Now is your chance to LEAD: Apply to Serve on the Citizen’s Redistricting Commission
By Josiah Jaster, LEAD Alumni
This is a great opportunity to become active in our state and have a long-term, positive influence. In November 2018, the people of Michigan enacted a constitutional amendment requiring that 13 randomly selected citizens serve as an Independent Citizen’s Redistricting Commission whose purpose will be to reshape the US House, State Senate, and State House districts. It is imperative that we get conservative Christians on this commission to ensure that districts are shaped fairly.
The way districts are drawn determines if it is even possible for the people to elect representatives that proportionately reflect their views. Because the commissioners are randomly selected, it is essential that we get as many godly leaders as possible to apply, so that as many godly leaders as possible are chosen.
This is a fantastic way to get involved in state government, especially for those without a long political background. The Secretary of State needs applicants with little political experience. If you feel like you don’t know anything about redistricting, that’s okay. Eligibility rules for the commission make it difficult for those heavily involved in politics to serve. In other words, the Secretary of State is ruling out those candidates with the most experience on the issues of redistricting gerrymandering. In the event you would get selected, you would be trained on what you need to do.
Serving as a Redistricting Commissioner allows you to make a lasting impact while living your everyday life. Commissioners will be working from the fall of 2020 until the fall of 2021, and the time commitment will vary from week to week. According to the SOS, many weeks will take only several hours of work, while other weeks may be much more time consuming. Commissioners will be paid approximately $40,000 for the year, and expenses are likely to be covered as well. So, while citizens are applying for this commission to be civil servants, they would also get compensated for their work. Since serving is not a full-time commitment, commissioners will be able to retain their day jobs, as long as they can be slightly flexible.
The main requirement to serve is that you must be registered and eligible to vote by August 15th, 2020. There are also certain people who will be eliminated from consideration for the commission if they have held office, or have run for a partisan office or are closely related to someone who has (see SOS website for more details).
Please prayerfully consider applying to serve! Whether or not you are able to serve, please help spread the word to anyone you know who is eligible to serve on the commission. This is an opportunity for all citizens who are willing to sacrifice time to serve without promoting a political agenda. As followers of Christ, we are called to be faithful citizens through voting and participation in the political process. The Commission may be one way for people of faith to serve their fellow Michiganders.
For more information, please visit the SOS website at https://www.michigan.gov/sos/0,4670,7-127-1633_91141—,00.html. Apply to the commission here: https://redistrictingapplication.sos.state.mi.us/Home/GetApplication.
Josiah Jaster is four-time LEAD Alumni who is passionate about leading others in Christian Citizenship.