Letter to the Editor: Mich. Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission & Communities of Interest

You may not be aware that you have an opportunity to influence redistricting in Michigan.

In 2018 over 60% of Michigan’s citizens voted to amend Michigan’s constitution by passing Proposition 2. Proposition 2 created the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (MICRC), a randomly selected 13-member commission made up of four Republicans, four Democrats, and five people who identify with neither party. Using census information, the commission is tasked with drawing lines for US Congressional districts, State Senate, and House districts.

The commission began its work in September 2020.  All meetings are open to the public. (Information on viewing the meetings is available on the Secretary of State webpage.) In drawing district lines, the commission must abide by criteria set forth in the constitutional amendment. One of the criteria is, “Districts shall reflect the state's diverse population and communities of interest. Communities of interest (COI) may include, but shall not be limited to, populations that share cultural or historical characteristics or economic interests. Communities of interest do not include relationships with political parties, incumbents, or political candidates.”

Before the commission drafts a redistricting plan, it is required to hold public hearings throughout the state to inform the public about the process, purpose, and responsibilities of the commission. The commission will also solicit information from the public, “the commission shall receive for consideration written submissions of proposed redistricting plans and any supporting materials, including underlying data, from any member of the public.”

You, as a citizen of Michigan, are invited to actively participate in the redistricting process during these hearings. League of Women Voters Mt Pleasant Area will present a VIRTUAL TOWN HALL on April 14 at 7 p.m. to better acquaint citizens with the work of the MICRC and the process of identifying Communities of Interest.

Register for the town hall, hosted by Isabella County Commission on Aging by emailing: mjerome@isabellacounty.org

Secretary of State: Michigan.gov
League of Women Voters Mt Pleasant Area: lwvmpmi.org
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