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 Soon on April 17 for Economic Equality Caucus in Washington, DC on May 17-18

Posted on March 31, 2017 at 12:45 PM

We are only six weeks away from the Economic Equality Caucus on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on May 17-18, with early registration and group hotel deadlines about two weeks away on close of business Monday, April 17. For those requiring airfare, of course you will get a much cheaper airfare if you make reservations today rather than later.

Severe proposed budget cuts in the initial Trump administration budget statement have generated widespread concerns in both parties and this will be addressed at the conference. We will have a dialogue with Members of Congress from both parties, Trump administration officials and grassroots advocates from across the country.

Our partners are strongly supportive of full funding for USDA nutrition and rural development programs, LIHEAP, EDA, AmericCorps, medical research, the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) and other regional commissions. No program is perfect but all of these have stood the test of time, are highly beneficial for working American families, and their budgets should remain intact.

This is bipartisan and we welcome all points of view. Key issues will be job creation at good wages and infrastructure investments, health care for underserved populations, public education, hunger and nutrition programs, civil rights/diversity at the bipartisan Economic Equality Caucus on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, May 17-18, 2017.

We are inviting officials of President Trump’s administration, Members of Congress from both parties, and grassroots economic and community development advocates for a dialogue on Capitol Hill. Whatever your views are regarding the Trump administration, come and make your voices heard in our nation’s capital. Key issues include:

The proposed $1 trillion program of investment for infrastructure to create jobs and improve our deteriorating infrastructure. When originally presented, this was unusual in today’s contentious political environment in that both parties pledged support for it, but we have to press them to follow through on the promises in a way that broadly benefits the economy. Unless the administration budget proposal is changed it would be an obstacle to this program. The President promised to do this, and now we need to press him, his administration and Congress to deliver.

Health care: The Affordable Care Act has provided health insurance to millions who never had it before, although it needs substantial improvements and adjustments. The initial effort to repeal it failed as we all know, but there will be follow-up actions and we want to keep the focus on this vital issue.

Education: a strong public education system and affordability for college are essential for a brighter economic future: If you have questions or concerns about what Trump’s controversial Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos will do for education in America, come to DC and express support for a strong public education system.

Hunger and nutrition, rural economic development: USDA’s SNAP, school meals, WIC and other hunger safety net programs are vital for millions of Americans every day; agriculture is a major part of the economy still, and the Rural Development programs are vital for housing, small business, and rural infrastructure. Convey to the new USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue your views on these programs.

Diversity/civil rights: We are a diverse grassroots coalition including women, African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Asian Americans, rural America, and we support economic, racial and gender equality. If you are concerned about what the Trump administration might mean for diversity in America, come to DC for the EEC conference and make your voices heard.

Key populations and regions we are joining forces with are the Greater Delta Region from Illinois and Missouri to New Orleans, Appalachia, the Southwest Border, parts of the Midwest, New York, inner cities, and the Mid-Atlantic region of Virginia/Maryland/Washington, DC, which overall is relatively prosperous but also has areas of economic distress. Economic inequality is a national problem today.

Lee Powell is temporarily sidelined with a respiratory infection, so for any questions right now please contact the EEC Co-Chairman and community leader from Monroe, Louisiana, Milly Atkins at or Harvey Joe Sanner, Delta Caucus senior partner and president of the American Ag Movement of Arkansas at

The great majority of Members of Congress and administration officials do not confirm their exact speaking times until shortly before the conference, so the agenda cannot be determined until about three weeks before the event.

Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC), Rep. Rick Crawford (R-AR), and Sen. John Boozman (R-AR) are confirmed; invited are Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, (D-TX), Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY), Sen. Roger Wicker and Thad Cochran (R-MS); Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA), Rep. French Hill and Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-AR).







HOUSE SESSION: Wednesday evening, May 17, 2017, 4:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. The opening session is atthe US House of Representatives Rayburn building, Room 2060.

SENATE SESSION: Thursday morning, May 18, 2017, 8:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.; Senate meeting room TBD (Senate Russell Building Caucus Room 385)

CLOSING SESSION: Thursday afternoon Luncheon and early afternoon, May 18, 2017, 11:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m., Lutheran Church of the Reformation on Capitol Hill (212 E. Capitol)


You register by sending in the early registration fees.

Early Registration fees for attending both days of the conference are $125 each until April 21, 2017. Those who have paid their annual membership dues will receive a reduction down to $100 each.


We will offer registration fee group discounts depending on the size of the group. For a group of five or more attendees the fees will be reduced to $75, and down to $50 for a group of 10.

For a large group there will be a relatively small lump sum. Most people wish to attend most of the conference on both days, but for a small number who can only make one session we will pro-rate the registration fees, (minimum of $25).

For those who work in the local DC area and thus can only come to a part of the conference, a minimal pro-rated registration for a limited amount of time such as $25 will be asked.

Late registration fees: After April 21, 2017, registration fees are increased to $160 to provide an incentive to get the fees in on time.

Space is limited so please RSVP by sending in the registration fees ASAP.

You can pay the registration fees in two ways:

Go to the website and use the PayPal process at the top of the site at


Send a check by mail. Please make out the check to “Delta Caucus” and mail to:

Delta Caucus

5030 Purslane Place

Waldorf, MD 20601


Nowadays, we often hear people complain about partisan gridlock in Washington, DC, or express disdain for either one or both of the major parties. Our response is that if you want to guarantee that gridlock and inaction persist, the surest way to get such a poor result is to give up on the democratic process and do nothing. Whatever your views, come to DC and give our elected officials an earful in person.

For this conference the Mid-Atlantic Region is one of the key regions, because although Virginia/Washington, DC/Maryland are relatively prosperous overall, even they have significant pockets of poverty. Economic inequality unfortunately is widespread across the country nowadays. With its dense population and many national organizations with headquarters in this area and, of course, proximity to Capitol Hill, this region has great potential for constructive activism for economic equality.

The Delta Caucus is a founding partner of the national EEC and is joining forces with similarly situated regions and populations across the country to amplify our voices in urging the national powers that be to take more effective action for those who have not shared equally in America’s prosperity and opportunity. Grassroots participants who have already confirmed:

–Joel Berg, CEO, Hunger Free America, national anti-hunger organization based in New York, a nationally recognized expert on poverty and hunger in America who has often appeared on national news shows like CNN, FOX, ABC, CBS, MSNBC;

–The Housing Assistance Council, a national organization based in Washington, DC, Moises Loza, Executive Director;

–Katrin Sirje Kärk, Rural LISC; speaking aboutAppalachian Rural LISC project in Ohio, western Pennsylvania, western Maryland, West Virginia;

–NAACP officials from the venerable civil rights and justice organization with chapters across the country;

–Ilene Jacobs, senior attorney, California Rural Legal Aid, a program for lower-income people throughout the state of California;

–Patty Barker (SPEAKER) Director, Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance’s No Kid Hungry Campaign;

–Michael Curtin, CEO, DC Central Kitchen, a nationally recognized nonprofit working on job training, food and nutrition issues;

–Heifer International, an internationally recognized anti-hunger and poverty organization;

–Nucor Yamato Steel Corp., Blytheville, Arkansas; a world class company that has enlightened corporate policies including high wages, never laying off employees even in recessions, generous training and education benefits, and community outreach;

–Alan Gumbel, workforce development expert based in Memphis, Tennessee; veteran regional advocate for the Greater Delta Region going back to his days as an aide to the Lower Mississippi Delta Development Commission of the late 1980s, the Clinton administration’s Delta Regional Initiative, and a long-time senior partner of the Delta Grassroots Caucus;

–Millie Atkins, EEC Co-Chair, community leader in Monroe, Louisiana, with extensive experience in broadband expansion to underserved areas and education issues;

–The National Congress of American Indians, Jacqueline Pata, President; the largest organization representing the more than 5 million Native Americans in our country;

–Harvey Joe Sanner, president, American Agriculture Movement of Arkansas; veteran advocate for the Greater Delta Region and family farmers;

–Rodney Fisher, Alexandria, Virginia, education policy expert, former aide to then US Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-TX) and several governors of Texas;

–Gary Latanich, Professor Emeritus of Economics, Arkansas State University;

–Walter Tejada, president, Virginia Latino Leaders Council, northern Virginia;

–Ben Burkett, Southern Federation of Cooperatives; leader of African American farm family advocates in Mississippi;

–Connie Tuisku, Educator, West Palm Beach Community College, Florida;

–Sen. Barbara Favola (D-VA), distinguished leader on education, health care, women’s issues,

–Warwick Sabin, Senior Director, US Programs, Winrock International (nationally recognized nonprofit);

–Boys, Girls and Adults Community Development Corporation, award-winning nonprofit in Mississippi Delta region;

–Natalie Jayroe, CEO, Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and Acadiana, serving 23 parishes in Louisiana.

–Giev Kashkooli, United Farm Workers, organization representing farm workers across the country;


We have a group discount rate with the Hilton Garden Inn at Reagan National Airport at $199 for the night of May 17. Please call the hotel at (703) 920-8600 and say you are with the Economic Equality Caucus/Delta Caucus group to reserve your room at the discount rate by April 17.

The conference is scheduled so that people can save money by only having one hotel night to pay for. You can arrive Wednesday afternoon May 17 and check in and go to the opening session on Capitol Hill starting at 4:30 p.m. Then you can check out on the morning of May 18, store your luggage at the hotel if necessary, and go to the May 18 morning, lunch and early afternoon sessions.

The conference ends about 2:45 p.m. so you can get a flight back home that evening.

Spring is one of the busiest times of the year for Washington, DC so this is a relatively low rate for a hotel that is a short drive both from our meeting locations on Capitol Hill and to Reagan National Airport.

The deadline for the group hotel is close of business Monday, April 17. After that day there probably will not be any more spaces available, but if there are you will not get the discount rate.