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How to Reach Your Member of Congress
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The Texas Civic Health Index, a recent Report from the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life, U.T. at Austin, concludes that based on U.S. Census data, “Rates of political participation in Texas are low compared with the rest of the nation. Since 1972, Texas has consistently lagged well behind national voter turnout in both midterm and presidential elections. Texas also ranks among the lowest states in terms of the numbers of citizens who contact public officials…” and “…Texas ranks among the lowest in the nation among many measures of political and civic participation”.
- Don’t be a no-show at the polls!
- Don’t give our elected officials a free-pass to ignore 93% of the population eligible to vote!
- Remember if you don’t vote elected officials have no reason to be accountable to you.
- Register to vote, make sure your family and friends are registered to vote, and get out and vote!
Our Texas – and elected officials – will be as supportive of children and their families as we insist upon – and right now we are not insisting on much. According to Kids Count, a study released in 2014 by the Annie B. Casey Foundation, Texas is still within the bottom 10 states in which to be a kid.
As 1 of every 11 U.S. children lives in Texas, implications for our nation should be clear;
- Texas ranks 32nd among the States in poverty (more children live in poverty than in 2005);
- Texas ranks 34th in education with well-over half of kids not attending any pre-school
- Texas ranks 40th in health care; and ,
- Texas ranks 47th in family and community with 19% of children living in high-poverty neighborhoods and 23% living in a family in which no parent has a high school diploma.
Food insecurity continues to be a persistent challenge in Texas and across the country, as shown by data from the 2014 Map the Meal Gap report, issued by Feeding America. And things could get worse for people in the middle class or low income families, if Congress accepts the federal budget recently passed in the House.
According to Map the Meal Gap, overall food insecurity in the Houston Food Bank’s 18-county service area decreased slightly, but child food insecurity increased by .5%, or 11,000 kids. Many of these kids don’t have a safety net. Roughly one third of children who are food insecure are not likely eligible for any federal food program benefits, including reduced/free school lunch or school breakfast, if the schools they attend don’t offer the meals to all students.
Given this stunning reality, House-passed budget cuts are completely unacceptable. They would harm children and their families while granting important tax reductions for millionaires. The House-passed Budget provides for an $87,000 tax break for each of our 27,347 millionaires, and a $2,000 average increase in taxes for each of our middle class families.
Other House-proposed budget cuts would affect the population served by the Houston Food Bank:
- 296,014 Texan seniors would pay more for medicine through reinstating the prescription drug “doughnut hole”;
- 44,260 college students would not receive Pell Grants;
- and, 12,350 more children would lose access to Head Start programs.
A Call to Action
Please communicate with your Congressional Representative to ask how (s)he voted on the House budget. If (s)he voted for it, please tell them that:
- you vote;
- further cuts in nutrition and other provisions which help Texas children and families are not acceptable;
- and, neither are additional tax breaks for the richest among us.
Did you know?
- Texas has one of the highest rates of child food insecurity in the country
- Every day 66,200 people in Houston are hungry - 5,000 of them children
- Each year the Houston Food Bank feeds 800,000 people - 47% are children
- 43% of hungry families must choose between food and medicine
YOU have the power to help end hunger. Let your elected officials know today that you want them to support comprehensive anti-hunger initiatives. Take a stand now because hunger is unacceptable.
If you have not done so, please register to vote now so your voice counts in future elections.
Make a call to Senator (R-Texas) John Cornyn Office
Phone: (202) 224-2934
District Phone: (972) 239-1310
Make a call to Senator (R-Texas) Ted Cruz's Office
Phone: (202) 224-5922
District Phone: (512) 916-5834
Click here for addtional information hunger resources.
For additional questions, please contact Dr. Pamela Berger at 713-547-8611.