MLA Partnership With the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission

March 25, 2021

The Michigan Library Association has agreed to work in partnership with the communications team from the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission. The purpose of these partnerships is to work with other statewide organizations, operating in an impartial and transparent manner, and that reinforces public confidence in the integrity of the redistricting process. Libraries have been identified as a key partner and as such, MLA wants to make sure that our library community is integral in getting Michigan citizens involved in the redistricting process.

In 2018, Michigan voters passed Proposal 2, a ballot initiative for voters, and not legislators, to take responsibility for nonpartisan redistricting, which created the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (MICRC). The commission is comprised of 13 randomly selected Michigan residents that include four Democrats, five Independents, and four Republicans. The MICRC is responsible for redistricting the U.S. Congressional, Michigan House, and Michigan Senate districts.

As the process is unfolding, and before commissioners draft any redistricting plan, the commission will be holding at least 10 public hearings throughout the state of Michigan. The purpose of the public meetings is to: 1) inform the public about the redistricting process, 2) share the purpose and responsibilities of the commission, and 3) solicit information from the public about potential redistricting plans.

The commission is looking to use the following criteria in determining new district lines and public input is critical:

  1. Equal population and Voting Rights Act
  2. Geographically contiguous
  3. Communities of interest
  4. No disproportionate advantage to any political party
  5. No favor or disfavor to an incumbent elected official or a candidate
  6. Reflect consideration of county, city, and township boundaries
  7. Reasonably compact

How can libraries become involved?

MLA is hoping to hear more in the coming weeks about how to best partner with the MICRC and get libraries involved. For now, we encourage libraries to familiarize themselves with the information provided by MICRC and to encourage your library patrons to become involved. Wouldn’t it be fun if libraries add a program and held a “mapping” day to encourage submissions of district drawings?

While the dates and places for the public meetings are still being confirmed, this is the current schedule. *All dates below are subject to change:

May 4 – Gaylord (2 meeting times), Treetop Resorts

May 6 – Marquette (2 meeting times), Northern Michigan University

May 11 – Muskegon, Lakeshore Convention Center

May 13 – Grand Rapids (2 meeting times), DeVos Center

May 18 – Jackson, Jackson Community College

May 20 – Kalamazoo, Wings Stadium

May 25 – Midland, Great Hall Banquet and Convention Center

May 27 – Lansing (2 meeting times), Lansing Center

June 1 – Pontiac, TBD

June 3 – Flint (2 meeting times), The Dort Center

June 8 – Novi (2 meeting times), Suburban Collection Showcase

June 10 – Dearborn, Ford Conference Center

June 15 – Detroit, Wayne County Community College Northwest

June 17 – Detroit (2 meeting times), TCF Center

Michigan citizens are encouraged to send questions, ideas to increase awareness and engagement and/or provide public comments about Michigan’s redistricting process to [email protected] or mail them to MICRC, P.O. Box 30318, Lansing, MI 48909.

To learn more about Michigan’s new redistricting process or obtain more information about the upcoming public hearings please visit www.michigan.gov/MICRC.

 


Uniting the Michigan Library Community

MLA is proud to partner with organizations serving the library community.


Friends of Michigan Libraries logo