Northam signs legislation establishing Virginia African American Advisory Board

Gov. Ralph Northam has signed House Bill 2767, sponsored by Del. Lamont Bagby, creating the Virginia African American Advisory Board.

The board will be composed of 21 nonlegislative citizen members appointed by the Governor, and at least 15 of the members must be African American. The Secretaries of the Commonwealth, Commerce and Trade, Education, Health and Human Resources, and Public Safety and Homeland Security will also serve on the board as ex-officio members.

“To build a more accessible, inclusive, and equitable Commonwealth we must ensure the voices of all Virginians are heard, particularly those from underrepresented and historically disenfranchised communities,” said Gov. Northam. “I am pleased to sign this bill into law, and I look forward to working closely with the members of this board to advance policies and legislation to promote the economic, social, educational, and cultural wellbeing of the African American community in Virginia.”

The Virginia African American Advisory Board is charged with advising the Governor on developing economic, professional, cultural, educational, and governmental links between state government and the African American community. Two other existing state boards, the Virginia Latino Advisory Board and the Virginia Asian Advisory Board, also serve to advise the Governor on issues affecting their respective communities in Virginia, including education, health equity, public safety, and minority-owned businesses.

“The creation of this board is far overdue,” said Del. Bagby. “Establishing the Virginia African American Advisory Board ensures that the African American community has a permanent voice in the Commonwealth’s executive branch, and I thank my colleagues in the General Assembly for putting their full support behind this important body.”

Information about applying to serve on this board, or the many other state boards and commissions in Virginia, can be found at the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s website.

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