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.


Posted on January 04, 2008 at 12:02 PM


Please RSVP as soon as possible for the Jan. 30-31 annual Mississippi Delta Grassroots Caucus conference and send in registration fees. With participation from several Presidential campaigns to state what they would do for the Delta if elected, Gov. Mike Beebe, the Hon. Rodney Slater, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, and a line-up of influential local leaders from all eight states of the region, the conference will be very crowded, and we have to reserve spaces on a first-come, first-served basis. Our RSVP count is 152 people, and every year we have a large number of people who RSVP in January. To reserve a space, send in the registration fee to the address listed below.

Please RSVP to

The deadline for making hotel reservations as part of the Delta Grassroots Caucus group is this coming Monday, close of business on January 7, 2008, so if you want to stay at the group hotel please call the number listed below as soon as possible. For the January 30-31, 2008 Mississippi Delta Grassroots Caucus annual conference the group hotel is the Comfort Inn &Suites Downtown (phone is (501) 687-7700) near the Clinton Library in Little Rock, Arkansas.

We have negotiated a reduced group rate of $76 a night, and you would only need to stay the night of Jan. 30. You can get from the Comfort Inn to the Clinton Library by a short taxi ride and the hotel also has a shuttle. Information on the group hotel is below. You will need to call the hotel at (501) 687-7700 by close of business on Monday, January 7, 2008 to get the reduced group rate.

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 OR ON 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.

The opening session will be Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2008, from 4:45 p.m. 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 4:15 p.m.

Please visit our newly renovated website at

The main sessions have been quite crowded the last two or three years, and our space is limited. We have to do this on a first-come, first-served basis. 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

For our planning purposes, it is very important to know how many people are coming as early as possible. Last year the total turnout was about 300 people who came to at least part of the conference, with the packed crowd at the main luncheon over 220 people. Thanks very much. Lee Powell, Executive Director, MDGC (202) 360-6347

January 24, 2008

Support increased funding for the Mississippi Delta Region in the FY 2009 budget

These funds directly affect Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee.

Sign on by C.O.B. Wednesday, January 30th.

Dear Mississippi River Delta Caucus Members:

Please join us in asking President Bush to increase the nation’s commitment to provide economic development opportunities for the Mississippi Delta Region. We will be sending President Bush the attached request for full funding for the Mississippi Delta Region in the Fiscal Year 2009 budget.

As you know, the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) is the primary economic development agency in the Delta and has historically been authorized at $30 million annually. However, in recent years the agency has been funded at significantly lower levels.

The Mississippi Delta remains one of the most economically-depressed regions in the country. Full funding would spur the much-needed economic development essential for the future of predominantly rural and poverty stricken towns that exist in the Mississippi Delta and our Congressional districts.

If your boss would like to sign onto this letter in support of the Mississippi Delta Region or have any questions, please contact Chazmon Gates with Representative Ross (5-3772) or Justin Rone with Representative Emerson (5-4404).


Mike Ross JoAnn Emerson Co-chair Co-chair

January 23, 2008

The Honorable George W. Bush President of the United States of America The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

As members of the Mississippi River Delta Caucus we request that you support funding for the Delta Regional Authority at its authorized level of $30 million.

The Delta Regional Authority (DRA) partners with federal agencies, state and local governments, non-profit organizations, the business community, and the public in an effort to improve the quality of life for the people it serves. The Mississippi Delta region consists of 240 counties and parishes in eight states: Arkansas, Missouri, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Illinois.

As one of the most distressed areas in the country, the Mississippi Delta region has a poverty rate which is 55 percent higher than the national rate. In addition, of the 240 counties and parishes served in this region, 238 have per capita income levels at or below the national average. The disparities between the delta region and the nation as a whole are vast and federal funding is essential to create opportunities for economic development in these predominately rural and underprivileged towns that make up the Mississippi Delta.

For these reasons, we urge you to support funding for the Delta Regional Authority at its authorized level in the Fiscal Year 2009 budget.


Rep. Mike Ross Rep. Jo Ann Emerson Member of Congress Member of Congress

Through 2006, DRA has contributed $47,611,071 to 333 projects. This investment has leveraged $207,100,170 in other federal, state and local funds – a 4.35 to 1 ratio.

Private funds invested in these projects total $480,612,796 – a ratio of 10.09 to 1.

Total leveraged investment of $687,712,966 – an incredible ratio of 14.44 to 1.

176 projects have been completed with 3,488 jobs created, 4,008 jobs retained, 6,219 families receiving improved water and sewer and 2,584 people trained for jobs.

We have 157 projects active with projected outcomes of 9,180 families who will receive improved water and sewer services, 5,135 jobs created, 5,825 jobs retained and 883 people receiving job training.

“On the regional economic development commissions’ basic pot of funding in the energy and water bill, the Delta Regional Authority should receive at least the $30 million level as envisaged by the bipartisan group of Members of Congress who passed the legislation creating it that was signed into law by President Clinton in 2000. The current level of $12 million is much less than half that figure, and this is clearly unjust to be going backwards for the Delta.

Beyond that, CANDIDATE XXX would pledge a policy of equality among the regions, so that the DRA is treated fairly along with Appalachia and the Denali Commission that serves a few hundred thousand people in Alaska–these two commissions have been getting in the range of $65 million in recent years. The funding for the regional commissions should be based upon size, population, levels of poverty and need, and the more than nine million people in the Delta unfortunately are the most impoverished region in the country.

–The DRA the last few years has also started getting funding through additional appropriations bills–USDA Rural Development at $3 million and $8 to $10 million more through transportation. But here again, DRA is absolutely dwarfed by Appalachia and Alaska, which have gotten vastly greater sums. There should be a policy of equality and fairness in these other sources of funding for the DRA as well, and the Delta deserves equal treatment with the other regions.”