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 Caucus Set for Greater Washington, DC Area, May 23-24, 2018

Posted on February 15, 2018 at 02:55 PM

The Economic Equality Caucus annual conference on economic policy for working American families is set for May 23-24, 2018 for the Greater Washington, DC area.

We greatly encourage everyone to come to the Greater DC area and make your voices heard to the powers that be in Congress and the Trump administration on economic progress and equality, jobs at good wages, health care, immigration (including DACA/Dreamers), women and minority issues, infrastructure, hunger and nutrition and related issues.


The opening session is close to but not on Capitol Hill this year–Wednesday evening, May 23, 5 p.m. to 7:40 p.m., at the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in McLean, Virginia just across the Potomac from Capitol Hill. We have had many key partners from Virginia for literally decades now and this location is in the Greater DC area.

There will be a reception from about 5 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., and then from 5:30 to 7:45 p.m. we will have speakers, including major candidates from the nationally watched 10th Congressional District election in Virginia.

This district election makes a good microcosm for the national public policy debate, is hotly contested and will have an impact on the make-up of the next Congress. This district starts out in urban northern Virginia but extends westward to rural and agricultural areas of Virginia, so it includes rural as well as urban issues.



US Senate Russell building Room 485.

This session will focus on a wide range of issues including infrastructure investments to repair our deteriorating infrastructure and create jobs, USDA agriculture, rural development, SNAP, school meals, WIC and other major nutrition programs that are currently facing budget cut proposals.


The Lutheran Church of the Reformation on Capitol Hill in DC is a block from the US Supreme Court, at 212 East Capitol Street, NE, Washington, DC 20003.

Set up individual meetings on your own Thursday afternoon, May 24–We are concluding the conference meetings early, shortly after lunch, to encourage all our partners to set up individual meetings on your own with additional Congressional offices, executive branch agencies in our nation’s capital. This will increase the number of Congressional and Trump administration offices we can have a dialogue with.

You should be able to have a one-on-one or small group meeting with one or more additional officials and then get a plane back home in the early evening of May 24.

For anyone who wishes to stay an extra night, that will give you time to do additional outreach and advocacy on the morning of Friday, May 25, to take advantage of your time spent in our nation’s capital.

Subject matter of your individual meetings is up to you, but we will develop a one or two-page memo condensing some key recommendations on job creation, infrastructure, health care, nutrition, women and minority issues that you can distribute. We welcome feedback on this memo that we are developing now.


We constantly hear people complain about how they don’t like either President Trump’s administration, or the Republican leadership in Congress, or Democrats in Congress or all three–well, okay, if you think it’s that bad then come to DC and tell the powers that be to get their act together and stop being so dysfunctional.

If all people do is sulk in their tent at home, that is the surest way to guarantee that political leaders in our nation’s capital will continue to fight among themselves and ignore the vast majority of working families’ concerns in America.

Whether you are Republican, Democrat or Independent, conservative, moderate or progressive, many more people today complain about Washington, DC but just silently sulk and won’t go there even once a year to make their voices heard–and that is in sharp contrast to the way it was six to 10 years or earlier.

If you don’t take part in the process and remain silent, you are part of the problem. Come to DC and make your voice heard, whatever your point of view is. A big part of the problem is the lack of civic involvement of far too many US citizens in recent years.


**Opening session: 5 p.m. to about 5:45 p.m.–Recepttion and Introduction from Economic Equality Caucus/Delta Caucus leadership to set the stage for the conference as a whole.**

By convening in the affluent area of McLean/Tyson’s Corner, Virginia, we are highlighting the point that even prosperous areas have some working families who are struggling economically, because they do have some immigrants, homeless, those struggling with health care issues, and others who are not wealthy even in this famously wealthy area. Economic inequality is a problem virtually everywhere in our country today.

Then we will hear from Share, Inc.’s President Don Frickel, a nonprofit based in the McLean/Tysons area, Eileen Ellsworth, director of the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia, and a representative of the Social Concerns Committee of the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, a church that is deeply engaged in helping people in need.

5:50 p.m. to 7:45 p.m.–10th Congressional District of Virginia forum: We will hold a nonpartisan forum for the major candidates from both parties for this nationally watched race.

On the Democratic side, candidates Dan Helmer and Lindsey Davis Stover have confirmed already, State Sen. Jennifer Wexton and Alison Friedman are invited; on the Republican side Shak Hill, Republican candidate is confirmed, and the incumbent, Rep. Barbara Comstock, has been invited.

It is very positive and unusual that we have already gotten confirmations this far ahead of time. Busy Congressional candidates usually confirm much closer to the time of the event, but this is already attracting attention, is bipartisan in a prominent location in the heart of McLean so we are making early progress.

Social networking dinner after opening session ends on May 23 in the evening: When we finish the event about 7:40 p.m. or so, we plan to have a social networking dinner at a restaurant across the street from the group hotel in McLean, the Staybridge Suites Tysons McLean. Group hotel info is below in this email.


It is too early to get many confirmations, but we will be inviting Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Rep. Don Beyer and Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, Sen. Doug Jones and Rep. Terri Sewell of Alabama; Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi; Rep. Steve Cohen of Tennessee; Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina, Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana, Sen. John Boozman, Rep. Rick Crawford, Rep. French Hill of Arkansas, and others.

Joel Berg, CEO of the national nonprofit Hunger Free America based in New York will be one of our main speakers at the luncheon session. Most of you know Joel or know about him. He is one of the leading poverty, hunger and economic equality experts in America and author of the critically acclaimed new book, America, We Need to Talk, focusing on ideas for economic, social and political reform in our country.

We will be inviting many other major organizations, to list some examples:

–Feeding America, Food Research and Action Center, and other hunger/nutrition organizations;

–National Education Association and Virginia Education Association;

–Nucor Yamato Steel and Nucor Steel of Arkansas, the world’s most efficient steel mill and a corporation that pays good wages, has excellent training and other benefits for its employees, and is generally an excellent corporate citizen;

–Mississippi County AR Economic Opportunity Commission, a leading nonprofit in the Greater Mississippi Delta region;

–We will be inviting the National Congress of American Indians, the Housing Assistance Council, the United Farm Workers, who have participated in previous years;

–the League of Conservation Voters;

–Virginia Latino Leadership Council;

–InterFaith Arkansas and the Arkansas United Community Coalition, a major Hispanic organization based in Arkansas;

–the NAACP and other civil rights/diversity organizations;

–state Municipal League organizations;

–Appalachian economic justice and progress groups;

–Southwest Border regional economic justice and progress groups; Economic policy advocates from the Midwest;

–grassroots advocates from across the country.


For the two-day conference, registration fees are $100 for those who have not sent in annual dues, or $75 for those who have sent in their annual dues.

You register by sending in the registration fees to PayPal or by check. We do not use registration forms to cut out unnecessary paperwork.

You can pay the registration fees in one of two ways:

Go to the website at and to to the PayPal link and click where it says “Donate.”

If you prefer to pay by check, make out the check to “Delta Caucus” and mail to the Delta Caucus, which is our partner that handles the registration fees for the EEC coalition; and mail to:**

Delta Caucus

5030 Purslane Place

Waldorf, MD 20601

Early registration fees deadline is May 2. After that, registration fees go up to $125.

For those who are very late and pay AFTER the conference is over, registration fees go up to $150 each. We discourage the practice of a few who do not pay until after the conference, thus forcing us to take up time inquiring about and collecting registration fees for days or weeks after the conference is over.

For people in the local northern Virginia race who can only come to the opening evening session, we don’t ask for the registration fees but if you can make a small charitable donation to the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer that will be going to a good cause.


The group hotel is Staybridge Suites Tysons McLean at 6845 Old Dominion Drive in McLean, Virginia.

Please call the hotel at 703-448-5400 and say you are with the Economic Equality Caucus-Delta group to get the group rate of $239 for Wednesday, May 23.

This hotel is very close to the opening session location at Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in McLean–less than half a mile, four or five minutes away.

The hotel is equidistant to either Washington Reagan National Airport or Dulles International Airport.

To cut costs as much as possible, we arrange the schedule so that people only require one hotel night on May 23. You can check on Wednesday, May 23 in the afternoon, go to the opening session, and then check out the next morning, store your luggage at the hotel and come back late that afternoon and pick up the luggage and take a flight back home that evening.

For anyone who wishes to stay for the evening of May 24 and do some additional advocacy while in our nation’s capital, we have some rooms in our group for that night as well.

By Washington, DC standards in the spring–the busiest and most expensive time of the year both for tourists and for advocacy groups coming to Capitol Hill–the rate of $239 is lower than usual, especially considering that they add free breakfast and parking that many other hotels charge extra for.

You can RSVP either by paying the registration fees at the top of this website at the PayPal link that says “Donate,” or by mailing a check to the Delta Caucus address in the Washington, DC area, or replying to this email at

Thanks very much. Lee Powell, Co-Chair, Economic Equality Caucus, and Director, Delta Caucus (202) 360-6347