Michigan redistricting panel urges residents to show up & speak up on maps

Posted at 10:57 AM, Oct 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-19 10:57:42-04

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Members of Michigan's redistricting commission are urging residents to speak up about draft congressional and legislative maps.

The first of five public hearings will be held Wednesday in Detroit. The panel wants feedback on 10 maps it drew collaboratively along with several more that were proposed by individual commissioners.

Related: View the proposed maps for redistricting in Michigan

“Show up, speak up. We need the input from our citizens. It's a citizen-driven process to draw fair maps,” said MC Rothhorn, one of four Democrats on the commission, which also includes four Republican and five members who affiliate with neither major party.

The voter-created panel is responsible for the once-a-decade, post census redistricting process instead of the Legislature, which controlled map drawing the last two decades and was criticized for gerrymandering. Courts previously oversaw redistricting after a prior apportionment commission deadlocked and later was declared invalid.

Public meetings also are scheduled for Thursday in Lansing, Friday in Grand Rapids, Monday in Gaylord and Oct. 26 in Flint. People will have 90 seconds to speak, in person or virtually.

Commissioners said they are open to making changes to the drafts, including wholesale ones. They must factor in criteria such as keeping “communities of interest” together and ensuring the maps do not disproportionally favor one political party.