U-M to host conversation on redistricting, role Michigan communities play in process

February 23, 2021
Written By:
Daniel Rivkin

Event information graphic

DATE: 7-8:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 25

EVENT: Michigan voters in 2018 approved a constitutional amendment to change how redistricting is done, removing the process from the purview of the state legislature and placing it in the hands of the new Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission. The amendment also prescribes priorities the MICRC must address when drawing new district maps, placing the concept of communities of interest near the top of the list.

While COIs (PDF) have been a part of redistricting in other states, the concept is new in Michigan and not yet widely understood. This webinar aims to help educate stakeholders about COIs: what they are, the role they will play in the redistricting process, and how they can strategize and engage effectively in that process.


  • John Chamberlin, professor emeritus of political science and public policy at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy
  • Connie Cook, a volunteer with Voters Not Politicians and recent retiree from U-M, where she served as associate vice provost and other positions
  • Andy Helmboldt, a former teacher and city commissioner who engages in political organizing, equity coaching and writing
  • Rebeka Islam, executive director of Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote
  • Mariam Sayeed, a student pursuing a master of public policy degree at the Ford School
  • Sandra Sorini Elser, a volunteer for Voters Not Politicians and graduate of U-M’s law school who, after retiring from her law firm, has focused on the work of the MICRC
  • Nancy Wang, executive director and a founding member of Voters Not Politicians, as well as an attorney who earned her bachelor’s in environmental engineering and law degrees from U-M
  • Kermit Williams, executive director of Oakland Forward and president of the Pontiac City Council

PLACE: The virtual event is open to the public.

RSVP: Those interested in watching on YouTube and the Ford School’s Facebook page can register for an event reminder.

SPONSORS: Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy; Program in Practical Policy Engagement; Detroit Public TV; Ford School of Public Policy; and Voters Not Politicians, the citizen-led organization that spearheaded the effort to pass the amendment