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Michigan Redistricting Collaborative. Supporting the radical notion that Electoral Districts should be drawn to meet the needs of the public – not politicians. Goals of today’s presentation. Describe the Michigan Redistricting Collaborative Who Why What

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michigan redistricting collaborative
Michigan Redistricting Collaborative

Supporting the radical notion that Electoral Districts should be drawn to meet the needs of the public – not politicians

goals of today s presentation
Goals of today’s presentation
  • Describe the Michigan Redistricting Collaborative
    • Who
    • Why
    • What
  • Inform you on how redistricting works
    • State and local level
  • Talk about why the current system needs to be changed
    • Fairness
    • Transparency
  • Offer some ideas to improve the process
    • More public input
who why what of the collaborative
Who, why, what of the collaborative
  • Coalition of non-profits
    • Business
    • Labor
    • Public interest
  • Support more transparent and open redistricting process
    • More involvement from the public
    • Less control from partisan politicians
  • Informing the public
    • Meetings
    • Web site and handouts
    • Media
why michigan redistricting collaborative
Why Michigan Redistricting Collaborative?
  • Nonprofits are trusted assets in communities.
  • Nonprofit organizations can help ensure representation of without access to
    • Lobbyists
    • PACs
    • Other tools that influence redistricting decisions.
how redistricting works
How redistricting works
  • When?
    • Each decade, after the Census figures are available.
  • What?
    • Congressional
    • State
    • County commission
    • Municipal
  • Timing?
    • Data from Census available April 1
    • State redistricting must be done by Nov. 11, 2011
redistricting 101 by the law
Redistricting 101 – by the law
  • The primary rule that must be followed is that districts need to have similar population
    • One (wo)man, one vote principle.
    • Voting Rights Act
  • That’s why we redistrict after each Census
    • Recognize population

changes in a district.

redistricting 101 by the law1
Redistricting 101 – by the law
  • Michigan Constitution says:
    • Compact
    • Contiguous
    • Avoid breaking up political subdivisions (such as municipalities)
redistricting 101 by the law2
Redistricting 101 – by the law
  • Current state law (PA 221 of 1996)says:
    • Congressional district populations must be equal
    • State legislative districts must not fall outside of the 95% to 105% range of the average district size
    • Preservation of municipal and county identity is encouraged
      • District lines should be drawn on municipal or county boundaries
redistricting 101 by the law3
Redistricting 101 – by the law
  • County redistricting follows same guidelines
  • Done by committee of
    • County Clerk
    • County Treasurer
    • County Prosecutor
    • County GOP Chair
    • County Dem Chair
  • Can set the number of commissioners
    • Between 5 and 35
why should we change
Why should we change?
  • Today districts are drawn by elected officials
  • They have vested interest in the outcome
    • Partisan
    • Personal
  • Politicians’ interests are often different than interests of public
why should we change1
Why should we change?
  • Districts usually advantage drawn to advantage political party in control
  • This isn’t a Republican or Democratic matter – both parties do it equally when they have the opportunity.
why should we change5
Why should we change
  • Center for Michigan study of 2000-2010 legislation elections
    • Only about one in seven Michigan residents live in what could be deemed a consistently competitive swing district.
    • In the Michigan House, only 25 of 110 districts changed party control over the past decade
    • In the Michigan Senate, only six of 38.
why should we change6
Why should we change
  • Districts often drawn with a goal of helping elect one particular politician – or hurting another
  • Process influenced by lobbyists

and PACs and other parties

with vested interests.

  • This is not good for democracy. Voters should to be in charge – not politicians and special interests.
michigan redistricting collaborative goals
Michigan Redistricting Collaborative goals
  • Redistricting should
    • Result in representative districts
    • Be done with public input
    • Epitomize transparency
michigan redistricting collaborative goals1
Michigan Redistricting Collaborative goals
  • Other states already are taking the lead in this matter, and giving the people a bigger say in redistricting.
    • California has a citizens’ commission: five Democrats, five Republicans, four other members to draw legislative districts California legislature.
    • Florida voters approved ballot measure to prohibit drawing districts to favor or disfavor an incumbent or political party.
    • Minneapolis approved referendum stopping political parties from appointing partisans the redistricting commission – now a judge will do that using an application process.
    • Iowa has Legislative Service Bureau (nonpartisan) draw three districts, approved by Legislature, with three public hearings.
michigan redistricting collaborative goals2
Michigan Redistricting Collaborative goals
  • State level, support reform legislation
    • Web site with data, tools to let public view and comment on maps draw
    • Four public hearings – 3 outside Lansing
      • Broadcast live on web site
      • Written transcripts/testimony/comments posted
    • Proposed map posted on web site 30 days prior to adoption
      • Info to include: Voting age population
      • Racial makeup
      • Statement why district drawn and how it serves public interest
    • After adoption, Legislature must post written justification
    • All subject to Freedom of Information and Open Meetings acts
michigan redistricting collaborative goals3
Michigan Redistricting Collaborative goals
  • On local level
    • Ask counties to establish independent commissioners
    • Commission recommend plan for adoption by redistricting commissions (treasurer/prosecutor/clerk/county party chairs)
    • Commission to include
      • At least 5 members
      • Not elected officials or related to them
      • Both parties must be represented
      • General public must be represented
    • Subject to FOI/Open Meetings acts
next steps
Next steps
  • Learn more!
    • Visit www.drawthelinemichigan.org
    • Contact your lawmaker and county commissioner
      • Ask for transparency
      • Ask for open meetings
      • Ask for reasons why districts are being drawn
    • Stay involved
      • This is an issue that will be discussed for several years to come. Nobody knows who will be in charge in 2020 – so now is the time for reforms!