24 Nov 2021
This is how a President does it.
“Our country was conceived on a promise of equality and opportunity for all people — a promise that, despite the extraordinary progress we have made through the years, we have never fully lived up to. That is especially true when it comes to upholding the rights and dignity of the Indigenous people who were here long before colonization of the Americas began. For generations, Federal policies systematically sought to assimilate and displace Native people and eradicate Native cultures. Today, we recognize Indigenous peoples’ resilience and strength as well as the immeasurable positive impact that they have made on every aspect of American society. We also recommit to supporting a new, brighter future of promise and equity for Tribal Nations — a future grounded in Tribal sovereignty and respect for the human rights of Indigenous people in the Americas and around the world.”
Go read the whole thing. Then let’s make it real for everyone.
The Washtenaw County Democratic Party is looking for a few good people to serve on the Executive Board, as Co-Vice Chairs of Communications and VOICE (which works with community outreach). The work will help us organize for the 2022 election cycle and beyond!
Take Action! Redistricting
The Commission (MICRC) has settled on its final set of maps, and will be voting on them at the end of December. Now is our chance to weigh in.
We have until Dec. 27 to get good comments in! Can we call for further revision? Yes, but the timing is tight. Sooner is better.
The collaborative maps the Commission has created are named for trees, while the individual Commissioners’ maps carry their names. They hope to vote in a collaborative map, but if none passes in the first round, they will include the individual ones in a Ranked Choice vote. So we are commenting on them as well.
- Birch reflects statewide voting patterns very well, and covers many Communities of Interest.
- Commissioner Szetela’s map is even better, offering the most competitive districts of any proposed Senate map.
- Chestnut is also acceptable.
- We don’t recommend Lange.
- Linden is excellent. It has an appropriate split for Ann Arbor, with a connection to Jackson on the northern side and Ypsilanti on the southeast.
- Cherry is also acceptable.
- Lange is not as good and Palm is unacceptably partisan.
MI State House
- All the maps are quite similar, and really very little improvement over the current map.
- Though they do reduce the proportion of wasted votes (the “efficiency gap”) they all still leave a minority party with a majority of the seats, by quite a lot. Partisan fairness requires a much smaller difference.
We can call for another option – for example:
- Please Keep Working On State House Maps! There are no fair house maps to choose from!
- Each proposed House map gives the majority of seats to the minority of voters!
- None reflect Communities of Interest adequately.
Or we can call for revisions– they solicited citizen maps, and there are many good ones they could draw on. If they do vote to accept a new submission, the 45 day comment period will begin again. But this would have to happen quickly to stay within the already extended time frame.
However, there are some differences.
If you must pick among the current collaborative maps, pick Hickory
- It’s unfair but the best of all the bad choices
- Still fails to reflect Communities of Interest adequately
Szetela, from the Commission’s Chair, is again the best.
Both do a good job for the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti area, not so good elsewhere.
MICRC General Comment Portal:
Tell the MICRC to prioritize partisan fairness.
DO NOT copy and paste these points, but
DO speak to them in your own words!
“Communities of interest” is NOT an excuse to pack voters of a particular party into fewer and fewer districts to weaken their voice.
How is any map fair in which one party can win a majority of the seats while losing a majority of the votes?
We voted for Prop 2 in 2018 to rid Michigan of the rigged system. We want fair maps that create a level playing field.
No one on the Commission should vote to approve a map that gives a disproportionate advantage to one political party.
MDP Redistricting Toolkit (and Meeting Schedule)
MICRC’s Public Comment Portal
Want some more resources on what to say and how to say it? Here they are.
League of Women Voters – Redistricting
Voters Not Politicians – Redistricting
Redistricting Actions YOU Can Take
It’s a holiday weekend. Spend time with family and friends. If you must shop, shop local. We’ve got a long year ahead, so recharge yourself.
If you can, remind yourself why we do what we do, and who we do it for. If you can, find a way to be thankful for both the work and the results.
THE FINAL WORD
STAY IN TOUCH WITH YOUR MICHIGAN REPS
State Senator Jeff Irwin has a regular Virtual Coffee Hour — To receive the Zoom access code and the next date, please fill out this form:
State Rep. Yousef Rabhi, 53rd House district: firstname.lastname@example.org, Phone: (517) 373-2577. https://housedems.com/yousef-rabhi/.
Typically discussions are 10 am on the 4th Saturday of the month and 6 pm on the 2nd Monday of the month. Click to register:
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