On Wednesday, you have a chance to weigh in on some historic decision-making when it comes to Michigan's political boundaries.
The first of five public hearings on 10 proposed draft maps for the State House, State Senate and Congress kicks off at TCF Center.
Related: View the proposed maps for redistricting in Michigan
For the first time in our state's history, the maps are decided with the help of public input by an independent citizen's commission, not elected lawmakers.
There are a couple of ways to weigh in. In-person at the TCF Center from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m., or remotely, but you'll need to sign up for that by 3 p.m.
Each person will have 90 seconds to share their thoughts on the current drafts, something members of the redistricting commission will consider in finalizing our state's new political boundaries next month.
The Michigan Independent Citizen's Redistricting Commission is comprised of four Democrats, four Republicans and five Independents. The commission began to vote on the draft maps earlier this month after seven weeks of making them.
Per state rules, Wednesday is the first of five public hearings required for the one-in-a-decade process, designed to avoid partisan gerrymandering.
“This is really an opportunity to hear how the Michigan residents feel about the maps. Does it incorporate their communities of interest? Is there something that’s missing from the maps from their perspective?” Edward Woods III, the commission's communications and outreach director, said.
The drafts are expected to be fairer to Democrats than past maps drawn by Republican lawmakers in 2011.
There is some concern the new boundaries could make it harder to elect Black legislators, concern felt in Detroit, said Democratic State Sen. Adam Hollier.
"Black people make 14% of the state’s population and 12% of the legislators, two-thirds of those members are from Detroit. If we decimate how black people get elected in this state. It will have far-reaching impact across the state.," he said.
For more information, go to https://www.michigan.gov/micrc or call 833-YOU-DRAW.