Breads Western Regional Newsletter – June

June 2, 2010 at 3:21 am Leave a comment

Western Regional e-Newsletter, June 2010

Trivia: Who said this?
“How could you go to any state in the union and say you are not for an extra couple of cents to eradicate hunger, to make our kids healthier, stronger, better focused? It doesn’t make any sense that you would even have to have a long conversation about that, to me.”
(Answer below)

In this issue…

 


The Thrill of Victory…
Bread members win big changes. We share about that here…

Child Nutrition Reauthorization
A lot of times we get asked whether making phone calls asking members of Congress to take specific actions really works. Here’s proof that it does… times two!

  1. As you may have read in an update last week from David Beckmann, the House overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan amendment sponsored by Reps. Jim McGovern (D-MA), Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO), and Sanford Bishop (D-GA) to recommend an additional $1 billion per year for child nutrition programs like school lunch, school breakfast, and the WIC program. The vote was 341-85, including 37 of the 45 representatives from Bread’s Western Region. Thanks to all those who made phone calls to urge your representative to end hunger!
  2. After a successful call-in week initiated by Bread for the World and partner organizations, kids in the United States got a boost earlier this month when 219 members of Congress – including 23 from Bread’s Western Region (listed below) – signed on to a letter supporting additional resources to ensure that kids at risk of hunger have access to healthy meals. The bipartisan letter was originated by Reps. McGovern and Emerson. Thanks to all who called your representatives to make this happen.

Here’s a list of representatives from our region who signed on to the letter and voted for the amendment. Feel free to call their offices or drop them an email thanking them for standing up for kids…

State Signed McGovern/Emerson “Dear Colleague” Letter (23 out of 44* possible) Voted “Yea” on McGovern/Emerson/Bishop Amendment (37 out of 45 possible)
Alaska Young (none)
Arizona Grijalva, Pastor Kirkpatrick, Pastor, Mitchell, Grijalva, Giffords
Colorado DeGette, Polis, Salazar, Markey, Perlmutter DeGette, Polis, Salazar, Markey, Coffman, Perlmutter
Hawaii Hirono (*Djou had not yet been sworn in when the letter was circulated) Djou, Hirono
Idaho (none) Minnick, Simpson
Montana (none) Rehberg
Nevada Titus, Berkley Titus, Berkley, Heller
New Mexico Heinrich, Teague, Lujan Heinrich, Teague, Lujan
Oregon Wu, Blumenauer, DeFazio, Schrader Wu, Walden, Blumenauer, DeFazio, Schrader
Utah Matheson Matheson
Washington Inslee, Larsen, Dicks, McDermott Inslee, Larsen, Baird, Hastings, McMorris, Rodgers, Dicks, McDermott, Reichert, Smith
Wyoming (none) (none)

 

Whatever Happened to the Global Poverty Act?
Remember that bill we were working on in our 2008 Offering of Letters called the Global Poverty Act, where we asked the president to create a strategy around development to end hunger? Well, the bill is officially dead in Congress, but when Bread for the World activists are involved, we keep on advocating.

This year, President Obama’s administration has taken on the task of creating a strategy that elevates development to be on par with diplomacy and defense. Just recently, an unofficial copy of the Presidential Study Directive (PSD) was leaked to the media. This draft version echoes policy changes called for by Bread members in our support for the Global Poverty Act and in our 2009 Offering of Letters campaign to make foreign assistance more effective in fighting hunger and poverty. Although there is much work yet to do, with a full re-write of the 1961 Foreign Assistance Act yet to come, activists’ voices have helped keep up the momentum behind important reforms that could do so much more good for our global brothers and sisters.


Reflection

Jesus, the Pharisees, Politics

In the New Testament, Jesus was continually in conflict with religious leaders over the essential meaning of the law. Just treatment of people was at the core of his concern: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint, dill, and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith; it is these you ought to have practiced without neglecting the others” (Matthew 23:23). When Jesus challenged the Pharisees and Sadducees, he was confronting the public policy decision-makers.

In the face of the political, social, and religious institutions of our own time, we are likewise called by the Spirit to pray, open our hearts to God, reach out to others in their need, and confront structures, behavior, and policies that impoverish and oppress. We are blessed with a system of government that allows us to have a voice in public policy decisions. It is legitimate, even imperative, for us to exercise our prophetic ministry in the public policy arena, secure in the belief that this is how the Bible directs us.

From Bread’s Biblical Basis for Advocacy


Five cool resources even we didn’t know we had…

Ever think to yourself, “I wish Bread had that”? Sometimes, we do…

  1. Ted Talk: Handwritten Letters Really Work. Have you ever watched a TED talk? TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) talks are interesting and entertaining ways to share ideas through short talks in front of live audiences, and the videos are posted online… Matt wrote a blog post on this recent TED talk about handwritten letters. It’s a must-see!
  2. A Reflection on Luke 19 and the Zacchaeus story by fellow Bread organizer Larry Hollar. Given our Offering of Letters campaign on tax provisions for hardworking families, Larry takes us to the heart of the Gospel for perspective.
  3. State by State Hunger and Poverty Facts, including state data on tax credits. This is a great interactive map you can click on to find out important poverty facts about your state. For instance, did you know that 13.1 percent of families in Oregon struggle to put food on the table?
  4. Breadcast for May: Kids Need Healthy Food. If you are not a regular Breadcast listener, you are missing out on a great resource. These recorded programs are easy to listen to from Bread’s website and full of easy-to-understand information on Bread issues. As a bonus, there is always a quick monthly legislative update from our director of government relations. The recordings last about 10 minutes each, and you can even subscribe and get them sent to your email address.
  5. The Offering of Letters Handbook in PDF. Haven’t ordered your copy of the Offering of Letters kit yet? Go green and download it for free! All the contents of the kit (minus the DVD), can be found on our downloads page here.

Have a good idea for a resource you’d like to see? Reply to this message and let us know.


New Way to Get Involved: Bread Teams (beta)
Your Passion, Unleashed

Over the coming months, we’re launching a new project aimed at empowering you and Bread activists in your area with the tools to turn your faith into action by building the movement to end hunger at home and abroad. We’re calling them “Bread Teams.” Each team will cultivate grassroots support, engage the media, support churches in building faith formations for justice and conducting Offerings of Letters, build coalitions, urge decision makers to end hunger during in-district lobby visits, and more. Each team will be an integral part of Bread’s mission to win changes to policies, programs, and conditions that allow hunger and poverty to persist.

As the word “beta” suggests, we have some work to do before this idea fully takes off. In the coming weeks and months, we will be working hard to develop useful resources to empower teams to flourish – things like toolkits, instructional videos, forums to share information with other teams across the country, and more. Since this is a work in progress, we welcome your feedback on what would be helpful for you. Contact Matt at 503-922-2182 or by email at mching@bread.org to suggest ideas.

New teams are sprouting up around the region in places like Seattle, Bellingham, Bellevue, Tacoma, Denver, Ft. Collins, Colorado Springs, Portland, and New Mexico. If you’d like to be connected to a team – or are interested in starting one in your area – please respond to this email or call Matt or Robin at 888-752-7323.


Recap of our May Regional Conference Call

Next call: Monday, June 7

Many of you have expressed interest in ways to hear about what other Bread members are doing around the region, get legislative updates on Bread’s campaigns, and connect with others who are working to eliminate the conditions that allow poverty to persist. In that spirit, we held our first regional conference call on Monday, May 3.

You can download and listen to the half-hour call here. Here are some quick highlights:

  • Activist Spotlight: Meeting with Representative Jim McDermott. Bread member Sammi Fredenburg from Marysville, WA, led a delegation of Bread members and partner organizations to meet with Congressman Jim McDermott. He was very receptive and expressed support for Bread’s campaign to help working families by ensuring that improvements to the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit don’t expire. Sammi talks about the importance of perseverance when setting up a meeting, cultivating a good relationship with local congressional staff, inviting coalition partners along, and more!
  • Legislative Update: Matt and Robin give updates on the 2010 Offering of Letters to help working families make ends meet, child nutrition reauthorization, and foreign assistance reform.
  • Tip of the Month: Matt and Robin explore best practices to answer the question “How do I get people to stop by my table?” Here are two ideas that work:
    • Invite kids to make colorful letters for display – it’s fun, warm, and inviting.
    • Here’s a good conversation starter: “Do you like fair trade chocolate?” (Yes, bribery does work.)
  • Update on Bread’s new website, which is now live at www.bread.org!
  • Q&A

Next call: Monday, June 7, 6 p.m. PT
We’ll be hosting a call the first Monday of each month, so the next call will be on Monday, June 7. We’re committed to keeping this call to a half hour plus Q & A. Here’s how to call in:

  1. At 6 p.m. (PT) or a few minutes before, call 1-800-704-9804.
  2. When prompted for your passcode, enter 78674441#
  3. That’s it! You can mute/unmute your phone by pressing *6.

Upcoming Town Hall Meetings Near You!
It’s “Memorial Day Recess,” which means that this week, Congress is not in session and many members of Congress are back home meeting with constituents. Some have posted event notices for town hall meetings where you can go and ask a question, and we’ve listed them here. We’d humbly suggest asking a question about whether they plan to support low income working families in your state by ensuring that current policies on the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit don’t expire at the end of the year. More on what that means for your state here.

Don’t see a town hall near you? We only posted the ones we found, and sometimes they get scheduled at the last minute, so feel free to call your local congressional office to see if there will be upcoming public events.

Alaska

Thursday, June 3,
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (REP-AK)
1:30:00 PM-
Willow Community Center
Mile 70, Parks Highway
Willow, AK

Thursday, June 3,
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (REP-AK)
7:00:00 PM-
22249 South D Street
1st and D Street
Takeetna, AK

Thursday, June 3,
Sen. Mark Begich (DEM-AK)
2:00:00 PM-
Alaska Job Corps Center
800 East Lynn Martin Drive
Palmer, AK

Colorado

Saturday, June 5,
Rep. Ed Perlmutter (DEM-CO)
10:00:00 AM-12:00:00 PM
Safeway
1605 East Bridge Street
Brighton, CO

Tuesday, June 1,
Rep. Jared Polis (DEM-CO)
5:30:00 PM-7:00:00 PM
Boulder Public Library, Canyon Theater
1000 Canyon Boulevard
Boulder, CO

Thursday, June 3,
Rep. Jared Polis (DEM-CO)
5:30:00 PM-7:00:00 PM
Battle Mountain High School, Auditorium
151 Miller Ranch Road
Edwards, CO

Friday, June 4,
Rep. Jared Polis (DEM-CO)
12:00:00 PM-2:00:00 PM
Colorado Mountain College, Breckenridge Campus, Community Auditorium
107 Denison Placer Road
Breckenridge, CO

Wednesday, June 2,
Rep. Mike Coffman (REP-CO)
6:00:00 PM-7:00:00 PM
Ken Caryl Baptist Church
8395 West Ken Caryl Avenue
Littleton, CO

Saturday, June 12,
Rep. Mike Coffman (REP-CO)
3:00:00 PM-4:00:00 PM
Southridge Rec Center
4800 McArthur Ranch Road
Highlands Ranch, CO

New Mexico

Wednesday, June 9,
Rep. Martin Heinrich (DEM-NM)
1:00:00 PM-2:30:00 PM
Representative Martin Heinrich’s South Valley Office
3211 Coors Boulevard SW
Albuquerque, NM

Oregon

Saturday, June 12,
Rep. Kurt Schrader (DEM-OR)
8:30:00 AM-9:30:00 AM
Salem Farmer’s Market
Salem, OR
The one-on-one sessions are limited to 5 minutes each.  There are 18 spots at each event, so RSVP today to reserve your spot (505) 877-4069.

Saturday, June 12,
Rep. Kurt Schrader (DEM-OR)
11:30:00 AM-12:30:00 PM
Lake Oswego Farmer’s Market
Lake Oswego, OR

Saturday, June 5,
Sen. Jeff Merkley (DEM-OR)
11:20:00 AM-
Parkrose High School, Student Center
12003 NE Shaver Street
Portland, OR

Sunday, June 6,
Sen. Jeff Merkley (DEM-OR)
5:00:00 PM-
Vernonia High School, Gymnasium
299 Bridge Street
Vernonia, OR

Utah

Tuesday, June 1,
Sen. Orrin Hatch (REP-UT)
6:30:00 PM-8:30:00 PM
Dixie State College, Gardner Center Ballroom
250 South 700 East
St. George, UT

Washington

Wednesday, June 2,
Rep. Adam Smith (DEM-WA)
7:00:00 PM-8:30:00 PM
Des Moines Activity Center
2045 S. 216th Street
Des Moines, WA

Thursday, June 3,
Rep. Jim McDermott (DEM-WA)
7:00:00 PM-8:30:00 PM
Mount Baker Community Club
2811 Mount Rainier Drive South
Seattle, WA
To RSVP, email rsvpsmith@mail.house.gov or call (253) 593-6600 


Working in Community and Sharing Ideas
A Call for Submissions
What’s going on in your area? Have you done something different this year that worked well when conducting an Offering of Letters? Or maybe you have an “old practice” that works well to encourage letter-writing. Did you find a new way to explain hunger to your Sunday school class? Send us your ideas!

We are hoping to use this monthly newsletter as a venue to share information throughout the Western Region. There are so many more creative ideas when we are all part of the conversation. For example:

  • We recently heard from one of our Arizona activists, who held an Offering of Letters on a Wednesday evening and got folks there by having a really great meal!
  • A few weeks ago, one of our activists called because she was disappointed with the number of letters that her church wrote.  Her question on how to motivate people sent us asking all the Bread organizers throughout the United States what their advice would be, and it sparked a blog post that may be of use to many more activists: Get Your Church Involved in Bread’s 2010 Offering: 10 Tips. The tips range from having coffee with your pastor to putting out fresh homemade bread on your table.
  • In New Mexico, Carlos Navarro was asked to lead a contemplation piece on hunger and fasting for the Center for Action and Contemplation Conference. I was lucky enough to be there for the very moving experience, which also included Bread activist Sharon Barefoot on the cello. Carlos shared the script he wrote for other Bread activists who might want to use the exercise in their community: A Heart for Hunger, Poverty and Fasting.

These are just a few of the things we have heard of recently. Please submit tips you may have for next month’s newsletter to rstephenson@bread.org.


Reminder from Jessie…
“If an Offering of Letters happens and it isn’t reported, does it really exist?”

Your feedback on the 2010 Offering of Letters is very important to us!  We use this information to follow up with members of Congress and to measure the impact of this campaign. As a bonus, when you report an Offering of Letters, we’ll send you a free Offering of Letters kit next February when our new campaign is launched! After you have completed your Offering of Letters, please take a few minutes to fill out the evaluation form and send it in.  There are 3 convenient ways you can do this…

  1. Fill out the form that is included in your kit and send it in to our national office
  2. Fill out the form online at http://www.offeringofletters.org/2010/results 
  3. Email me at jbullock@bread.org or give me a call here in the Western office at 888-752-7323 x3, and I will be glad to submit the information for you!

Thanks,
Jessie, “The organizer of the organizers”


The lighter side…
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind on Jon Stewart‘s “The Daily Show”
This is from back in October, but it’s a really great interview of William Kamkwamba by Jon Stewart. As a boy growing up in Malawi, Kamkwamba read about how to build an electricity-generating windmill in a book from his local library.

Key quotes:

  • Stewart: “Do you know who MacGyver is?”
  • Kamkwamba: “Where was this Google all this time?”

The Answer
Rachael Ray.


It is a humble privilege to serve all of you. If you need to ask a question, brainstorm, or get in a friendly argument, call on us anytime.

Peace and blessings,

Matt Newell-Ching, Robin Stephenson, Jessie Bullock
Your Western Regional Bread for the World Organizing Team

Bread for the World
HAVE FAITH. END HUNGER.
Toll-free: 888-752-7323
Direct lines:
Matt: 503-922-2182
Robin: 503-922-0427
Jessie: 503-922-0044
Fax: 503-766-3539
mching@bread.org, rstephenson@bread.org, jbullock@bread.org

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Entry filed under: Newsletters.

Support Child Nutrition programs, immediate action needed. Teen summer workshops at the Mercy Corps Action Center

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