New redistricting maps would wipe out all majority-Black districts in Michigan, Sen. Hollier says

Oct 12, 2021 at 11:05 am
click to enlarge Lansing State Capitol Building in Michigan under the cover of darkness. - McKeeDigital, Shutterstock
McKeeDigital, Shutterstock
Lansing State Capitol Building in Michigan under the cover of darkness.

Michigan would lose all 17 majority-Black legislative districts under new maps drawn up by the state’s redistricting panel, according to Sen. Adam Hollier, D-Detroit.

The Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission, which includes four Democrats, four Republicans, and five independents, advanced the newly drawn maps for state Senate and House districts on Monday. The commission was tasked with redrawing the boundaries after Republicans created heavily gerrymandered districts following the 2010 census.

Under the current boundaries, there are 17 districts that are predominately Black. But the new proposed boundaries would wipe out all of them and dilute representation of Detroit, the state's largest city, Hollier said.

“They drew districts that are not indicative of Black communities and Detroit,” Hollier said in a statement. “They drew the City of Detroit into districts that Detroiters will not win, and Black people will not win because a majority of the voter base are in suburban communities particularly in primaries where Democratic races are decided.”

In redrawing the districts, commissioners are required to comply with the federal Voting Rights Act, which requires equal opportunity for minority voters to elect representatives of their choice. Hollier argued that Michigan voters tend to vote for people in their own race, so fewer Black lawmakers would be elected under the new boundaries.

Hollier is calling on the commission to start over and preserve the Black-majority districts. He plans to hold a press conference in Detroit at 1 p.m. Tuesday.

The commission plans to hold public hearings on the new maps on Oct. 11-12.

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

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