By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
Oklahoma Policy Institute’s (OK Policy) first Fall Policy Boot Camp (FallPol) will be held on Saturday, October 3. The event will be from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Oklahoma Christian University, Gaylord University Center East Main Dining Hall, 2501 E. Memorial Road, in Edmond.
OK Policy is a non-partisan independent policy think-tank. It was launched in early 2008, growing out of work that had previously been conducted by the public policy department of Community Action Project of Tulsa County.
“We hope you will join us Saturday, October 3rd at Oklahoma Christian University in Edmond for a unique one-day training for anyone who is involved and interested in state policy issues,” said David Blatt, OK Policy Executive Director.
The FallPol program is a condensed version of the four-day Summer Policy Institute (SPI), which OK Policy hosts for college students. It will consist primarily of overview presentations by OK Policy staff on the major policy issues they work on, including budget and taxes, education, health care and poverty.
Blatt will give the morning welcome and introductions as well as discuss the topic of Budget and Taxes; the Legislative Process will be presented by Legislative Liason Damario Solomon-Simmons; and Poverty and Opportunity will be discussed by Policy Analyst Carly Putnam.
A keynote lunchtime panel of leading experts will discuss emerging issues in the area of criminal justice. The panel will feature Kris Steele (Executive Director, TEEM; former House Speaker); Sen. Kyle Loveless; and Melvin Hall (Attorney, Riggs Abney). The event moderator will be Linda Edmondson.
Breakout sessions will provide a choice of more in-depth introductions to the legislative process, diversity issues, grassroots advocacy, and research techniques.
Session leaders will include Gene Perry, Policy Director; Kara Joy McKee, Outreach Specialist; Solomon – Simmons; and Mana Tahaie, Director of Mission Impact at YWCA Tulsa.
Blatt says that advocates and professionals with expertise in one policy area who wish to be better informed across a broader canvas of issues will find this training especially useful.
That afternoon, the topics of Smarter Policy Research, Grassroots Advocacy 101, Direct Lobbying, and Diversity and Inequality will be discussed.
Undergraduate and graduate students are strongly encouraged to apply to be part of SPI in August 2016.
“The program is intended primarily for emerging professionals working for nonprofits, advocacy groups, local and state government, and businesses, as well as educators, parents, civic volunteers, activists, and other rising leaders with an interest in Oklahoma issues but without long-standing familiarity with the state’s policy landscape,” Blatt stated.
The cost of the Fall Policy Boot Camp is $100 and includes light breakfast, lunch, and a networking reception at the end of the day. The deadline to register is 5 p.m., Tuesday, September 29, so register today.
Any organization or individual that has contributed $250 or more to OK Policy in the past year will receive one half-price spot for the training; click here to register at the special donors rate.
“We would also like to offer an open invitation to join OK Policy staff, attendees of the Fall Policy Boot Camp and others at The Patriarch (9 E Edwards St, Edmond, OK 73034) on Saturday, October 3rd at 4:45 p.m. following the event for a casual reception,” Blatt continued. “We’ll provide a free drink and appetizers; we hope you’ll come and join us.”
For more information, visit okpolicy.org or call 918-794-3944.