New Congressional and Michigan Legislature Lines Are Being Redrawn. Here’s How Residents Can Weigh In.

The Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission is encouraging community members to submit maps for consideration as they draft new district lines for Michigan’s congressional delegation and state Legislature.

People will have a chance to engage Michigan’s new Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission in the coming weeks. The commission, which is drafting new maps for the state’s congressional districts as well as the Michigan House and Senate, will hold a series of public hearings on Zoom and across the state from now until early July.  

The 16 public hearings will start Tuesday, May 11 in Jackson and end July 1 in Grand Rapids. All meetings are scheduled to start at 6 p.m. Meetings in Dearborn, Novi, Pontiac and Detroit are slated from June 3-17. 

Date Location
Thursday, June 3
Ford Community and Performing Arts Center, Dearborn
Tuesday, June 8
Suburban Collection Showplace, Novi
Thursday, June 10 Centerpoint Marriott, Pontiac
Tuesday, June 15
The Village Dome at Fellowship Chapel, Detroit
Thursday, June 17 TCF Center, Detroit

“The purpose of the public hearings is to listen. To listen to the people who have comments about what their communities of interest are and where they would like the lines to be drawn for their district,” says Suann Hammersmith, executive director of the commission. She says data for the 2020 Census will not be available until August but residents can get engaged now. 

“Not just for their congressional, Senate or House but also for their community of interest,” Woods says. 

Local organizations like the NAACP are reaching out to people who may be unaware of this new mechanism of democracy. 

“Many of these immigrant communities come from places where the fact that voting is a foreign concept,” says Hassan Jaber, president and CEO of the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS). 

The commission offers Arabic, Spanish and sign-language interpretation at its meetings and hearings.  

Susan Smith is vice president of the League of Women Voters in Michigan. She says groups like hers are helping people participate. 

“Anyone who would like some assistance in either submitting their testimony or giving it at the public hearing, please reach out to your local League,” Smith says. 

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  • Eli Newman

    Eli Newman is a Reporter/Producer for 101.9 WDET, covering breaking news, politics and community affairs. His favorite Motown track is “It’s The Same Old Song” by the Four Tops.