U.S. Poverty Weekly Update September 4, 2012

September 4, 2012

These are the programs that allow families to be families.

— Katherine Linzey, on the importance of Medicaid services to her family in an August 29 Huffington Post article

New and Urgent in This Week’s Update (Two-Ten-Twenty Actions)

Latest from Washington, DC

Organizational Updates

Got Two Minutes? Confirm Plans and Invite Coalition Partners to the RESULTS National Conference Call THIS Saturday at 12:30 pm ET

Join us this Saturday, September 8, for the RESULTS National Conference Call. This month, we are focusing our efforts on generating media. The U.S. Census will release its annual poverty data report next week, which gives us a great opportunity to create media around poverty in America. We are pleased that our friend Debbie Weinstein of the Coalition on Human Needs (CHN) will be joining us as guest speaker. Debbie will share her thoughts on what to expect from the Census report and how to use the information to educate lawmakers and the public on the need to protect anti-poverty services.

We encourage you to invite coalition partners in your community to join you for this call. Many local groups are already familiar with CHN (or should learn about them) and would welcome the chance to hear from Debbie about how best to use the upcoming poverty data in their efforts. Reach out to your local coalition partners and community leaders and invite them to join your group for the call.

TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes and remind your local RESULTS group about this RESULTS monthly national conference call this Saturday, September 8, at 12:30 pm ET. Coordinate with your group where you will meet for the call. Invite local leaders and coalition partners to join your group for the call as well. To join the call, dial (888) 409-6709 and once connected to the operator, ask for the RESULTS National Conference Call. Plan to call in no later than 12:27 pm ET to give time to the operator to connect you with the call. We will have the September 2012 Conference Call Overview slides available later this week. Go to our national conference call page on the RESULTS website to download the presentation before the call.

Got Ten Minutes? Start Drafting Your Media Pieces Highlighting Poverty in America (September Action)

This month, you are going to make a significant impact on the political debate around poverty. Next week, the U.S. Census will release its poverty, income, and health insurance coverage data for 2011. This release provides a wealth of information and sobering snapshot of poverty in America. You can use the release as a “hook” with local newspapers to get letters to the editor, op-eds, and editorials published. With the entry of author of the House Republican Budget Paul Ryan into the presidential race as, government’s role in alleviating poverty is once again front and center. The Census release gives us a great opportunity to remind people that readers and members of Congress from your communities that poverty is still a serious problem in the U.S. and congressional efforts to reduce it must be protected and strengthened.

The U.S. Census release will be next Wednesday, September 12. Get started now drafting your letters to the editor and op-eds, or working on your pitch to an editorial writer, so that when the data comes out, you can hit the group running. For those of you who don’t want to wait until next week, you can use the political conventions or Congress returning to DC next week as hooks to talk about poverty (e.g. “With all the political rhetoric coming out of Tampa and Charlotte these past two weeks, one voice is not getting heard — the voice of the millions of working families struggling in poverty.”)

TAKE ACTION: Take 10 minutes to start drafting your media piece for the September Action. Use the upcoming poverty data release or recent political conventions to talk about government’s role in helping more Americans move into the middle class. Talk about the importance of the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit in promoting work, strengthening the economy, and lifting children and families out of poverty. The Action sheet has talking points you can use for your media pieces. We will talk more about the September Action in this Saturday’s national conference call at 12:30 pm ET and of course the RESULTS U.S. Poverty staff is always available to help you.

In addition, please plan to join the RESULTS U.S. Poverty Team for a media training call on how to create media around the release of the Census poverty report. The call is next Wednesday, September 12 at 9:00 pm ET. Dial (866) 503-7713, passcode 4091413579 to participate.

Got Twenty Minutes? Research Media in Your Area (September Action)

Getting to know your local media is a key component of generating local media as part of your advocacy efforts. While the September action has lots of good information on how to generate letters to the editor (LTE), we want to make the most of the U.S. Census poverty data report by generating op-eds and editorials. These types of media pieces take a little more time and effort (which why it is good to start now). Op-eds and editorials not only provide more room and visibility to your issue than the typical LTE, they also carry more weight. What a great opportunity for your educate readers and your members of Congress about the importance of federal anti-poverty services to your local community.

In generating op-eds and editorials, the first thing you need to know is the process for submitting them. For op-eds, most newspapers have submission guidelines, which you can usually find out on their websites. For editorials, the first thing you’ll want to know is who writes editorials regarding poverty for your local paper. The easiest way to find out is to call your local paper, ask for the editorial desk, and then ask who writes poverty editorials. For more information on how to generate these kinds of pieces, see our Activist Toolkit for writing and submitting op-eds and generating editorials.

TAKE ACTION: Take twenty minutes to plan out how you’ll submit your September Action media piece(s). Go to your local newspaper website to find out the submission requirements for LTEs and op-eds and contact them to find out to whom you should speak about an anti-poverty editorial. You can find lots of good information about your local media outlets on the RESULTS Media page. Please note: if planning to request an editorial, wait to do so until after this weekend’s national conference call; the call will include a training on “pitching” an editorial idea to a writer. You can also contact the RESULTS U.S. Poverty staff for coaching as well.

Also, the RESULTS U.S. Poverty Team will have a media training call next week to help you generate powerful and effective media around the release of the Census poverty report. The call is next Wednesday, September 12 at 9:00 pm ET. Dial (866) 503-7713, passcode 4091413579 to participate. We hope you will join us!

Urge Friends and Neighbors to Join a September RESULTS Introductory Call

September is the unofficial kick-off of the fall campaign season. Many people around the country will be more attuned to politics this fall because of the upcoming election on November 6. While it is great that people get involved in the election process, we at RESULTS know that the days, months, and years after the election are what impact people lives the most. The policies enacted by the next president and Congress will affect all of us.

Yet, if people only get involved in politics every four years, they are simply trusting that elected leaders will always make the right decision. We know that that doesn’t work. We cannot quiet our voices when Washington needs them the most. This is why RESULTS is here. We are for November 7 and beyond. To remind, push, urge, cajole, advocate, and make politicians do what we need them to do when they get to Washington, DC.

We all have friends and family who are getting politically active this fall. Let’s build on their interest, energy and enthusiasm by showing them that RESULTS can help them make their efforts more meaningful and effective. Invite them to attend one of our bi-monthly RESULTS Introductory Calls. These calls provide a quick and inspiring overview of RESULTS and how people can get involved. We do these calls the first Wednesday and third Friday of the month. Our September calls are tomorrow, September 5 at 9:00 pm ET and Friday, September 21 at 1:00 pm ET. People can RSVP for the Intro Call online. Help us support low-income families and strengthen democracy at the same time — invite people you know to a RESULTS Intro Call!

RESULTS MEETING IN WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS. If you or someone you know lives in western MA, please plan to join RESULTS New England Organizer Jenny Martin for an informational meeting about RESULTS this weekend. The meeting is this Saturday, September 8 at 10:00 am ET at the Green Fields Market, 144 Main St, Greenfield, MA. To RSVP or for more details, contact Jenny at [email protected].

Last Chance to Sign Your Local RESULTS Group onto CHN Letter

This is the last week to sign your local RESULTS group onto the Coalition on Human Needs (CHN) letter urging members of Congress to protect anti-poverty programs from proposed or automatic deficit reduction cuts and to use a balanced approach to deficit reduction. Already 1,200 groups have signed on and we want even more. If you haven’t already, please be sure to sign your local RESULTS group onto the SAVE Principles letter. The deadline to sign on is this Monday, September 10. You can sign onto the letter at the CHN website. Sign the letter as “RESULTS Buffalo” or “RESULTS Santa Fe” and click “Authorized” when asked if you have authorization to sign on. Be sure to send this out to other allies and groups in your community and urge them to sign on as well.

In addition, you can send a letter to the editor to your local paper urging Congress not to balance the budget on the backs of low-income families. Use our online LTE action to send your letter today.

Quick News

Join CHN Poverty Data Webinar on Thursday. To prepare for the upcoming U.S. Census poverty data release, the Coalition on Human Needs is hosting a webinar this week to show you how to find national and state data quickly and use it to generate press. CHN webinars are always fun and very informative. The webinar is Thursday, September 6, 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm EDT. You can register for the webinar at the CHN website.

Huffington Post Highlights Impact of Medicaid Cuts. In an article last week published on the Huffington Post, reporter Jeffrey Young examines the impact Medicaid cuts have on low-income families. Young interviewed several families who were on Medicaid and then lost benefits. One man lost his wife when she could no longer get medication for a number of ailments; she had been cut from Tennessee’s Medicaid plan the week before. The House Republican Budget, authored by vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan (R-WI-1) would require $810 billion in Medicaid cuts over the next ten years. This article is a sobering reminder that budget numbers in Washington represent real people with real needs. Remind you members of Congress that Medicaid coverage is a matter of life and death for millions of Americans — urge them to protect Medicaid using our online email alert.

“Nun on the Bus” to Speak at Democratic Convention. As the Democrats meet in Charlotte, NC this week for their national convention, Sister Simone Campbell of NETWORK will be a featured speaker. Sister Simone and NETWORK organized the recent, successful “Nuns on the Bus” tour. The tour was designed to raise awareness of what the House budget would do to anti-poverty programs and called on Congress to protect low-income individuals and families in congressional budget negotiations. Sister Simone also recently appeared on Moyers & Company on PBS to talk about the tour. Use our online email alerts to tell Congress to protect low-income tax credits, early childhood services, and nutrition programs in budget negotiations.

Tell Representatives to Protect SNAP. Congress will return to Washington after the Democratic Convention this week. Urge House members to support the Sense of the House Resolution, H.Res. 760 (full text), opposing cuts to SNAP. House members’ offices should contact Keith Stern at Rep. Jim McGovern’s office at [email protected] to join as a sponsor. If you can’t make a call or your representative is already a co-sponsor, use our online email alert to tell Congress to protect SNAP.


Submit Your Face-to-Face Requests. Congress will be back in Washington full-time next week. However, they will only be there a short time before heading home again to campaign in early October. Remember that after the election, Congress will be working furiously to get many things done in the Lame Duck session, including what to do about the expiring EITC and CTC improvements. Meeting with them this fall will be vital in making sure our message sticks with them through the election and beyond. Take a few minutes to put in your request for face-to-face meetings with your representative and senators this call. You can find a sample request in the August Action sheet. We also have an online request form you can use. Be sure to follow up within a few days to confirm that your request was received and the status of it. Once you get a meeting scheduled, please contact the RESULTS U.S. Poverty staff to help you plan your agenda and devise the best messaging to use in your meeting.

Fill Out the Conference and Strategic Plan Evaluation. As noted last week, we need your feedback on the recent RESULTS International Conference as well as our new strategic plan to expand RESULTS’ reach and impact. Please take a few minutes to fill out our conference evaluation form. Your input is important to us.

Fundraising News

Thank you again to all of our groups working to do RESULTS fundraisers this fall. Here is a list of the events on the calendar so far:

  • Seattle, WA on September 15
  • Bremerton/Kitsap, WA on September 16
  • Anchorage, AK on September 21
  • Sitka, AK on September 22
  • Tacoma, WA on September 26

Please contact Beth Wilson at [email protected] if you know people in Alaska or Washington State who would like to attend these events. If you are looking to hold an event this fall, please contact Cindy Levin, RESULTS Grassroots Development Associate for assistance ([email protected]).

Also, feel free to join our “RESULTS Fundraisers” Facebook group for periodic fundraising suggestions and engage in conversation with other RESULTS fundraisers.

RESULTS Activity Calendar

(See a complete calendar on the RESULTS website)

Congressional Recesses: House: August 4 – September 9; October 7 – November 12. Senate: August 6 – September 7. Request face-to-face meetings.

Wednesday, September 5: RESULTS Introductory Call. 9:00 pm ET. (712) 432-3100, passcode 761262. RSVP for the call.

Saturday, September 8: RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Conference Call, 12:30 pm ET. Listen to previous conference calls online. (888) 409-6709.

Wednesday, September 12: RESULTS U.S. Poverty Media Training call, 9:00 pm ET. (866) 503-7713, passcode 4091413579.

Tuesday, September 18: RESULTS Free Agents group (U.S. Poverty) call, 9:00 pm ET. (218) 486-1611, passcode RESULTS# (7378587#). For more information, contact Jos Linn at [email protected].

Friday, September 21: RESULTS Introductory Call. 1:00 pm ET. (712) 432-3100, passcode 761262. RSVP for the call.

Tuesday, November 6: Election Day.

RESULTS Contact Information

Main Office: (p) (202) 783-7100, (f) (202) 783-2818, 1730 Rhode Island Ave, NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20036. 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 e-mail 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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