Phil Rawls with the Associated Press wrote an interesting piece last month concerning the makeup of the boards and commissions that set policies for state government. It appears nothing changed concerning the make-up of these boards and commissions over the past eight years. They are no more diverse now than they were eight years ago. White men dominate, even though a quarter of Alabama’s residents are black and more than half are women. That’s not good for our state. The report by Examiners of Public Accounts on this subject is worth reviewing. The seats on state boards and commissions held by women amounted to 25.4% at the end of the Riley Administration.
In 2003, African-Americans filled 14.6% of the seats. The percentage went up only slightly to 15.0% near the end of Riley’s term. At that time, white men held 62.7% of the 2,602 positions that existed. Those statistics are a long way from reflecting the state’s population. It’s pretty evident that we need more diversity in state government appointments. I believe that would be good for our state.
The Governor makes the largest number of appointments to state boards and commissions, but a variety of state officials, including the Lieutenant Governor and speaker of the House, also make appointments. I am convinced that Gov. Robert Bentley will be sensitive to diversity.
Source: Associated Press
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