By CAITLIN TAYLOR
Capital News Service
LANSING — At 14 percent, African-Americans are the largest ethnic minority group in Michigan, according to census data, but there is no state commission dedicated to the needs of this community. “Currently in Michigan, we have a Hispanic/Latino Commission, an Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission and a Commission on Middle Eastern American Affairs, but we have nothing in terms of civil rights for African-Americans,” said Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “I think this is a huge oversight.”
To bridge the gap, Jones re-introduced legislation this month to create an African-American affairs commission focused on improving equality and opportunity for African-Americans in the state. According to the bill, the commission would consist of 15 members who have a particular interest or expertise in the African-American community. They would be appointed by the governor.