The Commission's Work
Building the Report
“Their most important work will be the changes we see in our institutions and our work places, in our communities and in our interactions with one another. Change of this magnitude is hard; but maintaining the status quo is simply not acceptable.”
-Governor Jay Nixon
Ferguson Commission Announcement Ceremony
On November 18, 2014, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon appointed the Ferguson Commission – a volunteer group of 16 diverse community leaders to listen to and engage with area organizations, national thought leaders, institutions, experts and citizens.
The charge was to address the underlying root causes that led to the unrest in the wake of Michael Brown’s death and to publish an unflinching report with transformative policy recommendations for making the region stronger and a better place for everyone to live and to guide the community in charting a new path toward healing and positive change for the residents of the St. Louis region.
The Ferguson Commission has held 19 Commission meetings, which are open to the public and located in various neighborhoods around the region. Meetings include presentations from local and national subject matter experts, open public comment opportunities and often, small breakout groups. Review the Commission Meetings >
The Commission’s report, which is a digital first online platform, launched on September 14th. Forward Through Ferguson Report >
Based on public feedback, the Commission’s work was split up into four “Working Groups”:
- Citizen-Law Enforcement Relations
- Municipal Courts and Governance
- Child Well-Being and Education Equity
- Economic Inequity and Opportunity
Each working group is co-chaired by a pair of Commissioners and is made up of 10 to 20 local subject matter experts, professionals, practitioners and citizens. Working groups have held 38 regular public meetings since January 2015. At the July 13th Commission meeting, working group co-chairs presented their final recommendations for approval by Commissioners for a total of 200 approved Calls to Actions. The region has come together in an unprecedented way, exercising inclusive democracy to arrive at researched and collective recommendations for change. Through our combined efforts, the process of developing the report can serve as a role model and offer best practices to communities across the country.
Developing Signature Priorities for the Region
The Commissioners next completed the call to action prioritization process to determine what recommendations, out of the 200 calls to action produced, would sit at the core of the report based on 3 defining principles:
- Transformative: Is the policy call to action innovative? Will it create an impact or cause positive change?
- Urgent: Will this policy call to action address pressing issues?
- Unflinching: Does the policy present cause-driven solutions that call out core issues in the region?
This culminated at the August 7th Commission Meeting where the signature priorities were presented. These priorities were carefully chosen with opportunities for Commissioners to suggest the addition of important calls to action to assure a broad level of impact. While the signature priorities will be at the center, all calls to action produced in the process will be included in the report.
Creating an Engaging Digital-First Report
Since the Governor’s appointment on November 18th, the Ferguson Commission has regularly convened over 100 regional leaders, subject matter experts and community for over 20,000 volunteer hours to produce over 189 calls to action outlining policy changes to better our region. The Commission has served as the “region’s kitchen table,” where people from all backgrounds have address regional issues in the areas of Citizen-Law Enforcement Relations, Municipal Courts & Governance, Child Well-Being & Education Equity, Economic Inequity & Opportunity, Racial Equity & Reconciliation.
The Commission’s report launched on September 14th, 2015. In order to create a human and story-centered experience, the report is digital-first on an online platform. This innovative report format serves as an engagement tool, wrapping each signature priority with related policy calls to action, national model examples, context and history, and day-to-day implications.