Happy New Year. This year, Michigan’s elected officials begin representing some of the wackiest districts in recent years. This is because the re-districting process that Michigan goes through every 10 years apparently abandoned any attempt to maintain compact districts. And, as a result, we have some truly serpentine districts for State House and Senate as well as members of the U.S. House of Representatives. The districts are as narrow as 600 feet in places, the reported length of one of Babe Ruth’s home runs.
We have decided to have a contest and let our readers decide which district they consider most serpentine. “Serpentine” means “winding or turning one way and another” according to one definition in Webster’s that captures the connotation we seek to convey here.
Below, you will find 11 different Michigan districts (four from the U. S. House of Representatives, four from the Michigan Senate, and three from the Michigan House) that can viewed as serpentine. These were nominated by political scientists and graduate students. We are asking our readers to choose which district, by popular vote, is the most serpentine. After a week of voting we will post the results.
- The Ninth Congressional District in the state covers communities in both Macomb and St. Clair counties. These communities are: Bloomfield Township, Southfield Township, City of Royal Oak, Berkley, Huntington Woods, Pleasant Ridge, Ferndale, Hazel Park, Madison Heights, Center Line, Warren, Sterling Heights, Mt. Clemens, Fraser, Clinton Township, Roseville, Eastpointe, and St. Clair Shores. On Nov. 6 Sander Levin-D was elected to represent this district; he previously represented the 12th Congressional District before redistricting.
- The 11th Congressional District is made up of the following Oakland County communities: Clawson, Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Troy, Auburn Hills, Lake Angelus City, Keego Harbor, Sylvan Lake, Waterford Township, White Lake Township, Commerce Township, Milford Township, Walled Lake, Wixom, City of Novi, Novi Township, City of Northville, Northville Township, City of Plymouth, Plymouth Township, Livonia, City of Farmington, Canton, Lyon Township, and the City of South Lyon. Thad McCotter resigned as the representative on July 6, 2012. Kerry Bentivolio-R will be begin representing this district in January.
- The 13th Congressional District covers the Wayne County communities of: Redford Township, Highland Park, portions of Detroit, Ecorse, Melvindale, River Rouge, Dearborn Heights, Inkster, Wayne, Westland, and Romulus. This district is represented by John Conyers Jr.-D.
- The 14th Congressional District in the state is made up of: Pontiac, Orchard Lake, West Bloomfield Township, Farmington Hills, City of Southfield, City of Lathrup, Grosse Pointe Shores, Oak Park, Royal Oak, Hamtramck, a portion of Detroit, Harper Woods, Grosse Point Farms, Grosse Pointe Shores, Grosse Pointe, and Grosse Pointe Park. This district, which was formerly the Ninth District, is represented by Gary Peters-D, who was re-elected on Nov. 6.
- The First State Senate District in Michigan is made up of: Grosse Ile, Gibraltar, Brownstown, Trenton, Woodhaven, Riverview, Wyandotte, Ecorse, River Rouge and a portion of Detroit. This district is represented by Coleman Young II-D.
- The Second Senatorial District in the state is made up of: portions of Detroit, Highland Park, Hamtramck, Harper Woods, Grosse Pointe Woods, Grosse Pointe Shores, Grosse Pointe Farms, Grosse Pointe, and Grosse Pointe Park. This district is represented by Bert Johnson-D.
- The Fourth Senatorial District in the state is made up of: Southgate, Allen Park, Lincoln Park, and portions of Detroit. This district is represented by Virgil Smith Jr.-D.
- The Fifth Michigan Senatorial District is made up of: portions of Detroit, Redford Township, Dearborn Heights, Garden City, and Inkster. It is represented by Tupac Hunter; he is currently serving his second term.
- The 13th District for the Michigan House of State Representatives is made up of: portions of Dearborn Heights, Allen Park, and Southgate. Andrew Kandrevas-D is currently the representative for the district and was elected again on Nov. 6.
- The 29th District for the State House of Representatives is made up of: Auburn Hills, Pontiac, and Orchard Lake. The current representative is Tim Greimel-D, he was elected to serve again on Nov. 6.
- The 76th House of Representatives District covers the City of Grand Rapids. On Nov. 6, incumbent Republican Roy Schmidt (who was formerly a Democrat) was defeated by Democrat Winnie Brinks.
The pictures of the districts were provided by the Michigan Secretary of State website.