August 5th, 2021 Meeting Minutes

Read time: 6 minutes

Minutes from the August 5th, 2021. Documents and supplemental materials are available below:



August 5, 2021
Special Meeting
10 a.m.

Legislative Office Building (LOB), Hearing Room 1E, 300 Capitol Avenue, Hartford, CT 06106


A special meeting of the Social Equity Council was held in person on August 5, 2021.

1. Call to Order:  

Andréa Comer, Chairperson of the Council, noting the presence of a quorum, called the meeting to order at 10:01 a.m.  Council members present:  
Edwin Shirley 
Corrie Betts 
Avery Gaddis 
Ramón Arroyo
Joseph Williams  
Dr. Kelli Vallieres    
Shawn Wooden
Andréa Comer
David Lehman
Kosta Diamantis, Deputy Secretary, OPM, designee for Michelle McCaw
Subira Gordon (arrived at 10:15am)
Ojala Naeem (attended virtually)

Also Attending:  Governor Ned Lamont  

Staff attending/ presenting:  Patrick Hulin, Office of the Governor and Julianne Avallone, General Counsel, State of Connecticut, Dept. of Consumer Protection.

2. Opening Remarks by Governor Lamont

Governor Lamont spoke of the challenge and opportunity ahead for the Council and the Communities that have been impacted.  He heard from the councilmembers about their interest and what they see as important.

3. Overview of the Legislation, the SECs Role and Duties

David Lehman spoke of the legislation and about the Council’s mandate and duties and timeline for the work. 

A discussion ensued.

4. How the Cannabis Market Will be Created and Regulated

Julianne Avallone, General Counsel, State of Connecticut, Dept. of Consumer Protection spoke of the cannabis market and how social equity applicants will be able to come into the market and become part of this new cannabis industry, and she spoke about the license types, and how the pathways of licensure will work

A discussion ensued.

5. SEC Budget and Staffing Update

Andréa Comer provided a staffing update.  She spoke of the budget, $596,879 that has been approved to staff the Social Equity Council, including an executive director and six additional positions and that governor's office anticipates hiring of an Executive Director, in the very near future, potentially, next week or the week after. 

6. Approval of Disproportionately Impacted Areas

Patrick Hulin, from the Office of the Governor, spoke of the methodology and legislation around the designation of Disproportionately Impacted Areas (DIAs).  He presented a recommended list and map that the governor's office and an interagency team had prepared.

A discussion ensued.

Upon a motion made by Shawn Wooden, and seconded by David Lehman, the Social Equity Council members voted unanimously in favor of approving the Disproportionately Impacted Areas List and Map, as presented.

7. Update on Social Equity Study RFP and Deadline Extension

Andréa Comer spoke of ambitious timeline in the legislation and asked for a motion to postpone the approval the criteria for that the September 15 date and have that taken up by the ad hoc committee.

A discussion ensued.

Upon a motion made by Joseph Williams, and seconded by David Lehman, the Social Equity Council members voted unanimously in favor of postponing the approval of the criteria for the Social Equity Study RFP, extending the deadline to 9/15 or before.

8. Process Discussion: Subcommittees and Approval of Special Meeting Schedule

Andréa Comer spoke of the work for the committee and suggested a monthly meeting and several Ad Hoc committees to move the work forward.

A discussion ensued.

A poll will be taken to help schedule the upcoming meetings. Ad hoc committees will include, to start:  RFP committee, Governance Committee, Outreach and Engagement Committee, Finance Committee, and a Workforce Development Committee. 

Upon a motion made by David Lehman and seconded by Joseph Williams, the Social Equity Council members voted unanimously in favor of establishing the Ad Hoc committees.

9. Adjournment:  

Upon a motion made by David Lehman, and seconded by Shawn Wooden, the Social Equity Council members voted unanimously to adjourn the August 5, 2021 special meeting at 11:55 a.m.  



Meeting Power Point Presentation
Interactive Map with Approved Census Tracts



Meeting Minutes