Michigan voters have a unique opportunity to give the people more of a voice in this midterm election on Tuesday. A proposal that will change the Michigan constitution to end gerrymandering, supported by the grassroots Voters not Politicians group, won a victory earlier this year when the Michigan Supreme Court ruled the proposal should go on the ballot this November.
A simple dictionary defintion for the word gerrymander means “to manipulate the boundaries of (an electoral constituency) so as to favor one party or class.” Michigan is among the worst states in the country when it comes to gerrymandering.
The state’s Republican Party and the Michigan Chamber of Commerce adamantly opposed the measure.
Proposal 2 calls for an independent Citizens Redistricting Commission made up of citiaens, instead of the allowing for the party that is in charge of the state legislature every ten years, soon after the US Census, to establish boundaries for congressional districts. Proposal 2 calls for a 13-member commission that will consist of four Republicans, four Democrats and five independents. Perhaps, one of my favorite parts of the measure: Relatives of elected officials will be inelgible to serve on the proposed commission.
“No matter where we were in the state, no matter who we talked to, people see a huge conflict of interest with politicians drawing their own political lines,” says Katie Fahey, the founder of Voters Not Politicians, the group behind Proposal 2.
The independent citizens group gives more power to the people, not politicians. Power to the people is needed in times politicians have proven to be self-serving and seemingly more interested in being reelected than caring about the real issues that impact the citizens’ lives.
Proposal 2 makes sense for Michigan voters, including Michigan Indian voters, who should care about getting power back to the people, not the politicians in Lansing.
Native News Online recommends a YES vote on Proposal 2.
Levi Rickert is a resident of Michigan and has already voted YES on Proposal 2 through an absentee ballot.
Levi Rickert, a tribal citizen of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, is the publisher and editor of Native News Online. Previously, he served as editor of the Native News Network. He is a resident of Grand Rapids, Michigan.