The Delta Grassroots Caucus (DGC) is a broad coalition of grassroots leaders in the eight-state Delta region. DGC is also a founding partner of the Economic Equality Coalition,
which advocates for economic equality across the USA.

April 22 Deadline for Early Registration & Group Hotel, Economic Equality Event in DC on May 11-12

Posted on April 08, 2016 at 01:25 PM

Deadlines for early registration and the group hotel are only a few days away, so please send in the registration fees and make your reservations at the Radisson at Reagan airport if you have not already done so. The deadline is April 22, 2016.

This conference focuses on economic, racial and gender equality, job creation at good wages, hunger and nutrition, health care, civil rights and diversity. Key participants are Members of Congress from both parties, nationally recognized leaders who have endorsed each of the major Presidential candidates, and grassroots advocates from all over the country.

REGISTRATION

You register by sending in the registration fees by April 22, 2016.

Please make out the $100 early registration fee check to “Delta Caucus” and mail to:

Delta Caucus

5030 Purslane Place

Waldorf, MD 20601

After April 22 registration fees go up to $150 each to provide an incentive to get the registration fees in on time. It causes delays and complications if all the registration fees come in late or people wait until the event starts to bring the check.

We have organizers from all over the country and they are listed at the bottom of this newsletter. The Delta Caucus representing the 8-state region from Missouri and Illinois to New Orleans and east to the Alabama Black Belt is one of the key partners.

BASIC SCHEDULE

House session: Wednesday evening, May 11, from 4:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m., Banquet Room B-340 of US House of Representatives Rayburn building

Senate session: Thursday morning, May 12, from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., Senate Caucus Room 385, Russell building

Closing session for supporters of major Presidential campaigns and grassroots advocates from across the country, May 12, 11:45 a.m. to 3:45 p.m., historic Lutheran Church of the Reformation on Capitol Hill near the US Supreme Court, 212 E. Capitol

Lunch for those who paid registration fees in the Parish Hall, 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m.; session in the much larger sanctuary for a larger group from 1 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.,is free, registrations paid for by an anonymous donor.

Please buy your airfare now. People who have bought their tickets already have reported getting relatively low fares. If you wait until longer your tickets will be more expensive.

GROUP HOTEL-RADISSON AT REAGAN AIRPORT

To get the group discount rate of $189 for May 11, call the Radisson at Reagan Airport at (703) 920-8600 and say you are with the Economic Equality and Delta Caucus group.

You will only need to pay for one hotel night, which most people prefer in order to cut down on costs. You can check out of the hotel on the morning of May 12, store your luggage, and then come back at the end of the session that afternoon and take a flight home.

Call by the April 22 deadline. After that the discount rate ends and you might not be able to find a room there at all.

The rate of $189 is very low by Washington, DC standards, especially for May 11, which is one of the busiest times of the year in our nation’s capital at the height of the tourist season. The hotel is a relatively short drive both from Capitol Hill where the meetings are and to Reagan Airport.

The group hotel is optional and if you prefer some other hotel that of course is perfectly okay.

PARTICIPANTS AND KEY ISSUES

We have two of the top three national leaders in the House in Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), the Whip, Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina, the third ranking leader, Sen. John Boozman and Rep. Rick Rick Crawford (R-AR), Rep. Ruben Hinojosa, of the Texas Southwest Border region, Rep. Terri Sewell from Selma and the Alabama Black Belt; and other Members of Congress from both parties from across the country, high-level supporters of the major Presidential campaigns, as well as grassroots advocates from across the country.

Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina, Assistant Democratic Leader in the House who has endorsed Hillary Clinton and is an old friend and ally of Secretary Clinton and President Clinton, will speak at the Thursday afternoon, May 12 session at the historic Lutheran Church of the Reformation on Capitol Hill near the Supreme Court. We make no endorsements and will hear from supporters of the other remaining campaigns as of May 12 at that session, and the remaining candidates by then are expected to be Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz.We will update other speakers as they confirm exact times.

This is bipartisan. We want to hear from all points of view from Congress and the remaining Presidential campaigns, and urge all of them to take stronger action for job creation at livable wages, economic, racial and gender equality and progress in America.

We would like to thank our major sponsors including Nucor Yamato Steel and Nucor Steel of Arkansas, Thomas F. McLarty III, the Housing Assistance Council based in Washington, DC, Heifer International, Levin & Papantonio Family Foundation in Florida, Covenant Hospice in Pensacola, Florida; Judson College, Marion, Alabama, Mississippi County Economic Opportunity Commission in Arkansas and others; we are updating the sponsors list and want to express our deep appreciation to all of them.

We will highlight the major regions of the country, including the Greater Delta Region from Missouri and Illinois to New Orleans and east to the Alabama Black Belt, the Midwest, Appalachia, the Southwest Border, Native Americans, and key urban areas like New Orleans, Memphis, St. Louis/Ferguson, Missouri, Charleston, South Carolina, New York, Baltimore and the Virginia/Washington, DC/Maryland Mid-Atlantic region.

Confirmed key partners thus far include two of the top three national leaders in the House, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), the Whip, the Assistant Democratic Leader Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina, Sen. John Boozman and Rep. Rick Crawford (R-AR),Rep. Ruben Hinojosa of the Texas Southwest Border region, many other Members of Congress from across the country are expected; and

-hunger and poverty experts like Joel Berg, executive director of Hunger Free America based in New York, senior executives from Feeding America, the Congressional Hunger Center,

-Wilson Golden, former Clinton administration appointee, member of the board of the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation at the University of Mississippi, now based in Georgia;

-Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, director of the Ohio Association of Food Banks,

-Temeka Williams, Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance,

-Annette Dove, Director of TOPPS nonprofit in Pine Bluff, Arkansas,

-CEO Michael Curtin of DC Central Kitchen, a nationally recognized nonprofit based in Washington, DC,

-Deputy Mayor Courtney Snowden for Economic Opportunity of Washington, DC;

-Moises Loza, director of the National Housing Assistance Council,active across Appalachia, the Delta, Southwest Border, Native Americans, and other regions across the country;

-Jacqueline Pata, director of the National Congress of American Indians, from Alaska;

-Ilene Jacobs of California Rural Legal Assistance, a statewide organization that aids many low-income Californians, including many Hispanics and farm workers;

-David Adame, CEO of Chicanos por La Causa active across Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada,

-Rev. Dwight Webster, senior pastor of Christian Unity Baptist Church in New Orleans, survivor of Hurricane Katrina; his congregation has many survivors and victims of Hurricane Katrina;

-Melissa Cloud, founder and program director of Public Policy 4Kids, children’s issues organization based in the Washington, DC area with especially active programs in Florida;

-Suzanne Anarde of the national Rural LISC based in Colorado,

-Brad Cole, executive director of the Illinois Municipal League,

-Kay Goss, noted author, educator and Associate Director of FEMA for President Clinton, nationally recognized emergency relief services expert, originally from Arkansas and now based in northern Virginia;

  • Janis Kearney (Little Rock, Arkansas) former White House aide and diarist and author of biography of the civil rights leader Daisy Bates and many other books, founding publisher of Writing Our World Press in Little Rock, Arkansas;

-Lisa Oelfke, health care professional with direct experience administering the Affordable Care Act, Baltimore, Maryland;

-and other major Hispanic, African American and women’s organizations.

We continue to add speakers, organizations and grassroots leaders and will keep updating the list.

Continue reading...

Deadlines Near for May 11-12 Economic Equality Event with Presidential Campaigns & Congress in DC

Posted on March 24, 2016 at 11:46 AM

We have two of the top three national leaders in the House in Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), the Whip, Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina, the third ranking leader, Sen. John Boozman and Rep. Rick Rick Crawford (R-AR), Rep. Ruben Hinojosa, of the Texas Southwest Border region, and other Members of Congress from both parties from across the country, high-level supporters of the major Presidential campaigns, as well as grassroots advocates from across the country at the May 11-12 Economic Equality event in Washington, DC.

Deadlines for registration and group hotel are getting near and that information is below.

Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina, Assistant Democratic Leader in the House who has endorsed Hillary Clinton and is an old friend and ally of Secretary Clinton and President Clinton, will speak at the Thursday afternoon, May 12 session at the historic Lutheran Church of the Reformation on Capitol Hill near the Supreme Court. We make no endorsements and will hear from supporters of the other remaining campaigns as of May 12 at that session, and the remaining candidates by then are expected to be Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz.We will update other speakers as they confirm exact times.

This is bipartisan. We want to hear from all points of view from Congress and the remaining Presidential campaigns, and urge all of them to take stronger action for job creation at livable wages, economic, racial and gender equality and progress in America.

We would like to thank our major sponsors including Nucor Yamato Steel and Nucor Steel of Arkansas, Thomas F. McLarty III, the Housing Assistance Council based in Washington, DC, Levin & Papantonio Family Foundation in Florida, Covenant Hospice in Pensacola, Florida; Judson College, Marion, Alabama, Mississippi County Economic Opportunity Commission in Arkansas and others; we are updating the sponsors list and want to express our deep appreciation to all of them.

We will highlight the major regions of the country, including the Greater Delta Region from Missouri and Illinois to New Orleans and east to the Alabama Black Belt, the Midwest, Appalachia, the Southwest Border, Native Americans, and key urban areas like New Orleans, Memphis, St. Louis/Ferguson, Missouri, Charleston, South Carolina, New York, Baltimore and the Virginia/Washington, DC/Maryland Mid-Atlantic region.

EARLY REGISTRATION

You register by sending in the early registration fee checks by April 18. There is no form, in order to cut down on unnecessary paperwork. Registration fees are $100 for each attendee. For those who can organize a group to come, group discounts are available.

We have key organizers from all over the country helping with this event, but the Delta Caucus is one of the key organizers and we handle the costs.

Please make out the $100 early registration fee check to “Delta Caucus” and mail to:

Delta Caucus

5030 Purslane Place

Waldorf, MD 20601

After April 18 registration fees go up to $150 each to provide an incentive to get the registration fees in on time. It causes delays and complications if all the registration fees come in late or people wait until the event starts to bring the check.

BASIC SCHEDULE

House session: Wednesday evening, May 11, from 4:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m., Banquet Room B-340 of US House of Representatives Rayburn building

Senate session: Thursday morning, May 12, from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., Senate Caucus Room 385, Russell building

Closing session for supporters of major Presidential campaigns and grassroots advocates from across the country, May 12, 11:45 a.m. to 3:45 p.m., historic Lutheran Church of the Reformation on Capitol Hill near the US Supreme Court, 212 E. Capitol

Lunch for those who paid registration fees in the Parish Hall, 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m.; session in the much larger sanctuary for a larger group from 1 p.m. to 3:45 p.m., paid for by an anonymous donor.

Please buy your airfare now. People who have bought their tickets already have reported getting relatively low fares. If you wait until longer your tickets will be more expensive.

GROUP HOTEL-RADISSON AT REAGAN AIRPORT

To get the group discount rate of $189 for May 11, call the Radisson at Reagan Airport at (703) 920-8600 and say you are with the Economic Equality and Delta Caucus group.

You will only need to pay for one hotel night, which most people prefer in order to cut down on costs. You can check out of the hotel on the morning of May 12, store your luggage, and then come back at the end of the session that afternoon and take a flight home.

Call by the April 18 deadline. After that the discount rate ends and you might not be able to find a room there at all.

The rate of $189 is very low by Washington, DC standards, especially for May 11, which is one of the busiest times of the year in our nation’s capital at the height of the tourist season. The hotel is a relatively short drive both from Capitol Hill where the meetings are and to Reagan Airport.

The group hotel is optional and if you prefer some other hotel that of course is perfectly okay.

Confirmed key partners thus far include two of the top three national leaders in the House, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), the Whip, the Assistant Democratic Leader Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina, Sen. John Boozman and Rep. Rick Crawford (R-AR),Rep. Ruben Hinojosa of the Texas Southwest Border region, many other Members of Congress from across the country are expected; and

–hunger and poverty experts like Joel Berg, executive director of Hunger Free America based in New York, senior executives from Feeding America, the Congressional Hunger Center,

–Wilson Golden, former Clinton administration appointee, member of the board of the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation at the University of Mississippi, now based in Georgia;

–Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, director of the Ohio Association of Food Banks,

–Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance,

–Annette Dove, Director of TOPPS nonprofit in Pine Bluff, Arkansas,

–CEO Michael Curtin of DC Central Kitchen, a nationally recognized nonprofit based in Washington, DC,

–Deputy Mayor Courtney Snowden for Economic Opportunity of Washington, DC;

–Moises Loza, director of the National Housing Assistance Council,active across Appalachia, the Delta, Southwest Border, Native Americans, and other regions across the country;

–Jacqueline Pata, director of the National Congress of American Indians, from Alaska;

–Ilene Jacobs of California Rural Legal Assistance, a statewide organization that aids many low-income Californians, including many Hispanics and farm workers;

–David Adame, CEO of Chicanos por La Causa active across Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada,

–Rev. Dwight Webster, senior pastor of Christian Unity Baptist Church in New Orleans, survivor of Hurricane Katrina; his congregation has many survivors and victims of Hurricane Katrina;

–Melissa Cloud, founder and program director of Public Policy 4Kids, children’s issues organization based in the Washington, DC area with especially active programs in Florida;

–Suzanne Anarde of the national Rural LISC based in Colorado,

–Brad Cole, executive director of the Illinois Municipal League,

–Kay Goss, noted author, educator and Associate Director of FEMA for President Clinton, nationally recognized emergency relief services expert, originally from Arkansas and now based in northern Virginia;

– Janis Kearney (Little Rock, Arkansas) former White House aide and diarist and author of biography of the civil rights leader Daisy Bates and many other books, founding publisher of Writing Our World Press in Little Rock, Arkansas;

–Lisa Oelfke, health care professional with direct experience administering the Affordable Care Act, Baltimore, Maryland;

–and major Hispanic, African American and women’s organizations.

We continue to add speakers, organizations and grassroots leaders and will keep updating the list.

Continue reading...

National Economic Equality Coalition Conference Update: May 11-12, 2016

Posted on March 03, 2016 at 01:20 PM

The national Economic Equality Coalition conference in Washington, DC on May 11-12, 2016 features Members of Congress and high-level representatives of major Presidential campaigns, as well as grassroots advocates from across the country.

Among the speakers will be Members of Congress of both parties from across the country, such as Congressman Steny Hoyer (D-MD), the national Whip in the US House of Representatives; Congressman James Clyburn (D-MD), third-ranking leader in the House; Rep. Rick Crawford (R-AR) representing the heart of the east Arkansas Delta; Sen. John Boozman (R-AR), senior member of the Appropriations Committee; many other Members of Congress from the Southwest region, the Midwest, other areas of the eight-state Delta region, the Mid-Atlantic region, and across the country. We are getting more confirmations in all the time and will keep updating this.

We have national policy organizations such as Hunger Free America, the national Housing Assistance Council, Feeding America, Chicanos por La Causa, DC Central Kitchen, Bread for the City, California Rural Legal Assistance, the national Rural LISC, the National Congress of American Indians, the Delta Caucus, and major Hispanic, African American, women and children’s issues organizations, and many others.

We will have a bipartisan forum for high-level representatives (usually governors or Members of Congress) from whoever the remaining viable, major Presidential candidates are as of May 11-12. The field will be reduced to likely four or so candidates by then, so we can have a much more manageable forum for a small number of candidates, in contrast to the situation fairly recently when there were 15 or more candidates.

The Delta Grassroots Caucus is one of the key partners along with many other organizers from all over the country for the national Economic Equality Coalition (EEC) conference; the EEC steering committee is listed at the end of this message.

The conference is national in scope, and in particular will highlight the eight-state Greater Delta region from Missouri and Illinois to New Orleans and eastward to the Alabama Black Belt; the Southwest Border from California, Arizona and New Mexico to Texas; the Midwest from Iowa to Ohio; Native Americans; Appalachia; New York; the Washington,DC/Maryland/Virginia region, Florida; and inner cities such as Ferguson, Missouri, Charleston, South Carolina, Washington, DC, Baltimore and New Orleans.

We will strengthen our collective voices if we join together with other major regions in urging the leading Presidential campaigns and Members of Congress from both parties to take much stronger action in fighting poverty, hunger and economic inequality across the country.

Key issues will include job creation at livable wages, health care for under-served populations, hunger and nutrition, affordable housing, transportation, broadband and other infrastructure investments to create job and improve our deteriorating infrastructure, renewable energy/energy efficiency, developing a well-trained and educated workforce, diversity and civil rights, and other vital initiatives for improving equality and opportunity. This is a very diverse coalition including many African Americans, Hispanics, women, Native Americans, and people from all racial, ethnic, gender and

REGISTRATION–PLEASE REGISTER ASAP TO ASSURE YOUR PLACE AT THE CONFERENCE:

You register by sending in the registration fees to the address below.

Registration fees are $125 for each individual. For those who have paid their annual dues, registration is reduced to $100.

Please make out the check to “Delta Caucus” and mail to:

Delta Caucus

5030 Purslane Place

Waldorf, Maryland 20601

The Capitol Hill meeting rooms in the House and Senate seat approximately 100 people, who will be influential economic policy advocates from across the country. The closing session will likely be at the sanctuary of the Lutheran Church of the Reformation on Capitol Hill a block from the US Supreme Court.

The collaborative approach among the major economically distressed populations is broadly similar to the Clinton administration’s bipartisan New Markets Initiative, which included Appalachia, the Delta, Southwest Border, Midwest, Native Americans, and economically distressed inner city neighborhoods.

There should be a vital national priority to eliminate the situation where these populations lag far behind the rest of America in opportunity and prosperity.

The scope of this conference will be much broader-essentially national–than Delta regional events in the past, although the Delta Grassroots Caucus will be one of the key organizers. Leaders from the other regions agreed with the Delta Caucus that we can amplify our voices to the national powers that be by joining forces among those regions that have historically lagged far behind in America’s prosperity.

BASIC SCHEDULE

House session: Opening session is Wednesday evening, May 11, from 4:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m., B-340 Rayburn US House of Representatives building

Senate session: Thursday morning, May 12, from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., US Senate Russell building Caucus Room 385

Closing session: Thursday afternoon, May 12, from 11:45 A.M. TO 3:45 P.M. Lutheran Church of the Reformation on Capitol Hill near the US Supreme Court

Lunch is from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Parish Hall of the Lutheran Church of the Reformation, 212 E. Capitol

Closing session is in the sanctuary of the Lutheran Church of the Reformation, 1 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.

GROUP HOTEL–OPTIONAL

We have a reduced group rate at the Radisson at Reagan National Airport, which is relatively close to Capitol Hill and to Reagan airport, for Wednesday, May 11, 2016.

To get the reduced group rate of $189, please call the Radisson at (703) 920-8600 and say you are with the Economic Equality Coalition and Delta Coalition group.

Continue reading...

Statement of Strong Support for DRA, while Requesting Changes & Improvements

Posted on February 22, 2016 at 01:47 PM

The Delta Grassroots Caucus emphatically reiterates our ongoing, strong support for the overall value of the Delta Regional Authority’s community and economic development work. We are suggesting some improvements and changes in the spirit of offering constructive feedback, as explained in the open letter to the public and the Federal Co-Chairman of the DRA. The full text is below.

The DRA partners supported the agency’s creation going back to the Lower Mississippi Development Commission in the late 1980s, during the Clinton administration—when many of our senior advisers were Presidential appointees and others were grassroots advocates in the Delta—to the current Delta Grassroots Caucus, Inc., formed shortly after the Clinton administration ended. Efforts to create the DRA culminated in President Clinton’s signing the bill establishing it into law in late 2000, with bipartisan support in Congress.

The Delta Caucus partners opposed the huge budget cuts in the agency by President George W. Bush, who slashed funding to $5 million early in his Presidency from the original level of $30 million envisaged when President Clinton and bipartisan supporters in Congress established the DRA. The Congressional, regional and grassroots supporters fought to increase the budget to $6 million, $12 million, $15 million, and late in 2015 there was an increase to $28 million, almost restoring it to the original level.

The budget is still quite small given the huge problems of poverty in a region of 10 million people, so we urge major increases in the budget similar to the vastly larger budget of our sister regional economic development agency, the Appalachian Regional Commission. But we are headed in the right direction.

The agency has done beneficial work in a number of areas as mentioned below: the Delta Doctors program is absolutely exemplary, and they have done helpful work in workforce development, transportation, water and sewer services, job training and creation, and other areas.

We commend Gov. Asa Hutchinson, Sen. John Boozman, Rep. Rick Crawford, Sen. Thad Cochran and many other governors and Members of Congress who have supported the agency, and we feel sure they will consider our suggestions in the light of constructive feedback.

Continue reading...

Sad Milestone: Research Shows Middle Class Is No Longer Majority in America

Posted on January 07, 2016 at 06:43 PM

In a milestone for the declining fortunes of lower to middle income Americans, the majority of people in America are no longer in the middle class, according to data published at the end of 2015 from the Pew Research Center. The Center based its findings on extensive analysis of data from the US Census Bureau and the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.

Affluent families in America now have 6.6 times the wealth of middle-income families, the biggest wealth gap in three decades, the nonpartisan research organization, the Pew Research Center reported.

According to the Pew Research Center, there were 120.8 million middle-income households in early 2015, compared with 121.3 million in lower-income or upper income households combined.

PLEASE RSVP FOR MAY 11-12, 2016 Economic Equality conference: The Economic Equality Coalition will hold a conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on May 11-12, 2016 to highlight the issues of economic inequality to the powers that be.

Key participants will be Members of Congress from both parties, the remaining viable Presidential campaigns as of the spring, and grassroots economic policy advocates from across the country.

Information on schedule, registration, and group hotel are below in this email.

Space is limited so RSVP as soon as you can to assure a place. RSVP by responding to this email at leepowell@delta.comcastbiz.net or calling us at (202) 360-6347. Registration information is below.

This is the first year since the Pew Research Center-a nonpartisan research institution–began tracking this data around 1970 that middle-income families were not the majority of Americans.

This trend in the division of Americans’ income has followed similar patterns for the last five years, indicating that the middle classes have not yet benefited from the economic recovery. Behind the decades-long shift is the increasing concentration of income and wealth among the affluent.

Pew analyzed extensive data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and reported that the share of adults living in the upper-income tier expanded more than lower-income households.The Wall Street Journal, Associated Press and other major media outlets publicized the findings.

Summary of Pew Center findings:

The percentage of adults living in middle-income households fell to about 50% in 2015 from 61% in 1971.

The overall share of the upper-income tier increased to 21% from 14% over that period.

The percentage of lower-income households increased to 29% from 25%.

“High-skilled workers are increasingly favored, and if you’re of low skill, lesser education, you’re very likely to be left behind,” said Rakesh Kochhar, an associate director for research at Pew, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The Delta Grassroots Caucus and our national affiliate, the Economic Equality Coalition, will have a dialogue with the powers that be about the nation’s shrinking middle class and expanding lower-income population at the May 11-12, 2016 conference on Capitol Hill.

These issues are crucial in the 2016 presidential campaign and for both parties in Congress. A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll in January found that 47% of respondents considered reducing income inequality an absolute priority for the government to pursue this year.

The Pew report defined a typical middle-income household as one with three people that earned between $42,000 and $126,000 in 2014.

A lowest-income household of three made about $31,000 or less, and a lower-middle income household earned about $31,000 to $42,000 that year.

An upper-middle income household with three people made about $126,000 to $188,000 and a highest-income household lived on more than $188,000 in 2014.

The extreme ends of the income spectrum have grown the most. This year, 20% of American adults are in the very lowest income tier, up from 16% in 1971.

At the other extreme, 9% are in the absolute highest income tier, more than double the 4% share in 1971.

Among the demographic groups that stood out are people age 65 and older. This age group was the only one that had a smaller share in the lower-income tier in 2015 than in 1971, Pew found. That’s in part because more seniors are working, and Social Security checks are helping keep them afloat.

Last year, the median wealth of upper-income families in the U.S. ($639,400) was 6.6 times bigger than that of middle-income families ($96,500), up from 6.2 times in 2010. Upper-income families now have a median wealth level that is nearly 70 times that of lower-income families.

As the US economy has rebounded, the gulf between the wealthy and everyone else has widened.

Pew analyzed extensive findings from the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances, which is conducted every three years.

Wealth inequality has gotten worse during the economic recovery. Income inequality has risen for decades, as pay growth for middle-class households has stalled.

On the other hand, after-tax corporate profits have expanded to the highest level as a share of Gross Domestic Product since 1929.

Pew’s analysis emphasized that wealth inequality is growing along racial and ethnic lines. This is of course bad news for highly diverse regions such as the Greater Delta Region, the Southwest Border, and other similarly situated populations.

Pew’s analysis provdes insight into why America’s now-five-years-plus-economic expansion is taking so much time to be felt by Americans.

In fact, the recent drop in gasoline prices is a significant source of what limited improvement is being made by those other than upper income groups.

In another important economic report, the Wall Street Journal cited New York University economics professor Edward Wolff’s paper that there has been almost no change in median wealth from 2010 to 2013-the middle-class has essentially been left out.

Research by Wolff and other economists have demonstrated that many features of the recovery and the Federal Reserve’s stimulus policies have benefited the rich over others.

Much of America’s wealth gains are due to the stock market, which has jumped nearly 200% since its lowest point in 2009. Stocks are primarily owned by the affluent.

Making things worse, many middle-class Americans have been losing assets such as homes or 401(ks) from selling them off to pay down debts.

As a result, upper-income families in the U.S. have seen their wealth rise. Middle-class Americans have not.

Early Registration for the May 11-12, 2016 Economic Equality Coalition (EEC) Conference in Washington, DC

Early registration for the May 11-12, 2016 Economic Equality Coalition (EEC) conference in Washington, DC is $125 for those who have not paid their dues or $100 for those who have paid their dues.

Space is limited for the May 11-12, 2016 conference, so to be assured of a place you will want to register soon.

To register for May 11-12, 2016 EEC conference, please send the $125 registration fees (or $100 for those who have paid their annual dues-

Please make out the check to Delta Caucus with a note “Registration for May 11-12 EEC” and mail to:

Delta Caucus

5030 Purslane Place

Waldorf, MD 20601

You register by paying the registration fees. To reduce unnecessary paperwork we do not use registration forms.

Early registration deadline is April 18, 2016. After that date registration fees go up to $150.

Annual membership dues are mailed to the Delta Caucus address in the amounts of $25, $50 or $100. Dues are required for conference attendees.

$25 is the only required amount. This is suggested for smaller organizations or individuals.

$50 dues are suggested for medium-sized organizations.

$100 dues are suggested for larger foundations, corporations, banks, universities or those who wish to contribute a larger amount.

Lee Powell is a key organizer and Co-Chairman of the Economic Equality Coalition steering committee and is Executive Director of the Delta Caucus. Again, the vast eight-state Greater Delta Region is a key partner of the national Economic Equality Coalition.

We will strengthen our collective voices if we join together with other major regions in urging the leading Presidential campaigns and Members of Congress from both parties to take much stronger action in fighting poverty, hunger and economic inequality across the country.

Key issues will include job creation at livable wages, health care for under-served populations, hunger and nutrition, affordable housing, transportation, broadband and other infrastructure investments to create job and improve our deteriorating infrastructure, renewable energy/energy efficiency, developing a well-trained and educated workforce, diversity and civil rights, and other vital initiatives for improving equality and opportunity.

Continue reading...