Democracy Drumbeat: September 14, 2021
Redistricting: Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission set to finish first round of map drawing on September 30
The Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (MICRC) will begin settling on its draft proposed maps on September 23, 2021 according to their current schedule; ending with a vote on September 30, 2021 or possibly Oct 1, 2021.
As the Commission completes its first round of drafting district maps over the next two weeks, submitting public comments and making our voices heard remains vitally important.
As a reminder, you have the right to submit a comment on the Commission’s draft maps and/or submit your own maps via the Commission’s website. Comments about how your community of interest would best be represented and ensuring a fair and transparent process is followed are particularly important at this time.
Second round of public hearings begins October 11th - Join in!
The next important opportunity to engage will come following the release of the proposed maps, scheduled for October 8. The public will then have the opportunity to speak (either in-person or virtually) at 9 public hearings that will be held across the state between October 11th and the 28th.
These public hearings are critical. They need to hear from us! Public engagement ensures the district maps are drawn accurately and also fairly represent the constituents of communities across Michigan.
Second Round of Public Hearings Schedule
*Current schedule 12:30pm doors open for 1-3:30pm public hearing; 4:30pm doors open for 5-8pm public hearing
- Monday, Oct. 10: The Dort Center, Flint
- Tuesday, Oct. 12: Treetop Resorts, Gaylord
- Thursday, Oct. 14: Northern Michigan University, Marquette
- Monday, Oct. 18: Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, Grand Rapids
- Tuesday, Oct. 19: Radisson Plaza Hotel at Kalamazoo Center, Kalamazoo
- Thursday, Oct. 21: Lansing Center, Lansing
- Monday, Oct. 25: Macomb Community College, Warren
- Tuesday, Oct. 26: Schoolcraft College, Livonia
- Thursday, Oct. 28: TCF Center, Detroit
Election of New Chair and Vice Chair
On September 13, 2021, Commissioner Rebecca Szetela was elected chair by the Commission. Commissioner MC Rothorn was elected Vice Chair. The Commissioners tenure will last 6 months.
Redistricting Actions You Can Take:
- Submit a public comment through the online Public Comment Tool
- Meet the Commission! The MICRC is now holding in-person weekly meetings, rotating locations across the state including a college tour. See the full schedule and more information on participating in the redistricting process here.
- If you would like to watch the meetings or learn more about the Commission please visit the MICRC website. After going to the website, you can click on Meeting Notices and Agenda. This will allow for you to sign up to attend remotely or virtual attendance and provide public comment to the Commission. If you would like additional detail, please email our redistricting lead Mark Payne at [email protected].
As voters continue to utilize the popular and historic advances to our voting freedoms, such as no reason absentee voting, an anti-voter organization is seeking to roll back these freedoms with a ballot initiative discussed in our last newsletter. The Michigan Board of Canvassers is due to meet to discuss the proposed summary by the end of September, offering an opportunity to provide public feedback. An announcement will be posted here with details on how to sign up to provide comments in the coming days.
The DFA team and our partners in the WeVoteMI coalition are working to defend our democracy and to ensure every Michigander, regardless of race, gender, religion or zip code, has the freedom to have a voice in the future of our state.
After a historic election last year in the midst of a global pandemic that saw more voters turn out than ever, the DFA team and our partners at WeVoteMI are committed to ensuring our access to the ballot remains uninterrupted. As this anti-voter petition takes shape, we will continue to keep you updated and make sure you are aware of any and all opportunities to get involved in our work to ensure free, fair, accessible elections for Michigan voters across the state.
Voting Rights Actions You Can Take:
- Spread the word with your friends and family that Michigan already has a voter ID law that works. Proposed changes would only make it harder to vote.
- Follow the Board of Canvassers page for details on when and how to comment on the anti-voter petition summary. Details on the date and time of the meeting as well as how to sign up to provide comments in the coming days.