In 2018, Michigan voters approved a constitutional amendment to empower an independent commission of citizens to draw legislative and congressional district lines for the 2022 election and beyond with the goal of eliminating gerrymandering and creating more equitable representation.
The independent citizens’ commission is comprised of thirteen private citizens of differing political ideologies, selected by random lottery. The new district maps were finalized late in 2021 and present an opportunity to shift the balance of power in Michigan’s Legislature. Republicans have controlled Michigan’s House for over a decade and the Senate for nearly 40 years thanks to shameless gerrymandering. However, the new non-partisan maps could finally give voters a true say in what party controls the legislative agenda on education.
According to an analysis by Bridge Magazine based on 2020 presidential election results, both chambers could come down a few key races. The analysis projects a slight edge for Democrats in the Senate with 21 of the 38 seats leaning left. The same data projects a two-seat advantage for Republicans in the House. Essentially, it’s a toss-up and will be decided by voter turnout.
“A Democratic majority is close at hand thanks to the new level playing field,” said Donna Lasinski, House Democratic Minority Leader. “By taking back our legislature we, together with the teachers, administrators and support staff who make our education system work, can push forward an agenda that will treat teachers and students with the respect they deserve.
“We can stop fearing what the next misguided policy will be from those who only wish to see public education fail and instead craft policy that will put our kids and our teachers first. With your help in the voting booth, we can make that happen.”