California Redistricting Commissioners to Visit PA

Three members of the award-winning California citizens redistricting commission will visit Pennsylvania to share their experience.

In 2017, the California Citizens Redistricting Commission received the prestigious Roy and Lila Ash Innovations Award for Public Engagement in Government in recognition of their success in implementing a more transparent, citizen-driven redistricting process in their state.

The award came with a $100,000 grant to promote the successful adoption of similar measures in other states working to end partisan gerrymandering.

The three commissioners, Gil Ontai, Jeanne Raya and Stanley Forbes, are scheduled to appear at four town hall meetings across Pennsylvania in late March.

Gil Ontai is a practicing architect and faculty member at Springfield College. He served as a city redevelopment board director for San Diego’s downtown district and as a city planning commissioner for eight years. He has graduate degrees in architecture and education, is registered with the Republican Party and lives in San Diego. 

Jeanne Raya is an agency principal with a family-owned insurance agency. She has a law degree from UC Davis, maintained a private law practice for 14 years and served as president of the California La Raza Lawyers Association and of the San Gabriel Chamber of Commerce. She is a registered Democrat and lives in San Gabriel in Los Angeles County.

Stanley Forbes spent 32 years operating a family ranch and almond farm and now co-owns and manages an independent bookstore in Esparto, Yolo County. He has a law degree from Vanderbilt University and is registered as “Decline-To-State.”

The commissioners will be meeting with some of our PA legislators both privately and in larger settings and will be speaking about their experience and answering questions in four public redistricting town halls.

Scheduled Town Halls:

Monday, March 26, 7 PM, Widener Law School Auditorium, Harrisburg. Details and RSVP here.

Tuesday, March 27, 7 PM, Park Forest Middle School, State College. Details and RSVP here.

Wednesday, March 28, 2 PM, Montgomery County Community College Science Theater, Blue Bell. Details and RSVP here.  

Wednesday, March 28, 7 PM, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia. Details and RSVP here.

At least one of these meetings will be recorded and shared on our YouTube channel

Commissioners will also be speaking with press and participating in media opportunities during their visit. They are eager to share their experience of “transpartisan” engagement, prioritizing concern for their state and communities rather than allow partisan loyalties to dictate electoral outcomes.

Come hear them if you can. Press reports and links will be added to this page as they become available.