups will be moving into the training phase of their RESULTS work in the coming weeks. If you live in Alabama and missed these events last week, or know someone there, please contact Kristy at [email protected] to connect to a new group.

Upcoming Outreach – Ohio. Myrdin will be presenting at the Regional Community of Practice for the Ohio Circles groups on Tuesday, October 14, 2014, at Fairhaven Church, 637 East Whipp Rd in Centerville, OH. RESULTS volunteer and Circles leader Kem Hall of Dayton will be partnering with her on a RESULTS Advocacy 101 session. Contact Myrdin for more details.

Upcoming Outreach – Los Angeles and Orange County. RESULTS founder Sam Daley-Harris and southern California RESULTS volunteers will be hosting outreach events on mid-October. Sam will be talking about the importance of citizen engagement and Reclaiming Our Democracy. He will be in Los Angeles on Saturday, October 18 at 10:30 am – 1:00 pm PT at 1500 Sunset Plaza Drive in West Hollywood, CA. On Sunday, October 19, Sam will be in Orange County from 3:30p.m. to 5:30p.m. at 25292 Abilene Ct. in Laguna Hills. These will be exciting and inspiring events. If you know people in the LA area, invite them to attend. Space is limited to sign up today. RSVP to either event to Vanessa Garcia at (714) 631-0277.

Upcoming Outreach – St. Louis, MO. RESULTS volunteers and staff will be hosting an outreach meeting in St. Louis to strengthen the local group there. The meeting is Monday, October 20 at 7:15 pm CT at Schlafly Bottleworks. If you know anyone in St. Louis, please invite them to attend. See our St. Louis Outreach Facebook page or contact Jos Linn ([email protected]) for details.

Continued Outreach – Salt Lake City and Detroit. RESULTS Director of U.S. Poverty Campaigns Meredith Dodson is working with advocates in Salt Lake City, UT to start a new group there. They will be meeting this Thursday, October 2 at 9:00 pm ET to talk about next steps. If you’d like to join the discussion, dial (866) 503-7713, passcode 4091413579. Meredith is also working with advocates in Detroit to get U.S. Poverty group to started as a sister group to our already amazing Global group there. If you know people in these areas (or other areas of the country), please contact Meredith ([email protected]) to help get them connected with RESULTS in their area.

Quick News

RESULTS’ Meredith Dodson Talks about Tax Credits on the Radio. RESULTS Director of U.S. Poverty Campaigns Meredith Dodson appeared on the “We Get RESULTS” online radio show last week, hosted by RESULTS Detroit volunteer Mary Singer Albertson. Meredith spoke about the recent U.S. Census poverty data and how the EITC and CTC can make difference in reducing poverty in America. Take a few minutes to listen to Meredith’s presentation on the show (her presentation begins around minute 50).

Join Webinar on Taxes and Children this Thursday. Our friends at the Children’s Leadership Council are hosting a webinar this week to talk about how the tax code can help improve the lives of children. The webinar will include a discussion of new research documenting the benefits of tax policies, including the EITC and CTC; proposals in Congress to change these policies; and why child and anti-poverty advocates should care about what happens to these credits. The webinar is this Thursday, October 2 at 2:00 pm ET. Register for the webinar today at the FRAC website.

For updates on all our U.S. Poverty Campaigns, see our U.S. Poverty Campaigns Summary page on the RESULTS website.

Announcements – Important 2015 Conference Info

Save the Date for the 2015 International Conference! Get out your calendar and block out July 18-21, 2015 for the next RESULTS International Conference. Our 2015 conference will be a very exciting event and we’ll even be back on Capitol Hill at the Washington Court Hotel. We will have more details and registration information for you soon. For now, reserve those dates and plan to have a great time at next year’s conference!

Autumn is Here . . . So is Fundraising!

Fundraising event season is getting into full swing! We wanted to thank the following groups for putting their events on the calendar before the end of 2014 and let you all know there is still time to get an event planned this year. Here are some upcoming fundraisers RESULTS volunteers are organizing:

  • Columbus, Ohio – Sunday, October 19
  • Santa Fe, New Mexico – Sunday, November 9
  • Detroit, Michigan – Sunday, November 16
  • Houston, TX – Friday, November 21
  • Austin, TX – Saturday, November 22
  • Seattle, WA – Monday, December 15

If you don't feel you can manage an actual event before December 31, why not a virtual event instead? You could have your group host a Virtual Thanksgiving Feast! You can set your campaign up as a team page and collectively utilize our Friends & Family campaign to raise funds as a group, without ever leaving home.

RESULTS Activity Calendar

(See a complete calendar on the RESULTS website)

Upcoming Congressional Recesses: House and Senate: September 22 – November 11. Request face-to-face meetings.

Wednesday, October 1: Pre-Election Bird-Dogging: Getting Poverty Issues on the Radar, 9 pm ET. Webinar info: https://www.fuzemeeting.com/webinar/register/1029466. To join via conference call, dial (201) 479-4535, passcode 25949862.

Wednesday, October 8: RESULTS Introductory Call, 9:00 pm ET. Register at: https://results.org/take_action/become_a_results_activist/#Introductory%20Call.

Saturday, October 11: RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Conference Call, 12:30 pm ET. Listen to previous conference calls online.

Tuesday, October 21: U.S. Poverty Free Agents Call, 1:00 pm and 9:00 pm ET. (857) 232-0476, passcode 703096.

Saturday, July 18 – Tuesday, July 21, 2015: RESULTS International Conference, Washington Court Hotel, Washington, DC. Details coming soon!

RESULTS Contact Information

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:

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.

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