Reform the Rules: Toolkit

It’s time to Fix Harrisburg! Bipartisan solutions deserve a vote.

Legislative rules put too much power in the hands of a few partisan gatekeepers. Before you take action, take time to learn more.

What you can do

Contact your state legislators

In-person visits—even virtual visits—make the biggest impression. Personal written communications are a close second, including emails, messages on web forms and handwritten letters. Write to share a little about yourself and your own reasons for concern.

For phone calls, practice what you want to say. Say a little about your concern that important bills are not passed and mention the importance of rules reform.

Talking Points:

  • Support procedural rules that guarantee bipartisan solutions get a vote. Put PA back on the path to government of, by and for the people.
  • Avoid rules that allow a few partisan gatekeepers (committee chairs and majority leaders) complete say over what bills are given a vote.
  • Legislators from all parts of the state and across the political spectrum should have a meaningful role in deciding what bills are enacted.
  • Bills with strong bipartisan support should be given a vote in committee, and if voted out of committee they deserve a vote on the chamber floor.
  • If bills pass in one chamber with bipartisan support, the other chamber should respect that work with a corresponding vote.

If you’d like help before planning a local advocacy visit, complete this form and the FDPA Advocacy Advisor team will contact you.

Look up legislator contact & more

Sign and share the #FixHarrisburg petition.

Write a letter to the editor

Use the sample text to write a letter to your hometown paper and feel free to add any further detail you think might be of interest locally.

Find submission details and advice here. If your letter is published, please post it on your local Fair Districts PA Facebook page and tag the statewide Facebook page.

Sample text:

It’s time to Fix Harrisburg.

Candidates campaign session after session on the same vexing problems: Burdensome property taxes. Underfunded schools. Out-dated regulations. Inadequate infrastructure. The list is long and growing longer every year.

What voters don’t realize is that those candidates will have little chance to solve the problems they talk about. Procedural rules
govern the formation of committees, the scheduling of bills, selection of leadership, among other things. The procedural rules allow just a few partisan gatekeepers to block bills sought by a majority of Pennsylvanians.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

Many states have procedural rules that encourage collaboration and allow all legislators some say in what gets a vote. PA has none of those rules in place. The result is government of, by and for a few leaders, rather than government of, by and for the people of PA.

What happens in Harrisburg impacts us all, every day, in more ways than we realize. Until there are better procedural rules, our most pressing problems won’t be solved.

Visit to learn more, sign the petition and find other ways to help, so bipartisan solutions can finally get a vote.

Use social media to spread the word

Invite a speaker

FDPA speakers are available to talk with your group or organization about the need to fix Harrisburg and reform the rules. Talks can be tailored to any audience or time length, both in person and on Zoom.