We can stop partisan gerrymandering in Pennsylvania for good. And we can do it by 2021.
Redistricting will next happen after the 2020 census—which means the time is now to put fair redistricting standards into place.
The key change we advocate: Appoint an impartial, independent citizens commission to direct the process—not politicians drawing their own district lines. States that have put citizen commissions in place have seen improvements in representation, competitiveness, and voter trust.
To make this a reality, we have to change the PA constitution. Here’s what it will take:
That’s no easy task, but we’re well on our way: bipartisan bills have already been introduced in the PA House and Senate and co-sponsored by a dozen legislators. And once a fair-districts policy gets to voters, they tend to approve it by huge margins.
In other words, we can do this. But we need your help to put the pressure on Harrisburg to make it happen.
Fair Districts PA supports PA Senate Bill 22, a bipartisan proposal introduced by Senators Lisa Boscola, a Democrat, and Mario Scavello, a Republican, in February 2017.
Fair Districts PA also supports PA House Bill 722, a bipartisan proposal introduced by Representative Eric Roe, a Republican, and Representative Steve Samuelson, a Democrat, in April 2017.
We believe this pair of bills is the strongest proposal on the table today, and represents the best chance we’ve had in decades to enact redistricting reform in Pennsylvania.
Both SB 22 and HB 722 propose to create an independent citizens commission in charge of both legislative and congressional redistricting. The commission would include 11 members, selected at random by the Pennsylvania Secretary of State from three pools of qualified candidates:
The commission would be:
This commission would be responsible for developing all district maps. Approval of a final plan would then require:
Once approved by the commission, the new district maps would not be subject to approval by the PA House and Senate or the governor, but any citizen could appeal the maps directly to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
We support SB 22 and HB 722 because they provide multiple safeguards for a fairer process, ensure a capable and demographically representative commission, and reduce the major political parties’ ability to manipulate district lines. While other redistricting initiatives have been introduced that address some of these concerns, they fall short of resolving the core conflicts of interest in today’s process.