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.

First In Series of Updates on Oct. 19-20 Delta Caucus: Thanks to Nucor & Northeast Arkansas Group

Posted on October 30, 2017 at 11:10 AM

The Delta Caucus will be sending out a series of updates and “thank yous” to the many people across the region who made the Oct. 19-20 Delta conference one of our best events ever, beginning with thanking Nucor Yamato Steel and Nucor Steel of Arkansas and the large and dynamic Mississippi County contingent at the conference.

We had a total of 127 people who were there for parts or all of the conference, and it will take a few weeks to thank everyone in group and individual messages.

We appreciate all the local areas’ contributions to the conference, and we will be sending out reports thanking each one of them over the next few weeks. There is a great deal of follow-up work to these conferences and it takes some time.

The Mississippi County contingent of 11 people was unusually large for one area, including Blytheville Mayor James Sanders, Joyce Sanders, Randy Henderson of Nucor Yamato Steel and Nucor Steel of Arkansas, Rep. Monte Hodges of Blytheville, Cilla Johnson, Jackie Burton, Cecil McDonald, and Shirley Pulliam of Mississippi County AR Economic Opportunity Commission, Tameka Jennings of the Great River Economic Development Foundation, Blanche Hunt and Pacey Bowens of Arkansas Northeastern College.

State Sen. David Wallace of Leachville was scheduled to be there as a speaker, but his disaster relief company served Houston, Florida and was serving in Puerto Rico at the time of the conference who were harmed by the terrible series of storms that hit those regions. We admire Sen. Wallace’s service in the legislature and for the victims of the storms and look forward to getting an update from him upon his return to Arkansas.

Nucor Yamato Steel and Nucor Steel of Arkansas was our leading sponsor and was represented by one of our key senior partners for the Delta Grassroots Caucus, Randy Henderson. Nucor Steel has the world’s most efficient steel plant right there in the heart of the Delta in Blytheville, Arkansas.

Nucor is truly a great role model for the region. They create and maintain a large number of jobs, pay very good wages, they never lay off workers even in times of recession, and have generous education and other benefits for their workers. They engage in a series of community-oriented projects for the Delta and are a longstanding and absolutely vital senior partner for our regional coalition.

Oct. 26-28 Nucor celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Nucor Hickman plant in Blytheville

On October 26 – 28, there were multiple events to celebrate Nucor Hickman Steel’s 25th anniversary in Blytheville, Arkansas.

On Thursday, October 26 from noon until 2 p.m., a formal recognition event in their new Pavilion. All 25 year team members were recognized at this event along with some special guests that include past general managers, customers and state and federal representatives. A great event with a lot of people in attendance that have helped make Hickman a success for 25 years.

Those attending: Current Nucor Executives: John Ferriola, CEO Ladd Hall, EVP Chad Utermark. EVP

Past Nucor Hickman General Managers Mike Parrish, Dave Chase, Sam Commella

Nucor General Managers that started at Nucor Hickman: John Farris, Jay Henderson, Bob McCracken, Drew Wilcox

On Friday, October 27 and Saturday, October 28, Family Fun Days–a great gathering for many families in the Mississippi County area.

Mississippi County Economic Opportunity Commission: We would like to thank the great Mississippi County nonprofit for their excellent networking and logistics support at the conference including Priscilla Johnson, Cecil McDonald, Jackie Burton and Shirley Pulliam.

MissCo EOC is continuing to be one of our strongest supporters in the great tradition of the late Sam Scruggs, long-time executive director of the organization who passed away earlier this year. His force for good continues in the many people he trained at the nonprofit and their constructive, ongoing work in helping the people of northeast Arkansas.

We were glad that Mayor James Sanders took time from his heavy workload in Blytheville to support the conference. He is doing a great job as Mayor of Blytheville and we were also glad his wife Joyce Sanders could join us. They were very helpful for the dialogue and networking at the event.

Rep. Monte Hodges of Blytheville was there, and we would like to thank him in particular for his support of the Arkansas Works Medicaid expansion program in Arkansas. He also indicated that he plans to join the constructive effort of Sen. Joyce Elliott and Sen. Hendren to form a race relations legislative caucus in Arkansas to promote a candid dialogue about the state of race relations in Arkansas.

Tamika Jenkins represented the Great River Economic Development Foundation, an organization that does a great deal of constructive work in promoting economic progress in northeast Arkansas. They have been regular participants over the years for the Delta Caucus and their support is greatly appreciated.

We were glad to have two senior officials from Arkansas Northeast College: Vice President for Community Relations Blanche Hunt and Vice President Pacey Bowens. Education is crucial for promoting community and economic development, and ANC has a wide variety of activities for bringing more educational opportunities to the area. I was glad to be able to sit at the table on Oct. 19 at our dinner at the Holiday Inn hotel restaurant with Vice President Hunt, Mayor Sanders, Randy Henderson of Nucor, and other Blytheville leaders and I learned a lot from that session. Blytheville is clearly one of the communities in our region that enjoys dynamic leadership.

Mississippi County has one of the largest populations among the heartland Delta counties and all the organizations and leaders there are promoting a brighter future for northeast Arkansas.

We would like to once again thank our sponsors. Below is the sponsors appreciation that was on the big placard on display throughout the conference, on the website, on the agendas distributed at the conference, and on this and other newsletters.

Thanks very much. Lee Powell, Executive Director, Delta Grassroots Caucus (202) 360-6347

Sponsors for the Delta Caucus, Oct. 19-20, 2017, Little Rock, Arkansas

LEAD SPONSOR

Nucor Yamato Steel and Nucor Steel of Arkansas

MAJOR CO-SPONSORS

Mississippi County AR Economic Opportunity Commission, Blytheville, Arkansas

J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

SPONSORS

Illinois Municipal League

Winrock International

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

Sikeston, Missouri Regional Chamber of Commerce

The Arkansas Municipal League

Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Arkansas

American Agriculture Movement of Arkansas

Delta Grassroots Partners

Last but not least we would like to thank the hundreds of grassroots partners across the 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 sector private coalition, we need to have a diversified financial base with large numbers of small contributions, and we could not do our work without these very numerous contributions.

Agenda, Late Registration, for Oct. 19-20 Delta Caucus, Little Rock, Arkansas

Posted on October 11, 2017 at 11:47 AM

Below is the latest draft of the agenda for the Delta Caucus in Little Rock, Oct. 19-20, 2017.

We can squeeze in a limited number of late registrations if you RSVP immediately by e-mail LeePowell@delta.comcastbiz.net or call at 202-360-6347.

We have Gov. Asa Hutchinson, US Sen. John Boozman, Congressman Rick Crawford, Congressman French Hill, Chelsea Clinton, Vice Chair of the Clinton Foundation speaking by live call-in, Dean Todd Shields of the University of Arkansas Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, and nonprofits, business leaders, universities and colleges, and grassroots advocates from the 8-state region from southern Illinois and Missouri down to New Orleans.

Basic schedule, late registration and group hotel information are below in this email, followed by the agenda.

GROUP HOTEL:

If you call very soon, there may still be rooms available at the group hotel Holiday Inn Presidential. Call the hotel at 501-375-2100 and say you are with the Delta Caucus group for the night of Oct. 19.

The rate was $99 as of Oct. 10, but it will go up if you call later, or the hotel may run out of rooms altogether. You can stay at another hotel if you prefer, but this is a good hotel and there are advantages to having a large group staying in one place.

LATE REGISTRATION

You can still make a late registration at $125 for the conference as a whole.

For those in the Little Rock area who have unavoidable work obligations and can only come to part of the conference, we will pro-rate it to a lower level if you can only make part of the conference.

You register by paying the registration fees. We do not use registration forms to eliminate unnecessary paperwork. We can send an invoice if needed.

Register by PayPal on the website: You can register on the website at mdgc.us by going to the PayPal line at the top of the site that says “Donate.”

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

Delta Caucus

5030 Purslane Place

Waldorf, MD 20601

If these two methods are impossible for you to use for whatever reason, we can accept a small number of payments at the conference. We prefer not to receive checks at the front desk when we are trying to get the program started because this can lead to delays.

BASIC SCHEDULE

OPENING SESSION: Thursday evening, Oct. 19, 4:15 p.m. to 6:45 p.m., Arkansas State Capitol Rotunda

NOTE: Traffic in Little Rock in the late afternoon gets more congested all the time, so please leave the hotel or wherever you are based a little before 4 p.m. to get there in time. Otherwise you may be stuck in traffic while the program is going on.

People take taxis to the state Capitol, or a few can go in the hotel shuttle, and some people have their cars there.

Informal Dinner on your own after the opening session ends, 7 p.m. to 8:15 p.m., Thursday evening at Holiday Inn Presidential restaurant called Camp David. This is strictly an informal social occasion for further networking and sharing information.

CLINTON LIBRARY SESSION: Friday, Oct. 20, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m., Great Hall of the Clinton Presidential Library

Thanks very much. Lee Powell, Executive Director, Delta Grassroots Caucus (202) 360-6347


Delta Caucus Conference

Women & Minority Issues, Job Creation/Infrastructure, Health Care October 19-20, 2017 Little Rock, Arkansas

INFORMATION TABLES

  1. Society of St. Andrew, Johnny Pettis, gleaning and anti-hunger program for Arkansas and Mississippi
  2. University of Kentucky Intstitute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues
  3. Shawnee Community College, southern Illinois
  4. Janis Kearney, Founding Publisher of Writing Our World Press, Little Rock, Arkansas
  5. Arkansas Literacy Councils

Note: Professor Gary Latanich, Emeritus Professor of Economics, Arkansas State University, Jonesboro, is senior adviser to the Delta Caucus for economics and will be taking part in question and answer sessions during the conference on infrastructure investments and other issues.

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

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

4:40 p.m.-Lee Powell, Executive Director, Delta Grassroots Caucus (202) 360-6347

“Best Practices/Role Models for the Delta’s Community and Economic Development”

4:50 p.m.-Janelle Jenkins, KIPP Delta Public Schools Chief Operating Officer, Blytheville, Forrest City, Helena-West Helena, Arkansas

5:00 p.m.-Erica McFadden, Arkansas Food Bank, an affiliate of the national Feeding America organization; SNAP Outreach Coordinator

5:10 p.m.-Sally Heinz, CEO, Metropolitan Inter Faith Association (MIFA) of Memphis, Tennessee

5:10 p.m.-Jennifer Johnson, Southern Bancorp Community Partners, Director of Public Policy, based in Madison, Mississippi, programs active across Mississippi and Arkansas

5:20 p.m.-Rep. Warwick Sabin, Senior Director, USA Domestic Programs, Winrock International

“Infrastructure Investments and Job Creation”

5:40 p.m.-Mayor Chuck Espy, Clarksdale, Mississippi

5:50-p.m. State Senator Eddie Cheatham, Crossett, Arkansas representing a large section of the southeast Arkansas Delta, speaking on the need to support progress on the I-69 Corridor

5:55 p.m.-Scott Meyer, City Manager, Cape Girardeau, Missouri

6 p.m.–Alternate Federal Co-Chairman Peter Kinder of the Delta Regional Authority, from Cape Girardeau, Missouri (Introduced by Scott Meyer, City Manager of Cape Girardeau, Missouri)

6:20 p.m.-Mayor Shirley Washington, Pine Bluff, Arkansas

6:20 to 6:45 p.m.-Discussion and conclusion of “Best Practices/Role Models for Community and Economic Development speakers”

(Note: Informal social dinner on your own, 7 p.m. to 8:15 p.m.–Thursday night at Camp David restaurant at the Holiday Inn Presidential after the opening session ends around 6:45 p.m. or so, many Delta Caucus partners go out to dinner on their own for additional socializing, networking, and sharing information, either at the Holiday Inn Presidential’s restaurant, Camp David, or other restaurants in the Little Rock River Market. This is a traditional social part of the conference. There will definitely be a number of Delta Caucus folks at the Holiday Inn restaurant after the opening session.)

MAIN SESSION AT THE GREAT HALL OF THE CLINTON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY, Friday, Oct. 20, 8:30 A.M. to 1:15 p.m.

8:50 a.m. to 9 a.m.-Billy McFarland, Special Assistant to the President of Judson College, Marion, Alabama in the Alabama Black Belt, speaking about Judson College’s new project to establish a rural hospital in the Marion, Alabama Black Belt area

9 a.m. to 9:10 a.m.-Bo Ryall, CEO, Arkansas Hospitals Association, speaking about the Arkansas Works Medicaid expansion program

9:15 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.-Congressman French Hill, Second District of Arkansas

9:30 a.m. to 9:50 a.m., Governor Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas

10 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.-Congressman Rick Crawford, First District of Arkansas

10;15 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.-US Senator John Boozman (Introduced by Randy Henderson, Nucor Yamato Steel and Nucor Steel of Arkansas)

10:30 a.m.–Chelsea Clinton, Vice Chair, Clinton Foundation, speaking by live-call in on the Clinton Foundation’s Domestic USA Programs (Introduced by Annette Dove, Executive Director, TOPPS nonprofit in Pine Bluff, Arkansas)

10:40 a.m. to noon-Women and minority issues regarding community and economic development

10:40 to 10:50 a.m.–Humberto Marquez, Organizing Director, Arkansas United Community Coalition-an organization addressing Hispanic issues, and Steve Copley, Inter-Faith Arkansas

10:50 a.m. to 11:05 a.m.-Annette Dove, Executive Director of the TOPPS nonprofit organization in Pine Bluff, Arkansas; and Crystal Barnes, President of the Pine Bluff High School student body, and participant in the TOPPS mentoring program

11:05 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.-President Peggy Bradford, Shawnee Community College in the southern Illinois Delta

11:15 a.m.. to 11:25 a.m.-Liz Young, Executive Director of the Arkansas Women’s Business Center (affiliated with Winrock International)

11:25 a.m. to 11:35 a.m.–Rebecca Reynolds, Executive Director, Arkansas Coalition of Action Agency Association

11:35 a.m. to 11:50 a.m.-Betty Dobson/Maggie Steed, Hotel Metropolitan and Upper Town Heritage Foundation, Paducah, west Kentucky Delta; the Hotel Metropolitan was the only hotel in the area during the Jim Crow era where African Americans could stay and was frequented by Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway, Ike and Tina Turner and many other famous Americans

LUNCHEON, 11:50 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.

“Women, Minorities and Rural American Issues”

Statement from the Delta Caucus Senior Leadership:

11:50 a.m. to 12:10–Lee Powell, Executive Director, Delta Grassroots Caucus, and Millie Atkins, Co-Chair of the national Economic Equality Caucus, community leader from Monroe, Louisiana

12:10 to 12:20–Al Cross, University of Kentucky Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, speaking on Rural America and the 2016 election

12:20 ti 12:30–Angie Maxwell, Director, Diane Blair Center for Southern Politics and Society, Fulbright College at the University of Arkansas, women and minority issues in the 2016 election

12:30 to 12:50–Dean Todd Shields, J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, speaking on women and minority issues in the 2016 election

12:50 to 1 p.m.–Question and answer

Sponsors for the Delta Caucus, Oct. 19-20, 2017

Little Rock, Arkansas

LEAD SPONSOR

Nucor Yamato Steel and Nucor Steel of Arkansas

MAJOR CO-SPONSORS

Mississippi County AR Economic Opportunity Commission, Blytheville, Arkansas

J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

SPONSORS

Illinois Municipal League

Winrock International

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

Sikeston, Missouri Regional Chamber of Commerce

The Arkansas Municipal League

Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Arkansas

American Agriculture Movement of Arkansas

Delta Grassroots Partners

Last but not least we would like to thank the hundreds of grassroots partners across the 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 sector private coalition, we need to have a diversified financial base with large numbers of small contributions, and we could not do our work without these very numerous contributions.

Gov. Hutchinson, Sen. Boozman, Rep. Crawford, Rep. Hill, Chelsea Clinton, Delta Grassroots Leaders Set for Oct. 19-20

Posted on September 26, 2017 at 03:23 PM

Registration and group hotel deadlines are Thursday, Sept. 28 for the Delta Caucus annual conference in Little Rock, Oct. 19-20.

We have confirmed Gov. Asa Hutchinson, US Sen. John Boozman, US Rep. Rick Crawford, US Rep. French Hill, the new Alternate Federal Co-Chairman of the DRA Peter Kinder of Cape Girardeau, Missouri, Chelsea Clinton speaking about the philanthropic work of the Clinton Foundation, and grassroots advocates from all eight states.

Among the many prominent organizations and leaders confirmed in addition to those listed above are included Rep. Warwick Sabin of Winrock International, Southern Bancorp Community Partners, Nucor Yamato Steel, Dean Todd Shields of the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Arkansas, KIPP Delta Public Schools, the TOPPS nonprofit in Pine Bluff, the Metropolitan Inter Faith Association (MIFA) in Memphis, Tennessee, President Peggy Bradford of Shawnee Community College in southern Illinois, Al Cross of the University of Kentucky Institute for Rural Journalism and Community issues, and other grassroots leaders from across the eight-state region from southern Illinois to New Orleans.

A longer list of speakers is below in this email.

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

REGISTRATION

You register by sending in the early registration fees of $100 by Sept. 28.

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

After Sept. 28, registration fees go up to $125 each. (The earlier deadline was Sept. 19, tomorrow, but we have extended that to try to be helpful to our partners.)

We do not use registration forms to cut out unnecessary paperwork. We can send an invoice if needed. You register by paying the registration fees.

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

*OR*

If you prefer to pay by check, please 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

GROUP HOTEL

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.

SCHEDULE

Opening session:

Thursday evening, Oct. 19, 2017, from 4:15 to 6:45 p.m. at the Rotunda of the Arkansas State Capitol

Main session:

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

Key speakers and issues: Chelsea Clinton will be speaking by live call-in to the Clinton Library on Oct. 20, exact time TBD.

Gov. Hutchinson speaks at 9:30 a.m. at the Clinton Library on Oct. 20, Congressman Rick Crawford speaks at 10 a.m., Sen. Boozman at 10:30 a..m., and Dean Todd Shields of the University of Arkansas J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences and Angie Maxwell, Director of the Diane Blair Center for Southern Politics, are the luncheon speakers.

We have endorsed the administration’s choices for the two posts at the Delta Regional Authority: for Federal Co-Chairman, Chris Caldwell of Little Rock, a long-time aide to US Sen. Boozman, and Peter Kinder of Cape Girardeau, former Lt. Governor and state legislator in Missouri, as Alternate Federal Co-Chairman. Mr. Caldwell’s appointment requires Senate confirmation and that may not occur until after the Oct. 19-20 Delta conference.

Mr. Kinder speaks at the opening session at 6 p.m. on Thursday evening, Oct. 19 at the Arkansas State Capitol Rotunda. He is now officially installed in his post and this will be our first opportunity to hear from him as one of the two Presidential appointees on this federal-state agency. Governors of the eight states are also board members of the DRA, and Congress provides the funding.

We are putting together the final details of the agenda now and will send out the first draft shortly. We have listed a number of the key speaking times above and a longer list of speakers is below in this email.

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 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 resurgence of white supremacy in the aftermath of the Charlottesville tragedy.

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, Sen. Boozman, Congressman Hill, Congressman Crawford, DRA Alternate Federal Co-Chairman Peter Kinder, and Chelsea Clinton, we have confirmed the great majority of the 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 Culture 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, Program Coordinator, Arkansas & Mississippi Gleaning Network, Society of St. Andrew, nonprofit anti-hunger organization;

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

–Mayor Chuck Espy, Clarksdale, Mississippi;

–President Peggy Bradford, Shawnee Community College in the southern Illinois Delta;

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

–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 school 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;

–City Manager Scott Meyer of Cape Girardeau, Missouri;

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

–Janelle Jenkins, KIPP Delta Public Schools, Helena-West Helena;

–Rebecca Reynolds, Executive Director, Arkansas Community Action Agency Association;

–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, where Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway, Ike and Tina Turner stayed in the Jim Crow era;

–CEO Sally Jones Heinz 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.

Continue reading...

Sept. 28 Is Deadline for Early Registration and Group Hotel for Oct. 19-20 Delta Caucus in Little Rock

Posted on September 18, 2017 at 01:14 PM

Early registration fees and group hotel deadlines have been extended to next week,Thursday, Sept. 28, for the Oct. 19-20 Delta Caucus community and economic development regional conference in Little Rock.

Confirmed participants include Gov. Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas, Congressman Rick Crawford, state legislators, mayors and other local officials, Chelsea Clinton speaking on behalf of the nonpartisan, philanthropic Clinton Foundation by live call-in, major organizations like Winrock International, Heifer International, Nucor Yamato Steel, Southern Bancorp, the Arkansas Municipal League, universities and colleges, and grassroots leaders from across the 8-state Delta region will participate at the Delta Caucus conference on Oct. 19-20, 2017.

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

REGISTRATION

You register by sending in the early registration fees of $100 by Sept. 28.

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

After Sept. 28, registration fees go up to $125 each. (The earlier deadline was Sept. 19, tomorrow, but we have extended that to try to be helpful to our partners.)

We do not use registration forms to cut out unnecessary paperwork. We can send an invoice if needed. You register by paying the registration fees.

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

*OR*

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

GROUP HOTEL

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.

SCHEDULE

Opening session: Thursday evening, Oct. 19, 2017, from 4:15 to 6:45 p.m. at the Rotunda of the Arkansas State Capitol

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

Key speakers and issues: Chelsea Clinton will be speaking by live call-in to the Clinton Library on Oct. 20. Gov. Hutchinson speaks at 9:30 a.m. at the Clinton Library, Congressman Rick Crawford speaks at 10 a.m., and Dean Todd Shields of the University of Arkansas J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences and Angie Maxwell, Director of the Diane Blair Center for Southern Politics, are the luncheon speakers.

We are waiting to hear from one or two of the most prominent speakers and will finalize the rest of the program as soon as we hear from them, hopefully in the next couple of days.

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, USDA programs, education 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 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.

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, Congressman Crawford, 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 Culture 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, Program Coordinator, Arkansas & Mississippi Gleaning Network, Society of St. Andrew, nonprofit anti-hunger organization;

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

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

–State Sen. Eddie Cheatham, representing southeast Arkansas; 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 school 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;

–City Manager Scott Meyer of Cape Girardeau, Missouri;

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

–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, 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, and Rep. French Hill, and expect to hear from them soon.

Sen. Tom Cotton was invited but was unable to speak due to a scheduling conflict.

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Delta Caucus Endorses Chris Caldwell as Trump's Nominee for DRA Federal Co-Chair

Posted on September 13, 2017 at 01:26 PM

The Delta Caucus commends President Trump’s nomination of Chris Caldwell, a long-time aide to US Sen. John Boozman (R-AR) as Federal Co-Chairman of the Delta Regional Authority. President Trump has now made two excellent choices for the two posts at the Delta Regional Authority in Chris Caldwell for Federal Co-Chairman and Peter Kinder of Missouri for Alternate Federal Co-Chairman.

Please note: Early registration deadline is Sept. 19, next week, for the Oct. 19-20 Delta Caucus conference in Little Rock, Arkansas. Early registration is $100 but it goes up to $125 after Sept. 19 to give an incentive to get the fees in on time.

You register by paying the registration fees. You can pay on the website at mdgc.us by going to the PayPal process at the top of this website. The PayPal process generates records showing you have made the registration payment.

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

Delta Caucus

5030 Purslane Place

Waldorf, MD 20601

Caucus director Lee Powell said, “President Trump has made two great choices now for the Presidential appointees at the DRA in Chris Caldwell of Sen. Boozman’s staff and Peter Kinder of Missouri. We congratulate Chris Caldwell on this nomination, we know he’ll do a great job and we look forward to working with him.”

“Sen. Boozman has always been a great champion for the DRA and we are delighted that his Director of Special Projects has been chosen for this post,” Powell said. Delta Caucus partners not only in Arkansas but across the region responded favorably to the choice.

The Delta Caucus has disagreed with President Trump on other issues but we assess each issue on a case by case basis on the merits, and the nomination of Mr. Caldwell is a step forward for the region.

Harvey Joe Sanner, Delta Caucus senior adviser of Des Arc, said “I have known Chris Caldwell for many years now, he is well-traveled in the Delta and is very much aware of our issues we deal with, and I look forward to working with him. Sen. Boozman has always been a great champion for the DRA and we are glad to see an Arkansan and long-time aide to the Senator elevated to this post.”

Kevin Smith, Delta Caucus senior adviser from Helena-West Helena said, “It’s great that a long-time aide to Sen. Boozman got the job because the Senator has always been a great champion for the DRA. We are also pleased to see that Trump filled the post relatively early in his administration, considering the huge number of posts he has to fill.”

Powell said “Mr. Caldwell has extensive experience in politics and public policy as a senior staffer to Sen. Boozman, and earlier worked for former Gov. Mike Huckabee and former Sen. Tim Hutchinson. We are confident the Senate will expeditiously confirm his nomination.”

Delta Caucus partners in other states have also had positive responses, based on the recommendations of our Arkansas colleagues who have worked with Mr. Caldwell and Sen. Boozman’s strong reputation in the region.

Mike Marshall, the former DRA Alternate Federal Co-Chairman from Sikeston, Missouri and now Director of the Sikeston Chamber of Commerce, said “I am glad to see a long-time staffer for Sen. Boozman in this post because I have long respected Sen. Boozman’s dedication to the entire region. My Delta colleagues in Arkansas have recommended him highly, and it’s good that President Trump has filled this post.”

Millie Atkins, Co-Chair of the Economic Equality Caucus and Delta Caucus senior adviser from Monroe, Louisiana said “We the people of the Delta are glad to see the Trump administration filling this post, and we know Sen. Boozman has a strong reputation for leadership in the region, and our Arkansas colleagues who know Mr. Caldwell speak highly of him. So this is a strong step forward for the region.”