Michigan's redistricting maps raising concerns for black voters

Posted at 8:28 AM, Oct 13, 2021

(WXYZ) — The first set of drafts for Michigan’s redistricting maps are already raising concern about how well they represent the African American community and whether they favor one party over the other.

Concerned legislators are urging Detroiters to step up before it's too late.

Democratic Michigan Senator Adam Hollier says the issue is not about red or blue state, it's about representing one of the largest black cities in the country.

"Black people make 14% of the state’s population and 12% of the legislators, two-thirds of those members are from Detroit. If we decimate how black people get elected in this state it will have a far-reaching impact across the state," says Adam Hollier.

The same sentiment is being echoed by Republicans like former Majority Leader Michigan House Representatives Rocky Raczkowski.

"We are 100% behind the senator and his press conference because it's not about race, or color, or religion, it's about communities of interest and that the law is followed," says Raczkowski.

After being fed up with gerrymandering, voters took it upon themselves to create districts that better represent Michiganders of this decade.

In 2021, for the first time, the map-drawing process is being handled by a 13-member independent citizens commission instead of politicians.

The 10 maps include three House and Senate as well as four congressional district maps.

Next week, the maps will go on a state-wide tour where the public can ask questions and submit comments online.

The drafts will be voted on November 5th, followed by a 45-day public review period and a final vote on December 30th.

Also, the maps must receive a majority vote with bipartisan support, but even then Oakland University's Political Science Professor David Dulio says the process is far from over.

"Not only could there be revisions to the draft maps, but that’s not the end of the process, someone is going to file a lawsuit," says Dulio.

Meanwhile, the public hearing for Detroiters will take place on October 20th at the TCF Center.