Maybe as long as two years ago, a state legislator called me to say that they were trying to get a commission created to deal with racial disparities, and would I agree to be on it if asked. Last January, the Governor announced that such a commission would be created, and it made front page news; I got a lot of reporter calls about it, many asking me if I’d be on the commission. I said I did not know if I’d be asked, but I’d serve if asked. The commission got created in late March and had its first meeting in April. The fact that the commission had actually been appointed was not news and was buried in a short paragraph in back pages. We were supposed to report in October, but this was impossible. Given the expertise on the commission, we could have begun writing our report at the first meeting and done a good job, but it was deemed important to get testimony from stakeholders and the public, and there were some things we learned we did not already know. Because of that, and other often-frustrating organizational issues I will not go into, we had to defer the deadline and were not able to really write the report until January. It is released today in the middle of one of the most exciting political weeks of the decade. I am assuming it will get essentially zero play, as “news hole effects” (which I’ve researched) mean that any bit of news is inevitably in conflict with other news. All I can hope is that our recommendations might get implemented despite the total lack of public discussion that can be expected from the timing of all this.