EXECUTIVE ORDER CREATING THE GOVERNOR'S COMMISSION ON DISCRIMINATION AND HATE CRIMES
WHEREAS, the population and demographic makeup of the State of Illinois makes the appreciation, tolerance and acceptance of diverse cultures imperative;
WHEREAS, no person or group of people should have to live in fear because of their race, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation or religious beliefs;
WHEREAS, the manifestation of discrimination in the form of violence has a negative impact not only on the victim, but his or her community, and can have a lasting adverse effect on our society;
WHEREAS, stereotypical thinking and biases still plague our society;
WHEREAS, Illinois has a strong tradition of combating discrimination and hate-based violence by statutorily addressing crimes such as aggravated battery, theft, criminal trespassing, disorderly conduct and telephone harassment committed because of the victim's race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, gender, sexual orientation or disability; and
WHEREAS, we must continue to work to build a society that is bias and hate free so that our children are protected against discrimination, punishment and violence that is based on race, ethnicity, color, creed, religious belief, sexual orientation or social status.
THEREFORE, I, Rod R. Blagojevich, order the following:
There shall be established the Governor's Commission on Discrimination and Hate Crimes.
The purpose of the Commission shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
- To work in partnership with community leaders, educators, religious leaders, social service agencies, elected officials and the public to identify and uproot sources of discrimination and bias at the source.
- To work with local governments, law enforcement officials including prosecutors, educators and community organizations by assisting with the development of resources, training and information that allows for a swift and efficient response to hate motivated crimes and incidents.
- To work with educators throughout Illinois on issues confronting discrimination and hate, teaching acceptance and embracing diversity at academic institutions.
- To help ensure that the state's laws addressing discrimination and hate-related violence are widely known and applied correctly to help eradicate and prevent crimes based on discrimination and intolerance.
- To make recommendations to the Governor and the General Assembly for statutory and programmatic changes necessary to eliminate discrimination and hate-based violence.
- To help implement recommendations by working with the Governor's agencies, the General Assembly, the business community, the social service community and other organizations.
- The Commission shall consist of a chairperson and at least twenty but not more than thirty additional members, all appointed by the Governor to serve at the pleasure of the Governor.
- Members may include, but are not limited to, persons who are active in and knowledgeable about the following areas: law enforcement, the criminal and civil justice system, education, human rights, business and industry, arts and culture, social services and religion.
- Members shall serve without compensation, but may be reimbursed for expenses.
- The Commission will be provided assistance and necessary staff support services by the Office of the Governor and the agencies of state government involved in the issues to be addressed by it.
- The Commission shall submit an annual report to the Governor and the General Assembly by March 30 of each year.
IV. SAVINGS CLAUSE
Nothing in this Executive Order shall be construed to contravene any state or federal law.
If any provision of this Executive Order or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid by any court of competent jurisdiction, this invalidity does not affect any other provision or application of this Executive Order which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application. To achieve this purpose, the provisions of this Executive Order are declared to be severable.
VI. EFFECTIVE DATE
This Executive Order shall be in full force and effect upon its filing with the Secretary of State.
Rod R. Blagojevich, Governor
Issued by Governor: August 29, 2005
Filed with Secretary of State: August 29, 2005