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Why does the Cleveland Fed host a Policy Summit?

Bonnie Blankenship
Bonnie Blankenship, Regional Outreach Manager, Community Development Department

As appeared in the Cleveland Fed Digest's Ask the Expert on 04.16.2019

Issue #24 | April 16, 2019

The Policy Summit is an important event for the Federal Reserve because we’re a convener, and we provide a neutral base for people to have conversations. We work with practitioners, researchers, academics, policymakers, and we’re able to bring all of those stakeholders to the table.

The Policy Summit supports the work of community development because we act on what those in attendance say they need more (and less) of. We used feedback from those at the Policy Summit in 2017 to develop this year’s agenda; for example, attendees wanted additional time built into the event, generally, and more networking opportunities so they can discuss issues with others who are grappling with the same challenges. We added those. Also this year, our program combines researchers with practitioners in breakout sessions; in years past, researchers presented certain sessions and practitioners presented others.

What hasn’t changed is our expectation that this year’s event from June 19 to June 21 will foster a robust policy discussion. An administrator from a Toledo agency told us after our last biennial event that the quantitative information he hears on an issue at the Policy Summit is enlightening. It’s evidence, he said, that is critically important for him. In his line of work, he said, he hears a lot from the heart. That doesn’t mean that our sessions dismiss the heart, but data can quantify why people need to take action.

This is the 14th convening of the Policy Summit, and I think our numbers speak for themselves. What began as a small gathering of 40 stakeholders in the Cleveland Fed auditorium has grown to an event that attracts more than 300 attendees. This year is the first time the event is being held in Cincinnati. Join us.

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Bonnie Blankenship is a regional outreach manager in the Cleveland Fed’s Community Development Department. She is based at the Bank’s Cincinnati Branch and conducts research and policy analysis on current and emerging issues in community and economic development and coordinates various outreach activities in the Fourth District, which includes all of Ohio, western Pennsylvania, eastern Kentucky, and the northern panhandle of West Virginia.

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