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.

Annual Membership Dues for 2016; & Early Registration for May 11-12 Economic Equality Event

Posted on December 10, 2015 at 04:46 PM

We would like to ask for annual membership dues for the Delta Grassroots Caucus, which is one of the key partners for the national Economic Equality Coalition (EEC) conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on May 11-12, 2016.

Key participants will include the major Presidential campaigns from both parties as of the spring, 2016, Members of Congress, and economic and community development organizations from across the country.

The annual membership dues cover the 12-month period from now, December, 2015, to December 1 of 2016 in the quite modest amounts of $25 for all our partners, and a request of $50 or $100 from larger organizations or individuals wishing to contribute more. Information on the address to send the check is below in this email.

The annual membership dues are in the range of $25, $50 or $100. Dues are requested from those organizations and individuals who are supportive of our advocacy work in favor of economic equality, job creation, health care for underserved areas, hunger and nutrition, infrastructure investments in transportation, housing and broadband, renewable energy, education and workforce development, and other key issues for the major economically distressed populations of the country.

The only requirement is for $25, but for larger organizations or those who want to contribute more the $50 and $100 levels are very helpful.

Some organizations and leaders are generous enough to contribute up to $250, but again the only requirement we are asking for is $25 each.

Suggested amounts for annual membership dues:

Individuals and small organizations: $25

Medium-sized organizations such as mid-sized Chambers of Commerce, nonprofits, businesses: $50

Larger foundations, universities, corporations, or those who want to make a larger donation: $100

Please make out the check to “Delta Caucus” with a note “For Dues” and mail to:

Delta Caucus

5030 Purslane Place

Waldorf, MD 20601


  5. LATEST DRAFT OF AGENDA FOR JANUARY 29-30, 2016 CONFERENCE IN WASHINGTON DC-“NATIONAL CONVERSATION ON URBAN PEACE AND RECONCILIATION”-(this event is led by the Public Policy 4 Kids organization and supported by the EEC as one of the partners)

The key regions and demographic groups we are focusing on in the EEC are the Greater Delta region from Missouri and Illinois to New Orleans and east to the Alabama Black Belt, Appalachia, the Southwest Border, Iowa and the Midwest, Native Americans, and economically distressed urban neighborhoods in Washington, DC, New York, St. Louis/Ferguson, Missouri, Memphis, and New Orleans.

For conferences in 2016 we are placing a much larger focus on national activism in our nation’s capital with Congress, representatives of the major Presidential campaigns of both parties, and grassroots economic policy advocates from across the country. We will amplify our voices to the national powers that be by joining forces with the other major similarly situated regions.

There will be a series of related events for 2016, including:

–the May 11-12 2016 conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC;

–a smaller-scale meeting (probably a news conference) for the summer of 2016 (probably at the State Capitol);

–and likely another nationally oriented conference in the Washington, DC area in northern Virginia, that will also include representatives from the major Presidential campaigns, held in the key swing state of Virginia in October, 2016. This is bipartisan and we want to hear from both parties as well as Independents.

–The EEC is one of the partners supporting the National Conversation on Urban Peace and Reconciliation on Jan. 29, 30, 2016 in Washington, DC at the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church near the White House. This will focus on issues regarding young adults and children, economic equality, civil rights and diversity, women’s issues, gun violence and other issues.

The latest draft of the agenda for the Jan. 29-30, 2016 was sent to us by Melissa Cloud, the key organizer for that conference. She is founder and program director of Public Policy 4Kids, based in the Washington, DC area and currently having active programs regarding childhood nutrition in Florida. She is originally from Louisiana.

Among the speakers for the Jan. 29-30, 2016 conference from the Greater Delta and Alabama region are included Delta Caucus leaders Lee Powell from Arkansas and Wilson Golden, Mississippi native, former senior official at US Dept. of Transportation in Washington, DC, and Member of the Board of the University of Mississippi William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation; and the keynote speaker is Andrea Taylor, CEO of the Civil Rights Institute in Birmingham.

1. Annual membership dues for $25, $50 and $100 for the 12-month period from December, 2015 to December, 2016:

We now have 800 organizations, grassroots advocates and individuals in our data base. So if everyone contributes $25 and some contribute $50 or $100 it will add up to a substantial amount.

Large numbers of small contributions add up to a substantial amount because we have so many partners not just in the Greater Delta Region but all over the country now. Please contribute at least the minimum amount.

Those who contribute annual dues will receive a reduction for the two major conferences in the Washington, DC area for May 11-12, 2016 and the northern Virginia conference in the Washington, DC area across the Potomac from the Capitol in October, 2016 from the usual $125 to $100 each.

2. EARLY REGISTRATION FOR May 11-12, 2016 Economic Equality Conference in Washington, DC:

Early registration for the May 11-12, 2016 Economic Equality Coalition (EEC) conference in Washington, DC is $125 for those who have not paid their dues or $100 for those who have paid their dues.

Space is limited for the May 11-12, 2016 conference, so to be assured of a place you will want to register soon.

To register for May 11-12, 2016 EEC conference, please send the $125 registration fees (or $100 for those who have paid their annual dues-

Please make out the check to Delta Caucus with a note “Registration for May 11-12 EEC” and mail to:

Delta Caucus

5030 Purslane Place

Waldorf, MD 20601

You register by paying the registration fees. To reduce unnecessary paperwork we do not use registration forms.

Early registration deadline is April 18, 2016. After that date registration fees go up to $150.

Lee Powell is a key organizer and Co-Chairman of the Economic Equality Coalition steering committee and is Executive Director of the Delta Caucus. Again, the vast eight-state Greater Delta Region is a key partner of the national Economic Equality Coalition.

The EEC steering committee partners are listed below in this email.

We will strengthen our collective voices if we join together with other major regions in urging the leading Presidential campaigns and Members of Congress from both parties to take much stronger action in fighting poverty, hunger and economic inequality across the country.

Key issues will include job creation at livable wages, health care for under-served populations, hunger and nutrition, affordable housing, transportation, broadband and other infrastructure investments to create job and improve our deteriorating infrastructure, renewable energy/energy efficiency, developing a well-trained and educated workforce, diversity and civil rights, and other vital initiatives for improving equality and opportunity.

By May 11-12, 2016, the number of Presidential candidates will have been greatly reduced and we will have a much clearer idea of who the likely nominees will be, as opposed to the current field of 17 or 18 candidates. We will ask high-level representatives from the leading campaigns to have a dialogue with us about what their candidate would do to reverse the alarming trend toward economic inequality in our country.

The conference will include sessions at the House, Senate, and a session at a private sector site on Capitol Hill for the forum for Presidential campaigns.

The Capitol Hill meeting rooms in the House and Senate seat approximately 100 people, who will be influential economic policy advocates from across the country. The closing session will likely be at the sanctuary of the Lutheran Church of the Reformation on Capitol Hill a block from the US Supreme Court.


Wednesday, May 11, 2016 House session, 4:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m.: Rayburn House of Representatives building Room B-340, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. (Note: special thanks to Congressman Rick Crawford (R-AR) for reserving this room for our group at such an early date)

Thursday, May 12, 2016 Senate session, 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.: TBD–Senate meeting rooms cannot be reserved this far in advance

Thursday, May 12, 2016 session for Presidential campaigns at the historic Lutheran Church of the Reformation on Capitol Hill near the US Supreme Court, noon to 4 p.m.:

This session will also include representatives of the Mid-Atlantic region–Washington, DC/Baltimore/Maryland/Virginia, concerned about the economic inequality in that region, which has high overall wealth but also has extremes of wealth and poverty in close proximity.

The collaborative approach among the major economically distressed populations is broadly similar to the Clinton administration’s New Markets Initiative, which included Appalachia, the Delta, Southwest Border, Midwest, Native Americans, and economically distressed inner city neighborhoods. There should be a vital national priority to eliminate the situation where these populations lag far behind the rest of America in opportunity and prosperity.

Key participants will be high-level speakers for the major Presidential campaigns from both parties, Members of Congress, and distinguished experts on vital issues related to economic equality, hunger, poverty and racial justice across the country.

The scope of this conference will be much broader-essentially national–than Delta regional events in the past, although the Delta Grassroots Caucus will be one of the key organizers. Leaders from the other regions agreed with the Delta Caucus that we can amplify our voices to the national powers that be by joining forces among those regions that have historically lagged far behind in America’s prosperity.

This newsletter only goes to grassroots leaders who have a demonstrated commitment to economic development in the Greater Delta Region and nationally, so you are invited to the May 11-12, 2016 if you are receiving this message.

You register by sending in the registration fees as listed above.


All attendees are responsible for arranging for their hotel and taxi or other transportation to the conference sessions.

We have a very good reduced rate at the Radisson at Reagan Airport to be the group hotel. The rate is $189 at one of the busiest times of the year in Washington, DC’s spring-time; by Washington, DC standards that is a very good rate.

Please call the hotel at (703) 920-8600 and say you are with the Economic Equality and Delta Caucus group to get the reduced rate.

Deadline for getting the group rate is April 18, 2016. If you call after this date the hotel will not have any more rooms available.

Over the years we have had a group hotel arrangement with the Radisson Hotel, Reagan National Airport, 2020 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, VA, 22202.

For those flying in to Reagan airport, it is a short taxi ride away.

This location is usually about a 15-minute drive to Capitol Hill although traffic patterns vary. There is a good restaurant there as well.

If you prefer staying at another hotel, that is your choice and that is perfectly fine. There are advantages to having a group of conference partners in the same place, and we have had good experiences at this location in earlier years.

We will see about getting some taxis to go to the group sessions.

This will be the first time in four years that the Delta Grassroots Caucus and our partners have participated in a major conference in Washington, DC.

We convened for our fall conference the last three years in Memphis, Tennessee, West Memphis and Helena-West Helena, Arkansas, to meet in those heartland Delta communities, but also due to a widespread belief that with the sluggish economy and the partisan gridlock in Washington, DC, it was then not worthwhile to take an expensive, time-consuming trip to DC.

The situation is changing, first of all because the Presidential election season has heightened interest in activism at the national level. The next opportunity for major economic change in the Greater Delta Region and across the USA will be with the next President and Congress, and we need to weigh in with them throughout the electoral cycle.

We are also seeing a major resurgence of interest in issues related to economic inequality, hunger, poverty and racial justice, which is very important for our diverse group that includes many African Americans, Hispanics, women and people from all racial, gender and geographic backgrounds.

Moreover, while the Delta and the other distressed regions that will be highlighted at this conference have not participated equally in the recovery from the recession, we are seeing at least some improvement in the economy in some areas. This is helpful to many of our partners’ budgets, enabling somewhat more funding for traveling to an event on Capitol Hill than in recent years.

Focus has to be both rural and urban: The national powers that be in Presidential campaigns, Members of Congress and national economic development organizations take an approach to economic issues covering the entire country. Many issues regarding economic inequality are quite similar regardless of which region people live in.

Even in the Greater Delta Region, we have always viewed the impoverished neighborhoods in New Orleans, Memphis, Little Rock and our other urban areas as part and parcel of our mission area, although we know that the worst poverty continues to be in the many small towns and rural areas across the region of eight states and 10 million people. The focus has to be rural and urban, and while there are differences, populations suffering from economic inequality have many common issues and challenges.

4. Key participants and/or organizers thus far for the Economic Equality Coalition conference on Capitol Hill for May 11-12, 2016 on Capitol Hill include:

• Lee Powell, steering committee for the Economic Equality Coalition and executive director, Delta Grassroots Caucus, Presidential appointee in the Clinton administration;

• Joel Berg, nationally recognized expert on hunger and poverty, Executive Director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger,;

• Moises Loza and the national Housing Assistance Council, headquarters in Washington, DC;

• Kay Goss, Associate Director of FEMA in the Clinton administration, noted author and educator, Arkansas native now based in the Washington, DC area;

• Victor Vasquez, nonprofit leader in the Southwest Border region, which extends along the Rio Grande valley and beyond in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California, formerly senior USDA official in Washington, DC;

• Wilson Golden, Presidential appointee at US DOT in the Clinton administration, former executive at the Xerox corporation in Washington, DC, board member of the Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation at the University of Mississippi, a native of Mississippi now residing in Georgia;

• Barbara Leach of Iowa, senior official at USDA in Washington, DC, from Iowa and is knowledgeable about significant pockets of poverty in the Midwest;

• Janis Kearney, author of a biography of the famous civil rights leader Daisy Bates, author, founder of Writing Our World Press in Little Rock, Arkansas, former White House aide and diarist to President Clinton;

• Melissa Cloud, Program Director, Public Policy 4Kids, based in the Washington, DC area, currently with major childhood hunger activities in Florida;

• Colleagues from the Appalachian region with whom we have worked for many years;

• Minnie Bommer, long-time Delta regional advocate from west Tennessee, first African American woman elected to the city council of Covington, Tennessee;

• Millie Atkins, manager of Century Link’s broadband access expansion in the Delta region, based in Monroe, Louisiana.

This will be the broadest scope of any conference we have participated in for many years. Again, we believe we will make a bigger impact by joining forces with other major populations across the country who have not thus far participated in prosperity and economic equality in America.


Friday and Saturday, January 29 - 30, 2016


Do Something For Kids!!


Our goal for the non-partisan roundtable on January 29 - 30 is to educate, motivate, and inspire kids, concerned citizens, community leaders, and elected officials to step up and do something for kids in 2016 that will enhance peace and reconciliation in their communities.

At a time when kids and young adults in our cities face existential challenges , each attendee will be asked to make and follow-through on a personal action pledge that they will positively contribute in some way to investing in kids. The keynote speaker, moderators, and panelists have hands-on leadership experience to suggest action, inspire, and motivate participants. This is the first of 3 roundtables between January 29 - 30, 2016 and Nov. 8, 2016.


New York Avenue Presbyterian Church - President Lincoln’s Church - 4 blocks from the White House


Rev. Roger Gench - senior pastor and author “Theology From The Trenches: Reflections On Urban Ministry”

KEYNOTE SPEAKER, Saturday, January 30:

Ms. Andrea Taylor CEO Birmingham Civil Rights Institute

CONVENING CHAIRMAN: Wilson Golden, Board member, William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation


1 - Women’s Leadership Panel - TBA

2- History & Heroes - Wilson Golden, Convening Chairman and Board Member, William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation, University of Mississippi

3 - Gun Violence - DC and Virginia - Larry Harrington/Fmr. Deputy AG, State of Tenn.

4 - Community Organizing - Rev. Roger Gench/Senior Pastor, New York Avenue Presbyterian Church

5 - The 3 Pillars & 21st Century Solutions - Lee Powell, Co-Chairman, Economic Equality Coalition

6 - Advocacy and Impacting the Vote On Nov. 8, 2016 - Brian Ahlberg/CEO, Every Child Matters

7 - Baltimore CityScape - Moira Moynihan/Alexander-Cleaver