Frequently Asked Questions
Ferguson Commission FAQ
What is the Ferguson Commission?
The Ferguson Commission is an empowered, independent and diverse group that will study the underlying social and economic conditions underscored by the unrest in the wake of the death of Michael Brown. Openness and transparency will be cornerstones of the Commission’s work.
The charge of the Ferguson Commission is to help chart a new path toward healing and positive change for the residents of the St. Louis region. However, as these challenges are not unique to our region, the Commission looks to serve as a role model and offer best practices to communities across the country.
The Commission members have the responsibility – and the opportunity – to hear from people from diverse backgrounds and all walks of life, and to form concrete recommendations for making this region a stronger, fairer place for everyone.
What is the Commission’s charge?
The Commission’s charge is three-fold:
- Conduct a wide-ranging, in-depth study of the underlying issues brought to light by the events in Ferguson;
- Tap the expertise needed to address the concerns identified by the Commission – from poverty and education, to governance and law enforcement; and
- Issue a report no later than September 15, 2015, containing specific, practical recommendations for making this region a stronger, fairer place for everyone to live.
What authority does the Commission have?
Created by Executive Order, the commission has full authority to conduct hearings, consult experts, assess facts and develop specific policy recommendations to the Governor and other policymakers. The Commission will be led by two co-chairs, the Rev. Starsky Wilson and Rich McClure. The commission’s report will include concrete policy recommendations to create greater equality and opportunity for all.
The commission is made up of citizens who are volunteering their time and expertise to this important project. Ultimately, the commission will deliver its final report to the Governor and the public, but the commission will define its own independent process for conducting hearings, gathering evidence and facts, and developing its recommendations. The Commission’s process will be open and transparent to the public and the media.
What policy areas will the Commission address?
Under the Governor’s executive order, the Ferguson Commission will be responsible for issuing a report with policy recommendations in the following areas: citizen-law enforcement interaction and relations; racial and ethnic relations; municipal government organization and the municipal court system; and disparities in areas including education, economic opportunity, housing, transportation, health care, child care, business ownership, and family and community stability.
Who is on the Commission?
The 16 members of the Commission reflect the rich diversity of the St. Louis region. The Commissioners come from all backgrounds and walks of life, offering a broad away of experience, expertise and opinion. Additionally, the Commission will establish a robust plan for engaging civic and business leaders, faith leaders and members of the community in the process of developing its recommendations. The full list of commission members is available here.
Demographic breakdown: 16 members. 10 men, 6 women. 9 African Americans, 7 Caucasians.
What is the Commission not responsible for?
Responsibility for the investigation into any specific police-involved shooting is not within the scope of the Ferguson Commission.
How frequently will the Commission meet?
The commission will define its own independent process for conducting hearings, gathering evidence and facts, and developing its recommendations.
How long will the Commission meet?
The Commission has until September 15, 2015 to issue its report, but the Governor made clear that he would welcome any interim recommendations made prior to the completion of the final report.
Will the Commission’s meetings be open to the public and the media?
All Commission meetings will be open to the public and the media and subject to the Sunshine law.
What resources will the Commission have?
Public and private funding sources are currently being identified to ensure the Commission has the resources necessary to carry out its charge.