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.

Articles on Delta Issues--Rep. Childers (MS) and Mayor Hudson of Greenville (MS)

Posted on October 15, 2009 at 01:05 PM

We would like to convey copies of two articles about presentations to the annual Delta Grassroots Caucus conference from two of the largest newspapers in the Delta region, the Memphis Commercial Appeal and the Jackson (Mississippi) Clarion-Ledger. The articles focused on comments about health care, economic recovery, and infrastructure issues in the Delta region, with one article focusing on the comments of Congressman Travis Childers of Mississippi and the other focusing mostly on the views of Mayor Heather Hudson of Greenville, Mississippi, who is president of the National Conference of Black Mayors.

The articles are copied exactly as published and are for the information of our partners across the eight-state region from southern Illinois to New Orleans, Louisiana. The Delta Caucus received coverage from the largest papers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Alabama as well as smaller media outlets in southeast Missouri, southern Illinois and western Kentucky at the annual conference in Washington, DC.

Other media coverage across the region, of course, focused on other leaders and other issues. We are sending out a series of messages about the coverage. Thanks very much. –Lee Powell, Delta Grassroots Caucus (202) 360-6347

Childers welcomes Delta Grassroots Conference

Health policy atop issues, but he talks economics, rural-urban gap

By Bartholomew Sullivan, Posted September 15, 2009 at 8:08 p.m. (Memphis Commercial Appeal)

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Travis Childers, D-Miss., was the last in a series of Delta congressmen to talk local issues with the representatives of the Delta Grassroots Caucus Tuesday night.

The annual conference of representatives from the 252 Delta counties and parishes in eight states, including all the counties surrounding Memphis, are concentrating on health policy this year.

While most of the lawmakers addressed health care reform, Childers also talked economic development and job creation and about differences in the way the federal government treats rural and urban regions.

But he started off by making an admission: “I am so proud to be in Washington, D.C., in a room full of people who talk like I talk,” he said as the crowd roared with laughter. “I talk from one end of this city to the other and most of ‘em don’t understand a word I say.” Then he got serious.

“Rural America has always been a second-class area to so many other parts of the country, and I don’t like that,” he said.

He said he’ll work to address the disparity in Medicare reimbursement rates between rural and urban settings and is working to increase the enrollment in the state’s only medical school.

“For the life of me, I cannot understand why doctors get paid more in Miami, Fla., than they get paid in Tupelo, Miss.,” he said.

Childers also talked about extending broadband to rural areas and said he’s hoping more students qualified to attend nursing programs like one recently consolidated at Itawamba Community College can go to school.

On health care reform, he said the country has “kicked the can” for too many years. “No one’s going to come in on a white horse and save us, except ourselves,” he said.

Greenville mayor stresses Delta problems

By Deborah Barfield Berry • Clarion-Ledger Washington Bureau • September 16, 2009 WASHINGTON - One of the most pressing issues facing the Delta region is the need for more and improved infrastructure, including better water systems, said Greenville Mayor Heather Hudson.”We’re talking about some serious and critical infrastructure issues that we have to deal with,” Hudson said Wednesday.

Hudson, also president of the National Conference of Black Mayors, addressed community groups and local officials at the federal Department of Agriculture as part of a conference hosted by the Mississippi Delta Grassroots Caucus, a coalition of groups promoting economic development.

The conference featured congressional lawmakers from Mississippi and other states in the Delta region who talked about a range of issues, including health care and economic development. Mississippi Republican Sen. Thad Cochran also said improving transportation is a major challenge to in the state.

Hudson said another pressing issue in the Delta is the need for affordable and accessible health care. The region, she said, has high rates of high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes.

“People in our communities are the working poor,” said Hudson. “They work. They cannot afford health care.”

Hudson called on officials to partner to pool resources to address some of the problems. “We need to improve our expectations,” she said. “Being from Mississippi…I think we are a wonderful people….Mississippi has been last so long. It’s now time for us to move up.”