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.

Gov. Hutchinson, Chelsea Clinton, Grassroots Leaders at Delta Caucus in Little Rock, Oct. 19-20

Posted on August 27, 2017 at 12:35 PM

Gov. Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas, Chelsea Clinton speaking on behalf of the Clinton Foundation, and grassroots leaders from across the 8-state Delta region will participate at the bipartisan Delta Caucus conference on Oct. 19-20, 2017.

The opening session is Thursday evening, Oct. 19 from 4:15 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Arkansas State Capitol Rotunda, and the main session is on Friday, Oct. 20 at the Clinton Presidential Library’s Great Hall.

Chelsea Clinton will be speaking by live call-in to the Clinton Library on Oct. 20. Gov. Hutchinson speaks at 9:30 a.m. Oct. 20 at the Clinton Library, introduced by Arnell Willis of Helena-West Helena, Director of the Arkansas Workforce Investment Board.

We are inviting Members of the Arkansas Congressional delegation, but they tend to confirm later in the process. We will send more details about the agenda as we finalize them when it gets closer to the time of the event.

Registration, schedule and group hotel information are below in this message.

Key issues will include economic opportunity and equality, women amd minorities’ issues, investments for job creation and to improve our deteriorating transportation, housing and broadband infrastructure, and health care.

Women’s issues in the Delta: Issues regarding women and girls in the Delta will be among the key subjects for several reasons: because women still only receive 80 cents compared to a dollar for the same work, many households in the Delta are headed by women, only 27% of businesses are owned by women, violence against women continues to be a disturbing problem, and we want to recognize the many outstanding women leaders in the region.

Furthermore, the main session is at the Clinton Library, and the Clinton Foundation is a world leader regarding women’s issues thanks to President Bill Clinton, Secretary Hillary Clinton and Chelsea Clinton.

The great need to utterly repudiate white supremacy: The Delta Caucus is a diverse coalition with many African Americans, women, Hispanics, Native Americans, whites and people from all ethnic, gender and geographical backgrounds. We must condemn the recent resurgence of white supremacy in the aftermath of the Charlottesville tragedy.

We analyze President Trump’s actions and comments on a case-by-case basis, but we are totally opposed to his equivocations regarding the violence in Charlottesville. There were not “many sides” to what happened there, and the only reasonable response is to condemn the neo-Nazis, white supremacists and KKK who fomented violence and hatred there without any additional equivocations.

The counter-protesters and the white supremacists must not be equated. We will have to address racial justice at the conference as well.

As an example of our case-by-case analysis of the President’s actions, we recently commended the Trump administration for their selection of Peter Kinder of Cape Girardeau, Missouri as Alternate Federal Co-Chairman of the Delta Regional Authority. Mr. Kinder is a distinguished attorney, former Lt. Governor and state senator from Missouri.

Conference is being shortened to finish early at 6:30 p.m. on the Oct. 19 opening session and in the early afternoon at 2:15 p.m. for the Oct. 20 main session-so please do not leave the two sessions right before the last few speakers are scheduled.

We know that people’s attention spans are getting shorter and shorter, and therefore we are shortening both sessions of the conference and ending them earlier than we did previously.

When we are concluding so early in the afternoon on Oct. 20, we would ask that you NOT leave at 1:30 p.m. or just before the last few speakers-all the speakers have excellent qualifications and if you leave a half hour earlier you will not save yourself any appreciable amount of time, but you will place the last few speakers in the very difficult situation of speaking to a very small group of people. Please think about this and stay until the meeting is over-it ends early in the afternoon.

In addition to Gov. Hutchinson and Chelsea Clinton, we have already begun confirming some of the key speakers, including:

–Dean Todd Shields of the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, University of Arkansas, and

–Angie Maxwell, Director of the Diane Blair Center for Southern Politics and Society at the Fulbright College-they will be discussing their research regarding contemporary attitudes toward women and minorities and the impact on the 2016 election;

–Andy Lemmon, Society of St. Andrew, Jackson, Mississippi, Program Coordinator, Arkansas & Mississippi Gleaning Network, nonprofit anti-hunger organization;

–Jennifer Johnson, Southern Bancorp Community Partners, Director of Public Policy, Madison, Mississippi;

–State Sen. David Wallace, (R-Leachville, AR), who represents a district in the heart of the northeast Arkansas Delta;

–Bo Ryall, CEO of the Arkansas Hospitals Association, one of the most knowledgeable experts on Arkansas’ innovative Medicaid expansion program called Arkansas Works;

–Annette Dove, Executive Director of the great TOPPS nonprofit in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, which works on hunger and nutrition, education, mentoring, job creation and related issues;

–Crystal Barnes, who will be president of the Pine Bluff High School student body in the coming academic year, and is taking part in the TOPPS Dreams Require Educating and Motivating Students (DREAMS) program for mentoring and motivating young people in Pine Bluff; This year there are 24 graduates of the TOPPS program and 23 will be going to college and one will serve in the US Army;

–Millie Atkins, Co-Chair of the Delta Caucus’ national affiliate, the Economic Equality Caucus, and community leader in Monroe, Louisiana;

–State Rep. Warwick Sabin, a distinguished member of the Arkansas legislator who is Senior Director for the nonprofit institution Winrock International, which engages in exemplary activities across the country and the globe;

–Liz Young, Director of the Arkansas Women’s Business Center, a part of Winrock International;

–Mike Marshall, (INVITED) Executive Director of the Sikeston, Missouri Regional Chamber of Commerce and a veteran regional advocate for the Greater Delta region;

–Mayor John Mike Henry and Economic Development Director Steven Mitchell of Carbondale, Illinois indicated that the city of Carbondale will send representatives to discuss economic development from the standpoint of the southern Illinois Delta area;

–Jensyn Hallett, Heifer International, on their innovative anti-hunger and poverty work in Arkansas;

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

–Betty Dobson, Executive Director of a nonprofit in Paducah, Kentucky that commemorates the historic Hotel Metropolitan in the western Kentucky Delta, where Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway, Ike and Tina Turner stayed in the Jim Crow era;

–Either CEO Sally Jones Heinz or another representative of the Memphis Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association, a major nonprofit in Memphis;

–Billy McFarland, Judson College in Marion, Alabama in the Alabama Black Belt, Special Assistant to the President for business development; Judson College is in the process of establishing a new rural hospital in the heart of the Alabama Black Belt;

–Al Cross, University of Kentucky Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, which is national in scope; Cross has recently written a scholarly work analyzing President Trump’s appeal to rural Americans in the Delta and across the country in his 2016 campaign;

–We will include other speakers on job creation, infrastructure, health care, women’s issues and economic equality from all eight states of the Greater Delta Region from southern Illinois and Missouri to New Orleans.

As always we are glad to have Randy Henderson of Nucor Yamato Steel and Nucor Steel of Arkansas in Blytheville, and Priscilla Johnson, Executive Director of the Mississippi County Arkansas Economic Opportunity Commission.

We have invited Sen. John Boozman, Sen. Tom Cotton, Rep. Rick Crawford, Rep. Bruce Westerman, and Rep. French Hill, although they do not confirm this far ahead of time.

The state Capitol and the Clinton Library were chosen as the site for the regional conference because Arkansas is located approximately in the center of the region, and the Clinton Foundation and President Clinton have an outstanding legacy and continue to do great work for the Delta. Secretary Clinton and Chelsea Clinton are among the world’s leaders in issues related to women and girls, among their other many accomplishments.


Thursday evening, Oct. 19, 2017, from 4:15 to 6:30 p.m. at the Rotunda of the Arkansas State Capitol

Friday, Oct. 20, 2017, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. at the Great Hall of the Clinton Presidential Library


You register by sending in the early registration fees of $100 by Sept. 19.

Those who have paid their annual registration fees (minimum of $25) will have their registration fees reduced to $75 each.

After Sept. 19, registration fees go up to $125 each.

You can pay the registration fees either by going to the website at and using the PayPal process at the top of the website,


If you prefer to pay by check, make out the check to “Delta Caucus” and mail to our office in the Washington, DC area:

Delta Caucus

5030 Purslane Place

Waldorf, Maryland 20601


If you can recruit a group of three additional people from your local area or network, we will reduce the fees to $60 each. This is to provide an incentive for people to recruit additional people to attend the conference to be there for the networking, to take part in question and answer as you wish, and to show support for the regional grassroots advocacy effort.

For the evening of Oct. 19, traditionally everybody goes to one of the many fine restaurants in the Little Rock River District, which is close to the Holiday Inn Preidential; the hotel’s Camp David restaurant is a very good restaurant and many people have dinner there and engage in additional socializing and networking after the opening session ends.


To get the reduced rate of $94 for the night of Oct. 19, please call the Holiday Inn Presidential at 501-375-2100 and say you are with the Delta Caucus group.

Most people will only need to stay one night, in order to reduce the costs. You can come to the opening session on Oct. 19, then check out on the morning of Oct. 20 for the main session, which ends at the early time of 2:15 p.m.

Again, we would ask people to be considerate to the last few speakers. There have been meetings where the meeting hall was full at 1:30 p.m. and then the great majority of people suddenly left, leaving the last few speakers with a very small number of people to address.

When we are finishing so early in the afternoon and we only hold this event once a year, please stay that extra few minutes.

For a high-quality hotel like the Holiday Inn Presidential in the heart of the Little Rock River District and close to the Clinton Library, $94 is a good discount rate.