LANSING — On June 6, Governor Rick Snyder issued Executive Order 2013-9, establishing the Michigan Council on Arab and Chaldean American Affairs, which will be housed within the State’s Department of Civil Rights.
The new council replaces the Advisory Council on Arab and Chaldean American Affairs. The 10-member council will advise the Governor and the Department on issues related to, and affecting, the Arab and Chaldean communities in Michigan. It will also serve to promote awareness of their culture and history. The executive order repeals EO 2004-33, which had established the 33-member Advisory Council on Arab and Chaldean American Affairs nine years ago.
“By reducing the size and enhancing efficiencies, this restructured council will better serve the needs of Arab and Chaldean Americans in Michigan,” Snyder said.
Appointments to the new council will be made after the executive order takes effect. EO 2013-9 is expected to take effect on August 6 (60 days from the date that it was filed). Council members will also have term limits.
The Arab American News reached out to the Governor’s office in an effort to obtain more information, regarding the reduced size of the council and its expected effectiveness in serving both communities, but has not received a response as of press time.
Southeast Michigan is home to the largest concentration of Arab and Chaldean Americans in the entire country, with an estimated 500,000 Arab Americans and 120,000 Chaldean Americans in the region.
All budgeting, procurement, and related management functions of the Council are expected to be performed under the direction and supervision of the Director of the Department of Civil Rights. Members of the Council will also serve without compensation, but may receive reimbursement for necessary travel and expenses, in accordance to the relevant statutes and rules and procedures of the Department.
The full text of EO 2013-9 is available at www.michigan.gov/snyder.