Delta Conferences 2000-2009
Notice: The Delta Caucus has region-wide meetings every January at the Clinton Library in Little Rockand every June in Washington to develop and promote policies which help the Delta. For more information email us.
The first Washington meeting was held in May, 2000.
“Delta Vision, Delta Voices:
Mississippi Delta Beyond 2000″
Over seven hundred Delta residents participated in a National Conference to begin a brighter future for the Delta on May 10 and 11, 2000 in Arlington, Virginia. The conference was sponsored by the U.S. Dept. of Transportation, in partnership with over 24 Federal Agencies and private sector partners. President Clinton addressed the conference the first day and also hosted a special evening White House reception for conference attendees. The first day of the program also featured a town hall meeting hosted by Vice President Al Gore.
For the official version of the conference, there is an official website advertised at www.dot.gov. But if that doesn’t give you enough info or you want the inside scoop, contact Casey at 870-830-3930.
This Conference is the latest event resulting from a year-long organizing effort of the Delta Council.
In October 1999, over 150 Delta leaders from every Delta state led the Caucus’s “March on Washington”. The Caucus march to the White House where a private briefing was held by high-ranking White House officials. Later, the group testified before a reinvigorated congressional Delta Caucus and held a congressional reception sponsored by over 30 local banks and businesses in the Delta. Members of the grassroots group fanned out across Capitol Hill with issue packets and met with congressional representatives and staff regarding the Delta. Finally, a press conference was held on Capitol Hill that was attended by the Delta’s congressional delegation and national media.
During this time, the Delta’s congressional delegation got into high gear by introducing legislation to create a Delta Regional Authority. In December 1999, President Clinton came home and made an exciting announcement before 1200 Delta Caucus members that he would endorse this bill and include it and other Delta projects in his last budget. In January, 2000, in his State of the Union Address to Congress and on nationwide television, the President mentioned the Delta as a region forgotten by the booming economy and made a case for federal assistance. In February he backed this up by proposing a budget for 2001 that includes $150 million for the Delta Regional Authority and another $400 million in funding for infrastructure projects in the Delta.
Today, the Caucus is focusing on establishing bipartisan support for these initiatives by working with the leadership in Mississippi. It is also beginning to focus on drafting legislation for the Delta in the January 2001 session of the Arkansas legislature. Governor Huckabee has appointed Delta Caucus leadership to a task force to develop the legislation, and says he will support it.