Why it’s important to vote in the primaries

Michigan’s districts are newly redrawn ahead of this year’s August primary, which marks the first major election since the end of gerrymandering in the state.

There are serious systemic blockages from passing significant federal legislation.  However, state and local governments generally have fewer structural problems passing legislation to improve American life.

Now in Michigan, gerrymandering has been eliminated with the creation of new, citizen-created political maps. This makes the upcoming political primaries very exciting and more complicated in Michigan, according to two local political consultants.

“The days of L Brooks Patterson-type politics where, you know, it’s only about my backyard and nobody else’s, are pretty much gone.” — Greg Bowens, political consultant

Listen: What local candidates are saying about why they are running.



Sheila Cockrel is a former Detroit city councilmember, a political consultant and the CEO of CitizenDetroit . She has been allowing candidates in southeast Michigan to express to the public why they are running and what issues they are running on with CitizenDetroit.

Cockrel says that there is real concern about not having an African American representative in Congress, but also notes that Michigan’s state legislature may become more representative by race.

“The possibility out here is that there will be no Black person running the city of Detroit in the United States Congress — I think that’s a real concern,” Cockrel says.

Greg Bowens is a political consultant in Detroit. He says the new political maps allow for more regionalism in the southeast Michigan, which could produce better coalition building.

“The days of L Brooks Patterson-type politics where, you know, it’s only about my backyard and nobody else’s are pretty much gone,” says Bowens.

You can find who is running where and short speeches from some of the candidates running at this link.

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