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History made as Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission members meet for the first time
13-member commission will spend two days in orientation and launch
The first meeting of Michigan’s recently seated Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission will begin today and involve two full days of virtual orientation and information gathering. More than 9,000 Michiganders submitted applications for one of the 13 seats on the commission. Those interested in watching the meeting can do so at Facebook.com/RedistrictingMI.
“Michigan’s citizens made their desire to put democracy back in the hands of the people loud and clear when they overwhelmingly passed Proposal 2,” said Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. “This historic meeting is the culmination of years of citizen engagement, and months of work preparing to give our commissioners the tools they need to do this incredible work.”
The Commission, composed of four members who identify with the Republican party, four members who affiliate with the Democratic party and five members who do not affiliate with either party, will spend two days receiving orientation materials, focusing on the duties and expectations of the commission members, as well as expert panel presentations on the mapmaking process. While the Secretary of State is involved in the public record keeping of the process and serves as the “secretary without a vote,” the Commission is independent and autonomous.
During this first meeting, commissioners will be expected to select an acting chair, as well as make logistical decisions about staffing and the schedule of the process over the next year. The Commission will use data from the 2020 census, as well as citizen input over the next 14 months, to draw new federal and state legislative maps that are due by Nov. 1, 2021 and will take effect prior to the 2022 elections.
As part of the commitment to transparency during the process, public comment opportunities will be available multiple times throughout the two-day introductory session. A complete copy of the two day agenda, as well as information for participating during the public comment periods, can be found at RedistrictingMichigan.org.
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