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Redistricting commission members selected in "historic day for Michigan's democracy"

Livestream screenshot from selection process

The thirteen members of Michigan's new redistricting commission were randomly selected Monday, with the process livestreamed so all residents could watch.  

Voters approved the commission in 2018 to shift redistricting authority from politicians to citizens.

Assistant Secretary of State Heaster Wheeler presided over the process, saying, "This is truly a historic day for Michigan's democracy."

Steven Blann of the accounting firm Rehmann LLC showed every step of the process, as a software program separated 180 names into lists for Democrats, Republicans, and those unaffiliated with a political party.  

Highland resident Janice Valette is in that last group.

"I'm just happy to have been chosen and look forward to participating and make things more fair in how we pick our representatives," she says.

Juanita Curry is a 73-year old black Detroiter. She will be one of four Democrats who will serve.
"I just wanted to be doing something that was important," she says. "And I thought that would be something that I would enjoy and like to do, never dreaming that I would get chosen, but I am very pleased that I am."
The other randomly selected commissioners are Democrats M. Rothhorn,  Dustin Witjes and Brittni Kellom; Republicans Erin Wagner, Cynthia Orton, Douglas Clark and Rhonda Lange; and unaffiliated commissioners James Decker, Richard Weiss, Steven Lett and Anthony Eid.

The commission will begin holding meetings this year, and finalize new political districts next year, in time for the 2022 election season. 

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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