Officials, Activists Sound Alarm on ‘Unacceptable’ Redistricting Maps 

Citizens in Michigan voted in 2018 to rid gerrymandering, a referendum lead by the group Voter, Not Politicians. In previous years, gerrymandering allowed politicians to draw up maps to manipulate or cast favor to one political party or for election results they want.  Starting in 2022, the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission, a bipartisan group, will take on the role of drawing up new boundaries state-wide.

 

According to the State of Michigan’s website, the commission’s mission is to “assure Michigan’s Congressional, State Senate and State House district lines are drawn fairly in a citizen lead, transparent process, meeting Constitutional mandates.”

 

The criteria for reaching a fair and equitable standard calls on the commission to access equal population, adhere to the voting rights act, community interest, and partisan fairness.

 

Recently, elected officials and community activists gathered outside the Spirt of Detroit statue to calls for change to the way the current commission is slicing and dicing the maps. Instead of politicians, the commission will decide the district boundaries on how citizens are represented on the state and congressional level.

Senator Adam Hollier believes this commission has drafted maps that have cut up Detroit an “unacceptable and untenable” way.

“We need to maintain the number of majority-minority districts at every level which is two at the congressional level, five at the State Senate level, and 10 at the State House,” said State Senator Hollier. “We live in a state that has racially-polarized voting, which means people tend to vote for people in their same race.”

“We find that these measures are being designed to keep us out of bound”, said Rev. Wendell Anthony, President of the Detroit Branch NAACP. “We find that these maps being formed are designed not to include us but to exclude us. These packs which were designed by racking, stacking, packing, are designed to keep us out”.

Many of the attendees who chanted and sent a clear unified voice are calling for the drawing of maps that include more Black Detroiters as a part of the electorate.

“You need to have folks who are going to represent you”, said Cynthia A. Johnson, State Representative, 5th District. “What they are attempting to do is dilute the weak vote they we have, …if the maps are allowed to happen, we are not going to have representation, period!”

 

Hollier argues the importance of communities of color having appropriate representation. He believes Detroiters and Black citizens will not have districts where they can elect the person of their choice, based on drafted maps by the commission. “They drew districts that are not indicative of black communities and Detroit. They drew the City of Detroit into districts that Detroiters won’t win and Black people won’t win because majority of the voter base are in suburban communities particularly in primaries where Democratic races are decided.”

 

 

The Michigan Independent Citizen Redistricting Commission Michigan’s independent redistricting commission voted Monday to take 10 newly drawn maps to the public. A series of hearings will begin next week including October 20th at the TCF Center in Detroit.

The commission believes their drafted maps represent the best balance between equal representation, community interests, civil rights and partisan fairness.

“The commissioners have been very responsive to communities that have testified,” Hollier adds. “I think the commissioners want to draw good maps they just need Detroiters to participate.”

Citizens when can register to give community feedback for upcoming public hearings. To find out more information and how to view drafted maps visit www.michigan.gov/micrc

From the Web

X