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.

State Coordinators

The Delta Grassroots Caucus traces its roots in the mid-1990s to three major bipartisan initiatives dedicated to promoting economic development in the eight-state Delta region. First, the Mississippi Delta Regional Initiative of the Clinton administration, which included all federal departments and agencies with domestic policy jurisdiction.

Secondly, the grassroots coalition of local leaders called the Delta Caucus that was founded in the mid-1990s and active until 2000.

Thirdly, the Southern Empowerment Zone/Enterprise Community Forum, consisting of all EZs and ECs in the Delta region. The Southern EZ/EC Forum subsequently became a part of the current Delta Grassroots Caucus.

This movement originated from Gov. Bill Clinton, Sen. Dale Bumpers, Rep. Bill Alexander, Lee Powell, Kevin Smith and other Arkansans, but we welcome participation from anyone in the eight states or across the country who supports this initiative for economic progress.

There have been other significant advocacy groups in the region in the past who made important contributions.

The Clinton administration Delta initiative and the grassroots coalition worked with each other and all other relevant institutions in the Delta, culminating in such milestones as President Clinton’s passages on the Mississippi Delta region in his 2000 State of the Union address, the comprehensive Clinton administration report on the Delta published in 2000 (Delta Vision, Delta Voices: The Mississippi Delta Beyond 2000), the White House conference on the Delta in 2000, and Congress’ passage of the legislation creating the Delta Regional Authority, signed into law by President Clinton in late 2000. Since then, the networks of individuals involved in those organizations have continued working in a bipartisan fashion with Congress and the national executive branch. The Grassroots Caucus welcomes support from people of all persuasions and political parties who want to promote economic development in the Delta, which includes Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, parts of Alabama, west Tennessee, west Kentucky, southeast Missouri and southern Illinois.

The great majority of the activities of the Delta Caucus focus on educational/informational work and NOT lobbying. Less than 80% of our activities have any connection to lobbying.

The state coordinators advise the executive director, the board of directors and the executive committee of the Delta Grassroots Caucus concerning major Delta regional issues in their states.

Louisiana

  • Millie Atkins, Century Link, Public Policy Manager, broadband access expansion program across the Delta region, headquarters in Monroe, Louisiana

Mississippi

  • Wilson Golden, board member, University of Mississippi William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation

Arkansas

  • Kevin Smith, veteran Delta regional advocate, Helena-West Helena, Arkansas, former aide to then Gov. Bill Clinton on the Lower Mississippi Delta Development Commission, former aide to the late US Sen. Dale Bumpers, served in the Arkansas state Senate; businessman and insurance executive in Helena-West Helena

  • Harvey Joe Sanner, President, American Agriculture Movement of Arkansas, Des Arc, Arkansas veteran Delta regional advocate

Tennessee

  • Alan Gumbel, president, Gumbel & Associates, Memphis, Tennessee (played an important role in the Lower Mississippi Delta Development Commission)

Missouri

  • Melissa Rice McGowan, Agency Relations and Programs Director, Southeast Missouri Food Bank, a member of Feeding America and the Missouri Food Bank Association

Illinois

  • Brad Cole, Illinois; Executive Director, Illinois Municipal League; former mayor of Carbondale, Illinois

Kentucky

Josh Tubbs, economic development office, Marshall County, Kentucky

Alabama

  • Mayor Sheldon Day, Thomasville, Alabama