Executive Order

Executive Order  No. 121: Social and Economic Opportunity Council

Date: 10/01/1975
Issuer: Michael S. Dukakis
Revoked by: Executive Order 158

Table of Contents

WHEREAS, there is in the Commonwealth a substantial segment of the population with insufficient income to maintain a decent standard of living, and

WHEREAS, the economic and social conditions giving rise to and resulting from this situation are unique to that class of people without sufficient financial resources, and

WHEREAS, these unique conditions require the services of an independent council of state government to advocate on behalf of the poor to government officials, public agencies, and the private sector;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, MICHAEL S. DUKAKIS, Governor of the Commonwealth, by virtue of the authority vested in me as supreme executive magistrate, do hereby order as follows:

I. The Social and Economic Opportunity Council, hereinafter referred to as the Council, is established.

A. The Council shall consist of nine members. Eight members shall be appointed by the Governor with the advice of the Secretary of Communities and Development. The ninth member shall be the Secretary of Communities and Development or his designee. The terms of the members shall be concurrent with that of the Governor; except, however, if a member resigns prior to the end of his term, or is removed by the Governor, a replacement will be named by the Governor in the same manner as a regular member. The Chairperson of the Council shall be appointed by the Governor and shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor.

B. The membership of the Council shall consist of the following:

1. Three shall be representatives of Massachusetts Community Action Agencies. They shall be nominated by the Massachusetts Community Action Program Director's Association.

2. One shall be a representative of the Massachusetts League of Cities and Towns.

3. One shall be a representative of Low Income Planning Aid.

4. One shall be a representative of the Massachusetts Union of Public Housing Tenants.

5. Two shall be representatives at large. The at-large members shall be representatives of the low income population.

C. The Governor shall use his appointment power to attempt to effectuate representation approximating the racial, ethnic, and geographic breakdown of the low-income population of the Commonwealth.

D. Members will serve without compensation, with the exception of the low-income representatives who will be reimbursed for travel expenses incurred in the conduct of official Council business.

E. In the event that any of the designated organizations cease to exist, the Council shall name an appropriate organization to nominate the same number of members as the originally designated organization.

F. The Council shall be within the Secretariat of Communities and Development, but not under the control of the Secretary, except as hereinafter provided.

II. The Council shall have the following responsibilities:

A. To act as an independent advocate for social and economic opportunity for low income persons. The Council shall be administratively and fiscally responsible to the Secretary of Communities and Development.

B. To meet monthly and at such times as the chairperson deems necessary, and to post notice of the time and place of these meetings at least seven days in advance in order that individuals and parties interested in the activities of the Council have an opportunity to attend.

C. To hold a public hearing at least once a year or from time to time as necessary relative to its program activities and budget.

D. To allow witnesses at all such public hearings to provide testimony to the Council.

E. To advise officials of the Commonwealth on the needs of low income persons, assist in mobilizing state and federal resources to deal with problems of poverty in Massachusetts, provide technical assistance and coordinative support to agencies serving the poor, assist various community-based groups in obtaining resources and services for the poor, and in advocating for social and economic opportunities for disadvantaged citizens of the Commonwealth.

F. To employ experts, who shall serve at the pleasure of the Council, to assist the Council in the discharge of their duties. Payment for expert assistance and for all expenses of the Council shall be from Federal funds and/or private sources.

G. To promulgate rules and regulations governing its procedures.

III. Any provision herein which is in conflict with any existing statute shall be deemed to be null and void.

Given at the Executive Chamber in Boston this 1st day of October in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and seventy-five and of the Independence of the United States of America, the two hundredth.




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