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.

Jobs, Women & Children's Issues, Elections Key for June 12-13 Delta Event, Clinton Library

Posted on March 27, 2014 at 03:23 PM

For the June 12-13, 2014 Delta Grassroots Caucus conference at the Clinton Library, we have confirmations from leading gubernatorial candidates Mike Ross and Asa Hutchinson, Fourth District Congressional candidate James Lee Witt (former Director of FEMA). We have invited Gov. Mike Beebe, Sen. Mark Pryor, Rep. Tom Cotton, Rep. Rick Crawford, Sen. John Boozman, and will invite the nominees from both parties for the three contested Congressional races in Arkansas. We will have grassroots leaders from all eight states of the Greater Delta Region.

President Bill Clinton gave a superb in-person presentation at our conference last year, and this year we are inviting Secretary Hillary Clinton to speak by live call-in about her work with the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation on women and children’s issues.

Single mothers heading households have alarmingly high poverty rates in our region, as do children, so these are especially poignant issues for the Greater Delta Region.

Women and children’s issues: We have an impressive line-up of women leaders from across the region on the program, and we are very interested in Hillary Clinton’s leadership in collaboration with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on No Ceilings; The Full Participation Project, which will assess progress made since the UN Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995 and plan a path forward to give women and girls the opportunity to participate fully in society in the USA and across the globe. Our Delta partners are very interested in getting involved in this initiative.


President Clinton has made numerous live call-ins to our conferences with excellent results over the years, and these are far easier to arrange than in-person presentations from either President Clinton and/or Secretary Clinton, due to their super-hectic schedules. They confirm very late in the process, so we will not know about whether and when they may be able to speak until shortly before the conference.

The Arkansas gubernatorial and Congressional races will address economic issues that are generally similar to those in all eight Greater Delta region states.

We will hear from the Congressional and gubernatorial candidates on what they plan to do to promote community and economic development in the Delta if elected. Many of us have never seen so many hotly contested major races as we have in Arkansas this year.

Clinton Foundation initiatives: We want to devote time to key issues that are top priorities for both the Delta Grassroots Caucus as well as the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation: job creation and economic progress for impoverished areas, women and children’s issues–particularly for single mothers and lower-income women, nutrition–including childhood and youth nutrition, and renewable energy, energy efficiency and the Climate Change Initiative.

Other key issues include transportation and infrastructure investments to create jobs and improve our deteriorating infrastructure, health care for under-served areas, broadband expansion, small business/entrepreneurial development, Delta heritage tourism like the Delta Queen Senate bill, USDA-related issues, and other key regional initiatives.

The conference is bipartisan, of course, and the Clinton Foundation does great philanthropic work.

We also look forward to hearing Gov. Mike Beebe’s valedictory presentation to the Delta Caucus as governor. He also confirms late in the process due to his hectic schedule, but he has spoken to our group for nine straight years and is highly thought of in our coalition.

Most of our partners thought it was a great step forward that the governor recently signed Arkansas’ innovative private option health care plan into law, with bipartisan support.

This private option plan has received national attention as a model that other states may wish to adopt. It differs from the national Affordable Care Act in giving greater emphasis to individual consumerism and the private sector, and somewhat less to the federal government role.

Unusual number of hotly contested, major elections:

We can’t remember when we have seen so many hotly contested election campaigns in Arkansas that are very important for the Delta. We have contested races with Sen. Mark Pryor vs. Rep. Tom Cotton for the US Senate, Mike Ross and Asa Hutchinson for governor, James Lee Witt against the Republican nominee is in the Fourth District (we will know who that is by June), Patrick Henry Hays against the Republican nominee in the Second District, and Mayor James McPherson of Heber Springs against Rep. Rick Crawford in the First District. We will grill all of them in a nonpartisan way.


This time of year is when we begin to get reservations at a rapid pace. To be assured of space please RSVP as soon as possible either by sending in your registration fees to the address below or contacting us by email at or (202) 6347.


The conference schedule as a whole is:

Thursday evening, June 12, 2014, from 4:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. at the Clinton Library Great Hall

Friday, June 13, 2014, from 8:15 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. at the Clinton Library Great Hall

Note that both sessions are at the Clinton Library Great Hall this year.


You register by sending in the registration fees $125 for those who have paid annual membership dues and $100 for those who have paid their dues. The levels are:

–$125 for those who have not paid their annual dues at a minimum of $25 once for the calendar year of 2014.

–$100 registration for those who have paid their annual dues.

–Group discounts are available for those who can bring five or more from your local area.



5030 Purslane Place

Waldorf, MD 20601


Early registration ends on May 16, 2014, Friday. After that, all registrations go up to $150 each. This is to give an incentive to get the registrations in on time.

We hope the space does not run out but if it does we would have to allocate space based on a first-come, first-served basis, so we are asking people to RSVP early this year.


The group hotel is Comfort Inn Presidential in downtown Little Rock near the Clinton Library, 707 Interstate Frontage Rd, 72202. To get the reduced group rate of $82 for Thursday, June 12 (and if you would like to also stay on Friday, June 13, the reduced group rate is available for that night as well), please call the hotel at (501) 687-7700 and say you are with the Delta Caucus group.

Many people only stay one night at the hotel to reduce costs. You can check out of the hotel on Friday morning, June 13, store your luggage there and then come back and pick it up when the conference ends that afternoon. Both sessions are important, and opening session is NOT a reception but is a substantive session starting with speakers promptly at 4:30 and continuing to about 7:45 p.m.

Then we meet for most of the day on Friday, June 13 from about 8:15 a.m. to about 3 p.m.

Thanks very much and we look forward to having a great conference on June 12-13, 2014 at the Clinton Presidential Library Great Hall.


Kay Goss, former Associate Director of FEMA; CEO, GC Barnes Group, LLC; Executive in Residence, University of Arkansas Department of Political Science; Interim Director for International Studies, University of Arkansas; Visiting Professor, Istanbul Technical University;

Janis Kearney, Founding Publisher of Writing Our World Publishing, Little Rock, AR, and former White House aide in the Clinton administration;

Director Annette Dove of the TOPPS nonprofit in Pine Bluff was featured by Chelsea Clinton in an excellent national NBC television report with Brian Williams that highlighted her work for nutrition, education, job training and other initiatives for lower income families in Pine Bluff, AR;

Charlie Cole Chaffin, former state Senator, gubernatorial candidate and educator;

Beatrice Shelby, nonprofit director in Phillips County AR of the Boys, Girls and Adults organization, an excellent organization that has won national recognition for their work in the Delta;

Ruby Bright, Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis, a major philanthropic foundation funding initiatives for women and children in Tennessee and the Mid-South;

Betty Dobson, nonprofit leader in western Kentucky who highlights the famous Hotel Metropolitan, the only hotel in the area where African Americans could stay in the Jim Crow era and that hosted Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway, Ike and Tina Turner and civil rights leaders;

Jessica Vermilyea of New Orleans, Louisiana state director for Lutheran Social Services Disaster Response, a leader in helping the recovery from Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill;

Millie Atkins, Louisiana broadband expansion manager for CenturyLink, an organization that promotes broadband expansion for lower-income people in Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas Delta areas;

Martha Ellen Black, Missouri nonprofit director, Susanna Wesley Family Learning Center in the southeast Missouri Delta, former director of the Southeast Missouri Enterprise Community that was a key partner in the Clinton administration’s Delta Regional Initiative;

Blanche Hunt, Vice President of Community Relations at Arkansas Northeastern College in Blytheville, AR, who has an impressive track record in helping women and children in the Delta;

Karama Neal, Director, Southern Bancorp Community Partners, a major organization promoting community and economic development in the Delta that was founded by then Gov. Bill Clinton, First Lady of Arkansas Hillary Clinton and other key leaders 25 years ago.

We would like to express our great appreciation as always to two distinguished leaders who have provided constant support and thoughtful advice this year and for many years:

The Hon. Rodney Slater, US Secretary of Transportation for President Bill Clinton, now a partner at Patton Boggs firm in Washington, DC;

Bob J. Nash, president of Bob J. Nash & Associates based in Little Rock, formerly USDA Under Secretary for Rural Development and later Director of Presidential Personnel at the White House for President Bill Clinton.