The Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (MICRC) approved its nine collaborative proposed maps and an additional six from individual commissioners for the state Senate, state House and congressional districts earlier this month. The lines will go into effect for the 2022 elections and be in place for 10 years. Now experts are weighing in on the maps as the commission — which is composed of four Republicans, four Democrats and five independents — prepares for another round of public hearings starting in Ann Arbor Thursday. 

George Ochenski writes, “For years now we’ve been subjected to an endless stream of nonsense from those who deny the inescapable reality that our planet is overheating due to human-caused pollution in the atmosphere. It’s now apparent that the cascading effects of global baking — and the concurrent lack of action by our politicians and lawmakers — are creating enormous societal, economic and environmental problems and threatening our very existence.”

Hundreds of Michigan cities and townships are at risk of losing all or a few of their polling places if a provision within the controversial, Republican-led “Secure MI Vote” petition was enacted, according to a new report from Progress Michigan. One provision would limit clerks from utilizing nonprofit properties (churches, places of worship, etc.) that were previously donated as polling spaces unless clerks bought them out. Churches and places of worship accounted for 20% of Michigan polling places in the 2020 election. 

Parker James writes, “No amount of lead exposure is safe, especially for children. In addition to lead in the water, lead paint in older housing stock and even lead in the ground from paint and gasoline remnants also pose danger. The damaging effects of lead exposure are well documented, and lead contamination in water plays a significant role in overall lead poisonings. Lead poisoning causes harm to brain development and can result in a range of mental and physical health conditions. For these reasons, addressing lead has been and remains a priority for advocates of children and families, including the Michigan League for Public Policy and our Kids Count in Michigan Project.”

The Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (MICRC) Friday approved nine proposed maps — three each for the state House, state Senate and congressional districts — but have opened the door for potentially introducing new maps proposed by individual commissioners down the road. The question now is if that’s allowed by the Michigan Constitution, and if it is, would those maps be held to the 45-day comment period standard?

The International Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) report “Climate Change 2021: the Physical Science Basis” is described by United Nations Secretary General António Guterres as a “code red for humanity.” It is a centerpiece of the global climate summit that opened Monday in Glasgow, Scotland. Some 30,000 people from around the world are braving COVID-19 to gather for what is described as an historic and urgent mission.

Regulators at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday granted emergency authorization to Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for 5- to 11-year-olds, a step that means kid-sized doses can begin shipping to health care providers across the country. The Centers for Disease Control’s panel of vaccine experts is scheduled to meet Tuesday to discuss guidelines for the vaccine’s use in the younger age group.