The Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission plans to hold meetings at University of Michigan this week, with key aspects of protecting minority voters primed for the agenda.
The meetings scheduled for Thursday at the Michigan Union Rogel Ballroom come as the new commission works to boost public awareness of and involvement in its efforts. Issues expected to be addressed include racially polarized voting analysis, Voting Rights Act analysis and drawing state senate districts for Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties.
Commissioners are scheduled to hold a virtual student session at 10 a.m. Thursday. The public meetings at the Michigan Union are set to follow from 1-4 p.m. and from 5-8 p.m.
"We’re grateful that these critical discussions on minority voting rights and representation will take place at the University of Michigan,” said Tom Ivacko, director of the Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy (CLOSUP) at U-M’s Ford School of Public Policy.
"The Commission is working diligently to increase public participation in its work, and these meetings in Ann Arbor provide an opportunity for students, the campus community and the public to address the commission as it considers such important topics, and continues drafting new district maps that will be in place for the next decade.”
Using an independent citizens redistricting commission instead of the state legislature to redraw state and federal legislative districts was a change approved by Michigan voters in 2018 to end partisan gerrymandering.
CLOSUP is the primary U-M host and planning group for the meetings. Others helping organize similar meetings around the state include the Campus Election Engagement Project and the Campus Vote Project.
Additional organizations involved in the hosting and organizing the meeting include the Ford School and its Program in Practical Policy Engagement, the Edward Ginsberg Center and Turn Up Turnout.
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