Michigan Redistricting Reform Topic of Forum

MLive.com — State Rep. Yousef Rabhi argues Michigan lawmakers should not be the ones deciding the boundaries of their own political districts, as that opens the door to gerrymandering to gain partisan advantage.

The Ann Arbor Democrat argues the state’s congressional and state legislative districts should be drawn up by a nonpartisan group of people who are truly independent from the state Legislature and are not eligible to run for office anytime soon and haven’t been in office anytime recently.

“I strongly believe that voters should pick their representatives, not the other way around, so a fair redistricting system is essential,” Rabhi argues.

Rabhi is inviting residents who want to learn more about Michigan’s current system and thoughts about redistricting reform to a town hall meeting at 6 p.m. Monday, April 24, at the downtown Ann Arbor library, 343 S. Fifth Ave.

“This is the critical issue of our time, in my opinion, that will transform the way that politics are done in Michigan particularly,” Rabhi said. “In some states, it doesn’t have as big of an impact because some states had the foresight in adopting a process that removed this particular issue from the hands of politicians in the legislature and put it in the hands of a nonpartisan, independent committee. And that independence, I think, is the most important part.”

Monday night’s forum is being hosted by Rabhi and includes a panel discussion featuring former Republican Congressman Joe Schwarz, former Democratic Congressman Mark Schauer and Daniel Rubenstein of the League of Women Voters. The event is free and open to the public.

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