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.

Economic Equality Experts, & then Trump vs. Clinton speakers on Aug. 16 at AR Capitol

Posted on August 08, 2016 at 11:38 AM

The Delta Grassroots Caucus will hold a bipartisan event on economic equality issues, Tuesday, Aug. 16 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Arkansas Capitol Rotunda that will include a debate hetween Sen. Joyce Elliott (D-Little Rock) speaking in favor of Hillary Clinton, and Bud Cummins (R-Little Rock), Chairman of the Arkansas Presidential campaign for Donald Trump, supporting Mr. Trump.

The first two hours of the event will feature experts on job creation, health care, hunger and nutrition, infrastructure investments and other key community and economic development issues. The Presidential forum will follow.

The event as a whole is from 9 a.m. to noon. The Presidential campaign representatives will speak from 11 a.m. to noon.

Earlier, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. we will have another segment featuring major nonpartisan organizations and leaders on economic equality and related issues, including the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families; Arkansas Hospitals Association, the Arkansas Board of Education, Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance, a speaker for the I-69 Coalition, Delta Caucus senior adviser Kevin Smith of Helena-West Helena speaking for opening farm trade to Cuba to increase Arkansas exports, and others.

This is free, but to obtain reserved seating in the area close to the speakers in the vast Rotunda, please RSVP by email ASAP or at the latest by Friday, August 12 to Lee Powell at

The Republican and Democratic Presidential speakers will be given equal opportunities to state why they support their candidate on key issues like job creation, economic equality and growth, investments in transportation and other infrastructure, health care, hunger and nutrition, and economic, racial and gender equality.

This will naturally include substantial attention to Arkansas issues since we are meeting in Little Rock, but will focus on national issues due to the context of the Presidential election.

This is bipartisan and we want to hear from both sides equally.

Bud Cummins is a former US District Attorney, former chief legal counsel to Gov. Mike Huckabee, former Republican Second District Congressional nominee, chairman of Donald Trump’s campaign in Arkansas, served as a Whip on the Republican National Convention floor for the Trump campaign, and member of Donald Trump’s transition team advisory committee led by Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ).

Sen. Joyce Elliott is a distinguished educator, senior member of the Arkansas Senate, Hillary Clinton delegate to the Democratic National Convention, former Democratic Second District Congressional nominee, high school teacher of English and speech for 30 years, and former Director of Government Relations for The College Board for the Southwestern Region.

The event begins at 9 a.m. with a series of nonpartisan, substantive speakers on key economic and community development issues. They are from Arkansas organizations, but the issues are mostly common to the entire 8-state Delta region. Speakers will include:

Bo Ryall, CEO of Arkansas Hospitals Association, speaking about the nationally recognized Arkansas Works Medicaid expansion program in Arkansas;

Rich Huddleston, Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, speaking about poverty issues in Arkansas, especially for children, single women and African Americans-three large groups in the population who have not shared in our society’s prosperity;

Danny Games, Arkansas Economic Development Commission, Executive Vice President, Global Business, on job creation at good wages;

SiKia Brown, Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance’s Out of School Director for the No Kid Hungry Campaign, on the great importance of child nutrition, SNAP and other nutrition programs;

Mireya Reith, speaking on education based on her role as Chairman of the Arkansas Board of Education, and issues for the growing Hispanic population in Arkansas in her capacity as director of the Arkansas United Community Coalition;

Kevin Smith, Delta Caucus senior adviser in Helena-West Helena, speaking on opening up farm trade to Cuba to expand Arkansas rice, poultry and other exports-Kevin recently traveled to Cuba;

Rev. Arthur Hunt, CEO, The College of Aspiring Artists/NAACP March-ON Arkansas, August 28, to commemorate Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech;

Rep. Lane Jean (R-Magnolia), Chairman of the Arkansas I-69 Legislative Caucus and longstanding partner of the I-69 Coalition, speaking about the need for transportation improvements in Arkansas and the nation, especially the Interstate 69 Corridor.

We need transportation improvements all over Arkansas and the Delta, but in particular we want to urge the next President and Congress to finally complete the Interstate 69 Corridor, which would be a major national transportation artery from Mexico to Canada, extending through the heart of the Delta in Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee and Kentucky.

Again, this event is free, but to gain reserved seating at the vast, majestic Arkansas Capitol Rotunda you need to RSVP to Lee Powell beforehand by email to by Friday, August 12.

Getting an accurate numbers count is essential for our planning. To gain a reserved seat just send an email to the above mentioned email address stating that you definitely plan to be there on August 16.

When meeting at the Arkansas Capitol Rotunda, it is always open to the public and people can come in and either sit farther away from the speakers or stand and listen, but you will be able to hear better and close enough to ask a question if you are in the reserved seating section close to the podium.

This is open to anyone in the Delta region or the Washington, DC area, although this is much shorter than our previous two-day conferences, so as a practical matter most of the turnout is likely come from people within driving distance of Little Rock.

There will be another brief event in the northern Virginia/Washington, DC area in October, again to emphasize on economic equality issues in the context of this year’s historic Presidential race. That will include partners from our national affiliate, the Economic Equality Coalition.

The Aug. 16 meeting is free. As a separate, ongoing activity, our budget is based on voluntary donations in the form of annual membership dues, sponsorships and registration fees (although again there are no registration fees for the Aug. 16 meeting).

Annual membership donations: If you would like to become a member and support our year-round program of community and economic development advocacy for the 8-state Greater Delta Region or our colleagues in other impoverished regions in the Economic Equality Coalition, please make out the annual membership dues in the amount of $25 (for individuals or small organizations), $50 for medium-sized organizations, or $100 for corporations, foundations, universities, or those who would just like to contribute at a larger level.

Suggested levels:

Only requirement for all members is $25; usually this is paid by individuals or smaller organizations;

$50: For medium-sized organizations, nonprofits, small businesses, chambers of commerce, smaller banks;

$100: For foundations, corporations, universities, larger banks or other organizations, or in some cases for those who just wish to contribute at a higher level.

Please make out the annual dues check to “Delta Caucus” and mail to:

Delta Caucus

5030 Purslane Place

Waldorf, MD 20601

Alternatively, you can donate by going to the PayPal link on the website at and contributing on-line.

Members are placed on our group email newsletter list, on our list to be invited to all our meetings, and receive reduced registration fees for large-scale two-day conferences that we hold each year on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC and at the Clinton Library in Little Rock.

We hope you can join us on August 16 at the Arkansas Capitol Rotunda. Lee Powell, Executive Director, Delta Grassroots Caucus and Co-Chair, Economic Equality Coalition (202) 360-6347