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.

We have 15 Members of Congress, June 3-4 in DC--please attend all these events

Posted on June 01, 2008 at 05:35 PM

The opening session of the Delta Grassroots Caucus Washington, DC Initiative starts at 5 p.m., Tuesday, June 3, at B-338 Rayburn Building, and for those staying at the group hotel we will leave in a group of taxi cabs at 4 p.m. to be sure and get there on time. We will have a record 15 Members of Congress on Tuesday evening June 3 and at the June 4 Wednesday morning and Wednesday afternoon sessions, so please attend all of these sessions–we would hate to have such a remarkably large participation from the Members of Congress and then not have a good turnout to hear them speak and ask questions.

At the opening session we will have four Members of Congress as well as Bob Nash, former high-level White House official in the Clinton administration, and other distinguished speakers. We will meet at the lobby of the Radisson Hotel at Reagan National Airport at 3:45 p.m. We will need to start boarding the group of taxi cabs we have arranged to have there to go to the Rayburn Building at 4 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon, June 3. It will take a few minutes to get into the cabs, and once we get to the Rayburn Building we have to go through the metal detectors and then walk to Room B-338, which will take a few more minutes.

OPENING SESSION: It begins at 5 p.m. at B-338 Rayburn, and the four Members will begin speaking at 5:30 p.m., which is a much earlier start than in previous years that we had to do to accommodate their schedules. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO), Rep. Rodney Alexander (R-LA), Rep. John Tanner (D-TN), and Rep. Charles Melancon (D-LA) will speak from 5:30 to 6:30, Rep. Travis Childers (MS) will make a brief appearance, and then we will have Bob Nash and Bill Bynum, CEO of Enterprise Corp. of the Delta and Hope Community Credit Union from 6:30 to 7 and then a panel of grassroots leaders from 7 to 8 p.m. The full agenda was posted on the website at

JUNE 4, WEDNESDAY MORNING–PRESIDENTIAL FORUM–We will need to leave from the group hotel by groups of taxi cabs around 7:30 a.m. to get there by the beginning at 8:30 a.m., at the Lutheran Church of the Reformation at 212 East Capitol on Capitol Hill right behind the Supreme Court. Rep. Artur Davis (D-AL) speaks for Obama at 9 a.m., Rep. Chip Pickering (R-MS) speaks for McCain at 10 a.m., Rep. Marion Berry (D-AR) speaks for Clinton at 11 a.m.

JUNE 4, WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON–SENATE SESSION, 1 P.M. TO 4:15 P.M., SENATE RUSSELL BUILDING, ROOM 385–WITH SEVEN MEMBERS OF CONGRESS–A RECORD FOR ONE SESSION–We will start out with Rep. Mike Ross (AR), Senators Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor (AR), Sen. Mary Landrieu (LA), Senator Thad Cochran (MS), Senator Roger Wicker (MS), and Rep. John Cazayoux (LA). We will also have Rex Nelson of the DRA and several other grassroots leaders.

This will be very important for our people to come out and hear the Members of Congress and have a dialogue with them, so please come to all of this session.

THURSDAY, JUNE 5, 8:30 A.M. TO 1 P.M., USDA SOUTH BUILDING, 1400 Independence Ave.SW, meeting room adjacent to the cafeteria. We will focus in the first half of this session on completion of the Interstate 69 Corridor, the Great River Bridge, and the rest of the Delta Development Highway System and the multi-modal network, and then in the second half we will focus on the USDA issues debated in this year’s farm bill.

USDA is closer than the Lutheran Church is, so those staying at the group hotel will leave the hotel about 7:45 a.m. in the group of taxi cabs on Thursday morning, June 5.

First panel at Thursday, June 5 session, 8:30 to 10 a.m.–TRANSPORTATION– We will have the Hon. Rodney Slater, former US Secretary of Transportation, Bill Triplett of the DRA, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation Joel Szabat, Chris Massingill, Gov. Mike Beebe’s DRA Alternate, Johnnie Bolin, executive of the Arkansas Good Roads Transportation Council, Dr. Sunny Morris of ADWIRED, and David Shipman, Associate Administrator of the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Second panel at Thursday, June 5, 10 a.m. through luncheon to 1 p.m.– USDA issues, including agriculture, alternative energy, rural development, and nutrition. We will have USDA Secretary Ed Schafer’s Chief of Staff Dale Moore, Administrator Roberto Salazar of the USDA Food and Nutrition Service, Rural Development Chief of Staff Jim Fitzgerald, Ed Cooney of the Congressional Hunger Center, Betty Kennedy of the Delta NIRI in Louisiana, Joe Belden of the Housing Assistance Council, Jo Anne Smith of the Southeast Arkansas Cornerstone Coalition, and Desha County Judge Mark McElroy.

For reasons of space we have not listed all the speakers here. Please see the full agenda at

All sessions are important, but again, we need to have a good turnout for these sessions on Tuesday evening June 3 and Wednesday morning and afternoon on June 4, where we have the unusual opportunity to hear from 15 Members of Congress. These are the shakers and movers who have the power to do much more for the Delta’s economic development.

If you have questions, call Desha County Judge Mark McElroy at (870) 222-8440, or myself, or Laymon Jones at (510) 541-0259. Thanks very much. Lee Powell, MDGC (202) 360-6347