FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 16, 2019
LANSING – Voters Not Politicians today announced $360,000 in grant funding from The Kresge Foundation and The Joyce Foundation to help with implementation of Michigan’s first Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission.
“We are grateful and honored to be partnering with The Kresge Foundation and The Joyce Foundation. These investments show that the nonprofit community recognizes how vital the new redistricting process is in building a more equitable and inclusive system of government,” said Nancy Wang, Executive Director of Voters Not Politicians. “These grants enable Voters Not Politicians to deploy our statewide volunteer network to help build a large, diverse pool of applicants for Michigan’s first Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission and to ensure every Michigan resident knows how they can participate in the fair, impartial, and transparent redistricting process. This work is critical given the Legislature’s refusal to fully fund the Commission or the promotion of the application process.”
The Kresge Foundation was founded in 1924 to promote human progress. Today, Kresge fulfills that mission by building and strengthening pathways to opportunity for low-income people in America’s cities, seeking to dismantle structural and systemic barriers to equality and justice.
“We are committed to responding to cultural, social, and political developments that challenge the expansion of opportunity in America’s cities,” said Ari Simon, Vice President Chief Program and Strategy Officer of The Kresge Foundation. “Broadening the opportunity for citizens to be engaged in how voting districts are drawn will strengthen our democracy and build on a continuum of engagement to increase participation in our democracy.”
The Joyce Foundation is a nonpartisan private foundation that invests in public policies and strategies to advance racial equity and economic mobility for the next generation in the Great Lakes region. The organization supports policy research, development, and advocacy to explore promising policy solutions in other states or at the federal level.
“A government truly of, by and for the people requires having fair district maps that respect the will of voters, and Michigan’s new redistricting amendment offers a tremendous opportunity for Michigan citizens to have a meaningful voice in the process,” said Carrie Davis, Democracy Program Director with The Joyce Foundation. “Now comes the important work of implementing the new commission process to ensure it fulfills the promise of a fully representative democracy, which is why we are investing in Voters Not Politicians’ grassroots, nonpartisan effort to empower the voters of Michigan to draw district maps that truly represent their communities.”
Applications to serve on Michigan’s first Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission are open through June 1, 2020. Voters Not Politicians has given 172 educational presentations across the state since the beginning of 2019 to educate voters on the new redistricting process. The organization has built a list of over 10,000 citizens interested in applying to serve on the Commission which has motivated thousands to start the application online.
Voters Not Politicians is a nonpartisan advocacy organization that works to strengthen democracy by engaging people across Michigan in effective citizen action. Learn more at www.votersnotpoliticians.com.
For more information on The Kresge Foundation, visit www.kresge.org.
More information about The Joyce Foundation can be found at www.joycefdn.org.