Michigan Is Set To Take A Gamble Against Gerrymandering

Michigan Is Set To Take A Gamble Against Gerrymandering

Michigan Is Set To Take A Gamble Against Gerrymandering

We all profess to hate the idea of gerrymandering.  I wrote about it this past July when the Texas State democrats decided to abdicate their responsibility and jetted off to DC in “protest” of new voting legislation.  Own own Narcissi Craig wrote about it in 2019, when Eric Holder and Obama wanted democrats to game the system to THEIR advantage.  In fact, if you go back a ways, Victory Girls has many posts that discuss the ramifications of the Census and how it plays out in the political world.  I bring it up again because Michigan is set to take a gamble against gerrymandering.  While the jury is out on how effective this gamble will be, or how neutral, what I love most about this story is one woman’s bid to make a difference.

The path to an independent redistricting commission in Michigan began with a Facebook post days after the 2016 election from a woman with no political experience.

“I’d like to take on gerrymandering in Michigan,” the woman, Katie Fahey, wrote. “If you’re interested in doing this as well, please let me know.”

Take a look at her simple request for action and the response she was able to garner!

Screen Shot From Katie Rogala Fahey’s FB page

From that one tiny action, Katie Fahey created a movement.  I might ultimately decide that her movement goes against MY interests, but I will defend her right to make a difference in her own neck of the woods EVERY. DAMN. DAY.  In fact, we should all be inspired by her mojo.  According to a profile piece in The American Leader:

“Frustrated that political divisiveness across the country (and within her own family) had reached a crisis point, Katie Fahey posted on Facebook two days after the 2016 elections asking if anyone wanted to help her take on gerrymandering. Within months, she had established Voters Not Politicians to advocate for a ballot initiative that would amend Michigan’s Constitution. The goal: To put an Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission of 13 voters – not politicians – in charge of drawing the state’s election maps.”

Her story is so powerful that an entire documentary was made about her efforts.  Slay the Dragon should be a message for all of us.

Her tip toe into the political waters around her should energize us, not enrage us.  From all that I can glean from the internet of things, my guess is that she is not a Trump supporter.  And that is ok.  The message we should take, as conservatives, is that we can all be David against Goliath.   For those of us who have a fear of failure lurking in our heads, take heart.  Yes, you might fail, but you might just succeed!

As the NYT points out:

“A decade after Michigan Republicans gave themselves seemingly impregnable majorities in the state Legislature by drawing districts that heavily favored their party, a newly created independent commission approved maps late Tuesday that create districts so competitive that Democrats have a fighting chance of recapturing the State Senate for the first time since 1984.

The work of the new commission, which includes Democrats, Republicans and independents and was established through a citizen ballot initiative, stands in sharp contrast to the type of hyperpartisan extreme gerrymandering that has swept much of the country, exacerbating political polarization — and it may highlight a potential path to undoing such gerrymandering.”

Katie did the footwork and created a coalition.  Her coalition knocked on doors to gather signature.  Her movement got a measure to the ballot box.  The voters did the rest.

“That November, the measure passed overwhelmingly, with more than 61 percent of Michigan voters approving the creation of an independent redistricting commission.”

As Narcissi pointed out in her piece from 2019:

“Gerrymandering is wrong. Both sides do it, they need to stop. Looking at some districts is like trying to decipher string art. It makes no sense, and truly cuts out a large percentage of the directly affected population. A grid system would be better, but when have politicians ever chosen fair over beneficial? Most don’t.”

Time will tell if this measure offers voters the control they desire in creating congressional maps.  That is not my concern.  It is Michigan’s concern.  If they are unhappy with the new process, a fresh new face may come to about to slay a new dragon.  With 2022 on the horizon, we should all gird ourselves with a sword and shield.  Go find your own dragon to slay!

Featured Image: “Gerrymandering” by EpicTop10.com via Creative Commons,  CC BY 2.0, cropped and modified

 

 

 

 

 

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