Gov. Rick Snyder Issues Executive Order Establishing the Middle-Eastern American Affairs Commission

Date: Feb. 18, 2015
Location: Lansing, MI

Gov. Rick Snyder today signed two executive orders supporting Michigan's minority communities.

Executive order 2015-6, establishes the Middle-Eastern American Affairs Commission which will replace the Michigan Council on Arab and Chaldean American Affairs, created by executive order in 2013. The reorganization and name change reflects the growing diversity of new Americans who have come to Michigan from the Middle East.

"The Middle-Eastern American community is growing in our state and this reorganization will help ensure Michiganders from multiple backgrounds have the best opportunities to actively work together and participate in our comeback," Snyder said.

The 15-member commission will work within the Michigan Department of Civil Rights to monitor, evaluate and provide recommendations to the governor and department regarding issues facing the Middle-Eastern American Community. They will also work to enhance economic opportunity, prevent discrimination and spread awareness of Middle-Eastern American culture. The Director of the Office for New Americans will also serve as an ex officio, non-voting member of the Commission.

Snyder also signed Executive Order 2015-7, appointing the director of the Office for New Americans or his or her designee to serve as a non-voting member of the Michigan Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission and the Hispanic/Latino Commission. The support from the Office for New Americans will improve collaboration and increase efficiency to foster a stronger and more inclusive Michigan economy.

"Establishing a Middle-Eastern American Affairs Commission is an important step in recognizing the significant contributions of this community to Michigan's culture and economy," said Matthew Wesaw, Director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights. "And connecting the two long-standing ethnic commissions more directly to the Office for New Americans will help ensure that we're working together effectively to support both existing communities and Michigan's newest residents."