‘The Delta Strategic Compact’: plan to help poor

At least a few civic-minded Mississippians are determined to reverse the state’s 18-county Delta region from being perpetually branded as the “poor who will always be with us.”

Where other attempts have failed over the past five decades, an ambitious, broad new long-range plan to lift the Delta out of its persistent poverty — without government carrying the load — has emerged after three years from a commission headed by respected black leader Robert Clark.

Best known as the first African-American elected to the Legislature 70 years after Reconstruction, Clark, now as a retired lawmaker from Holmes County, is devoting his life to improving the quality of life in his long down-trodden region.

His legislatively-created commission has produced what it has called “The Delta Strategic Compact” which essentially addresses economic and cultural problems inherent in the Delta. But importantly, it provides a four-tier framework behind which resources of all the public and private entities working in the region can be harnessed.

Bill Minor