Practice & Policy Lecture Series
Provided by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services
Sequoyah Memorial Office Building, 2400 N. Lincoln Blvd. • Oklahoma City, OK 73105
(405) 521-3646 • Fax (405) 521-6684 • Internet:

Practice and Policy Lecture Series Home

The Practice and Policy Lecture Series has been developed to provide thought-provoking presentations on Oklahoma's emerging policy issues, trends and best practices. The series is sponsored by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services Office of Planning, Research and Statistics and the University of Oklahoma Center for Public Management with the goal of providing the best educational opportunities available in a forum that offers participants an opportunity to question, share and learn from each other.

All lectures are free and open to the public.

Child Care
Child Welfare
Customer Service
Developmental Disabilities
Domestic Violence
Faith-Based and Community Initiatives
Health Care
Marriage and Family
Poverty Solutions

Thurs., Jan. 12, 2012, Noon to 1 p.m.

Benchmarking Asset Development in Fighting Poverty
Oklahoma History Center, Chesapeake Room
800 Nazih Zuhdi Dr. Oklahoma City, OK 73105

David Blatt, Director of Oklahoma Policy Institute and
Steven Shepelwich, Senior Community Development Advisor, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

Oklahoma Policy Institute, the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and Region VI Administration for Children and Families

There is a large and growing body of scholarly evidence that suggests that emerging public policies must balance the importance of both income and assets to meaningfully address issues associated with poverty and self-sufficiency. Given the increasing importance and power of states—both in terms of funding and responsibility for public policy and in experimenting with new policy directions—the time is right to examine asset-based policies among states and to encourage bold action that will lead to strong asset outcomes for low-income people. States have a unique historical opportunity to serve as the leaders and incubators for a policy shift that could change the face of poverty alleviation strategies in America. Blatt and Shepelwich will discuss “State Asset Development Report Card: Benchmarking Asset Development in Fighting Poverty” a report issued by the Corporation for Enterprise Development in November 2011.

About the Speakers:
Dr. David Blatt
helped found OK Policy and served as Director of Policy before becoming the organization's Director in 2010. David's work involves conducting research, writing papers, and giving public presentations on state budget and tax policy, poverty, asset development, and various other subjects.

He is a member of the Board of Oklahoma Assets. Recognized as one of the state's leading experts on fiscal policy and selected as one of the Tulsa World's five "Oklahomans to Watch" in 2011, David previously served for seven years as Director of Public Policy for Community Action Project of Tulsa County and for three years as a budget analyst for the State Senate.

He has a Ph.D. in political science from Cornell University and a B.A. from the University of Alberta. He lives in Tulsa with his wife, Patty Hipsher, a special education teacher at an elementary school in Broken Arrow and their son, Noah.

Steven C. Shepelwich is a Senior Community Development Advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Oklahoma City Branch. Steven leads the Branch efforts to promote economic development and fair and impartial access to financial services in Oklahoma’s low- to moderate-income communities and manages the District’s financial education and asset-building programs.

Prior to joining the Federal Reserve Bank, Steven worked with national organizations focused on expanding the roles of financial institutions in low-income communities including leading banks and credit unions, microenterprise funds, and asset-building programs throughout the country. Steven began his career by working internationally with microfinance, rural development, and refugee programs in Kenya, Burundi, and India for over six years.  

A native of Fort Worth, Texas, Steven holds a B.B.A in Marketing from Texas A&M University and an M.S. in Resource Development from Michigan State University, as well as a Certificate in Community Economic Development from the University of Delaware.  He is a graduate of the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Related Information:
Benchmarking Asset Development in Fighting Poverty PowerPoint presentation (.pdf, 21 pp, 282 KB)
Video, Audio and Transcript (Opens in new window.)

Last Updated: June 19, 2015
Provided by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services
Street address: Sequoyah Memorial Office Building, 2400 N. Lincoln Blvd., Oklahoma City, OK 73105
Mailing address: P.O. Box 25352, Oklahoma City, OK 73125
(405) 521-3646
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