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Redistricting is something all should care about

It’s hard to overstate the importance of maps to the future of this state and this nation.

For various reasons (cultural, economic, generational), we Americans tend to self-segregate politically. Progressives tend to congregate in bigger cities or urban areas, while conservatives tend to congregate in more rural areas.

When officials carve up the Michigan map into political districts for the U.S. House and the state House and state Senate, where those lines fall can heavily pack one group of people or another into a district, all but guaranteeing who will win the next election (which makes primaries especially important, but we’ll save that for another day).

Carve up the map just right, and you can secure which party will control the majority of the Legislature for years to come, and that controlling party then steers the ship for all of us.

With 2020 census numbers now released, officials have to create new maps, which will go into effect with the 2022 election.

For the first time in Michigan, thanks to a law voters approved in 2018, lawmakers will not draw those maps. Instead, the task will go to a new Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission.

And residents can now tell that commission how they think the new maps should look.

At Michigan.gov/MICRC, residents can even draw their own suggested maps.

We urge all readers to take a look at the commission’s website and offer some insight.

Those maps determine the makeup of your Legislature, your Congress, and your future.

Make sure you get involved.

Alpena News. Sept. 3, 2021

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