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Press Releases

02/26/2020

Secretary of the State Denise Merrill Releases Updated Report: Gender and Racial Composition of Connecticut State Boards and Commissions

Although progress towards appointing women and people of color to state boards and commissions has been made, the gender and racial composition of Connecticut’s boards and commissions still fails to fully reflect the diversity of the people of our state

HARTFORD – Secretary of the State Denise Merrill today released an updated Gender and Racial Composition of Connecticut State Boards and Commissions report.

“Representation on Connecticut’s boards and commissions matters,” said Secretary Merrill. “One of Connecticut’s strengths is our diversity, and our boards and commissions should strive to incorporate that diversity into their membership. Although this report shows that our boards and commissions have become more diverse over time, we still have a way to go until their membership fully represents the strength of Connecticut.”

Pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes Title 4 Section 9b, appointed state boards and commissions have been required to report for close to three decades, in writing, the gender and racial makeup of their board or commission to the Office of the Secretary of the State. This statute also requires appointing authorities for the state’s boards and commissions to make a good faith effort for their appointee to those boards and commissions to reflect the gender and racial diversity of Connecticut. This report reflects the 160 boards and commissions that participated in the survey sent by the Secretary to Connecticut’s 256 appointed boards and commissions. The report represents one data set, and could not possibly tell the whole story of how Connecticut’s boards and commissions integrate diverse viewpoints into their decision-making.

Secretary Merrill has invited the various appointing authorities, including the Offices of the Governor and Lieutenant Governor and legislative leadership of all four caucuses, as well as interested legislative stakeholders like the Black and Puerto Rican Caucus and the Women’s Caucus, to meet and discuss the report’s findings. Those meetings are expected to take place in the next few weeks.

The report and the underlying data are available on the website of the Office of the Secretary of the State here.

Those interested in serving as a member of a Board, Council, or Commission can apply here.

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