Co-sponsor Memo for Redistricting Reform Bill

It’s time to start advocating for House Bill 1776, a PA constitutional amendment to create an independent redistricting commission.

On March 7, two long-time supporters of redistricting reform circulated a co-sponsorship memorandum for House Bill 1776. Representative Steve Samuelson (a Democrat serving House District 135 in Northampton County), and Representative Mark Gillen (a Republican serving House District 128 in Berks County), are both longtime supporters of redistricting reform. Both voted NO on the notorious Senate Bill 1249, the bill that put in place some of the most gerrymandered congressional districts in US history. Both represent districts that were severely harmed by the gerrymandering of the last decade.

The proposed legislation reflects conversations with legislators, mappers, national redistricting experts and longtime opponents of gerrymandering in PA. The bill includes provisions from past redistricting reform proposals while incorporating new lessons learned from the latest round of redistricting in PA and other states. There is no perfect redistricting process, and no perfect map, but a growing body of evidence suggests key provisions that can limit conflicts of interest, expand public involvement and prevent district lines that lock in advantage for one political party. Those include genuine commission independence; equal access to data and mapping platforms; well-publicized, accessible public meetings; and clearly prioritized mapping criteria. All are included in HB 1776.

Join us in Harrisburg on April 10

Reps. Samuelson and Gillen intend to introduce the bill in early April and will hold a press conference announcing introduction on April 10, at noon, in the Capitol rotunda. FDPA Chair Carol Kuniholm will be among the speakers. Supporters are welcome to attend. Register here to attend or to help distribute materials to legislators’ offices before the press conference begins. In the meantime, it’s time to schedule meetings with PA representatives to invite them to co-sponsor or to thank those who already have. Find your representatives, and see if they’ve co-sponsored.

Attend an informational meeting or advocacy training

FDPA speakers are providing in-person informational meetings in various locations, with background on redistricting and specifics about the proposed bill.

Advocacy team leaders are also providing team advocacy Zoom meetings to help volunteers prepare for advocacy visits. Find details on these events and more on the FDPA events page.

Read the co-sponsor memo

Two-page bill summary

Draft of proposed bill