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.

Please RSVP & Register ASAP for Oct. 30-31 Delta Conference in Helena

Posted on September 05, 2014 at 04:21 PM

Please register as soon as possible for the Delta Grassroots conference in Helena-West Helena, AR on Oct. 30-31. Now that we are into September we are getting RSVPs at a rapid rate and the usual policy is to stop the reservations when we reach about 125 people.

We will have major political leaders from the region as well as distinguished grassroots leaders from all eight states. Key issues include job creation, the private option and other heath care issues, infrastructure, Delta heritage tourism, and women and children’s issues.

Elected officials and major candidates: We have confirmations from gubernatorial candidates Mike Ross and Asa Hutchinson, First District candidate Mayor Jackie McPherson of Heber Springs, have invited Congressman Rick Crawford, and we expect to have Sen. Mark Pryor speaking although we do not yet know whether it will be in person or by a live call-in. Sen. John Boozman is invited.

Rep. Tom Cotton is invited, as are the two major candidates for US Senate in Mississippi, former Congressman Travis Childers and US Sen. Thad Cochran. Helena is just across the Mississippi River from the great state of Mississippi, and we expect many people from Mississippi at this event.


OPENING SESSION–Thursday, Oct. 30 from about 4:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m.

FRIDAY, OCT.31 from 8:15 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.


  1. Registration

  2. Key Issues and Speakers

  3. Group hotels in Helena-West Helena

  4. List of confirmed grassroots speakers from the eight-state region


You register by sending in the early registration fees. If the space fills up we will need to do this by first-come, first served basis.

We do not use registration forms to eliminate unnecessary paperwork.

Registration fees are an essential part of our budget so we have to ask for fees from everybody except Members of Congress, governors, etc.

We offer group discounts for local areas that can bring five or more people down to $75, as an incentive to bring new parters into the coalition. Also, for people who have paid their annual membership dues (minimum of only $25 once a year) the registration is only $75.

Registration fees for those who have not paid their annual dues is $100, unless yo are part of a local group working on recruiting new partners and then you get the group rate down to $75.

If you can be there, please make out the check to “Delta Caucus” and mail to:

Delta Caucus

5030 Purslane Place

Waldorf, MD 20601

The early registration fees end on Oct. 15, 2014, and after that late registration fees go up to $150 each to provide an incentive to get the fees in on time.

We can consider going beyond 125 people if there is greater demand from knowledgeable, influential and dedicated leaders for the regional movement. However, we emphasize quality over quantity and want to make sure that each person there is a nonprofit executive, small business leader, corporation or foundation executive, county judge, mayor or other local elected official, state legislator, university or college official, or expert in key regional issues like transportation, health care, hunger and nutrition, Delta heritage tourism, broadband expansion, housing, and USDA programs.


You can RSVP to Lee Powell, Caucus director, at or 202-360-6347, and then send in the registration fees ASAP.

See the website at for more information.

Much of the reason for convening the fall conference in Helena-West Helena is its central location in the heart of the east Arkansas Delta, as well as being just across the river from Mississippi. We expect a strong turnout from east Arkansas leaders.


Key issues will include job creation/retention, education, transportation, broadband expansion and other infrastructure improvements, USDA programs, the private option health care plan, and nutrition.

We cover a broad range of issues, but we do want to give some special attention to women and children’s issues this year. Our attention to women and children’s issues is due to the alarmingly high poverty rates of women and children in our region. We want to include women in the economic contribution they make in the region, including women involved in farming, small business, etc.

In general, due to the alarmingly high poverty rates for those two sections of the population in our region, and we are also collaborating with the Clinton Foundation on Hillary Clinton’s No Ceilings initiative for full economic and political participation of women and girls.

We know that there are plenty of men who are hurting in our region, too, but the statistics are even worse for women and children, especially single mothers heading households and children.

The location is the beautiful, historic former synagogue in Helena-West Helena now called Beth El Heritage Hall.


We encourage people to stay in hotels in Helena-West Helena and go to the fine restaurants there. The community leaders of Helena-West Helena are being tremendously helpful in many ways for this conference and we want to help them as much as possible.

The two best hotels in Helena-West Helena are conveniently located a short drive from the meeting location and they are the following:

Best Western Inn: Please call the hotel at (870) 572-2592 and say you are with the Delta Caucus group to get the lower group discount rate ranging from $78 to $85 depending on the size room you request for the nights of Oct. 30 and Oct. 31. Many people just stay the one night of Oct. 30.

The lower group rate ends on Thursday, Oct. 9, so please make your reservation by Oct. 9.

THE EDWARDIAN INN: This is an elegant bed and breakfast in Helena-West Helena, set in a stately home built by a wealthy Helena cotton trader in 1904. Please call the Edwardian Inn at (870) 338-9155 and say you are with the Delta Caucus to get the lower rate of $83 for Oct. 30 and Oct. 31. Many people will just stay the one night of Oct. 30. We have a bloc of 10 rooms.

You will need to reserve your rooms at the Edwardian Inn by Oct. 15. After that they will probably not be available at all, and if so it would not be for the lower group rate.

If the two Helena-West Helena hotels fill up, we have some reserved rooms just across the Mississippi River in nearby Lula, Mississippi at the Isle of Capri Casino complex.

The Coral Reef Side of the Isle of Capri Casino, Lula, Mississippi–if the two Helena-West Helena hotels fill up: we have a bloc of double non smoking rooms.

The rates for the rooms are $39 for Thursday, Oct. 30, and and $89 for Friday, Oct. 31 (plus tax).

The reservation number to call at the Isle of Capri is 800-843-4753 and please mention the group code is DEL2014 for the Delta Caucus group.

The deadline for the Isle of Capri hotel is Oct. 7.


President Ivye Allen, Foundation for the Mid-South, based in Jackson, Mississippi, active across the region

George Miles, Rural LISC, based in Greenville, Mississippi and active across the region

Anna Strong, Arkansas Children’s Hospital Executive Director for Child Advocacy and Public Health, speaking on issues regarding health for children and families, including the impact of Arkansas’ innovative private option health care plan in Arkansas, which is being discussed as a model for health care reform in many other states

Kay Goss, Associate Director of FEMA in the Clinton administration; author, Mr. Chairman: The Life and Legacy of Wilbur Mills, and Chairman, University of Arkansas J. William Fulbright College Fundraising Campaign for 2020

Millie Atkins, CenturyLink Public Policy Manager, directs program for expanding access to broadband in Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas; based in Monroe, Louisiana

Vanessa Sneed, Southern Illinois University’s Paul Simon Public Policy Institute (she will be focusing on women and children’s issues)

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

Charita Johnson Burgess, Chief Administrative Officer, Shiloh Distribution Center, based in Lexington, Tennessee, active across the region

Henry Snorton, Executive Director, Minority Economic Development Initiative (MEDI) of Western Kentucky, based in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, active across western Kentucky

Mayor Arnell Willis, Helena-West Helena

Kevin Smith, veteran Delta regional advocate, small business leader in Helena-West Helena, former aide to then Governor Bill Clinton and former US Sen. Dale Bumpers

Scott Shirey, Executive Director, KIPP Delta Public Schools

Mollie Palmer, Director, Together for Hope Arkansas project in Helena-West Helena of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship

David Solomon, distinguished attorney and long-time community leader in Phillips County and the state of Arkansas as a whole

Matthew Pelkki, energy policy expert, University of Arkansas at Monticello

Nita McDaniel, Director, Monticello Economic Development Foundation, Monticello, AR

Calvin King, (invited), president, Arkansas Land and Farm Development Corp., Brinkley and Fargo, AR, active across east Arkansas

Thanks so much for your interest in the Delta Grassroots Caucus activities. We hope you can join us in Helena-West Helena on Oct. 30-31. Lee Powell, executive director, Delta Grassroots Caucus (202) 360-6347