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New Voting Districts Approved by Commission Splits Up Majority Black LGBTQ+ Neighborhood

Commission-approved 'Chestnut' map to be in place for next decade

Jason A. Michael

The Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission voted Tuesday to adopt the final congressional map for the next decade. The map, which the Commission referred to as "Chestnut," received 8 votes from the 13-person panel. The other five voted for alternative plans. The map will finalize the state's 13 U.S. House districts, of which seven lean Democratic and six lean Republican. 

LGBT Detroit had previously submitted an alternative map for consideration, one that, unlike the map that passed, left the heavily Black, LGBTQ+ district of Palmer Park as one voting block.

"Our request was 'Do not split Palmer Park up,'" said Jerron Totten, LGBT Detroit's legislative advocacy specialist. "Unfortunately, they did split the area up."

Totten said that the map LGBT Detroit submitted received more public support than any other map.

"We rallied support for the maps we drew," he said. "Once the Commission drew their own maps, we then said, 'These are the maps that best serve our community's interests."

Even though they ultimately didn't choose LGBT Detroit's map, Totten said out of those they seriously considered Chestnut was the best. "What is good about what happened is they did listen when we told them to choose Chestnut as the congressional map," said Totten. 

Some groups are allegedly considering taking legal action against the Commission which could delay the implementation of the new districts.

"I know there are some organizations that will be suing," Totten said. "We're not a part of that process and I'm not sure exactly who they are. But this process may not be completely over."

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