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.

Sen. Cochran, Lincoln, Pryor, Reps. Berry, Davis, Ross, Pickering Set for June 3-5

Posted on April 18, 2008 at 12:17 PM

We are very pleased that Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi will be joining other Members of Congress in taking part in the Delta Grassroots Caucus conference in Washington, DC on June 3-5, 2008, including Senators Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor, Rep. Marion Berry and Rep. Mike Ross of Arkansas, Rep. Chip Pickering of Mississippi, Rep. Artur Davis of Alabama, Rep. Charles Melancon of Louisiana, Rep. John Tanner of Tennessee, and others. In previous years Sen. Mary Landrieu (LA), Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (MO), Rep. Rodney Alexander (LA), Rep. Jerry Costello (IL), Rep. Ed Whitfield (KY) have participated, and we expect to have most or all of them as speakers again this year.

We will have a dialogue with Members of Congress, several Bush administration appointees at USDA, DOT, and the Delta Regional Authority, and representatives of the Presidential campaigns in urging them to do much more for the economic development of our region. Rep. Artur Davis will speak at the Lutheran Church of the Reformation on June 4 in the morning on why he believes Sen. Obama would be the best President for the Delta region, Senator Clinton will have a prominent national figure explain why she would be the best President for the region, and similarly Rep. Chip Pickering of Mississippi will speak about why he believes Sen. John McCain would be the best President for our region. We will not endorse any candidate but want to pressure all of them to do more for our region.

We are especially glad to have the participation of Senator Cochran of the great state of Mississippi, who is a powerful figure on the Senate Appropriations Committee and has many admirers in our region on both sides of the aisle.

We have 83 RSVPs and the number increases each day. Please RSVP by email to or (202) 360-6347 and sending in the registration fee check to the address listed below in this message.

We would again like to thank our lead sponsor, Nucor Yamato Steel and Nucor Steel of Arkansas; our major co-sponsors, who are Heifer International, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship state organizations in Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi and its national headquarters in Atlanta, the Housing Assistance Council in Washington, DC, Entergy, the Inspire Hope Institute based in Paragould, AR, and the many individuals and organizations who have contributed in the range of $85 to $200–those numerous contributions really add up in a hurry and are essential to our work for the Delta.


Tuesday evening, June 3, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.: The opening session begins on Tuesday evening, June 3, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the House of Representatives Room B-338 Rayburn Building. Please schedule a plane flight that will get you into DC by the early to mid-afternoon so that you can get to the Rayburn Building by 5 p.m.

Wednesday, June 4: Wednesday, June 4, morning session is from 8:30 a.m. to 11:40 a.m. at LUTHERAN CHURCH OF THE REFORMATION, 222 EAST CAPITOL STREET Parish Hall, on Capitol Hill directly behind the US Supreme Court building

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 4, AFTERNOON SESSION, 1 P.M. TO 4 P.M. Senate Russell Office Building, Room 385

THURSDAY, JUNE 5, 8:30 a.m. to noon (final session): USDA National Headquarters, South Building Cafeteria, 1400 Independence Avenue SW

The Thursday morning session is the final group meeting. This is an important meeting that will focus on completion of I-69 Corridor and connectors and the rest of the Delta Development Highway System, the multi-modal transportation issues, rural housing and other rural development issues, agriculture and other USDA issues. We are holding it adjacent to the USDA cafeteria so that people can take a break for a cup of coffee or get something to eat and then just be a few steps away. We know many people may be a little tired by the final session, so we thought that location and the proximity of the food and coffee would be a plus.

REGISTRATION: The early registration fee is $85 until May 22. To register, just make out the $85 check to “Delta Grassroots Caucus,�? with a note “For DC 2008,�? and mail to:

Delta Grassroots Caucus

Attention: Lee Powell)

5030 Purslane Place

Waldorf, MD 20601

After May 22, the early registration fee of $85 ends and the fee will be $100 after that day. It makes it difficult for our planning if we always have large numbers of registrations that are brought to the front desk or even paid after the conference.

GROUP HOTEL: The group hotel is the Radisson at Reagan National Airport. To get the reduced group rate of $209 a night for the nights of June 3 and June 4, call the Radisson at (703) 920-8600 and say you are with the Delta Caucus.

KEY ISSUES: Among the key issues will be job creation and efforts to jump-start the economy, support for the New Markets Tax Credit, Empowerment Zones, Renewal Communities and other efforts to spur investment in low-income areas, completion of I-69 Corridor and connectors and other improvements to the region’s transportation system, expansion of alternative energy, reforms of FEMA and disaster relief issues after the hurricanes, flooding and tornado damage that has devastated our region in recent years, support for the Delta Regional Authority budget, along with such “big picture�? issues as improved health care, housing and education and other development initiatives.

TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS: If you need assistance with your airfare, the travel agent for this year’s Delta initiative in Washington is Becky Hawkins of Travel Consultants International in Blytheville, Arkansas. You can reach her at (870) 762-2800 or Becky Hawkins is an excellent travel agent and has done a great job for many years.

We will have representatives from the remaining Presidential campaigns speak about what they plan to do for the Delta if they are elevated to the White House, and we will probably know who both parties’ nominees are by early June. This will be a nonpartisan forum to press them to pay more attention to Delta regional issues and we will not endorse any candidate.

QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS: If you have any questions or comments about the June 3-5 Delta Initiative in Washington, DC please contact Desha County Judge Mark McElroy at (870) 877-2426, or Dr. Martha Ellen Black, executive director of the Susanna Wesley Family Learning Center in southeast Missouri and a key member of the Delta Caucus executive committee, at (573) 649-3731, or Lee Powell at (202) 360-6347, or see the website at

Please RSVP so that we can know who will be attending. Thanks very much. Lee Powell, MDGC (202) 360-6347