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.

Deadlines Near for May 11-12 Economic Equality Event with Presidential Campaigns & Congress in DC

Posted on March 24, 2016 at 11:46 AM

We have two of the top three national leaders in the House in Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), the Whip, Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina, the third ranking leader, Sen. John Boozman and Rep. Rick Rick Crawford (R-AR), Rep. Ruben Hinojosa, of the Texas Southwest Border region, and other Members of Congress from both parties from across the country, high-level supporters of the major Presidential campaigns, as well as grassroots advocates from across the country at the May 11-12 Economic Equality event in Washington, DC.

Deadlines for registration and group hotel are getting near and that information is below.

Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina, Assistant Democratic Leader in the House who has endorsed Hillary Clinton and is an old friend and ally of Secretary Clinton and President Clinton, will speak at the Thursday afternoon, May 12 session at the historic Lutheran Church of the Reformation on Capitol Hill near the Supreme Court. We make no endorsements and will hear from supporters of the other remaining campaigns as of May 12 at that session, and the remaining candidates by then are expected to be Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz.We will update other speakers as they confirm exact times.

This is bipartisan. We want to hear from all points of view from Congress and the remaining Presidential campaigns, and urge all of them to take stronger action for job creation at livable wages, economic, racial and gender equality and progress in America.

We would like to thank our major sponsors including Nucor Yamato Steel and Nucor Steel of Arkansas, Thomas F. McLarty III, the Housing Assistance Council based in Washington, DC, Levin & Papantonio Family Foundation in Florida, Covenant Hospice in Pensacola, Florida; Judson College, Marion, Alabama, Mississippi County Economic Opportunity Commission in Arkansas and others; we are updating the sponsors list and want to express our deep appreciation to all of them.

We will highlight the major regions of the country, including the Greater Delta Region from Missouri and Illinois to New Orleans and east to the Alabama Black Belt, the Midwest, Appalachia, the Southwest Border, Native Americans, and key urban areas like New Orleans, Memphis, St. Louis/Ferguson, Missouri, Charleston, South Carolina, New York, Baltimore and the Virginia/Washington, DC/Maryland Mid-Atlantic region.


You register by sending in the early registration fee checks by April 18. There is no form, in order to cut down on unnecessary paperwork. Registration fees are $100 for each attendee. For those who can organize a group to come, group discounts are available.

We have key organizers from all over the country helping with this event, but the Delta Caucus is one of the key organizers and we handle the costs.

Please make out the $100 early registration fee check to “Delta Caucus” and mail to:

Delta Caucus

5030 Purslane Place

Waldorf, MD 20601

After April 18 registration fees go up to $150 each to provide an incentive to get the registration fees in on time. It causes delays and complications if all the registration fees come in late or people wait until the event starts to bring the check.


House session: Wednesday evening, May 11, from 4:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m., Banquet Room B-340 of US House of Representatives Rayburn building

Senate session: Thursday morning, May 12, from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., Senate Caucus Room 385, Russell building

Closing session for supporters of major Presidential campaigns and grassroots advocates from across the country, May 12, 11:45 a.m. to 3:45 p.m., historic Lutheran Church of the Reformation on Capitol Hill near the US Supreme Court, 212 E. Capitol

Lunch for those who paid registration fees in the Parish Hall, 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m.; session in the much larger sanctuary for a larger group from 1 p.m. to 3:45 p.m., paid for by an anonymous donor.

Please buy your airfare now. People who have bought their tickets already have reported getting relatively low fares. If you wait until longer your tickets will be more expensive.


To get the group discount rate of $189 for May 11, call the Radisson at Reagan Airport at (703) 920-8600 and say you are with the Economic Equality and Delta Caucus group.

You will only need to pay for one hotel night, which most people prefer in order to cut down on costs. You can check out of the hotel on the morning of May 12, store your luggage, and then come back at the end of the session that afternoon and take a flight home.

Call by the April 18 deadline. After that the discount rate ends and you might not be able to find a room there at all.

The rate of $189 is very low by Washington, DC standards, especially for May 11, which is one of the busiest times of the year in our nation’s capital at the height of the tourist season. The hotel is a relatively short drive both from Capitol Hill where the meetings are and to Reagan Airport.

The group hotel is optional and if you prefer some other hotel that of course is perfectly okay.

Confirmed key partners thus far include two of the top three national leaders in the House, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), the Whip, the Assistant Democratic Leader Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina, Sen. John Boozman and Rep. Rick Crawford (R-AR),Rep. Ruben Hinojosa of the Texas Southwest Border region, many other Members of Congress from across the country are expected; and

–hunger and poverty experts like Joel Berg, executive director of Hunger Free America based in New York, senior executives from Feeding America, the Congressional Hunger Center,

–Wilson Golden, former Clinton administration appointee, member of the board of the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation at the University of Mississippi, now based in Georgia;

–Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, director of the Ohio Association of Food Banks,

–Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance,

–Annette Dove, Director of TOPPS nonprofit in Pine Bluff, Arkansas,

–CEO Michael Curtin of DC Central Kitchen, a nationally recognized nonprofit based in Washington, DC,

–Deputy Mayor Courtney Snowden for Economic Opportunity of Washington, DC;

–Moises Loza, director of the National Housing Assistance Council,active across Appalachia, the Delta, Southwest Border, Native Americans, and other regions across the country;

–Jacqueline Pata, director of the National Congress of American Indians, from Alaska;

–Ilene Jacobs of California Rural Legal Assistance, a statewide organization that aids many low-income Californians, including many Hispanics and farm workers;

–David Adame, CEO of Chicanos por La Causa active across Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada,

–Rev. Dwight Webster, senior pastor of Christian Unity Baptist Church in New Orleans, survivor of Hurricane Katrina; his congregation has many survivors and victims of Hurricane Katrina;

–Melissa Cloud, founder and program director of Public Policy 4Kids, children’s issues organization based in the Washington, DC area with especially active programs in Florida;

–Suzanne Anarde of the national Rural LISC based in Colorado,

–Brad Cole, executive director of the Illinois Municipal League,

–Kay Goss, noted author, educator and Associate Director of FEMA for President Clinton, nationally recognized emergency relief services expert, originally from Arkansas and now based in northern Virginia;

– Janis Kearney (Little Rock, Arkansas) former White House aide and diarist and author of biography of the civil rights leader Daisy Bates and many other books, founding publisher of Writing Our World Press in Little Rock, Arkansas;

–Lisa Oelfke, health care professional with direct experience administering the Affordable Care Act, Baltimore, Maryland;

–and major Hispanic, African American and women’s organizations.

We continue to add speakers, organizations and grassroots leaders and will keep updating the list.

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.

This is a very diverse coalition including many African Americans, Hispanics, women, Native Americans, and people from all racial, ethnic, gender, income and geographical backgrounds are welcome.

The Capitol Hill meeting rooms in the House and Senate seat a limited number of people, who will be influential economic policy advocates from across the country. The closing session will be at the sanctuary of the Lutheran Church of the Reformation on Capitol Hill, which has larger seating capacity.

The collaborative approach among the major economically distressed populations is broadly similar to the Clinton administration’s bipartisan 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.

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.

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.

Focus is 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 largely small-town and rural Greater Delta Region, we have always viewed the impoverished neighborhoods in New Orleans, Memphis, Little Rock, Jackson 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 across the country.

Key participants and/or organizers thus far for the Economic Equality Coalition conference on Capitol Hill for May 11-12, 2015 on Capitol Hill include:

Economic Equality Coalition Steering Committee

  • Lee Powell, steering committee co-chairman for the Economic Equality Coalition and executive director, Delta Grassroots Caucus;

–Kay Goss, former Associate Director of FEMA in the Clinton administration, nationally recognized expert on disaster relief and emergency services, noted author and educator;

  • Joel Berg, nationally recognized expert on hunger and poverty, Executive Director of Hunger Free America, a national organization based in New York;

  • Moises Loza, executive director, the national Housing Assistance Council, headquarters in Washington, DC, active in Appalachia, the Delta region, Southwest Border, Midwest, and other areas across the country;

  • Wilson Golden, Presidential appointee at US DOT for Secretary Rodney Slater 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;

  • 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;

–David Adame, CEO, Chicanos por La Causa, Hispanic organization active across Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada;

–CEO Michael Curtin of DC Central Kitchen, a nationally recognized nonprofit based in Washington, DC that has highly innovative job creation, training and hunger and nutrition programs;

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

Native Americans (the National Congress of American Indians, Jacqueline Pata from Alaska, is one of our speakers;

  • Colleagues from the Appalachian region, including the Ohio Association of Food Banks and others in the region;

  • 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.