Noted Mississippi writers Sid Salter (at left) and Jere Nash discuss the 2011 Miss. elections during the 74th annual meeting of Delta Council on the campus of Delta State University
U.S. Senator, Blanche Lincoln (D) of Arkansas, delivers the keynote address during the 74th annual meeting of Delta Council on the campus of Delta State University
Politics and education were the hot topics as hundreds braved the heat and humidity to attend the 74th Annual Delta Council Meeting, Friday, June 12, on the campus of Delta State University.
The event kicked off with a 9:15 a.m. presentation – “The Run-up to 2011: After Haley” – an outlook on the 2011 Mississippi elections. Mississippi political author Jere Nash and Sid Salter of The Clarion Ledger served as commentators for what Nash deemed “the premier political speaking event in the Delta.” Both Nash and Salter entertained the audience with stories of current and former politicians before leading the discussion on the upcoming elections.
The business session of the annual meeting began at 10:30 a.m. in the Bologna Performing Arts Center. U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln (D) of Arkansas was the featured speaker for the meeting.
Lincoln was elected as the youngest woman ever to serve in the U.S. Senate at the age of 38 in 1998, and re-elected in 2004.
An advocate of the fundamental issues facing the Delta, Lincoln stressed the need for a stronger investment in education. “Our two states (Ark. and Miss.) face the prospect of being left behind in today’s global economy if we don’t invest in education,” she stated. “We need a stronger investment in the education of today’s students, in the search for qualified teachers, and the training of tomorrow’s teachers.”
While stressing the need for highly trained educators, Lincoln recognized Delta State for being selected as a finalist to host the 2010 Teach For America Charter Summer Institute. “Teach for America has brought many qualified teachers to the Delta and having Delta State selected to host this institute would be such an asset for this region,” she said.
Lincoln’s keynote address followed a full morning’s activities, including a salute to Delta honor graduates by Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant, and an annual report on the region’s activities and priorities. Delta Council also recognized those who have made significant contributions in other critical areas of Delta life.
Delta Council is an area economic development organization representing the eighteen Delta and part-Delta counties of Northwest Mississippi.