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redistricting commission

A sign points out a Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission meeting in Midland.
Brett Dahlberg / WCMU News

Today on Stateside, former Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s pretrial begins in the ongoing legal battle over the Flint Water Crisis. We check in on what the committee in charge of redrawing political districts is hearing in public comments. Then, a conversation with a former head coach of the Detroit Pistons about race and politics in the NBA. Plus, the best cicada recipes for your summer cookout.

A sign points out a Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission meeting in Midland.
Brett Dahlberg / WCMU News

Michigan’s 2-1-1 hotline, which offers support to people who need help paying bills, finding shelter and handling family crises, will now also help people contact the commission in charge of drawing new political maps.

The Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission has been holding meetings across the state to gather suggestions about how to assign the state’s population to legislative districts.

The U.S. Capitol
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The final numbers are still on their way, but initial data from the U.S. Census Bureau offers a glimpse at population trends across the country. In Michigan, the state’s population has grown at a slower rate than that of states in other parts of the country. And that means the state is set to lose a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

congressional map of Michigan
Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Michigan’s independent redistricting commission is seeking more time to redraw the state’s political maps, citing expected delays in the release of the 2020 Census data. 

Clay Banks / Unsplash

Today, on Stateside, Michigan’s redistricting commission asks for more time. Plus, one writer considers personal and public tragedies while delivering water to folks in Flint. 

congressional map of Michigan
Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Michigan’s new Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission, which was approved by voters in 2018, is continuing its work of drawing new congressional and legislative districts for the state. In recent weeks, the commission has encountered some challenges related to timing and funding, especially as 2020 Census data needed for the process won’t be available until July. As the group continues meeting virtually — which members of the public are encouraged to get involved in — Stateside took a look at the history of the representation Michigan has now, and why there’s been a movement to change the state’s legislative map.

congressional map of Michigan
Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Last week, the U.S. Census Bureau announced states wouldn’t receive the data they need to draw new legislative maps until the end of September.

That could create problems for Michigan’s new Independent Citizen’s Redistricting Commission.

In a press conference Tuesday, Executive Director Sue Hammersmith said the commission hasn’t had a chance to talk about the delay yet but a plan should come together in the next few weeks.

Michigan.gov YouTube

Today, on Stateside, Governor Gretchen Whitmer delivers her third State of the State address after a year filled with crisis after crisis. Also, a big political shake up could be coming as legislative boundaries are redrawn this year. And yes, you can get involved.

congressional map of Michigan
Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

In 2018, Michigan voters passed the Independent Redistricting Commission Initiative (Proposal 2). In doing so, they commenced a process in which everyday citizens — rather than people who hold political office — draw the state’s new legislative districts, which are based on data from the 2020 Census. Now that the Census has finished gathering data from the public, who exactly is doing the work of redefining Michigan’s congressional boundaries? That would be a group of 13 randomly selected Michiganders who make up the state’s Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission. And maybe you, too.

congressional map of Michigan
Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

The state is moving forward with preparations for redistricting following the passage of Proposal 2 in 2018. The ballot initiative established the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission, which is tasked with redrawing Michigan’s congressional districts based on the 2020 census. Thirteen people—none of whom are political officeholders—were randomly chosen for the commission, which will be overseen by Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s office. 

Livestream screenshot from selection process / MI SOS

The thirteen members of Michigan's new redistricting commission were randomly selected Monday, with the process livestreamed so all residents could watch.  

Voters approved the commission in 2018 to shift redistricting authority from politicians to citizens.