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.

“Delta Vision, Delta Voices”

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Statement by President William Jefferson Clinton

May 4, 2000

I am deeply grateful to all the people of the Delta and to the Federal agencies taking part in the Mississippi Delta: Beyond 2000 Initiative. You have faithfully continued the work we embarked upon more than a decade ago in the Lower Mississippi Delta Development Commission, which I was privileged to lead. I thank you for your counsel and recommendations for the future development of this vast region that lies at the center of America. Now, we must persevere in this initiative to ensure that people throughout the region can participate fairly and fully in the unprecedented prosperity our nation enjoys today and that we are committed to continue in the new century and the new millennium.

As a son of Arkansas, I have traveled the beautiful valleys, wetlands, and other natural splendors of the Delta for much of my life. During my New Markets tour last year, I visited several Delta communities in Mississippi and Arkansas and met with many grassroots leaders. Those meetings only reinforced my determination to bring together Federal, State, and local government and the private sector to revitalize the region.

We must continue to encourage private sector investment in underserved areas through such initiatives as Empowerment Zones, Enterprise Communities, Community Development Financial Institutions, the Community Reinvestment Act, and other financial incentives. In my State of the Union address earlier this year, I announced a budget proposal of more than $150 million in specific set-aside funding targeted for the Delta—funding to promote job creation, to improve education, housing, and health care, to aid small business development, and to create community development initiatives.

This Report presents an additional and impressive array of thoughtful recommendations for the Delta’s future development, from the establishment of a permanent regional commission to the “circuit rider” proposal for technical assistance for the poorest and smallest communities. Much like the original Delta Report, it is a “handbook for action” that any concerned citizen can use to make a difference. I am especially grateful for the thoughtful contributions from so many grassroots leaders and organizations from the region, who are the true and powerful voices of the Delta.

From the banks of the Potomac to the banks of the Mighty Mississippi, we are listening to those voices, and we are committed to working together to make our vision of prosperity and opportunity a reality for the people of the Mississippi Delta in the 21st century and the new millennium.