Executive Order

Executive Order  No. 575: Establishing the Black Advisory Commission

Date: 02/23/2017
Issuer: Governor Charlie Baker
Mass Register: No. 1334
Revoking and Superseding: Executive Order No. 362

Table of Contents

WHEREAS, it is a priority of this Administration to foster global inclusion and equal opportunity for all who call Massachusetts home irrespective of race, color, age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, religion, creed, ancestry, national origin, disability, veteran's status, or socio-economic background;

WHEREAS, the black community in Massachusetts is rich in diversity, and includes persons who identify as African-American, Cape Verdean, Haitian, Jamaican, Somali, Ethiopian, or by reference to a wide range of other ethnicities and national origins;

WHEREAS, the Massachusetts black community represents a unique population that brings traditions, perspectives, and cultures which significantly shape and influence all aspects of the Commonwealth’s development and standing; 

WHEREAS, the Massachusetts black community has and continues to make outstanding achievements on behalf of the Commonwealth, advancing its economic, educational, social, cultural and technological progress;

WHEREAS, the black community living in Massachusetts has made such contributions

despite having faced and fought to overcome the lasting inequities arising from slavery, discrimination and racism;

WHEREAS, those challenges, however, continue to impede economic and social equality for many members of the black community here in the Commonwealth, creating unacceptable disparities in access to educational opportunity, good jobs, and employment and housing stability;

WHEREAS, this Administration recognizes that statewide collaboration with black leaders, experts and other stakeholders will help produce solutions to those challenges, and, accordingly, will advance the interests of the Commonwealth; and

WHEREAS, this Administration re-affirms its commitment to address the critical concerns of the black community and promote its economic prosperity and well-being across Massachusetts.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Charles D. Baker, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution, Part 2, c. 2, § I, Art. I, do hereby revoke Executive Order No. 362 and order as follows:

Section 1.  The Black Advisory Commission is hereby established to advise the Governor and Lieutenant Governor on issues relating to the economic prosperity and well-being of the black community living in Massachusetts.

Section 2.  The Commission shall consist of up to thirty-eight (38) members, including a Chair, a Vice-Chair, members representative of the geographical regions of the Commonwealth and, serving in their ex officio capacity, the Secretaries of the Executive Offices of Education, Health and Human Services, Housing and Economic Development, Public Safety and Security, and Labor and Workforce Development, or their designees.  Each member, including the Chair and Vice-Chair, shall be appointed by the Governor and shall serve at his pleasure, without compensation, in an advisory capacity for a term of four years.

Section 3.  The Commission shall review and assess the paramount priorities of the black community on a statewide basis and make recommendations to the Governor and Lieutenant Governor, with a particular focus on how to promote the community’s economic prosperity and well-being.

            To achieve this objective, the Commission’s members shall first identify up to three priorities to be addressed by the Commission over the course of the next two years. Such topics could include, for purposes of example only, educational opportunities, economic prosperity drivers such as public and private economic development, health care and housing access, public safety, and job training and long term career development. Upon submission of the report required in Section 4 below, the Commission will promptly convene to select up to three priorities for its consideration for the next two-year period.

The Governor’s Office of Access, Opportunity and Community Affairs will provide staffing to support the work of the Commission, and may ask the executive office secretariats to supply data, reports and other relevant information and assistance.  

Section 4.  The Commission shall meet at least quarterly each year at the direction of the Chair, including at an annual meeting with the Governor and the Lieutenant Governor. The Commission shall submit a formal written report every two years to the Governor and Lieutenant Governor, summarizing the Commission’s work, methodology, findings and recommendations on each of its priorities selected pursuant to Section 1 above, and providing metrics to measure the effect of such recommendations, if implemented, on the lives of members of the black community residing in Massachusetts.

Section 5.  The Chair, as needed, may establish subcommittees comprised of members of the Commission and non-members drawn from various groups and organizations committed to issues that are important to the Massachusetts black community or who possess expertise necessary to accomplish the purposes of this Executive Order. All subcommittees shall be chaired by a member of the Commission designated by the Chair.  Subcommittees shall meet from time to time, as scheduled by the Chair or the Chair’s designee. 

Section 6.  This Executive Order shall take effect upon execution and shall continue in effect until amended, superseded or revoked by subsequent Executive Order.

Given at the Executive Chamber in Boston this 23rd day of February in the year of our Lord two thousand seventeen and of the Independence of the United States of America two hundred forty-one.

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