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 Caucus,
which advocates for economic equality across the USA.

Huckabee and Clinton Campaigns, and Gov. Beebe, on Jan. 30-31, 2008 agenda

Posted on December 05, 2007 at 04:41 PM

The Presidential campaigns of former Gov. Mike Huckabee and Sen. Hillary Clinton will be represented either by the candidates or by nationally recognized leaders who were high-level appointees to Presidents Bill Clinton, the elder President Bush, and President George W. Bush at our Jan. 30-31, 2008 annual conference. Other major campaigns have been invited and we are awaiting their responses. We have 134 RSVPs at this point and the space if filling up rapidly, so please go ahead and register–that info is again included below.

Bob Nash, Sen. Clinton’s Deputy Campaign Manager and a high-level official at the White House and earlier at USDA in President Bill Clinton’s administration, and French Hill, Finance Chair and a high-level official in the first President Bush’s administration in the White House and at the US Treasury Dept., who was also appointed by President George W. Bush in 2007 as a member of the Advisory Board of the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund of the Treasury Dept., will speak at the Great Hall of the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock on the morning of Thursday, Jan. 31, 2008 (if the candidates themselves cannot schedule it due to their hectic agendas). They will discuss what the candidates would do for the Delta’s economic future if elected President.

Bob Nash, Sen. Hillary Clinton’s Deputy Campaign Manager, formerly a high-level official in President Bill Clinton’s administration and a president of a pioneering community development bank, is tentatively scheduled to speak from about 9:45 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on Jan. 31 (if Sen. Clinton is unable to make it due to the heavy demands on her schedule). In the Clinton administration, he served as a top White House aide as director for presidential personnel, and earlier as Under Secretary of Agriculture. He was directly involved in the Clinton administration’s Mississippi Delta Regional Initiative. An Arkansan, Nash was a top aide to Gov. Bill Clinton in the 1980s, and worked on the original Lower Mississippi Delta Development Commission at that time, so his experience on Delta regional issues goes back more than two decades. Nash served as vice chair of ShoreBank Corp, the country’s first and largest community development bank.

French Hill, Gov. Huckabee’s Finance Chair, is tentatively scheduled to speak for Gov. Huckabee’s campaign from about 10:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. on Jan. 31 (if Gov. Huckabee cannot make it due to his hectic schedule). From 1989 through January 1993, Mr. Hill was a senior economic policy official in the White House for President George H. W. Bush’s Administration, and served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury. In 2007, Mr. Hill was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve as a member of the Advisory Board of the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Mr. Hill is founding CEO and chairman of Delta Trust &Banking Corp., a privately-held banking, trust and investment brokerage company in Little Rock. Mr. Hill is a nationally recognized expert and brings a wealth of experience and knowledge about economic issues.

Gov. Huckabee recently pledged to expand the Delta Regional Authority budget in the energy and water appropriations bill from the current $12 million to $30 million. This pledge was commended by many grassroots leaders from the Delta and received positive media coverage. We are asking for similar statements from Sen. Hillary Clinton, Sen. Barack Obama, Sen. John Edwards, Sen. Fred Thompson, Gov. Mitt Romney, and Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

The other major Presidential campaigns have been invited and we are awaiting their responses. As we indicated earlier, Gov. Bill Richardson’s Arkansas co-chair, Kevin Smith of Helena-West Helena, will speak. Kevin Smith is a former aide to Gov. Bill Clinton, US Sen. Dale Bumpers, and a long-time leader for the Delta region.

The current Governor of Arkansas, Mike Beebe, will kick off the opening session at the Clinton Library on Thursday, Jan. 31, 2008 from about 9 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. Gov. Beebe will discuss education, job creation, tourism, alternative energy and other key initiatives he is working on for the Delta as Governor of Arkansas. Gov. Beebe and the Arkansas legislature enacted a major expansion of education funding for Arkansas this year, and since education is seen as the key for the Delta’s future improvement, that was a major plus for the Arkansas Delta. Gov. Beebe serves on the board of the Delta Regional Authority, so he is very important for the region as a whole.

We will have speakers from all eight Delta states and the Washington, DC area. Former Congressman Bill Alexander will discuss his projects for converting municipal waste into energy in Europe, and he believes similar projects for alternative energy could be replicated in the Delta region. Rep. Alexander has urged greater use of alternative energy for 30 years now.

We will have several panels on the Delta’s economic development, and otther speakers will include the Hon. Rodney Slater, Rex Nelson, Alternate Federal Co-Chair of the DRA; Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, representatives of Nucor Yamato Steel and Nucor Steel of Arkansas in Blytheville, Arkansas, Joe Belden of the national Housing Assistance Council, President Randy Dunn of Murray State University in western Kentucky; President Vivian Presley of Coahoma College in Clarksdale, Mississippi; Larry Williams of the Delta Citizens Alliance based in Greenville, Mississippi; Arkansas State University President Les Wyatt, Mayor Brad Cole of Carbondale, Illinois; Mayor Mike Marshall of Sikeston, Missouri; Clifton Avant of the Entergy Corp. in Louisiana; Mayor Sheldon Day of Thomasville, Alabama; Tiffany Hardrick, principal of a new charter school serving low-income neighborhoods that were devastated by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans; Mayor Bobby Hardrick (Tiffany’s father) of Madison, AR; Minnie Bommer, a long-time community development expert and regional leader from Covington, Tennessee; and other local leaders.

The opening session will be Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2008, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce, and the main session will be at the Great Hall of the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock on Thursday, Jan. 31, 2008 from 9 a.m. to about 5 p.m.

To reserve a place, please send your registration fee check of $85, made out to “Delta Grassroots Caucus,” with a note “For 2008 conference,” and mail the check to:

Delta Grassroots Caucus

(Attention: Lee Powell)

5030 Purslane Place

Waldorf, MD 20601

The group hotel for the January 30-31, 2008 Mississippi Delta Grassroots Caucus annual conference will be the Comfort Inn &Suites Downtown at the Clinton Library in Little Rock, Arkansas. You can get from the Comfort Inn to the Clinton Library by a short taxi ride and the hotel also has a shuttle.

To get the reduced rate of $76 for the night of January 30, call the Comfort Inn at (501) 687-7700 and say you are with the Delta Caucus and call BEFORE JANUARY 7, 2008. After that the rate goes up and you are not guaranteed a room if the hotel gets full. We have the group rates for January 30 and January 31, in case anyone wants to stay for a second night in Little Rock. However, you would only need the room for the night of Jan. 30, 2008. You can check out the morning of Jan. 31, store your luggage and go to the main session at the Clinton Library, and then come back that afternoon to pick up your luggage.

Please visit our newly renovated website at

Thank you very much. Lee Powell, executive director, MDGC (202) 360-6347