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Mid-Michigan Residents Ask Redistricting Commission To Consider Urban & Rural Communities

Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission
Mid-Michigan residents wait their turn to speak at the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission's public meeting in Lansing Thursday.

Mid-Michiganders advocated for their communities Thursday night to the commission tasked with redrawing the state’s congressional and legislative districts. 

More than 50 people signed up to speak at the public meeting of the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission in Lansing. Many asked the commission to consider redrawing the maps in ways where urban and rural communities are not clumped in the same district.

Linda Appling is a resident of Michigan’s 7th Congressional District. She would like the commission to draw lines that include areas with similar needs and culture. 

“Eaton County, except for Jackson, does not touch on any of the other counties. No joint project exists between Eaton and the other counties, shopping between Eaton and the other counties is virtually non-existent," Appling said.

There were some speakers, like Clinton County resident David Crompsey, who opposed redrawing congressional lines. Crompsey said drawing lines that split Clinton County would dissolve the community.  

“ Choose district boundaries to leave Clinton County as intact as possible," he said.

This was the sixth stop out of 16 in a statewide listening tour. Lansing resident M.C. Rothhorn, a member of the commission, said the listening tours will help him and his fellow commissioners determine what is most important for Michigan residents. 

“We want input at a very specific level. And we want input that is, I'll say, as precise as possible. Because that will actually allow us to draw the map with precision, and honor the voices that we want to hear in Lansing," he added. 

The commission has until November to redraw the maps, but is expected to present its first draft in August. 

As WKAR's Bilingual Latinx Stories Reporter, Michelle reports in both English and Spanish on stories affecting Michigan's Latinx community.
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