CLOSUP to help expand Michigan redistricting resources in partnership with MSU’s IPPSR

May 24, 2021

Michigan State University’s Institute for Public Policy and Social Research  (IPPSR) and the Ford School’s Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy (CLOSUP) are collaborating to educate and assist Michigan’s Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission, thanks to a new grant from the Joyce Foundation.

IPPSR secured the $250,000 grant to extend educational and consulting activities for the state’s decennial redistricting. Through a subcontract to U-M, CLOSUP will assist in the educational and research activities. 

“This is an historic opportunity to help with redistricting, a critical government function under our Constitution, carried out under an entirely new process this cycle,” said IPPSR Director Matt Grossmann, MSU political science professor. Grossman recently served as moderator of CLOSUP’s webinar: Michigan Redistricting: Making Public Hearings Fair and Effective.

“IPPSR is also pleased to partner with CLOSUP at the University of Michigan and its leaders, to share resources, conduct educational programming and evaluate the redistricting process,” Grossmann added.

Through the grant, IPPSR is conducting sessions to orient the first-ever Independent Citizens' Redistricting Commission about the Voting Rights Act, Communities of Interest and its constitutional duties to create new maps governing Michigan voting districts.

”CLOSUP is excited to help support and evaluate Michigan’s new approach to redistricting, one of the most significant policy developments in our home state in decades. And we look forward to partnering with our IPPSR colleagues on this important work,” said Tom Ivacko, executive director of CLOSUP.

A 2018 amendment to the Michigan Constitution empowered a randomly selected commission – made up of five independents, four Republicans and four Democrats – to draw the boundaries outlining the state’s U.S. House, state Senate and state House districts.

Districts must be redrawn every 10 years upon completion of a new U.S. Census and must be completed in time for the next statewide elections in 2022.

A unit of MSU’s College of Social Science, IPPSR connects citizens to decision makers through public policy education, political leadership development and survey research. 

As the commission completes its work, IPPSR will gain an insider’s perspective from which to assess and evaluate Michigan’s new redistricting process, working with CLOSUP to review the activities and outcome.

The Chicago-based Joyce Foundation supports evidence-informed public policies and strategies to advance racial equity and economic mobility for the next generation in states including Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.

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