Michigan redistricting commission to take final vote on new maps

click to enlarge State Sen. Adam Hollier speaks during a rally in Detroit for new district maps. - STEVE NEAVLING
Steve Neavling
State Sen. Adam Hollier speaks during a rally in Detroit for new district maps.
The Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission holds a public meeting today in Detroit, to hear what people think about new congressional, state House and state Senate voting-district maps.

The 45-day window to make comments on the proposals ends at the end of December, when the Commission will take a final vote.

Michael Davis, Jr., redistricting campaign director for the group Promote the Vote in Michigan, said Michiganders have already submitted more public comments than voters in California. He hopes the Commission will take all the feedback into account, including what voters say today in Detroit.

"The Commission can listen a little bit more around communities of interest and how those Metro districts need to be configured," Davis contended. "I think that's going to be one of the biggest things that the Commission can do. Just listen, these last few weeks."

Davis thinks some of the Commission's proposed majority-minority districts are "skinny." They pass through multiple cities or do not have enough connectivity between neighborhoods. He added Promote the Vote submitted recommendations, including three more districts based on the Voting Rights Act than the Commission brought forward.

Davis argued keeping communities of interest together is critical to make sure all of Michigan's diverse voices are heard.

"They have the potential to elect someone that maybe, if they don't look like them, could be from their neighborhood, and carry and champion those same issues," Davis explained.

He added in past redistricting cycles, Michigan has seen racial and political gerrymandering. He emphasized it will take a serious look at equity and long-term vision to ensure all Michiganders feel they are able to hold their elected officials accountable.

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