Detroiters attend public hearing at TCF Center over redrawing Michigan’s political districts

Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission held meeting Wednesday

There are drafts of 10 district maps as the redistricting commission works to come up with a final proposal.

DETROIT – There are drafts of 10 district maps as the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (MICRC) works to come up with a final proposal.

It’s a call of action from Detroiters outside of the TCF Center Wednesday, moments before the public hearing started.

MICRC held a public hearing in Downtown Detroit to ask people to speak up about congressional and legislative maps. The new proposed maps highlighting the new drawings are getting a lot of backlash.

Previous: Redistricting maps: Michigan residents can offer feedback at public hearings

“Here you see a coalition of laborers, of clergy, or residents of Detroiters, of Black people, people who are concerned with drawing maps that are representative of this city,” said state Sen. Adam Hollier.

Wayne County Commissioner Jonathan Kinloch said it’s vital that Detroiters speak out now.

“We have the right as a city to make sure our voices are heard and make sure that these districts ... as they are drawn, are reflected of the citizens’ population, which is majority Black,” said Kinloch.

Douglas Clark, who is with the redistricting commission, said the group is tasked with redrawing -- instead of the Legislature -- which normally happens once a decade.

“The pressure starts to build at this point. We worked significantly with our voting rights attorney that we hired, and we also hired a racial polarized analyst and she also helped us with the partisan and fairness,” Clark said.

Anthony Eid, also with MICRC, said they know it’s a difficult process but they’re listening to the people in order to get this right.

“That’s why we’re here today, to hear from the public and hear what they have to say about the maps, specifically in the Metro Detroit, Dearborn area,” Eid said.

Wayne County Commissioner Monique Baker-McCormick hopes their voices are heard loud and clear.

“This current map that they’re drawing, it has zero minority-majority districts. So when it comes time to vote, Black people, African American people are going to be left out,” said Baker-McCormick.

The committee said they will have a series of public hearings. The MICRC is required by the state constitution to hold at least five public hearings throughout Michigan for the purpose of soliciting comment from the public about the proposed plans.