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.

Over 100 RSVPs & Space Limited for Oct. 17-18 Delta Event; Please RSVP Now

Posted on August 30, 2013 at 04:44 PM

Space is limited for the Oct. 17-18 Delta Grassroots Caucus Conference at the Memphis Agri-Center International and we already have over 100 RSVPs, so please RSVP now if you want to be assured of space.

You can RSVP by replying by email to or by registering–you register by mailing in the registration fees and that information is below.

We will have the two leading candidates in the hotly contested Arkansas governor’s race, former Congressman Asa Hutchinson and former Congressman Mike Ross; Mayor A. C. Wharton of Memphis; Congressman Steve Cohen did a great job of speaking last year and is invited again this year; we invited Sen. Mark Pryor, Rep. Tom Cotton and Rep. Rick Crawford and a few other Members of Congress and grassroots leaders from all eight states.

Key issues: We will have experts on SNAP nutrtion, agriculture, rural development and other sections of the farm bill; health care for underserved areas; a broad range of job creation, retention and workforce development issues; Delta heritage tourism, transportation, broadband expansion and other infrastructure, renewable energy, energy efficiency and green jobs, the connection between education and economic development, and other key regional issues.

We are waiting on a few of the invited speakers to respond as to when they will speak and will put together the agenda as soon as we hear from them, hopefully within the next week.

REGISTRATION: We have to ask for registration fees from everybody except Members of Congress, gubernatorial candidates, and those at the highest levels, because registration fees are an essential part of our budget.

If you would like to come to the Memphis Delta regional conference, you register by sending in the early registration fees on or before the deadline of Sept. 30.

Registration fee levels are $100 for those who have paid their annual membership dues.

Registration is $125 for those who have not paid their annual membership dues.

If you can join us at this conference, please make out the check to “Delta Caucus” and mail to our office in the Washington, DC area:

Delta Caucus

5030 Purslane Place

Waldorf, MD 20601

GROUP DISCOUNT: If you can organize a group of at least five people from your local area, we can give a group discount from the usual level down to $75 each as an incentive to bring in some new partners and help a little on the costs.

In addition to the main speakers listed above, we will have a series of presentations over the two days of the conference. Among our speakers will be included:

–President Glen Fenter of Mid-South Community College, West Memphis;

–President Beverly Robertson of the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis;

–Lane Kidd of the Arkansas Trucking Association on transportation issues;

–Kim Sanders, Director, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Center for Rural Health and Social Service Development–she will be speaking about the practical, factual issues involved in implementation of the federal health care law;

–Melissa Rice-McGowan, Feeding America Southeast Missouri Food Bank in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, speaking on SNAP, TEFAP and other USDA nutrition programs;

–J. William McFarland, the University of West Alabama, Livingston, Alabama, Special Assistant to the President;

–Jeff Wood, Tyson Foods, Arkansas, Manager for Community Relations, speaking about the SNAP nutrition program;

–Albert Nylander, Ole Miss, director of the McLean Institute for Partnerships and Community Engagement, Oxford, Mississippi’

–Mayor Bill Luckett, Clarksdale, Mississippi;

–Mayor Robert Myer, New Roads, Louisiana;

–Cornel Martin, leader of the effort to get the Delta Queen back to traveling along the Mississippi River, president of DQSC in New Orleans, Louisiana;

–Steve Jones, Senior Vice President for Programs, Southern Bancorp Community Partners, Helena-West Helena, Arkansas;

–Kevin Smith, veteran Delta regional advocate, former aide to US Sen. Dale Bumpers and then Gov. Bill Clinton, now a businessman in Helena-West Helena; will introduce Mike Ross;

–Jeff Jones, Century Link broadband expansion activities for Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi;

–Minnie Bommer, veteran Delta regional advocate and the first African American woman elected to the Covington, Tennessee City Council;

–Steven Bares of the Memphis BioWorks Foundation

–Bob Nash, president of Bob J. Nash & Associates, Little Rock, Arkansas; formerly USDA Under Secretary for Rural Development and White House Director of Presidential Personnel for President Bill Clinton;

–Srikant Gir, Co-Director for the Center for Biofuells, Energy and Sustainable Technologies at the University of Memphis;

–Daphene McFerren of the Benjamin Hooks Institute for Social Change at the University of Memphis;

–Sonia Outlaw-Clark of the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center in Brownsville, Tennessee;

–Senchel Matthews of Heifer International in Memphis, of the “Seeds of Change” project in the east Arkansas Delta;

–Loretta Daniel, Director of the Regional Business and Innovation Center at Murray State University in western Kentucky;

–Betty Dobson, Director, Upper Town Heritage Foundation and the Hotel Metropolitan in Paducah, Kentucky;

–Alan Gumbel of the Memphis Inter-Faith Association (MIFA);

–Pamela Marshall of the Memphis Area Association of Governments;

–John Charles Wilson of the Memphis Agri-Center International;

–Greg Maxted of the Harahan Bridge Project between Memphis and West Memphis, Arkansas.

The basic schedule is:

Opening session is Thursday, Oct. 17 from 4:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. at the Agri-Center

Friday, Oct. 18 session is from 8:30 a.m. to about 3:30 p.m.

Our website is at

Rep. Mark McElroy’s informal get-together at group hotel bar, Courtyard by Marriott at Germantown, Thursday, Oct. 17, 3:45 p.m. to 4:15 p.m., for those who would like a beverage before heading over to the start of the conference at 4:30 p.m. at the Agri-Center. Rep. McElroy may do his famous Elvis Presley impersonation, unless he gets enough bribes not to do so.

There will be some food at the Agri-Center opening session, but most people wait and have a big dinner on their own after we finish at 7:45 p.m. There is a fine restaurant at the Agri-Center called The Butcher Shop, and the Courtyard by Marriott group hotel has a good restaurant and is nearby. Many people find the dinner to be useful for additional socializing and networking opportunities with people of similar interests in the Delta.

GROUP HOTEL: We have a group discount rate at the Courtyard by Marriott at Memphis-Germantown that you can get by calling the Courtyard at (901) 751-0230 and saying you are with the Delta Caucus. There are Kings for $104 and doubles for $109. Most people just stay for the night of Oct. 17, but we also have the group rate for Oct. 18.

We have food and drinks at the opening session on Thursday, Oct. 17, but many people like to have a big dinner on their own after the opening session ends at 7:45 p.m. There is a good restaurant and bar at the Courtyard by Marriott, which is very close to the Agri-Center. There is also a fine restaurant in the Agri-Center complex called The Butcher Shop. Many people eat right after the opening session either there or at the group hotel for additional socializing and networking opportunities.

The number of attendees will be anywhere from 115 to 150 or so. We will have lunch on Friday, Oct. 18 and some food and drinks for the opening session on Thursday evening, Oct. 17 from 4:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. The opening session is an important, substantive session with important speakers and is NOT a reception.

We hope you can be involved in this conference. Keep up your great work in the region. Thanks so much–Lee Powell, executive director, Delta Grassroots Caucus (202) 360-6347