Saturday, March 11, 2017

Livingston Dems’ meeting to feature gerrymandering discussion
    The problem of gerrymandering in Michigan will be the topic of the next meeting of the Livingston County Democratic Party’s executive committee.
     Democratic attorney Mark Brewer and Rebecca Lenk, chair of the education committee of Count MI Vote, will speak at the meeting set for Thursday, March 23, at 7 p.m. at Re-Max Platinum Auditorium.
     Gerrymandering is the process of drawing legislative district lines to favor one political party so that it maintains political power. Redistricting is set to next occur in Michigan after the 2020 census results.
    Brewer, former chair of the Michigan Democratic Party, is planning to sue state officials over gerrymandering, pointing out that it minimizes the power of Democratic voters. His plans follow a federal court ruling in Wisconsin that ordered the state to redraw its maps after a challenge based on the “efficiency gap.”
    The “efficiency gap” measures the “wasted votes” for candidates – either lost votes for candidates who didn’t win or excess votes for candidates who did.
    The “efficiency gap” theory argues that a gerrymandered state crams votes for one party into a few safe seats. The votes for the other party are split into as many winning districts as possible, maximizing one party’s political power while minimizing another’s. 
    While that lawsuit is being prepared, the grassroots group Count MI Vote was formed in late 2016 with more than 2,500 members to educate the public about the effects of partisan gerrymandering in Michigan.
   Count MI Vote is part of the non-partisan ballot question committee Voters Not Politicians, which is seeking to amend the Michigan Constitution in 2018 to create an independent Citizens’ Redistricting Commission.
    Lenk will speak about the issue of gerrymandering in general as well as explain how people can participate in the petition drive needed to put the issue on the 2018 ballot.
    The meeting is open to all Democrats in the county. 
    Re-Max Platinum Auditorium is located at 6870 Grand River, between Brighton and Howell. Attendees are advised to park behind the building, use the rear entrance, and take the stairs or elevator down to the auditorium. 
    The party’s regular business meeting will follow.
     For more information, call 810-229-4212 or email 

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