U.P. LAWMAKERS REACT TO DISTRICT CHANGES
LANSING – It’s official. Michigan has a new set of voting districts.
The state’s independent redistricting commission finalized the state House, State Senate and federal Congressional district maps on Tuesday.
Congressional maps for the Upper Peninsula did not change, but there were several changes to state House districts in the region. One of the more notable changes is the removal of Baraga County from the 110th District. Residents there will now be casting ballots for the 109th district along with Marquette and Alger Counties.
Changes to the state Senate map make the 38th District smaller.
Senator Ed McBroom and Rep. Sara Cambensy had mixed reactions to the new maps, but they agreed that the 13-member commission lacked a U.P. perspective..
“It’s very clear that these lines and maps were drawn by people who aren’t familiar with the U.P. and didn’t take time to understand the difficulties and complications that come along with living up here and trying to represent this area as a legislator,” McBroom said. “Whatever team is assembled after the next election, I am sure will continue to work hard for the U.P., but it’s going to be more challenging for both the legislators we have and for the people that count on them to represent them in Lansing.
In a statement, Cambensy said:
“With over 60% of voters approving of the Michigan Independent Redistricting Commission in 2018, the majority of residents wanted to see the lines of their congressional, senate, and house seats drawn without political bias. Though there will be court challenges from democrats and republicans alike, there is a good chance that the court-approved maps will be similar to what you see today.”
“The only hesitation I have going into this is that there was no representation from the U.P. on this Commission. That means that for 33% of our state’s landmass that is located in the Upper Peninsula, residents from downstate decided what our lines are. I think if you were to ask any of the U.P. legislators, we would tend to agree that excluding a U.P. resident on the commission doesn’t benefit us, particularly in the House map where we have never seen District lines drawn as such with certain communities grouped together. There is some natural resentment that our U.P. residents were removed from the final list of eligible commissioners by downstate politicians who didn’t like their party affiliation. If you were to ask any Yooper, having someone from here represent us on there regardless of party affiliation is more important than having no representation at all. This remains my biggest criticism of the commission and the process of how we got here today.”
The new Congressional District map can be found here: https://michigan.mydistricting.com/legdistricting/comments/plan/254/23
The new State Senate map can be found here: https://michigan.mydistricting.com/legdistricting/comments/plan/260/23
The new State House map can be found here: https://michigan.mydistricting.com/legdistricting/comments/plan/262/23
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