Labor federation submits maps with unprecedented transparency
At least one-third of districts in each chamber found to be competitive
LANSING – Today the Michigan AFL-CIO’s Fair Maps Project culminated with the submission and publication of state House and Senate district maps, along with a 237-page extensive report disclosing details about the project’s process, analysis about each district, and objective measurements of fairness and other criteria. In an effort to promote unprecedented transparency and drive dialogue about statistically fair districts, the Michigan AFL-CIO has made the maps and report available at miaflcio.org/fairmaps
“With our rigorous process and over 230 pages of analysis, we are seeking to show that it is possible to draw 148 districts that comply with the objective criteria of the Commission and are statistically fair,” said Ron BIEBER, President of the Michigan AFL-CIO. “We hope that these maps and the analysis provided can help to show the Commission, and the general public, that we believe this is an opportunity for us to truly put people over politics and fight for truly fair maps. Michigan’s hard working families deserve no less.”
The Fair Maps Project is an effort undertaken by the Michigan AFL-CIO over the past seven months to survey union members and their communities in an effort to provide insight on the ICRC’s redistricting process and what fair legislative maps could look like utilizing the state’s evaluation criteria. Over the last seven months, the Michigan AFL-CIO held meetings with all of its 18 labor councils, 40+ affiliates, as well as local labor leaders and activists to solicit information on their communities of interest, their views on the deficiencies of the current maps, and what fair maps in their region can and should look like.
As public hearings and written comments went on, the Michigan AFL-CIO listened to and read the same testimony as the Commission, incorporating organic grassroots testimony but disregarding clearly orchestrated attempts to lobby the Commission in favor of a party or candidate or special interest group. Finally, the Fair Maps Project conducted objective, independent research on Michigan’s economic and cultural geography – everything from commuter patterns, agricultural regions, and objective economic data to local community organizations and recent census estimates.
The Fair Map Project’s district maps all accurately reflect the diversity and distribution of Michigan’s population and communities of interest, entirely comply with the state’s constitution and the Voting Rights Act; follow equal population requirements; are contiguous; reflect county, city and township boundaries; are compact; and do not favor or disfavor any political party or incumbent elected officials or candidates.
“As an organization that represents hard working people of all political persuasions, we will fight to limit the undue influence of any political party to unfairly and unjustly influence the redistricting process,” said Ron BIEBER, President of the Michigan AFL-CIO. “Our maps will likely frustrate some political parties and politicians; these maps aren’t for them. It was important for us to follow the commission’s process, use their criteria and analysis, and independently produce statistically fair maps, built from the feedback of the million members and retirees we represent.”
Specifically, the Michigan AFL-CIO’s Fair Maps Project produced maps with the following highlights in each chamber:
- According to various academic measures of partisan fairness, the proposed state house map has a small bias toward the Republican Party.
- The proposed map includes 12 majority-Black districts, an additional two majority-POC districts (including one that includes all of Southwest Detroit), and an additional two districts with a high concentration of Arab-Americans – who are considered White by the Census but are an important community of interest.
- The state house map is highly competitive and would be very likely to deliver a majority of seats to the party that wins the majority of votes statewide.
- Analysis found that 56 of the districts are more Republican than the statewide average, and 54 of the districts are more Democratic than the statewide average.
- The following background data about our maps publicly available at www.miaflcio.org/fairmaps: a statistical overview, a district-by-district breakdown, and detailed data for partisan fairness, compactness, and demographics & election results in each district and in the state as a whole.
- According to various academic measures of partisan fairness, the proposed state senate map has an extremely small bias toward the Republican Party.
- The proposed map includes 5 majority-Black districts and an additional district in Genesee County that would be over one-third POC.
- The state senate map is highly competitive and would be very likely to deliver a majority of seats to the party that wins the majority of votes.
- In a comparable analysis to the House, but this time based on the 2018 Attorney General election (the closest major statewide election concurrent with the most recent state Senate elections), examination of the state Senate districts and found that 19 of the districts are more Republican than the statewide average, while 19 are more Democratic than the statewide average.
- We have made the following background data about our maps publicly available at www.miaflcio.org/fairmaps: a statistical overview, a district-by-district breakdown, and detailed data for partisan fairness, compactness, and demographics & election results in each district and in the state as a whole.
For more information or with any questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
With over 1 million active and retired affiliate members across the state, the Michigan AFL-CIO is the state’s voluntary federation of national and international labor organizations.