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.

Oct. 25-27 Dates Set for Annual Delta Initiative in Washington, DC--Please Save Dates

Posted on June 21, 2011 at 11:58 AM

The Mississippi River Delta Grassroots Caucus’ annual Delta Initiative in Washington, DC is set for Oct. 25-27, 2011 in Washington, DC, so please save those dates.

We will have a dialogue with Members of Congress, Obama administration officials, Delta Regional Authority representatives, and a group of grassroots leaders from the Greater Delta Region extending from St. Louis, Missouri and East St. Louis, Illinois down to New Orleans and eastward to the Alabama Black Belt. We will urge them to take stronger action for job creation/economic recovery in our region, where the disproportionate impact of the recession on us as well as the recent flooding and storms worsened an already economically distressed situation.

Job creation/economic recovery will be the top priority, and virtually all of our activities will be related to that goal. Key issues will include job creation/new markets initiatives, broadband expansion, the need for a new transportation bill, health care improvements for the underserved Delta, hunger and nutrition, support for the Delta Regional Authority’s funding, the USDA Rural Development programs, literacy programs and other education initiatives, renewable energy, “green jobs” and energy efficiency, Delta legacy tourism initiatives, and other economic and community development activities.

You register by paying the $100 early registration fees, and registration information is listed below along with group hotel and the schedule.

A number of people have already RSVP’ed, and please RSVP to this email or 202-360-6347 so we can add you to the list of people who will be there.

The main focus of our efforts geographically is on the most impoverished areas in the heart of the Delta, usually consisting of smaller towns and rural areas. However, Little Rock, Memphis, Jackson, Baton Rouge, St. Louis are included in our efforts because we want them to feel included in the region and they have resources to help us, although they of course are much more urban and prosperous, despite a few pockets of poverty, than the heart of the more small town and rural Delta.

A special thank you to DRA Federal Co-Chairman Chris Masingill, Alternate DRA Federal Co-Chairman Mike Marshall of Missouri, DRA chief of staff Bill Triplett, and the state partners of the DRA for their continuing excellent new leadership at the DRA.

SCHEDULE: OPENING SESSION, TUESDAY EVENING, OCT. 25, AT THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: The conference begins on Tuesday evening, Oct. 25, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Room B-339 of the Rayburn House of Representatives building. That includes food and drinks at a reception and then substantive speakers and panels from 5:30 to 8 p.m. There will be a number of US Representatives from the region there and we will update the agenda as we move closer to the events.

SENATE SESSION, WEDNESDAY MORNING, OCT. 26, 8:45 A.M. TO NOON, Senate conference room (yet to be determined–Senate rules require that meeting rooms be reserved beginning 90 days beforehand) from 9 a.m. to noon., Wednesday morning, Oct. 26, with several US Senators , a few key Obama administration appointees, and grassroots leaders from the region engaging a dialogue about doing more to fight poverty and hunger in our region.

CAPITOL HILL SESSION, WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON, OCT. 26, 1:10 to 3:45 p.m.–Lutheran Church of the Reformation near US Supreme Court– On Wednesday afternoon, Oct. 26, from 1:10 p.m. to 3:45 p.m., we go to the historic sanctuary of the Lutheran Church of the Reformation on Capitol Hill near the US Supreme Court, with additional Members of Congress.

FINAL SESSION: MANY SMALL OR INDIVIDUAL MEETINGS IN EXECUTIVE BRANCH AND CONGRESSIONAL OFFICES ACROSS CAPITOL HILL AND DC ON THURSDAY MORNING, OCT. 27, 9 A.M. TO 1 P.M.–The final session is designed in a new flexible way, Thursday morning, Oct. 27, about 9 a.m. to noon, and consists of many smaller meetings with either Obama administration appointees or Congressional offices. We will set up some and inform the group, but everybody is encouraged to set up individual meetings of your own and inform us so we will know all the offices that are being covered.

Key departments for our region will be USDA, especially Rural Development and the Food and Nutrition Service, HHS, DOT, FEMA, Education. We also plan to meet with the new White House Rural Council leadership, recently set up by President Obama.

These sessions will be small groups of our partners meeting with Under Secretaries, Administrators of agencies, additional Congressional offices if they still want to reach more Hill offices after the first three meetings. We will set up some ourselves, and as a former Clinton administration presidential appointee at USDA I will be there on Thursday morning.

A direct dialogue with a small group of people and additional Congressional and executive branch offices will follow up on the larger group meetings with media coverage. These are essential in putting constructive pressure on the powers that be to do more for America’s most impoverished region and having a dialogue with them.

PLEASE FEEL FREE TO SET UP THURSDAY MORNING, OCT. 27 MEETINGS ON YOUR OWN–We will set up some of these meetings ourselves and inform you about them, but we also ask people to set up meetings in their own with their Members of Congress or with executive branch officials that are especially important for you. If you could inform Lee Powell of the Delta Caucus of meetings you plan to set up, that will be useful to know all the different offices we will be contacting in addition to the meetings on Capitol Hill on Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 25-26.

REGISTRATION: You register by paying the registration fees. We have to ask for registration fees from almost everybody to make the budget work out, and the only exceptions are Members of Congress and their aides, Obama appointees, former Members of the cabinet like the Hon. Rodney Slater, and people at that level. For those coming for the entire conference, it is $100.

The early registration fees should be made out to “Delta Caucus” and mailed by October 12 to:

Delta Grassroots Caucus

(Attention: Lee Powell)

5030 Purslane Place

Waldorf, MD 20601

The late registration fees are supposed to go up to $150 after Oct. 12. The only reason we came up with the late registration additional fee was to give an incentive for people to send in their fees on time, because in the past we had a problem with most people sending in the fees either at or after the conference, when many of our bills have to be paid right before or at the time of the conference, and this also created bottle-necks when people paid the fees at the front desk. The late registration fees for the May conference in Little Rock did in fact create a noticeable improvement in getting the fees in earlier, so thanks so much.

GROUP HOTEL: The group hotel is Radisson at Reagan Airport. To get the group rate of $225 for the nights of Oct. 25 and 26, call the Radisson at 703-920-8600 on or before Wednesday, Oct. 12, and say you are with the Delta Caucus. This rate is actually low by Washington, DC standards in October, which is one of the busiest times of the year for Congress and the administration.

We go to the meetings in large groups of taxi cabs each morning from the group hotel. Before 9/11 we used to go in large buses, but the one time we tried that after 9/11 the security guards were understandably not too happy with a huge vehicle pulling up close to the US Capitol, so we ditched that strategy. Going in groups of three or four by cab is quicker and cheaper.

We will work out the speaking times of all the people when the time gets nearer. Keep in touch and RSVP. Thanks–Lee Powell (MDGC) 202-360-6347