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Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy (CLOSUP) pres.

"Communities of Interest" and Michigan's New Approach to Redistricting through an Independent Citizens Commission

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson will deliver opening remarks for a panel discussion on a range of issues related to "Communities of Interest" and the important role they will play in Michigan's new approach to redistricting.

Tomás Tomás
Tomás
 Martin Castro on Unsplash
Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, Annenberg Auditorium (1120)
735 S. State Street, Ann Arbor 48109-3091
4:00pm-5:30pm

Free and open to the public. Reception to follow.

In November, 2018, the citizens of Michigan passed Proposition 2, which amends the Michigan Constitution to place legislative and congressional redistricting in the hands of an independent redistricting commission composed of thirteen citizens.

The amendment's criteria for the Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission places "Communities of Interest" (COIs) high on the list of priorities in designing new districts, following equal population, compliance with the Voting Rights Act, and continuity of district boundaries. However, COIs are a new concept for Michigan redistricting, and are not well defined in the amendment.

A panel of experts will share how COI's factor into the redistricting process, and how citizens can be involved in the process.

Panelists will discuss:
-- what are communities of interest (COIs)
-- how are they defined
-- where do they factor into the redistricting process
-- why is it important for district maps to respect community boundaries
-- what is the actual process for drawing lines around communities, and
-- what to do with overlapping communities of interest

This panel discussion is part of a larger CLOSUP research and service project being conducted on behalf of the Michigan Department of State to advise the Department and the Commission on best practices for the implementation of the COI criteria.

Sponsored by: Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy (CLOSUP) and Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy
Co-sponsors: Voters Not Politicians, Ginsberg Center, more tbd

For more information contact closup@umich.edu or call 734-647-4091.
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