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MichMan

MichMan's Journal
MichMan's Journal
January 27, 2022

Virtual only schools should return to classrooms, Whitmer says

Lansing — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in an interview Thursday that Michigan school districts that are currently offering only virtual instruction should return students to classrooms for in-person learning.

“98% of our districts in Michigan are in person right now," Whitmer said during an appearance on WDET's "Detroit Today." "We’ve got some big ones that are not. I want to work with those districts to help support them so they can get kids back in school."

The governor made the comments the day after her fourth State of the State address, in which she said students "belong in schools." The subject has become the topic of intense political debate with Republicans attempting to tie school closures to Whitmer as she seeks reelection.

During her State of the State address on Wednesday, Whitmer said remote learning is "not as fulfilling or conducive to a child’s growth." "In-person learning is critical to social development and mental health," she said during the speech. "That’s why we will do everything we can to keep kids in the classroom."


[link:https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/michigan/2022/01/27/virtual-only-schools-should-return-classrooms-governor-whitmer/9238316002/|

January 3, 2022

Detroit lawmakers to sue redistricting commission, allege violation of Voting Rights Act

The maps adopted by Michigan's citizen-led, independent redistricting commission eliminate majority-Black congressional and state Senate districts that currently run through Detroit and reduce the number of Detroit majority-Black districts in the new state House map.

Expected plaintiffs in the lawsuit called on Democrats during Monday's briefing to support the legal challenge, arguing that Michigan Democrats should not embrace maps that give them a chance to win congressional and legislative majorities at the expense of Black voters' representation.

"Don’t leave us out in the rain because you simply want a majority," said former state Rep. Sherry Gay-Dagnogo, an expected plaintiff in the lawsuit.

Before it began drawing its maps, Adelson advised the commission to fix Detroit districts that packed Black voters, referencing a form of gerrymandering in which one group of voters is heavily concentrated in a handful of districts where they are all but guaranteed to see their preferred candidates elected but their influence is removed from surrounding communities.

"We could potentially have people representing our community that don’t have the commitment to our city," said Gay-Dagnogo. "Detroit deserves to have Black leadership."


[link:https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/detroit/2022/01/03/detroit-michigan-redistricting-commission-lawsuit/9076829002/|
January 3, 2022

Detroit lawmakers plan to challenge redistricting maps over racial fairness

The Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission, approved by voters in 2018, changed the way the once-in-a-decade redistricting process is done by giving that responsibility to a 13-member citizens panel made up four Republicans, four Democrats and five non-partisan members.

“Unfortunately, the problem lies in the largest African American majority city in the nation has received the very short end of the stick,” said filing attorney Nabih Ayad. “The new redistricting map lines have unfairly discriminated against the city of Detroit, its residents and its elected officials.”

Overall, the maps adopted by the commission last week decreased the number of majority-Black districts in the proposed maps by stretching Detroit districts into the suburbs. African Americans are an influential voting bloc in the Democratic Party. The spoke-like districts were drawn as such in an effort to increase partisan fairness and "unpack" past efforts to isolate the Democratic vote to certain districts.

While some Detroit Democrats remained disgruntled with the new maps approved last week, larger Democratic groups weren't quick to criticize the maps.

Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, now chairman for the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, praised the commission's work as a "success" that shows independent commissions can "produce a fair result.


[link:https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/politics/2022/01/03/detroit-lawmakers-plan-challenge-redistricting-maps-over-racial-fairness/9074966002/|

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