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International Relations and Diaspora Affairs

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Brief bio of the three Newark Diaspora commissions; the African, the Hispanic and the Caribbean commissions.

In 2014 when Mayor Ras Baraka was sworn in for his first term in office, his administration inherited the Newark African Commission as the only diaspora commission in existence at time comprising of only 7 members. Through recommendations from the Mayor's Office of International Relations and Diaspora Affairs (MOIRDA), the Mayor approached the council for approval to establish the Hispanic and the Caribbean Commissions and for the membership of each commission to be up to 21 members. The council approved the Mayor's requests, and through City Ordinance, the diaspora commissions were established in the City of Newark.

The Commissions are to study, develop and recommend to the Mayor, policies, programs and practices which can be effectuated through the instrumentalities of the City government, to improve conditions affecting the cultural, social economic, political, educational, health and general well-being of their demographics and residents of Newark.

The Commissions are to collaborate with and assist other civic and private groups in organizing and sponsoring programs and events promoting and creating cultural awareness and contemporary policy considerations for their demographics and that of all residents of Newark. The Commission interacts with institutions at the international, federal, state and municipal levels of government to promote issues concerning the Commission's agenda.

Membership to the Commission is by appointed by the Mayor and a confirmation by the Municipal Council. After confirmation by the Council, new members are sworn in by the City Clerk as a final step of the membership process. Each member serves for a term of four years, after which the Mayor either reappoints the member or appoints a successor.

The Commission bylaws explain, vacancies, attendance, meetings, committees, anti¬discriminations, dissolutions, removal, resignation and officers, their election, terms and functions.

Both the City Ordinance creating the Commissions and the Commissions bylaws contain more details of the operations of the three Diaspora Commissions.

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