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 Caucus Urges Arkansas Legislature to Pass Bonds for Osceola Steel Mill

Posted on February 07, 2013 at 01:37 PM

The Delta Caucus asks all our partners to urge the Arkansas legislature to approve $125 million in economic development bonds for a new still mill in the heart of the Delta in Osceola, Arkansas that will bring over 500 jobs with an average salary of $75,000.

This tremendously important steel mill project is among the initiatives the Delta Caucus supports now and during the May 2-3, 2013 Delta conference at the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Gov. Mike Beebe and steel executive John Correnti announced plans to build a $1.1 billion steel mill that will employ 2,000 construction workers in addition to more than 500 long-term jobs. The Arkansas legislature will need to approve the economic development bonds, including a $50 million loan to Big River Steel LLC.

Arkansas Rep. Mark McElroy said he will be a strong supporter of the bonds because this is a project that is great news for the Delta region.

Even though Rep. McElroy’s district is in southeast Arkansas and the Osceola plant will be located in northeast Arkansas on the Mississippi River above Memphis, he said “I will be out front supporting this project because we all need to work together and help each other all across the region, and this will be a tremendous benefit for the Delta’s economy.”

The Delta Caucus encourages all our other colleagues in the legislature to join Rep. McElroy in supporting the bonds needed for this project.

“Now is the time to think big and all work together for the good of the region, so let’s follow the lead of Gov. Beebe, the steel executives, and all the state, local and regional forces behind this vital project,” said Caucus director Lee Powell.

Gov. Beebe said the $1.1 billion project will rank as the state’s largest economic project ever, and this is one of the largest industrial projects not just in the state but in the entire nation.

This will provide job opportunities not just for Osceola, but for many other communities within commuting distance in this location in the heart of the Delta, which is in northeast Arkansas and not far from locations in southeast Missouri and Memphis, Tennessee.

For all our Arkansas contacts, please call, email and talk to your state senators and representatives and urge them to support this project. The vote on the bond request is expected to be held before the Arkansas legislative session ends in April.

The plant will occupy about 1,800 acres including land owned by Entergy Arkansas. This type of mill melts scrap into steel rather than bringing i iron and coke and turning the raw materials into steel like traditional mills in cities such as Pittsburgh and Birmingham, accordng to the publication Arkansas Business.

The Delta Caucus will be supporting this project in the legislative session and from then on into the future. We have invited executives working on this project to participate in the May 2-3, 2013 Delta conference at the Clinton Presidential Center.

We will be announcing a package of best practices, role model projects that should be replicated across the region. The purpose of this package of announcements is to highlight the constructive work that is going on by major organizations in the region and encourage similar investments across the region. We especially urge progress on the Osceola steel mill project.

Key issues in this package include innovative and constructive lending programs for small business/job creation; health care and nutrition; renewable energy and energy retrofits/conservation; and constructive policies promoting greater home ownership.

It is essential to recognize the meritorous private sector work going on in the region by both nonprofits and charitable donations from corporations. Our regional coalition’s advocacy for state and federal government funding issues of course is another major phase of our work.

For the May 2-3 conference, we are inviting President Clinton, who has given five brilliant live audio presentations at previous conferences; Gov. Mike Beebe; steel executive John Correnti; US Senators Mark Pryor and John Boozman; US Representatives Rick Crawford, Tom Cotton, and Tim Griffin; former US Secretary of Transportation Rodney Slater; former senior White House aide and USDA Rural Development Under Secretary Bob Nash; Bill Bynum, CEO of Hope Enterprise Corp.; President Ivie Allen, Foundation for the Mid-South; as well as representatives of Heifer International, Southern Bancorp, and many other grassroots leaders across the Delta region from New Orleans, Louisiana to St. Louis, Missouri.


OPENING SESSION: Thursday evening, May 2, 2013, 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Clinton School of Public Service.

CLINTON LIBRARY SESSION: Friday, May 3, 2013, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Great Hall of the Clinton Library.

GROUP HOTEL: To get the group hotel discount rate, please call the Comfort Inn & Suites at the Clinton Library in Little Rock at 501-687-7700 and say you are with the Delta Caucus. Most people will just stay for the night of May 2, because they will check out in the morning and store their luggage at the hotel and come back at the end of the day’s session at the Clinton Library to pick up the luggage.

Registration is $125, including $25 annual membership dues and $100 registration fees for this conference. For those who have already paid their 2013 annual dues, the registration is reduced from $125 to $100.

The dues are paid only once a year and cover all of your personnel for all our activities, including receiving the group newsletters and our events at the Clinton Library, Memphis, Washington, DC and Louisiana. The $100 registration for each individual at each of the conferences is a separate fee and is essential to cover our expenses.

If you can take part, please make out the $125 registration and dues to “Delta Caucus” and mail to:

Delta Caucus

5030 Purslane Place

Waldorf, MD 20601

Please join us to advocate for the region at our conference on May 2-3, 2013 at the Clinton Center. Thanks-Delta Caucus (202) 360-6347