The term “gerrymandering” refers to the manipulation of congressional district boundaries to favor a particular party. Many district boundaries in Michigan intentionally weave around specific homes, neighborhoods, and streets, as to include voters with a particular ideology in one voting district. Rather than voters choosing their representatives, gerrymandering empowers politicians to choose their voters.
Gerrymandering can best be understood through the lens of two basic techniques: cracking and packing. Cracking splits groups of people with similar characteristics, such as voters of the same party affiliation, across multiple districts. With their voting strength divided, these groups struggle to elect their preferred candidates in any of the districts. Packing is the opposite of cracking: map drawers cram certain groups of voters into as few districts as possible. In these few districts, the “packed” groups are likely to elect their preferred candidates, but the groups’ voting strength is weakened everywhere else. To find out more about “Gerrymandering”, check out this cool video at https://youtu.be/ZZLPKzotzhg.
In 2018, over 400,000 Michigan citizens voted to put a proposed redistricting change on the state ballot. The measure won overwhelming support from voters who amended the state Constitution to create an independent commission to draw new maps that are more representative of the people in the community. The maps that have been completed can be found here: STATE SENATE: The maps approved for the Senate, 10-04-21 v2 SD, 10-07-21 SD RAS BK and 10-08-21 v1 SD, have less pronounced differences. STATE HOUSE: The House maps are 10-06-21 v1 HD, 10-08-21 v2 HD and 10-08-21 v1 HD RAS. U.S. HOUSE: The commission approved four congressional map plans: 10-05-21 v1 CD DW, 10-08-21 v1 CD RAS, 10-07-21 v1 CD DC and 10-07-21 v1 CD AE. Citizens are encouraged to show up in-person to public hearings and voice their concerns. The Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission just released the new public hearing schedule details at michigan.gov/MICRC under “Meeting Notices“.
Join the Disability Network Wayne County Detroit on October 19, 2021 at 6pm for a Town Hall to discuss “Gerrymandering in Michigan”. The virtual Town Hall will be facilitated by Loida Tapia of the Michigan Non Profit Association and you can participate at www.dnwcd.org, on the ZOOM page.
Disability Network Wayne County Detroit is a community service, community resource and advocacy nonprofit organization. We serve individuals in the City of Detroit and Wayne County with disabilities. We combine experience and peer-support in delivering services to people with disabilities and their families. We partner with community agencies, schools, and businesses to improve quality of life. Lori Hill serves as the Executive Director whose mission is to educate and connect people with disabilities to resources while advocating social change. And our vision is a community that values disability as human diversity, free of attitudinal barriers, where all people benefit with full access and inclusion.
The Disability Network Wayne County Detroit has launched its Tax Offset Empowerment Campaign whereby taxpayers are empowered when choosing where their tax dollars go. We encourage our supporters to donate to our consumer services that provide food, transportation, and peer support to those who are disabled, elderly, or homeless. With your tax-deductible donations, we have been able to provide over 1,000 food boxes, personal protection equipment against the COVID-19 virus, and de-isolation, online services to those who are blind, deaf, disabled, elderly, mentally impaired, and have other visible and invisible issues. You will receive a tax deduction letter with your much appreciated gift! Go to www.dnwcd.org to the Donations page and empower your tax dollars today!