Nixon to create commission to address issues raised by Ferguson events

Gov. Jay Nixon announced Tuesday that he will create an independent commission to study and make specific recommendations for how to make progress on the issues raised by events in Ferguson.

The governor said the effort must include a thorough and wide-ranging examination of the challenges that were exposed and exacerbated by the death of Michael Brown and its aftermath, and offer specific recommendations for overcoming them.

“Throughout the history of our nation, we have struggled to treat all our citizens as equals,” Nixon stated in a news release. “Too often we have fallen short of the guiding principles on which our great democracy was founded. For too many, the promise of unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, rings hollow.”

“Some people would tell you that the choice is one thing or the other: Trust or force. Speech or silence. Black or white. It is far more complicated than that. Legitimate issues are being expressed by thoughtful voices that must be heard. People yelling past one another will not move us to where we need to go … We need to solve these problems ourselves, we need to solve them together, and we need to act now.”

The governor said that the commission, through an executive order, will be charged with three main goals:

• Conduct a thorough, wide-ranging and unflinching study of the underlying social and economic conditions underscored by the unrest in the wake of the death of Michael Brown.

• Tap into expertise needed to address key concerns identified by the commission — from poverty and education, to governance and law enforcement;

• Make specific recommendations for making the St. Louis region a stronger, fairer place for everyone to live.

The members of the commission will be announced early next month. Missourians interested in serving on the commission can visit

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