Do you remember filling out the 2020 Census? The survey results have been put to use to redraw legislative districts.
The Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (MICRC) finalized Michigan state House, Senate and U.S. Congressional districts last month. In years past, the Michigan Legislature has drawn these lines.
“In 2018, there was a ballot proposal on our general election ballot that completely changed that process—it took the power of redistricting away from the Michigan Legislature and governor and created a separate body,” says Matt Kapp, Michigan Farm Bureau’s government relations specialist. “[The MICRC] had the sole responsibility of drawing the maps.”
The process for 2022 was different than how it was done in the past. For example, some counties or townships will be split on who is representing them.
“The maps are going to be what the maps are going to be,” says Kapp. “What doesn’t change is we’re still going to have 38 state Senators in Michigan, 110 state House members. We are losing a U.S. Congressional seat—we’re going from 14 to 13 because of changes of population in the census. Michigan didn’t lose population in the current census, but we’re not growing as fast as other states.”
Kapp encourages farmers to look at the new districts to see the changes.
“There’s a very good chance that after the November 22 election that they have an entirely different legislator because their current legislator was drawn into a different district,” he says. “That presents a lot of opportunity for farmer to get out there and build relationships with legislators and let them know their issues and why agriculture is important to Michigan’s economy.”
Kapp says that farmers still need to build relationships with their lawmakers, regardless of what the map looks like.
“We still need farmers to step up and get involved in government and represent agriculture by either serving at the township, state or federal level.”