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MI Looks To California's Citizen Redistricting Experience

political district map
U.S. Department of Interior
Officials say Michigan is likely to lose one congressional district seat following the 2020 census.

Members of California’s Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission are visiting three Michigan cities this week to share what they learned after re-drawing that state’s political boundaries a decade ago.   


For the first time, the task of shaping Michigan’s new electoral map following the 2020 census will be the work of citizen volunteers, not the legislature. 

California first tried its own anti-gerrymandering measure in 2010. 

Commission member Cynthia Dai says she and her colleagues re-drew 177 congressional and state legislative districts on time and on budget.

“Somehow, it is not hard for citizens to see what is fair,” Dai says.  “It’s hard work, but it will probably be the most important thing you do in your lifetime.”

The California commission will visit Lansing on Monday, Grand Rapids on Tuesday and Detroit on Wednesday. 

The deadline to apply for the Michigan Independent Citizen Redistricting Commission is June 1. 


Kevin Lavery is a general assignment reporter and occasional local host for Morning Edition and All Things considered.
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