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 Moved to September 15, 16, and 17, 2009

Posted on March 17, 2009 at 11:04 AM

We will hold the annual Delta Initiative in Washington, DC on September 15, 16, and 17, 2009 this year. We had originally planned to hold it in the late spring, but we received a number of requests for a postponement of the Delta Grassroots Caucus conference in Washington, DC until September from people who said they need more time to get together the funding to make the trip, due to financial pressures caused by the economic crisis. This postponement will also be useful as far as being able to meet with the Obama administration officials when our group is at full strength and also when they are fully up and running and all the administration officials are in office.

Thus far we have had numerous key partners indicate they favored a postponement, and no one has objected to it. Many people indicated that they needed more time to raise funds for travel for the conference, due to financial pressures caused by the economic crisis. Of course, we do not want to be insensitive to anyone suffering from the recession, as so many of us are.

Other people emphasized that by September, the Obama administration will be fully up and running, and this will be our first opportunity to have an in-depth, public dialogue with high-level administration officials. We can get a bigger turnout and make a stronger impact in September this year than in the late spring, since some groups in our coalition informed us they could participate in September but not in the late spring.

Of course we will be meeting with many Members of Congress, as always.

We do not have any registration fees yet and as far as we know nobody has made any travel plans that cannot be changed. So we need to move ahead and set Sept. 15, 16 and 17 for this year’s Delta initiative in DC.

The scheduler for one of the Senators’ offices we are working with said they have seen a lot of groups have smaller turnouts so far this year due to the recession, so our experience is shared with many other groups.

We are planning to hold the conference on Sept. 15, 16 and 17, 2009, on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The schedule will be similar to previous years, beginning on Tuesday evening from 5 to 8 p.m., then a full day session on Wednesday, September 16, and we will wrap up on Thursday, Sept. 17 from about 8:30 a.m. until 1 p.m.

Information on the group hotel and registration is below in this message.

We have to plan and organize these conferences well ahead of time, and as of now many of the subcabinet members, heads of federal agencies, Federal Co-Chair and Alternate Federal Co-Chair of the Delta Regional Authority, and other officials of the Obama administration have either not been nominated or not yet confirmed and in office. It will be beneficial to have them all in office and settled in when we have an important dialogue with them.

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 to the meeting locations by DC standards.

GROUP HOTEL: The Radisson Hotel at Reagan National Airport is the group hotel. We have a group rate of $229 for the nights of Tuesday, September 15 and Wednesday, September 16. 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.

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

CONTINUING ADVOCACY AND COMMUNICATIONS EFFORTS BY EMAIL, WEBSITE, PHONE CALLS, CONVERSATIONS: Our program of informing the powers that be about economic conditions in the Delta and advocating for our region is a year-round effort, and over the next couple of months we will continue to disseminate information on key regional issues. 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.

We will send in more details about the agenda as we finalize the speakers. We hope you can participate in September.

Thanks so much–Lee Powell, MDGC (202) 360-6347