Current and former lawmakers and political activists say the maps violate the Voting Rights Act by diluting minority populations in districts particularly in southeast Michigan.

Not everyone is happy with Michigan’s new legislative and congressional maps. There’s plenty of criticism coming from all sides of the political spectrum. On Monday, a group of current and former lawmakers and political activists announced their intention to file the first major lawsuit challenging the maps themselves. 

“We have rights in this country just like everybody else, and we should have a right to self-determination.” — Keith Williams, chairman of the Michigan Democratic Party Black Caucus 

They claim that the maps violate the Voting Rights Act by diluting minority populations in districts particularly in southeast Michigan. 


Listen: The reasons why a lawsuit is being filed to prevent Michigan’s new maps from going into effect.


Guests

Keith Williams is a chairman of the Michigan Democratic Party Black Caucus and a plaintiff in the lawsuit challenging new district maps over concerns about representation, particularly of Black Detroiters. Williams says the population of nonwhite residents in a particular southeast Michigan district needs to reach a 50% threshold. “Black folks need to represent Black folks,” he says, noting that two blocks in the newly drawn districts on the east side of Detroit stretch into Clinton Township, making those blocks underrepresented. 

“We have rights in this country just like everybody else,” says Williams, “and we should have a right to self-determination.” 

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