League of Women Voters of Marquette County

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MAKING DEMOCRACY WORK

The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.

The League of Women Voters of Marquette County affirms its belief and commitment to diversity and pluralism. We recognize that diverse perspectives are important and necessary for responsible and representative decision making, and we subscribe to the belief that diversity and pluralism are fundamental to the values it upholds. Inclusiveness enhances the organization’s ability to respond more effectively to changing conditions and needs. Read the League of Women Voters of Michigan Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Policy here. Definitions of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion as they apply to the League’s policy can be found here.

Latest News & Events

County Redistricting – How Does it Work? Webinar
Thursday, May 13th, 7:00 p.m. (on Zoom or YouTube)

On May 13th at 7:00 p.m. the League of Women Voters is offering a multi-county webinar on county level redistricting. This event is being hosted by four local LWV chapters: Copper County, Eastern Upper Peninsula, Marquette County, and Northern Lower Michigan. What many people in MI might not know or realize is that while the Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission initiative, MI Proposal 2 (2018), addressed the problem of gerrymandering in state elections, it does not apply to redistricting or potential gerrymandering within counties.

Get answers to these questions and more at a zoom webinar, Wednesday evening, May 13th at 7:00 p.m. Join the event on zoom at
https://zoom.us/j/92632321135?pwd=aDQ5MFdoUUZVMjNRWC9PZmthdk01UT09  or watch on YouTube https://youtu.be/Fer0W28EmgE.

Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission Public Hearing at NMU – Tuesday, May 18th from 6:00-9:00 p.m.

The League of Women Voters of Marquette County is urging voters to attend Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission public hearings taking place locally at the Northern Center at NMU on Tuesday, May 18th from 6:00-9:00 p.m. Redistricting in Michigan has been a very political process that has historically taken place behind closed doors and out of the public eye. This new independent process gives everyday Michigan residents the ability to draw the state’s legislative and congressional districts, which is why public participation in these hearings is an important part of the democratic process.


Attend in person:
 Northern Center, NMU, Marquette Tuesday, May 18th from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.Attend virtually: Meeting can be accessed on the Redistricting Michigan Facebook page or Michigan Secretary of State YouTube channel Learn how to make public comments: The public can find registration links and the procedure for making public comments on the MICRC website.

Michigan Redistricting News

Michigan Redistricting: Communities of Interest

2021 is a historic year. Every 10 years in coordination with the Census, states draw new lines for federal and state legislative districts. The particular significance of this year’s decennial process is that voters, not partisan legislators, will be drawing the lines. In November 2018, Michigan voters approved a constitutional amendment that established criteria for the creation of a Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (MICRC). Any registered voter could apply to be on the MICRC, and 4 Republican, 4 Democrat and 5 Independent members were randomly chosen to make up the body of 13. The MICRC has been meeting since September to carry out the task of redistricting.   Another major change to legislative redistricting in Michigan was the addition of redistricting criteria. In addition to compliance with federal law and a requirement that all districts be contiguous, it is now mandated that districts must reflect the state’s diverse populations by considering “Communities of Interest.” (COIs)

Key characteristics of a COI are populations:

  • that share cultural or historical characteristics or economic interests;
  • are within a contiguous area on a map; and
  • share of common bond linked to a set of public policy issues that could be affected by legislation.

It is hoped that the use of COIs as one of the bases for redistricting:

  • will lead to fairer and more effective representation;
  • allow COI members to elect representatives who will be more attentive to their interests;
  • and promote active engagement of community members in the life of the communities in which they live. 

Public hearings will be held throughout the state starting in May to hear from residents regarding their “communities of interest” and their thoughts on the grouping, or not, of COIs together in a legislative district. The MICRC will conduct a public hearing in Marquette at NMU on May 18th.

The League of Women Voters of Michigan (LWVMI) is committed to educating the public on the role of the MICRC and the concept of “Communities of Interest.” To that end, our local League is offering assistance in identifying local “COIs,” and offering help to COIs about how to draw COI maps and provide testimony to the MICRC.

This is a historic opportunity to have our voices heard by the “map makers” and to truly engage in making democracy work.

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