Executive Order

Executive Order  No. 606: Establishing the Governor's Council on Black Empowerment

Date: 02/27/2023
Issuer: Maura Healey
Mass Register: No. 1491

Table of Contents

By Her Excellency 


                                                                                                                                                              EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 606

Establishing the Governor’s Council on Black Empowerment 

WHEREAS, our state is strongest when we bring our communities together to build an economy in which every family thrives; 

WHEREAS, we must center equity in all that we do, which will require leadership and commitment; 

WHEREAS, the Black community in Massachusetts is rich in diversity, and includes persons who identify as African-American, African, Cape Verdean, Caribbean, Ethiopian, Haitian, Jamaican, Somali, 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, the Black community was disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic; 

WHEREAS, empowering communities to have a voice in their future and the future of our collective Commonwealth makes us stronger by bringing us closer together; 

WHEREAS, this Administration recognizes that statewide collaboration with Black leaders, experts and other stakeholders will help produce solutions and 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, Maura T. Healey, 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.    and order as follows: 

Section 1.  The Governor’s Council on Black Empowerment ("Council”) 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 Council shall include a Chair, a Vice-Chair, members representative of the geographical regions of the Commonwealth and, serving in their ex officio capacity, the Executive Office Secretaries, or their designees, from each secretariat.   Each member, including the Chair and Vice-Chair, shall be appointed by the Governor and shall serve at her pleasure, without compensation, in an advisory capacity for a term of four years. 

Section 3.  The Council 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 Council’s members shall first identify up to three priorities to be addressed by the Council 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 Council will promptly convene to select up to three priorities for its consideration for the next two-year period. 

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

Section 4.  The Council shall meet at least quarterly each year at the direction of the Chair, and with the Governor and the Lieutenant Governor up to four times a year. The Council shall submit a formal written report every two years to the Governor and Lieutenant Governor, summarizing the Council’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 Council 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 Council 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 27th day of February in the year of our Lord two thousand and twenty-three, and of the Independence of the United States of America two hundred and forty-six. 

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