Welcome to the MEPC Press Room

Here you’ll find everything you should need when reporting on the Mississippi Economic Policy Center (MEPC). This page covers some basic background on the work we do and introduces you to our analysts and the individual policy areas they focus on. If you need more information about a policy issue focused on by MEPC and want to connect with one of our analysts, please contact our communications director or executive director.


Krista Buckhalter

Communications Director
Phone: 601.944.9320
Email: [email protected]


Ed Sivak

Executive Director
Phone: 601.944.4174
Email: [email protected]


What is The Mississippi Economic Policy Center?

The Mississippi Economic Policy Center is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that conducts independent research on public policy issues affecting working Mississippians. Through public outreach efforts, policy maker education and engaging the media, MEPC uses its analysis to ensure that the needs of low and moderate-income Mississippians, in particular, are considered in the development and implementation of public policy with the ultimate goal of improving access to economic opportunity.

MEPC is managed by the Hope Enterprise Corporation (HOPE).  HOPE is a financial institution, community development intermediary and policy center that provides affordable financial services; leverages private, public and philanthropic resources; and engages in policy analysis in order to fulfill its mission of strengthening communities, building assets, and improving lives in economically distressed parts of the Mid South. Since 1994, HOPE’s efforts have generated over $1.6 billion in financing and benefited more than 120,000 individuals in the Delta, Katrina-affected areas and other distressed communities throughout Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee.  Learn more about our work.

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Expert Sources/Presenters


Ed Sivak

Ed’s expertise includes: 

  • Mississippi Fiscal Policy
  • Predatory Lending and Asset Development
  • Workforce development for low-income populations

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Sara Miller

Sara’s expertise includes: 

  • How the state collects its funds and what those funds support  
  • The equity of the Mississippi Tax System
  • The state budget process 
  • Trends in revenue collections and state services funding levels

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Sarah Welker

Sarah’s expertise includes: 

  • Wages, Jobs and Mississippi’s Workforce
  • Community Colleges, Adult Education/GED and Workforce Training
  • Economic Well-Being of Mississippi’s Families
  • Disaggregating income and wage information by gender, race and age

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Francinia McKeithan

Francinia’s expertise includes:

  • Budget and Tax Education and Monitoring
  • Revenue Adequacy and Equity
  • Solutions for Building Assets in Low-Wealth Communities in Mississippi
  • Mississippi’s Health Care Reform

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Jessica Shappley

Jessica’s expertise includes: 

  • Asset Building  
  • Predatory Lending
  • Individual Development Accounts and Children’s Savings Accounts
  • Community Reinvestment Act
  • Affordable Housing and Housing-Related Issues

Request an interview