Help us send a clear message to Harrisburg: Pennsylvanians support fair districting policies, and we’re willing to fight for them.
Contacting your state legislators is one of the most effective ways to help our cause. We recommend phone calls, in-person visits, or printed letters—email doesn’t have as great an impact. Other things to keep in mind:
Ready to get started? Follow these steps for a phone call or in-person meeting.
If you aren’t sure who your legislators are, go to the PA General Assembly locator tool to find them, then use the drop-down list in our Advocacy Record Keeping tool below. The tool provides contact info, if they supported past reform efforts OR have signed on to new ones.
If you are planning a visit, you can also ask us for the latest insight on your legislator’s positions and advice on how to approach them. We’re constantly gathering updates from citizens like you who’ve already spoken with their representatives.
In-person visits make the biggest impression—but the more of us who speak up, the more your legislator will hear how important this issue is to their constituents. If you can’t visit, please call or send an email, or create a postcard. Every legislator is different, but these talking points will help you have a productive, accurate conversation with anyone.
In the House, we’re asking representatives to co-sponsor House Bills 22 and 23. While the bills aren’t formally introduced, Representatives Murt and Samuelson have circulated co-sponsor memos. The goal is to have as many cosponsors as possible before the bills are introduced this spring. In any communication, be sure to focus on the need to fix legislative redistricting as well as congressional.
Remember: you can also ask your representatives in the House to support efforts to reform procedural rules. Ask them to co-sponsor House Resolutions 11 to 20. Find more information here.
According to a 2016 Franklin & Marshall poll, this sentiment is strong across voters of all parties—76 percent of Republicans, 86 percent of Democrats, and 88 percent of Independents feel this way. Only 1 in 7 registered voters believes that the state legislature is doing an excellent or good job. In a follow-up poll in 2018, 69 percent of respondents wanted an independent commission to take over the redistricting process.
The five-member commission in charge of legislative redistricting is controlled by party leaders who can and do punish rank-and-file members who vote against the party line by simply drawing them out of their districts.
Legislators struggle to keep track of which people are their constituents—and residents aren’t sure, either. Plus, when districts are stretched out and oddly shaped, it takes excessive driving time to get between district offices.
Our large legislature, our status as one of the largest remaining swing states, and our lax campaign finance laws make us a major target: RNCC REDMAP 2020, DLCC Advantage 2020, DGA Unrig the Map, and the National Democratic Redistricting Committee are all working hard to flip districts in PA. Unprecedented outside money will create an even more negative tone and discourage good people from both parties from seeking public office.
When the four legislative leaders can’t decide on a fifth commission member, the State Supreme Court picks for them. That court is now dominated by judges who were elected as Democrats—which might upend plans favored by Republicans.
Redistricting reform has become a rallying cry among a range of groups, and voters are taking notice. Leaders who demonstrate their commitment to fairness and are willing to correct our system will win many fans—while those who don’t will continue to lose the confidence of their voters.
In the Senate, we are not yet asking for support for a specific bill. Senators Boscola and Folmer are circulating a co-sponsor memo for a reintroduction of Senate Bill 22, but we can’t support the bill without some key changes. If you do talk with your state senator, stress the need for the Two Bill, One Commission strategy and a truly independent process.
Did your legislator express concerns about supporting our cause, push back against the facts you shared, or are they supportive? Tell us about your experience—we’ll add it to our files and use it to help the next citizens who want to contact their legislator.