Michigan: November 6 Vote Yes on Prop 2 to End Gerrymandering

By Elizabeth Harlow, Staff Writer

Voters should choose their politicians, not the other way around. When you go to the polls next Tuesday, we urge you to vote YES on Proposal 2 to replace gerrymandering in Michigan with a fair, impartial, and transparent process for drawing voting district maps. Let’s fix an unfair system that has created politicians who are responsive to money from special interests rather than accountable to their constituents’ wishes and needs.

“Endorsing Prop 2 was an easy decision for the Ecology Center,” says Alexis Blizman, legislative and policy director. “The lack of transparency and the lack of competitiveness in our legislative districts has created a system where Michigan legislators are no longer responsive to their constituents. Lawmakers are currently insulated from any accountability except to big corporate interests. These interests rarely align with public health or the environment.”

Our state’s gerrymandering is some of the worst in the nation, and Michiganders have been hurt by their representatives’ lack of public accountability. Blizman notes dramatic harm caused just since the last redistricting: “We have seen a city’s water supply poisoned, severe cutbacks to energy efficiency programs for low income families, elimination of pollution controls, and a level of deregulation that allows polluters to get away with poisoning our air and water with little or no responsibility for clean-up. Until our elected officials are once again responsive to the people, these problems will only get worse.”

Currently, elected officials in the legislative majority set themselves up with unfair advantages by drawing maps rigged to maintain their power, and they draw the lines behind closed doors. It’s easy to see how ridiculous their lines have become.

Prop 2 amends the Michigan Constitution to create an Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission to determine voting districts. Voters will decide the lines. The districts won’t be allowed to give one party or candidate an unfair advantage. And, the redistricting process will happen in the open, with public meetings across the state to allow citizens to give input and feedback.

Here is the summary that will appear on your ballot:

A PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT TO ESTABLISH A COMMISSION OF CITIZENS WITH EXCLUSIVE AUTHORITY TO ADOPT DISTRICT BOUNDARIES FOR THE MICHIGAN SENATE, MICHIGAN HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND U.S. CONGRESS, EVERY 10 YEARS

This proposed constitutional amendment would:

  •  Create a commission of 13 registered voters randomly selected by the Secretary of State:

               4  each who self-identify as affiliated with the 2 major political parties; and

               5  who self-identify as unaffiliated with major political parties.

  • Prohibit partisan officeholders and candidates, their employees, certain relatives, and lobbyists from serving as commissioners.
  • Establish new redistricting criteria including geographically compact and contiguous districts of equal population, reflecting Michigan’s diverse population and communities of interest. Districts shall not provide disproportionate advantage to political parties or candidates.
  • Require an appropriation of funds for commission operations and commissioner compensation.

Should this proposal be adopted?

[  ] YES

[  ] NO

Learn more at https://www.votersnotpoliticians.com/.

 

Published on October 30, 2018