Arts and Cultural Affairs - Divisions of History and Public Records - The Amistad Commission - Amistad commission; established

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§ 57.52. Amistad commission; established. 1. The Amistad commission
(commission), so named in honor of the group of enslaved Africans led by
Joseph Cinque who, while being transported in eighteen hundred
thirty-nine on a vessel named the Amistad, gained their freedom after
overthrowing the crew and eventually having their case successfully
argued before the United States Supreme Court, is hereby created and
established. The commission shall consist of nineteen members, including
the secretary of state or his or her designee, the commissioner of
education or his or her designee, and the chancellor of the state
university of New York or his or her designee, serving ex officio, and
sixteen public members. Public members shall be appointed as follows:
four public members, no more than two of whom shall be of the same
political party, shall be appointed by the temporary president of the
senate; four public members, no more than two of whom shall be of the
same political party, shall be appointed by the speaker of the assembly;
and eight public members, no more than four of whom shall be of the same
political party, shall be appointed by the governor. The public members
shall be residents of the state, chosen with due regard to broad
geographic representation and ethnic diversity, who have an interest in
the history of the African slave trade and slavery in America and the
contributions of African-Americans to our society.

2. Each public member of the commission shall serve for a term of
three years, except that of the initial members so appointed: one member
appointed by the temporary president of the senate, one member appointed
by the speaker of the assembly, and two members appointed by the
governor shall serve for terms of one year; one member appointed by the
temporary president of the senate, one member appointed by the speaker
of the assembly, and three members appointed by the governor shall serve
for terms of two years; and two members appointed by the temporary
president of the senate, two members appointed by the speaker of the
assembly, and three members appointed by the governor shall serve for
terms of three years. Public members shall be eligible for
reappointment. They shall serve until their successors are appointed and
qualified, and the term of the successor of any incumbent shall be
calculated from the expiration of the term of that incumbent. A vacancy
occurring other than by expiration of term shall be filled in the same
manner as the original appointment but for the unexpired term only.

3. The members of the commission shall serve without compensation but
shall be entitled to reimbursement for all necessary expenses incurred
in the performance of their duties.

4. The secretary of state, or his or her designee, shall serve as the
chair and the commissioner of education, or his or her designee, shall
serve as the vice-chair of the commission. The presence of a majority of
the authorized membership of the commission shall be required for the
conduct of official business.

5. The department of education shall provide technical assistance and
data to the commission as may be necessary for the commission to carry
out its responsibilities pursuant to this article.