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.

Delta Initiative in Washington, DC Set for June 2, 3, and 4, 2009--Please RSVP

Posted on February 26, 2009 at 12:08 PM

The annual Delta Initiative in Washington, DC is scheduled for June 2, 3, and 4, 2009. We will have Members of Congress from all over the eight-state region, and we are looking forward to our first in-depth opportunity to have a public dialogue as a group with high-level officials of President Obama’s administration. We expect a strong turnout and we want to make a good impact on the new administration and Congress. Please register and RSVP early on.

By early June, most of the key Obama administration officials will be in place, and we look forward to having extensive communication with them about how to address the current economic crisis in the Delta region from southern Illinois and Missouri down to New Orleans and eastward to Selma, Alabama. We had 15 Members of Congress speak to our group last year, and smaller groups met with additional Members in their offices in smaller settings, and we look forward to more feedback from Congress this year about how best to promote community and econmic development in the region.

We will have a wide range of key economic issues to work on, including the economic stimulus, improved access to health care in underserved areas, job creation, expansion of renewable energy, nutrition assistance that both helps those in need and stimulates the economy, rural development, housing programs in responding to the housing market crisis, and many infrastructure issues such as expanding the entire Delta Development Highway System, the Interstate 69 Corridor, the Great River Bridge, and other transportation improvements. With the economic stimulus and the highway bill coming up this year, this is a historic opportunity to make progress on I-69 and the whole Delta Development Highway System.

The opening session will begin on Tuesday evening, June 2, 2009 at about 5 p.m. and continue to 8 p.m. on Capitol Hill (meeting room will be finalized as soon as possible). The main session will continue on Wednesday, June 3, 2009 from about 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Capitol Hill. Then we will have the final session at national USDA headquarters on Thursday, June 4, from 8:30 to about 1 p.m., with a luncheon capping off the conference.

GROUP HOTEL: Of course you are welcome to stay at whatever hotel you like, because there are no meetings at the group hotel. We only arrange that because many people like to network at the same place, and the group hotel is relatively cheap by Washington, DC standards and relatively close by DC standards.

The Radisson Hotel at Reagan National Airport is the group hotel. We have a group rate of $209 for the nights of June 2 and June 3. To get the group rate, call the Radisson at 703-920-8600 and say you are with the Delta Caucus.

Many people have felt this is a convenient location because it is near the airport and is a fairly short taxi ride away from Capitol Hill.

We will go over to the meetings from the hotel in groups of taxis as we have in previous years. This substantially reduces your cab fare if you go in groups of three or four and is the fastest way to get around in DC.

There is a limited number of rooms, so if you want to stay at the group hotel you will need to call early on.

REGISTRATION: You register by sending in the registration fee. Please make out the $85 registration fee to “Delta Grassroots Caucus,” with a notation “For DC fees,” and mail to:

Delta Grassroots Caucus

(Attention: Lee Powell)

5030 Purslane Place

Waldorf, MD 20601

We will send in more details about the agenda as we finalize the speakers.

Thanks again to everyone for making the recent conference at the Clinton Presidential Center such a big success. I would like to quote from a note we received from long-time Delta regional leader Charlotte Schexnayder about that event:

“The Delta Caucus meeting was both inspiring and informational. The organization did a great job of planning it–and of course, the Clinton School and Presidential Library add prestige. I thought it was remarkable to hear from President Clinton, Senator Pryor, and Governor Beebe–all on the same morning. Congratulations!

I was glad to be able to come this year–and to make some valuable contacts as well. Our Desha County group has really come together. With kind regards,” Charlottes Schexnayder, Dumas, Arkansas

Charlotte Schexnayder is one of our most dynamic regional leaders and we really appreciate all she has done for the Delta over so many years.

We greatly appreciate the strong support we get from Desha County and southeast Arkansas. We also had strong participation from Mississippi County and northeast Arkansas, St. Francis and adjacent counties, Phillips, Pine Bluff, many people from Greenville, Mississippi and others in Missisisppi, west Tennessee, southern Missouri and Illinois, and Louisiana. We appreciate Mayor Sheldon Day for coming all the way from Thomasville, Alabama, as well as people like Kay Goss who came all the way from Washington, DC. We were going to have some good western Kentucky participants but they were hit so hard by the ice storm and had such a long way to come that they understandably had to cancel, as did many others from northeast Arkansas and southeast Missouri. The total turnout including people who came for at least a part of the two-day confernce was 175 people, in spite of the bad weather conditions over so much of the region.

The above comments are just to give the general flavor of the participants–There is a summary of the conference on the website at

Please turn out for the June 2, 3 and 4, 2009 Delta Initiative in Washington, DC so we can make a strong impression on the powers that be in the new administration and Congress to do more for the Delta region’s economic development. Thanks again.

Lee Riley Powell, executive director, Mississippi Delta Grassroots Caucus (202) 360-6347