Executive Order

Executive Order  No. 91: Establishing a Governor's Commission on Citizen Participation, to study state social services et al., and defining its powers and duties

Date: 05/23/1972
Issuer: Francis W. Sargent

Table of Contents

WHEREAS, the Commonwealth is committed to provide a better quality of life for all its citizens, and toward that end has demonstrated unprecedented leadership among the states in forging new and innovative social programs to meet the needs of its people; and

WHEREAS, in furthering that commitment and in the spirit of its great tradition for leadership in shaping social policy, the Commonwealth has embarked upon a new course for providing care and treatment in the areas of adult and juvenile correction, mental health, retardation, and other areas of special needs and human services; and

WHEREAS, these new policies and efforts are directed toward replacing existing programs of custodial care in isolated institutions with more effective programs of community based treatment; and

WHEREAS, the Commonwealth is uniquely blessed with significant numbers of skilled and dedicated citizens who contribute their talents through voluntary participation in social service programs and many more have expressed a desire to contribute their skills and supportive assistance as well; and

WHEREAS, the success of our public service endeavors, and more particularly our new efforts to provide community based treatment programs, will greatly depend on private and public voluntary efforts and participation of citizens and imaginative leadership in expanding and integrating such participation; and

WHEREAS, there should be a central focus in the Commonwealth to effectively integrate and coordinate these citizen resources with the Commonwealth's total social service effort;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, FRANCIS W. SARGENT, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, acting under the provisions of all authority conferred upon me by law, do hereby issue the following order to promote the general welfare of the Commonwealth.

SECTION 1. There shall be established a Governor's Commission on Citizen Participation. Said Commission shall receive technical assistance from the Secretaries of the Executive Office of Communities and Development and the Executive Office of Human Services.

SECTION 2. The Governor's Commission of Citizen Participation shall consist of not more than sixty members appointed by the Governor representing many segments of the community including various private and public volunteer groups now in existence. The Governor shall select Co-Chairmen, and one Deputy Chairman and shall fill any vacancies that may occur.

SECTION 3. The Commission shall appoint among its members an Executive Committee of not more than fifteen members including the Co-Chairmen and Deputy Chairman. The Executive Committee shall administer the affairs of the Commission and its staff and shall, with the approval of the Commission, promulgate rules and procedures for the Commission's activities.

SECTION 4. The Commission shall be charged with the responsibility for:

  1. reviewing the Commonwealth's plans and programs for providing social services to its citizens;
  2. identifying specific needs for citizen participation and volunteer efforts to further such programs; in carrying out this responsibility the Commission shall develop an inventory of existing citizen participation programs including the development of a clearinghouse for existing volunteer programs;
  3. identifying existing public and private volunteer efforts and exploring ways and means of increasing the public awareness of and participation in such volunteer efforts; and
  4. making specific recommendations for effective coordination, integration and expansion of citizen participation and voluntary service in the total effort by the Commonwealth to promote the well-being of its citizens, and such other recommendations as the Commission deems appropriate.

In preparing its recommendations said Commission shall consider in part the desirability of establishing a permanent office of Citizen Participation or some other permanent or ongoing body to provide a focus and mechanism for the continual coordination of the citizen participatory effort. The Commission shall also consider the use of science and technology in coordinating volunteers with public service needs.

SECTION 5. The Commission shall make its final report to the Governor, not later than May l, 1973. To meet its responsibilities, the Commission shall be authorized to create such Task Forces as it deems necessary.

SECTION 6. The Commission shall meet at regular intervals in public or executive session and may hold public hearings and seminars in various parts of the Commonwealth as deemed advisable.

SECTION 7. I hereby instruct that all agencies of the Common- wealth give full support and assistance to the efforts of the Commission on Citizen Participation.

Given at the Executive Chamber in Boston this twenty third day of May in the year of Our Lord, one thousand nine hundred and seventy-two and of the Independence of the United States the one hundred and ninety-sixth.



Commonwealth of Massachusetts


Secretary of the Commonwealth

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