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Beyond the report: Ferguson Commission seeks applications for group that would follow its work

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, right foreground, meets privately with the Ferguson Commission before accepting its recommendations at a press conference in Florissant on Sept. 14, 2015.
Bill Greenblatt I UPI
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, right, meets privately with the Ferguson Commission before accepting their recomendations at a press conference in Florissant on Sept. 14.

The Ferguson Commission is looking for a group that will help follow through with its policy recommendations.

The commission’s final report called for major changes to the region’s health care, education and policing policies. And since the commission is set to expire on Dec. 31, Commissioners want to find an existing organization that will monitor efforts to implement those ideas.

A news release said the commission is seeking what it calls a "core intermediary," described as "one organization or a partnership of organizations with a designated lead — to provide infrastructure and support to advance the work of the Ferguson Commission." 

Ferguson Commissioner Rose Windmiller said the organization the commission selects would provide staffing and fundraising expertise “to get the implementation started and sort of act as a community engagement organization.” 

“Basically, the Ferguson Commission is concerned at this point with making sure that there is a translation strategy set up that will allow the recommendations in the report and the calls to action to be coordinated and to have a group that would move forward and try to implement those recommendations,” said Windmiller in a telephone interview.

Here’s one tangible example of how the “core intermediary” would work: Some nonprofit groups and corporations have expressed interest in putting some educational and economic development-related recommendations into effect. Windmiller said the “core intermediary” would provide those groups “with the needed infrastructure to help them work together.”

“We would certainly want the core intermediary and the leadership group associated with that to have a long-term strategy,” Windmiller said. “I can’t speak to exactly how long, but I imagine it would be a process that would certainly take longer than 12 months.”

Windmiller said she didn’t know how much the commission is willing to spend for its core intermediary. She added “we’re still sort of combing through the existing budget of the Ferguson Commission to see what’s available in terms of this next phase.”

The deadline for applications is Oct. 16. She said the three finalists would present to the commission at a Nov. 9 public meeting. And she added that the commission would likely select a finalist at that same gathering.

In addition to finding a group overseeing efforts to implement the commission’s recommendations, Windmiller said commissioners would be looking for “a group of people who have expertise with evaluation and research” who can “develop a set of benchmarks and an evaluation tool to determine whether or not we’re meeting those benchmarks.”

“So I see that as another role for the Ferguson Commission between now and the end of December,” Windmiller said. “I think those are two areas that we’ll be focusing on.”

Jason is the politics correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.