Data Driven Detroit is a member of the Michigan Redistricting Collaborative, a group of nonprofit organizations seeking to make the redistricting process more transparent.  Redistricting, a process that takes place after each decennial Census, is an action by which state congressional and legislative district boundaries are reconfigured for the purpose of maintaining equal population in each district.

We already know that Michigan lost one seat in the U.S. House of Representatives during the recent apportionment process (see the interactive map in Data & Mapping).  The Census Bureau distributed population data collected during the 2010 Census on March 22, 2011, and soon the states will begin the redistricting process. The data are available through the Census Bureau interactive map on our Data & Mapping page.

In Michigan, district lines are drawn by elected officials.  Conversations about boundary changes often exclude the voices of communities who are affected by the process.  By hosting educational forums and lobbying lawmakers to bring transparency into redistricting, the Michigan Redistricting Collaborative seeks to guard against gerrymandering – a process by which the political party in control manipulates the district lines creating a majority in many districts, thereby decreasing the voters’ power in elections.

The Collaborative held its Draw the Line Michigan Educational Forum on March 14, 2011 at which experts across the country shared information about the redistricting process.  Kurt Metzger, Director of Data Driven Detroit, gave a presentation on Michigan’s population trends titled Michigan Population Shifts and Their Implications for Redistricting.

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