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.

Draft Agenda for Oct. 31-Nov. 1, 2018 Greater Delta Region Conference in Little Rock

Posted on October 16, 2018 at 03:51 PM

Below is the draft of the agenda for the nonpartisan Greater Delta Region conference in Little Rock, Oct. 31-Nov. 1.

Schedule: Opening session is Wednesday evening, Oct. 31, 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Arkansas Capitol Rotunda, and Clinton Library session is Thursday, Nov. 1, 8:15 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Quick reminder–Deadline for early registration fees and group hotel reservations is tomorrow, Wednesday, close of business, Oct. 18.

Registration fees: The fastest and easiest way to register is to go on the website at and go to the PayPal Link that says “Donate.” Early registration fees are usually $100, but there are group discounts or in some cases it is pro-rated in special situations like state legislators who cannot make both sessions.

If you prefer to pay by check, please make the check to “Delta Caucus” and mail to:

Delta Caucus

5030 Purslane Place

Waldorf, MD 20601

Late fees go up to $150 after Oct. 18.

Group hotel: to get the group discount rate for Wednesday evening Oct. 31, please call the Holiday Inn Presidential at 501-375-2100 and tell them you are with the Delta Caucus group

Dedication of Conference to the Late, Great Carol Willis

We would like to dedicate this conference to the legacy of the late, great Carol Willis, Senior Adviser to President Bill Clinton, a true champion for his native Greater Delta Region and social, racial and economic justice everywhere.

Information Tables

Sikeston, Missouri Economic Development Foundation and Supporters of Interstate 57 from Sikeston, Missouri to Little Rock, Arkansas

Heifer International

Society of St. Andrew Fresh Produce Project for Nutrition, Limited Resource Farmers, and Rural Economic Development—Johnny Pettis

Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families

Dumas, Arkansas Chamber of Commerce

Opening Session, Wednesday Evening, Oct. 31, 4:30 p.m.–7 p.m., Rotunda of the Arkansas State Capitol

“Best Practices in Community and Economic Development”

4:30 p.m. to 5:40 p.m.

Lee Powell, Introduction

Millie Atkins, Co-Chair of Economic Equality Caucus and Delta Caucus; Community Leader, Monroe, Louisiana

Nathan Pittman, Southern Bancorp, Senior Vice President for Policy and Communications

Ginny Blankenship, Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families

Alan Gumbel, Greater Memphis Alliance for Workforce Development, Memphis, Tennessee

Mayor Sheldon Day, Thomasville, Alabama

“Interstate 57 from Sikeston, Missouri to Little Rock, Arkansas”

5:40 p.m. to 5:50 p.m.

Mike Marshall, CEO, Sikeston, Missouri Chamber

“A Tribute to the Legacy of Carol Willis”

5:50 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Bob Nash, community and economic development expert, USDA Under Secretary for Rural Development and Director of White House Presidential Personnel

“Jobs, Infrastructure, Small to Mid-Sized Towns and Rural Economic Development”

6 p.m. to 6:40 p.m.

Ben Burkett, Federation of Southern Cooperatives, Jackson, Mississippi

Mayor Errick Simmons, Greenville, Mississippi

Mayor Shirley Washington, Pine Bluff, Arkansas

Mayor Diane Delaware, Yazoo City, Mississippi

“The Great Potential of Opportunity Zones for the Delta”

6:40 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Brad Cole, Executive Director, Municipal League for the state of Illinois

Lisa C. Ferrell, CEO, North Bluffs Development, Founding Partner of Southern Capital Opportunity Zone Fund, Attorney, Little Rock

Thursday, Nov. 1, 8:15 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Great Hall of the Clinton Presidential Library

8:15 a.m.—Lee Powell, Introduction

8:30 a.m. First speaker–Rep. Reginald Murdock, Marianna, Arkansas—on Arkansas Works health insurance program

8:40 a.m. to 8:50 a.m.—Judith Goodson, state legislature candidate

8:50 a.m. to 9 a.m.—Andrew Collins, state legislature candidate

Forum for Candidates in the Second Congressional District Election

Questioners for candidates are Caucus Director Lee Powell and Bud Cummins, distinguished lawyer and former US Attorney

9:10 a.m. to 9:35 a.m.—State Rep. Clarke Tucker, Second Congressional District Democratic nominee

9:35 a.m. to 10 a.m.—Congressman French Hill, Second Congressional District

Forum for Candidates for Governor of Arkansas

10 a.m. to 10:25 a.m.—Jared Henderson, Democratic nominee for Governor of Arkansas

10:25 a.m. to 10:50 a.m.—Governor Asa Hutchinson

Forum for Candidates for First Congressional District of Arkansas

10:50 a.m. to 11:05 a.m.—Chintan Desai, Democratic nominee for First Congressional District of Arkansas

11:05: a.m to 11:20 a.m..—Congressman Rick Crawford, First District of Arkansas

“Issues Regarding the Most Vulnerable Populations—Health Care, Nutrition, Immigration”

11;20 a.m. to 11:30 .M.–Bo Ryall, Arkansas Hospitals Association, on the Arkansas Works health insurance program

11:38 a.m. to 11:46 a.m, Joey Keys, Southeast Missouri Food Bank, on hunger and nutrition in the southeast Missouri Delta

11:46 to 11:55 a.m.—Maria Meneses, Arkansas United Coalition COMMUNITY Organizer and Pre-Med Student, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, on Hispanics and Dreamers Issues in Arkansas

11:55 to 12:03—Will Staley, nonprofit THRIVE, based in Helena-West Helena, Arkansas


INVITED–Presentation from Clinton Foundation Executive—Chelsea Clinton, Stephanie Streett or Lena Moore

“Womens’ Issues and Education”

Professor Tracey Barnett, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, on her research regarding the impact of proposed cuts in the SNAP program in Arkansas

Betty Dobson, Executive Director, Upper Town Heritage Foundation, Paducah, Kentucky

Chancellor Debra West, Arkansas State University Mid-South, West Memphis

Rupa Dash, CEO, World Woman Foundation

Sponsors for Delta Grassroots Caucus, Oct. 31-Nov. 1, 2018

Arkansas State Capitol and Clinton Library Great Hall, Little Rock, Arkansas

Lead Sponsor

Nucor Yamato Steel and Nucor Steel of Arkansas, Blytheville, Arkansas

Major Co-Sponsor

Sikeston, Missouri Regional Chamber

Heifer International


Municipal League of Illinois

Harvey Joe Sanner, President, the American Agriculture Movement of Arkansas

Millie Atkins, Co-Chair, Economic Equality Caucus, Community Leader based in Monroe, Louisiana

Municipal League of Arkansas

Delta Grassroots Partners

Last but not least we would like to thank the hundreds of grassroots partners across the Greater Delta Region and the Washington, DC area for their many contributions of registration fees, annual membership dues, and other voluntary contributions in the amounts of $125, $100, $75, $50 and $25. As a grassroots private sector coalition, we need to have a diversified financial base with large numbers of medium-sized and smaller contributions, and we could not do our work without these numerous contributions.