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.

20th Anniversary of Delta Initiative at May 2-3 Delta Conference at Clinton Center

Posted on March 11, 2013 at 05:03 PM

“Private Sector Leaders, Members of Congress, Gubernatorial Candidates and 20th Anniversary of Delta Initiative at May 2-3 Delta Conference, Clinton Center”

Please RSVP as soon as possible if you want to assure a place at the May 2-3 Delta conference at the Clinton Center. We are holding special events to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Delta Regional Initiative and will hear from major federal and state political leaders as well as private sector leaders from all eight states from southern Illinois and Missouri to Mississippi and Louisiana.

The event is only a little over six weeks away and we expect a larger turnout than usual.

We always hear from Members of Congress, the major gubernatorial candidates for the next Arkansas election including Asa Hutchinson (confirmed) and Bill Halter (invited), and private sector leaders from all eight states. Sen. John Boozman always does a great job at these events and has confirmed and other Members of Congress are invited and they have traditionally participated at these events. James “Skip” Rutherford always does a great job of hosting the opening session at the Clinton School of Public Service.

Former Congressman Mike Ross has not announced whether he will run for governor or not, but if he does we will certainly include him on the agenda. He was a strong supporter of the Delta Caucus for many years while representing the Fourth District of Arkansas and we always appreciated his steadfast help for the Delta.

President Bill Clinton has delivered five superb live audio presentations to our conferences over the years, and those have given us many ideas and policy recommendations in key Delta issues such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, small business job growth, nutrition, health care for underserved populations and education.

As President, his bipartisan Delta Regional Initiative devoted more attention to the Greater Delta Region than any chief executive in American history, and we want to commemorate that initiative, look at the ongoing efforts for the Delta’s future by the Clinton Foundation, Clinton School of Public Service, Clinton Climate Change Initiative, the many other private sector efforts of the many Delta Caucus partners, take stock of what initiatives have worked well and acknowledge the remaining economic challenges for the future.


Key private sector organizations include:

–Fed Ex Express based in Memphis, Tennessee; Wal-Mart;

–Heifer International,

–Southern Bancorp,

–East Arkansas Enterprise Community,

–Hope Enterprise Corp. (working across the Delta with headquarters in Jackson, Mississippi),

–the Foundation for the Mid-South (another regional foundation with headquarters in Jackson), –Blytheville-Gosnell Regional Airport Authority, the Mid-South Delta Local Initiatives Support Corp. (LISC, a regional foundation headquartered in Greenville, Mississippi), –Susanna Wesley Family Learning Center in southeast Missouri, –Mississippi County Economic Opportunity Commission,

–Lincoln County Industrial Development Corp.,

–Greater Northern Louisiana CDC in Jonesboro, Louisiana,

–the Crossroads Coalition,

–and many other chambers of commerce, small businesses, and community development corporations across the region.

Rex Nelson, president of Arkansas Independent Colleges and Universities and former DRA Alternate Federal Co-Chairman will participate as well.

The region we cover is from St. Louis, Missouri and East St. Louis, Illinois down through Kentucky, Tennessee, eastward to the Alabama Black Belt, Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana. We will have many mayors, county judges and state legislators from across the region.

Gov. Mike Beebe has given presentations every time for many years at our events, and he is greatly respected in our coalition. Gov. Beebe is providing great leadership for Medicaid expansion, job creation such as the proposed Osceola steel mill plant, renewable energy expansion, and he is a strong supporter of the Delta Regional Authority, the federal-state agency that promotes and coordinates economic development activities in the eight states of the Delta region. We appreciate DRA Federal Co-Chairman Chris Masingill and Alternate Federal Co-Chairman Mike Marshall’s great work for the Delta.

The Delta Caucus continues to urge the Arkansas legislature to pass the bond issue for the Osceola, Arkansas steel mill project, which will create large numbers of high-paying jobs and will be a plus for the region’s economy as a whole.

Sen. Mark Pryor has done a great job of participating at our conferences over the years and we appreciate his steadfast, effective work for our region’s development. We have invited Rep. Rick Crawford and Rep. Tom Cotton.

We are glad to have the participation of Bob Nash, president of Bob J. Nash & Associates in Little Rock, formerly White House Director of Presidential Personnel for President Clinton, and USDA Under Secretary for Rural Development. Bob Nash was directly involved in the Delta initiative during the Clinton administration and has been a steadfast supporter of the Delta Caucus in the years since then.

Renewable energy, energy retrofits/energy efficiency will be key issues, and one of our speakers will be Martha Jane Murray, manager of the Clinton Foundation Climate Change Initiative and the Home Energy Affordability Loan program (HEAL), among other energy policy experts.

Universities and colleges are a key component of our regional coalition. Key partners in the field of higher education include Arkansas State University, Mid-South Community College in West Memphis, Southern Illinois University, Murray State University in western Kentucky, the University of Memphis, Ole Miss, the University of Arkansas, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, University of Arkansas at Monticello, Delta State University in Cleveland, MS, Coahoma Community College in Clarksdale, MS, the University of West Alabama in Livingston, Alabama, Grambling State University, Louisiana State University, and Shawnee Community College in southern Illinois.

At the May 2-3 Delta conference we will be conducting activities that we have never done before: commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Delta Regional Initiative, and announcing a package of “best practices” and exemplary role model projects for the community and economic development of the Greater Delta Region.

We will be announcing a package of best practices, role model projects that should be replicated across the region. Many of these will be charitable donations from major corporations or the ongoing work of 501c3 nonprofits. The package will focus on several activities related to President Clinton’s nonpartisan priorities and signature issues, such as renewable energy and energy retrofits/energy efficiency, small business/ entrepreneurialism job creation, nutrition, health care for underserved populations, and education. 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.

This is by invitation only. Space is limited. Right now we are trying to get the invitations out to the top priority participants like the recipients of this message before we begin running into space limitations.

We expect a larger turnout than average for this year’s conference due to the special events.

The conference will include Members of Congress, President Clinton probably by live audio presentation, Gov. Beebe has spoken at eight of our conferences in the past, Delta Regional Authority officials, nonprofits working in the field of Delta community and economic development, universities and colleges, small business leaders, corporations, foundations, farmers, and experts in key regional issues like renewable energy and energy efficiency, job creation, transportation and other infrastructure, broadband expansion, nutrition, health care, Delta heritage tourism, and other important initiatives for our region.

The region we cover is the entire eight-state region as defined by the Delta Regional Authority from southern Illinois and Missouri to New Orleans, Louisiana.


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 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.


We do ask for annual dues now, but it is quite small–$25 once a year–although some organizations contribute $50 or $100, $25 once a year per organization is the only requirement we ask for. The dues are only once a year. Registration fees are a separate category for each conference.


There is a very minor requirement for annual membership dues of $25 once each year, along with the $100 registration fees. Regular registration is $125 each.

GROUP DISCOUNT OFFER: If you can get a group of five or more, we will reduce the registration to a total of $75 each.

Please make out the $125 check if there is one person or $75 each if you can get a group of four or five to “Delta Caucus” and mail to:

Delta Caucus

5030 Purslane Place

Waldorf, MD 20601

PLEASE NOTE: THE SPACE IS ALLOCATED ON A FIRST-COME, FIRST SERVED BASIS. Turnout is expected to be larger than usual due to the special events.


APPRECIATION FOR SPONSORS: We would like to thank our lead sponsor for this event, Fed Ex Express, Memphis, Tennessee. Major Co-Sponsors thus far are Heifer International, National Housing Assistance Council in Washington, DC, Blytheville-Gosnell Regional Airport Authority, and Susanna Wesley Family Learning Center, East Prairie, Missouri; Sponsors are Rep. Mark McElroy; Southeast Missouri Delta Grassroots Partners; BGACDC Agency, and others; a complete list of sponsors will be produced later.

Thanks very much and we look forward to a great conference at the Clinton Center on May 2-3. Lee Powell, executive director, Delta Grassroots Caucus (202) 360-6347