2021 Communities of Interest Engagement Program
Participate in Michigan’s New Redistricting process
Community Mapping & Michigan’s New Redistricting Process
Voters amended the state Constitution in 2018 to put everyday Michiganders in charge of drawing the voting district lines that determine who we vote for to represent us in state and federal government. Now, an Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission is responsible for drawing Michigan’s voting district lines by November 1, 2021. An important requirement is that commissioners should keep information from communities of interest collected through public input in mind as they draw the districts.
What is a Community of Interest? Communities of interest can be a group of any size whose members share cultural, economic, historic, and/or other shared interests.
Communities all across the state now have an exciting opportunity -- for the first time in the state’s history -- to give input and make sure Michigan’s election district maps result in better representation for the people. The Commission will rely on voters like you to identify, show and explain where Michigan’s communities of interest are. It will be holding public hearings throughout 2021 to get public input. When you participate, you will give your community a voice.
Educational Resources for Community Mapping
VNP’s focus is to ensure that historically underserved communities have the information and tools they need to participate meaningfully during the Community Mapping Phase of the new redistricting process. We are proud to provide educational and support resources to the public in order to ensure they are ready to provide effective testimony and maps that define their community.
More information about COI’s: The Role of Communities of Interest in Michigan’s New Approach to Redistricting
VNP’s Deep Engagement Partner Program
Our Deep Engagement Partner Program builds long-term relationships with organizations that work with underserved communities to organize, train, and mobilize communities to submit maps and provide effective testimony to the Redistricting Commission. We will, of course, encourage as many people and organizations to participate as possible, and have committed to directly partner with 10 community-based organizations in 2021.
If you would like to learn more about our Partner Program, please contact Charlie Beall at
Resources for Communities of Interest
To request presentation notes and/or an editable copy of a slidedeck, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Map Your Community
- Online Tools - Draw your map with Representable
Representable is a free, open-source tool for creating maps for communities of interest (COI) — groups of individuals who share common social and economic interests, who are likely to have similar political concerns. Currently, over half of states have legal requirements to respect COIs, but before Representable, no tools existed to get COIs to mapmakers.
- Printable Tools - Draw your map with pencil and paper
- How to Submit your paper maps to the Redistricting Commission
On February 4, 2021, the Secretary of State's office announced that it will procure a tool to facilitate community map submissions and written testimony. More details to follow.
Voters Not Politicians will be continually updating this page with the latest developments relating to the Commission. Additionally, you may subscribe for SOS updates here: https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/MISOS/subscriber/new.
Learn about Michigan’s New Redistricting Commission
The redistricting reform amendment created an Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission to draw Michigan’s state Senate, state House, and U.S. congressional election district maps every 10 years using Census data to reflect changes in our population.
The amendment requires that the Commission includes 4 Democratic* voters, 4 Republican* voters, and 5 voters who affiliate with neither of those parties. A majority of the Commissioners must approve the final maps and the majority must include at least 2 Commissioners from each of these groups. In other words, Commissioners of different political affiliations must reach consensus to adopt the final maps.
All registered voters in Michigan are eligible to apply to serve on the Commission, with a few exclusions to minimize the potential for conflicts of interest. A voter is disqualified from serving on the Commission if in the past 6 years, the person has been a:
✘ candidate or elected official of a partisan office
✘ leader or official of a political party
✘ consultant or employee of a politician or PAC
✘ employee of the legislature or political appointee
✘ registered lobbyist agent or employee of a registered lobbyist agent
✘ immediate family member of any of the above
While these individuals are disqualified from serving on the Commission because they are most likely to have a conflict of interest when it comes to drawing election district maps, every Michigander can still participate in the redistricting process by offering testimony in person or in writing.
* or the two political parties with the largest representation in the legislature