The Mississippi Delta Grassroots Caucus (MDGC) is a broad coalition of grassroots leaders throughout the eight-state Delta region, which stretches from southern Illinois down to New Orleans, Louisiana.

This Thanksgiving Season Give to Delta Cultural Center--a Great Cause

Posted on November 24, 2014 at 04:28 PM

This Thanksgiving season we would like to ask our partners to make donations to good causes across the eight-state Delta region. As a recommendation for one exemplary cause in our region, a suggestion is to make a donation to the Delta Cultural Center that serves 27 east Arkansas counties through the social giving platform of www.Sharemeister.com.

The Delta Cultural Center’s headquarters is in Helena-West Helena, Arkansas and it serves 27 counties from Clay on the Missouri border to Chicot County on the Louisiana border.

Contributions to the Delta Cultural Center are tax-deductible.

The concept of the Sharemeister website is to attract large numbers of small to medium-sized contributions on the website at www.Sharemeister.com by innovative, entertaining ways of promoting charitable giving. The Delta Grassroots Caucus makes suggestions on a rotating basis of great causes in the Delta region to contribute to, and if large numbers of people could go on to the secure website and make even a small contribution, this will add up to a substantial amount.

If this message reminds you to give either to the Delta Cultural Center or another good cause of your choice in the Greater Delta Region, please do so during this Thanksgiving season when people across America are always so generous. Large numbers of contributions of even $10 to $25-or more if you can-will help this worthy cause.

The Delta Cultural Center’s mission is to preserve, interpret and present the cultural heritage of this legendary 27-county region. From its blues music to the mighty river that runs through it, the Delta story unfolds through the work of the Center. Among its landmarks is the Delta Cultural Center museum in historic downtown Helena dedicated to the history of the Arkansas Delta (for more information see the website at www.deltaculturalcenter.com) The museum interprets the history of the Delta through exhibits, educational programs, annual events and guided tours.

The Delta Cultural Center is comprised of two museum locations-the Depot and the Visitors Center. The Depot features the exhibit “A Heritage of Determination” which details the history of the Delta from its earliest inhabitants, into early settlement, through great Mississippi River floods. On the upper floor of the Depot, “Civil War in the Delta” gives visitors insight into Union occupation and the Battle of Helena.

The Visitors Center, located one block north of the Depot, features “Delta Sounds” music exhibit, a live radio studio, changing exhibit space and the Museum Store. The Delta Cultural Center is a museum of the Department of Arkansas Heritage.

Helena-West Helena is the location every fall for the famous King Biscuit Blues Festival, which attracts tens upon tens of thousands of people to hear renowned musicians perform in the heartland of the Delta blues.

On a rotating basis every several months the Delta Caucus selects a good cause to encourage charitable donations to, and this fall we chose the Delta Cultural Center, which is based in Helena-West Helena but does many constructive activities all across eastern Arkansas. We encourage our partners to go on the website of Sharemeister, a new firm that finds innovative, entertaining ways to generate donations to good causes at www.Sharemeister.com and make a donation on their social giving platform.

The Delta Cultural Center Challenge will continue on through the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. On the Sharemeister website, this challenge is divided into the West Delta Team, which includes such institutions as Arkansas State University, Grambling, the LSU Tigers, Arkansas Razorbacks, Missouri Tigers, UAPB, UA-Monticello, Mid-South Community College, Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas and other great institutions.

Lee Powell, Caucus director, challenged the West Delta Team to beat the East Delta team in making contributions to the Delta Cultural Center on the website, emphasizing that in comparison to the great institutions just cited in the West, all the East can muster are Ole Miss, Mississippi State, University of Memphis, Murray State University in Kentucky, Southern Illinois University, the Alabama Crimson Tide and other schools that very few people have ever heard of (smile). Powell predicts a landslide victory in this competition for the West Delta Team.

If you would like to participate in the Delta Cultural Center Challenge, go to the website at www.Sharemeister.com, then go to the Delta Cultural Center Challenge page and contribute for either the West Delta Team or the East Delta Team.

The Delta Cultural Center was one of the key hosts-along with the Helena-West Helena Advertising & Promotion Commission, Mayor Arnell Willis, Phillips County Judge Don Gentry, and many other Phillips County leaders for the Oct. 30-31 Delta Grassroots Caucus regional conference held in Helena-West Helena at the beautiful, historic former synagogue, Beth El Heritage Hall, which is administered by the Delta Cultural Center.

Sharemeister is a national company, but its CEO, Marlon Henderson, is from Jonesboro, Arkansas so they naturally have a strong interest in the Delta region.

Year-End Membership Drive for Delta Caucus Dues, November-December, 2014

Posted on November 19, 2014 at 03:34 PM

We are completing our membership drive for the year 2014, and over the closing weeks of the year in November and December, 2014 we would request annual membership dues in the amounts of $25, $50 or $100. Our activities are expanding and the budget has to expand along with them.

This is now a requirement for our members who wish to be fully supportive and active in the Delta Grassroots Caucus advocacy for the eight-state region’s community and economic development, and the only request is just $25 once each calendar year. This is a very small figure but if everybody contributes it will add up to a lot.

We only have about six weeks left in calendar year 2014, and our budget is based entirely on voluntary donations in the form of sponsorships, registration fees at major conferences and annual membership dues.

We are steadily increasing the number of annual membership dues we collect each year, but we still have a problem that many people do not send in their dues. We are sure this is just a result of not focusing on the dues, mistakenly thinking they are not important, or perhaps not knowing about the requirement of just $25 a year. That’s great for those who can send in $50 or $100, but the minimal requirement is for everybody to send in at least $25.

Our advocacy work for community and economic development focuses on the region from southern Illinois and Missouri through western Kentucky and Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi and down to New Orleans and then east to the Alabama Black Belt-a vast area of more than 10 million people.

Key issues for the remainder of 2014 and 2015 will include job creation/economic recovery, education and workforce development, women and children’s issues and support for the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation’s No Ceilings initiative for full participation of women and girls, renewable energy, hunger and nutrition, health care for underserved areas including support for Arkansas’ innovative private option health care plan, transportation, housing, broadband expansion and other infrastructure, the USDA rural development, agriculture and nutrition programs, Delta heritage tourism (including the pending bill to allow the historic steamboat the Delta Queen to resume her travels on the Mississippi), and other vital regional issues.

Please make out the dues contribution for 2014 over the next six weeks of the calendar year in the amount of $25, $50 or $100, with the check made out to “Delta Caucus,” and mail to:

Delta Caucus

5030 Purslane Place

Waldorf, MD 20601

Large potential pool of small contributors over the eight states: We have had over 3,000 people who have had some involvement with the Delta Cauus over the years, more than 700 people in our data base who have had some significant involvement with the Delta Caucus at some point, and about 350 who are active on a regular basis. But the vast majority, unfortunately, do not pay their dues. It would be a huge plus for our budget if everybody would contribute at least $25.

For medium-sized nonprofits, businesses, chambers of commerce, smaller banks, we would suggest $50 in dues.

For larger universities, colleges, foundations, corporations, other larger organizations we would suggest $100, although some generously give $150 or $200 for dues; and some generous individuals give the higher amounts.

But the main point is that if we could ever get all 700 active partners to contribute at least $25 once a year, it would add up to a very large amount of money-approximately $20,000.

Many people have concluded that $25 or $50 is such a small amount that “How could it possibly make a difference so why should I bother?” The statistics above demonstrate that we have the potential to raise much more funding through membership dues-so your small donation adds up.

As Edmund Burke famously said about encouraging many people to each contribute a small amount working toward a collective goal:

“Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little.”

Vital importance of having a major part of the budget coming from many small to medium-sized contributions: Our policy is that while we will accept some sponsorships, a major part of our budget will always consist of smaller contributions in the form of either registration fees and membership dues, because we will not become dependent and beholden to a small number of wealthy interests who could then pressure us to run the organization according to their bidding as opposed to the broader interests of the region as a hold.

We are expanding our activities and the budget needs to grow along with the overall expansion of the Delta grassroots coalition outreach and advocacy.

We stretch our dollars a long way and that kind of annual membership dues would enable us to to continue our expansion.

If you don’t recall whether you have sent in your dues, just reply to this email or call (202) 360-6347 and we will look that up for you. Most people have not paid their dues as of Nov. 19, 2014.

Thanks very much-Delta Caucus board of directors (202) 360-6347

8 Major Political Leaders, over 100 Attendees, Oct. 30-31 Delta Caucus in Helena

Posted on November 11, 2014 at 04:40 PM

The annual fall Delta Grassroots Caucus conference at historic Beth El Heritage Hall in Helena-West Helena, Arkansas attracted well over 100 attendees for either all or parts of the program, eight major candidates and/or Members of Congress, former US Secretary of Transportation Rodney Slater, and grassroots leaders from across the region.

It is always important to have a dialogue with elected officials and political powers that be about the grassroots coalition’s concerns regarding key community and economic development issues. We were glad to have an equal number of Republican and Democratic leaders for this bipartisan event: Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR), Sen. John Boozman (R-AR), Asa Hutchinson (R-AR), Mike Ross (D-AR), Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS), Rep. Travis Childers (D-MS), Rep. Rick Crawford (R-AR), and Mayor Jackie McPherson (D-AR).

This was a strong turnout and we were glad to meet in a relatively small, heartland Delta community for a change of pace. We were impressed that we were able to get so many high-level political leaders to take time out of their hectic schedules during a very busy election campaign season to come to the event in Helena-West Helena.

(Note: Delta Caucus partners will hold some informal gatherings at the Clinton Presidential Library’s Nov. 14-16 10th Anniversary celebration at the Holiday Inn Presidential’s Camp David Restaurant at breakfasts, happy hour and the evenings. If you are going to the Clinton Library event, please drop by the Holiday Inn Presidential for an opportunity to visit in a relaxed setting.)

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. Appreciation for Helena-West Helena community leaders’ support

  2. Delta Grassroots Caucus urges continued support and funding for Arkansas’ innovative private option health care plan

  3. Distinguished leaders on women and children’s issues

  4. Distinguished Mississippi participants

  5. Additional best practices and role models for development in the region

  6. Delta leader David Solomon is recovering nicely

Great support from Helena-West Helena community leaders:

We would like to extend a special message of appreciation to the many community leaders in the Helena-West Helena area, including Mayor Arnell Willis, Julia Malinowski of the Helena Advertising & Promotion Commission (one of the two lead sponsors along with Nucor Yamato Steel and Nucor Steel of Arkansas), Katie Harrington and other staff members of the Delta Cultural Center, Munnie Jordan, Kevin Smith, state Rep. Chris Richey, Becky and Clark Hall, Ernest and Cathy Cunningham, Phillips County Judge Don Gentry, City Attorney Chalk Mitchell, the Phillips County Chamber of Commerce, Bernadette Messina, Lynn Chadwick, and many others from the local area who were helpful in many ways.

We would like to give a special thanks to Martha Ellen Black, executive director of the Susanna Wesley Family Learning Center in southeast Missouri, for coming down from Missouri to help coordinate the logistics, and they did a great job as always.

Help support the Delta Cultural Center: At every conference we select a good cause to encourage charitable donations to, and in this case it was logical to choose the Delta Cultural Center, which was one of our key hosts for this event, is based in Helena-West Helena but does many constructive activities all across eastern Arkansas. We encourage our partners to go on the website of Sharemeister, a new firm that finds innovative, entertaining ways to encourage donations to good causes at www.Sharemeister.com and make a donation on their social giving platform.

The Delta Cultural Center Challenge will continue on through the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. On the Sharemeister website, this challenge is divided into the West Delta Team, which includes such institutions as Arkansas State University, Grambling, the LSU Tigers, Arkansas Razorbacks, Missouri Tigers, UAPB, UA-Monticello, Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas and other great institutions.

Lee Powell, Caucus director, challenged the West Delta Team to beat the East Delta team in making contributions to the Delta Cultural Center on the website, emphasizing that in comparison to the great institutions just cited in the West, all the East can muster are Ole Miss, Mississippi State, University of Memphis, the Alabama Crimson Tide and other schools that very few people have ever heard of (smile). Powell predicts a landslide victory in this competition for the West Delta Team.

We would like to thank Rodney Slater, President Clinton’s US Secretary of Transportation and now a partner at the nationally prestigious firm of Squire Patton Boggs in Washington, DC for an eloquent and inspirational presentation on the great importance of continuing the Delta grassroots coalition’s work in advocating for the region’s community and economic progress. This was a homecoming for Secretary Slater, since he grew up in the heart of the Delta in the nearby town of Marianna, Arkansas.

Helena-West Helena speakers: We would like to thank the Helena-West Helena leaders who did a great job of speaking about their promising work for a brighter future for the Delta, including Mollie Palmer of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship’s Together for Hope program, Will Staley of the nonprofit Thrive, Scott Shirey of KIPP Delta schools, Rhonda St. Columbia, Vice Chancellor for College Advancement, Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas, and Mayor Arnell Willis who introduced Asa Hutchinson and Kevin Smith, who introduced Mike Ross.

Support for the private option health care plan in Arkansas:

The Delta Caucus supports the private option health care plan in Arkansas, which over the past year had the largest reduction in the number of uninsured people of any state in America. More than 211,000 people in the state now have insurance that did not have it before. Gov. Mike Beebe has stated that $89 million of his proposed budget is based on savings from the private option, and budgetary gains over the next 10 years is estimated at $670 million.

The Arkansas Hospital Association’s CEO, Bo Ryall, spoke at the luncheon in favor of the private option due to its great benefit to the hospitals across Arkansas. Three fourths of the Arkansas legislature including many members from both parties supported it in the last two years, as have Gov. Mike Beebe, the Arkansas Chamber of Commerce, and many other Arkansans.

We have worked well with legislators from both parties, including state Sen. David Sanders and Sen. Jonathan Dismang among Republicans, as well as Delta Caucus Vice Chairman and Representative from southeast Arkansas, Mark McElroy, and Rep. Chris Richey of Helena-West Helena.

We have encouraged Governor-Elect Asa Hutchinson to support the private option as governor in a letter sent to him a few days ago. He has promised to engage in an intensive review and indicated he understands the benefits to the state budget and increased health insurance coverage.

Most of the Delta Caucus partners are supportive of changes, improvements and reforms in the private option as this complex but highly beneficial new program continues to develop, but there is a strong consensus in favor of revising and improving it rather than abolishing it altogether.

Gov.-Elect Hutchinson has just appointed State Sen. Pro Tempore Michael Lamoreaux, a supporter of the private option when he was in the legislature, as his Chief of Staff. This has to be an encouraging sign for the private option’s future. Sen. Lamoreaux will leave his post in the legislature, of course, to become the new governor’s chief of staff.

We greatly appreciated Asa Hutchinson’s participation at the Delta conference in Helena at the height of the election campaign when he had many other demands on his time. He has participated at every one of our events when we have invited him over the years and always gives thoughtful, informal presentations.

The private option health care plan in Arkansas has been widely spoken of as models for other states who want to make changes tailored to their states’ needs in the national Affordable Care Act, which allows for modifications by the states.

Distinguished leaders on women and children’s issues:

We would like to thank our many distinguished women leaders who played a major role at the conference, starting with our senior adviser Kay Goss, Associate Director of FEMA for President Clinton, nationally recognized disaster relief expert, educator, and author of a new, critically acclaimed biography of Congressman Wilbur Mills: Mr. Chairman: The Life and Legacy of Wilbur Mills. Kay Goss is also chairman of the University of Arkansas J. William Fulbright College Fundraising Campaign for 2020.

We are supporting Secretary Hillary Clinton and Chelsea Clinton’s No Ceilings initiative for uplifting women and girls across the globe. When women do better social, politically and economically everybody benefits, and women and children unfortunately have alarmingly high poverty rates in our region so some special attention to women and children’s issues is logical and much needed in our region nowadays.

We would like to thank our impressive line-up of women leaders, including:

• Millie Atkins, Public Policy Manager for Century Link’s broadband expansion program based in Monroe, Louisiana but active across Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi in the Delta,

• Vanessa Sneed of the Southern Illinois University Paul Simon Public Policy Institute,

• Martha Ellen Black, director of the Susanna Wesley Family Learning Center in East Prairie, Missouri,

• Lynette Watts, executive director of the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas,

• Anna Strong, Executive Director for Child Advocacy and Public Health at Arkansas Children’s Hospital,

• Mildred Barnes Griggs of Arkansas Delta Seeds of Change program,

• Karama Neal of Southern Bancorp Community Partners,

• Charita Johnson of the nonprofit Shiloh Distribution Center based in Lexington, Tennessee,

• Gina Winchester, who engages in a wide variety of regional outreach activities for Murray State University in western Kentucky, including an innovative program for expanding broadband access,

• and the women’s leaders from Helena-West Helena mentioned above.

Henry Snorton, director, Minority Economic Development Initiative (MEDI) in western Kentucky. It is important to emphasize that with the large number of single women heading households, the fact that we have many more two-income households nowadays, and the greater economic participation of women, it is not just women who take important actions regarding deepening economic opportunities for women. Henry Snorton of MEDI in western Kentucky has a broad range of activities for promoting greater economic participation for women and minorities in our region.

Mississippi leaders:

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Speaking Times for Candidates, Directions to Delta Event, Oct. 30-31

Posted on October 28, 2014 at 10:50 PM

Sen. Mark Pryor, Asa Hutchinson, Mike Ross, Rep. Rick Crawford, 1st District Congressional candidate Jackie McPherson, Sen. John Boozman of Arkansas, Sen. Thad Cochran and Rep. Travis Childers of Mississippi as well as grassroots leaders are set for the Oct. 30-31 Delta Caucus conference in Helena-West Helena, Arkansas.

The conference speakers start promptly at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, so we encourage people to arrive at 4:20 p.m. at Beth El Heritage Hall, 406 Perry Street, Helena, AR 72342. Sen. Mark Pryor speaks early on at 5 p.m. by Skype, and then Sen. John Boozman speaks at 5:30 p.m.

Sen. Pryor also wanted to be sure and be able to visit with us in person, so he will also come by and say a few words and visit in Helena at Beth El Heritage Hall at 2:15 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 31.

FRIDAY SESSION INCLUDES MAJOR CANDIDATES: The Friday session includes in-person presentations from mid-morning through the lunch and early afternoon from 1st District Democratic candidate Jackie McPherson, the Hon. Rodney Slater, President Clinton’s Secretary of Transportation, Mike Ross and Asa Hutchinson, Congressman Rick Crawford at lunch, Sen. Mark Pryor in person at 2:15 p.m., and live call-ins by the two US Senate race nominees in Mississippi, Sen. Thad Cochran and Rep. Travis Childers.

TABLE OF CONTENTS IN THIS NEWSLETTER

  1. DIRECTIONS TO BETH EL HERITAGE HALL IN HELENA

  2. REGISTRATION AT THE CONFERENCE FRONT DESK

  3. INFORMATION ON OTHER SECTIONS OF THE PROGRAM

  4. UPDATED AGENDA

  5. APPRECIATION FOR SPONSORS

1. DIRECTIONS

The address for Beth El Heritage Hall is: 406 Perry St, Helena, AR 72342.

Here are directions to Beth El from both main entrances into town:

Directions from Little Rock

  • Take I-40 E
  • Take exit 216 for US 49/AR 17
  • US 49 S
  • As you enter into town, turn right onto US 49 S bypass
  • Continue straight, the street will change names to Biscoe and then Columbia
  • Turn right onto Perry St.
  • After a few blocks, Beth El Heritage Hall will be on your left

Directions from Memphis

  • Take US 61 S
  • Turn right onto US 49 N
  • Turn right onto Biscoe, which will change to Columbia
  • Turn right onto Perry St.
  • After a few blocks, Beth El Heritage Hall will be on your left

2. REGISTRATION AT THE FRONT DESK AT THE CONFERENCE:

Most attendees have already mailed in their registration fee checks.

For those who have not yet paid the registration fees, please give your registration fees checks to the front desk. Please make out the checks to “Delta Caucus.”

Registration fee levels are:

For those in local group discounts or for people who found out late about the conference and did not know about the early registration deadline that passed in mid-October: $75

For individuals who plan to attend both days of the conference and knew about the early registration deadline but did not observe it, we ask for higher late registration fees to create an incentive to get the fees in on time: $115

For people in the local area who can only come to part of one day due to work or other scheduling commitments: $30

3. Notes on other sections of the agenda:

The opening features many other distinguished speakers including Kay Goss, author, educator, disaster relief services expert, President Clinton’s Associate Director of FEMA, Millie Atkins of Century Link’s innovative program for expanding broadband access in the Delta, David Solomon, distinguished attorney and leader in the Delta for many years, and others.

On Friday we have a morning panel led by Karama Neal of Southern Bancorp, with Charita Johnson of the Shiloh Distribution Center in Tennessee, George Miles of Rural LISC based in Greenville, MS, and Mayor Bill Luckett of Clarskdale, MS.

We have another section on women and children’s issues on Friday morning including Kay Goss, Lynnette Watts, Executive Director of the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas, and Will Staley of the innovative new nonprofit Thrive based in Helena.

Luncheon speakers include CEO Bo Ryall of the Arkansas Hospital Association and Anna Strong, Executive Director of Child Advocacy and Public Health at Arkansas Children’s Hospital.

Bob Nash, senior White House aide and earlier USDA Under Secretary for Rural Development for President Clinton, now president of Bob J. Nash & Associates, will lead a panel including Calvin King of Arkansas Land and Farm Development Corp., Mildred Barnes Griggs of Arkansas Delta Seeds of Change, Matthew Pelkki of the University of Arkansas at Monticello, and Rhonda St. Columbia, Vice Chancellor for College Advancement, Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas.

4. Delta Grassroots Caucus Agenda

“Jobs, Infrastructure, and Women and Children’s Issues”

Beth El Heritage Hall, Oct. 30-31, 2014, Helena-West Helena, Arkansas

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Agenda: Opening Starts at 4:30 Oct. 30 Thursday with Sens. Pryor & Boozman

Posted on October 23, 2014 at 01:56 PM

US Sen. Mark Pryor speaks at the Thursday, Oct. 30 opening session of the Delta Caucus at 5 p.m. followed by US Sen. John Boozman at 5:30 p.m. The opening session is very important and starts promptly at 4:30 p.m.

On Friday, Oct. 31, from 10 a.m. to noon we will have First District Candidate Mayor Jackie McPherson of Heber Springs, –US Senate candidate Rep. Travis Childers from Mississippi, –The Hon. Rodney Slater, President Clinton’s US Secretary of Transportation, –President Clinton’s FEMA Associate Director Kay Goss –and Lynnette Watts of the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas,

–then governor candidates Mike Ross and Asa Hutchinson from 11 a.m. to noon, –Congressman Rick Crawford of the First District at the luncheon from noon to 1 p.m., –and Arkansas Hospital Association CEO Bo Ryall speaking on the private option and Anna Strong of Arkansas Children’s Hospital as the two other luncheon speakers.

The Friday session as a whole is 8:15 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.

US Senate candidate for Mississippi Rep. Travis Childers will speak and US Sen. Thad Cochran is invited.

Draft of the agenda, registration, RSVP, group hotels information and directions to Beth El Heritage Hall in Helena are below in this email.

PLEASE RSVP NOW: To RSVP to reserve space for the Oct. 30-31 Delta Grassroots Caucus conference in Helena-West Helena, AR, send your name and contact information to Lee Powell at leepowell@delta.comcastbiz.net or call (202) 360-6347. You need to RSVP to be assured of a space at the conference. We have 125 RSVPs right now and there is always a late surge in RSVPS in the last few days before a regional conference.

You register by paying the registration fees. For local group discounts, fees are $75.

BASIC SCHEDULE

THURSDAY, OCT. 30 from 4:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. at Beth El Heritage Hall, 406 Perry St., Helena, AR 72342

Friday, Oct. 31 from 8:15 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.

For people who are part of a local group discount, the registration fees are $75.

For those who learned about this conference late in the process, we will not ask for the higher late registration fees at $115 and will accept $75.

For those who knew about the early registration deadline of Oct. 21 that is now past but did not observe the deadline, we will ask for the higher fees of $115 in order to create an incentive to get the fees in on time.

We prefer for registration fees to be sent in ahead of time, but we can also accept them at the front desk at the conference.

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

Delta Caucus

5030 Purslane Place

Waldorf, MD 20601

A rough draft of the agenda is below in the extended section of this post.

In a small number of cases where people cannot attend both days of the conference, we will accept a minimum registration fee of $30 for one day. We would greatly prefer that people come to both days.

We have confirmed additional distinguished speakers for this conference:

-the Hon. Rodney Slater, US Secretary of Transportation for President Clinton and now a partner at Squire Patton Boggs in Washington, DC;

-Bob Nash, senior White House aide to President Clinton and now president of Bob J. Nash & Associates;

–Bo Ryall, CEO of Arkansas Hospital Association to discuss the private option health care plan;

-Anna Strong, Executive Director of Child Advocacy and Public Health for Arkansas Children’s Hospital; and

-Executive Director Lynnette Watts of the Women’s Foundation for Arkansas, which is working with the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation on research to inform the public about where we have made progress on women’s issues, where we still have a ways to go-knowing the facts is essential in devising actions in addressing full civic, political and economic participation for women and girls across our region.

Key issues will include job creation/retention, the private option health care plan and other health care issues, USDA nutrition, rural development and agriculture programs, transportation improvements including Interstate 69, women and children’s issues and their impact on regional community and economic development, broadband expansion, the Delta Queen bill and other Delta heritage tourism initiatives, and other regional issues.

We will have a dialogue with the major candidates for US Senate, US House and Governor and include grassroots leaders from all eight states of the Greater Delta Region.

PLEASE MAKE YOUR GROUP HOTEL RESERVATIONS ASAP, BECAUSE THIS CONFERENCE TAKES PLACE AT HALLOWEEN AND THE HOTELS MAY BE FULL UP IF YOU WAIT UNTIL TOO CLOSE TO HALLOWEEN TO MAKE YOUR RESERVATION.

HOTELS: Please make your hotel reservations ASAP, because this conference takes place at Halloween and that is a very busy time for the hotels. If you wait closer to Halloween they may be full up when you call.

The two best hotels in Helena-West Helena are the following:

Best Western Inn: Please call the hotel at (870) 572-2592 and say you are with the Delta Caucus group. The rates range from about $89 to $94 plus tax, depending on the size room you request for the nights of Oct. 30 and Oct. 31. Many people just stay the one night of Oct. 30.

THE EDWARDIAN INN: This is an elegant bed and breakfast in Helena-West Helena, set in a stately home built by a wealthy Helena cotton trader in 1904. Please call the Edwardian Inn at (870) 338-9155 and say you are with the Delta Caucus to get the lower rate of $83 for Oct. 30 and Oct. 31. Many people will just stay the one night of Oct. 30. We have a bloc of 10 rooms.

Please reserve your room at the Edwardian Inn as soon as possible, because the closer it gets to Halloween the greater likelihood may be that they will be full up.

TABLE OF CONTENTS FOR THIS MESSAGE

  1. DIRECTIONS TO HISTORIC BETH EL HERITAGE HALL IN HELENA-WEST HELENA (there are only two roads to enter Helena)

  2. DRAFT OF THE AGENDA

  3. APPRECIATION FOR SPONSORS

  4. KEY ISSUES

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