On April 18, Representatives Steve Samuelson (Democrat from Northampton County) and Eric Roe (Republican from Chester County) shared the co-sponsor memo for House Bill 722.
This bill, almost identical to SB 22, would amend the Pennsylvania Constitution to establish an independent citizens commission to redistrict Congressional as well as State House and Senate districts.
By April 28, 64 representatives had signed on to co-sponsor the bill. Four more signed on today, bringing co-sponsors to 68, over one third of our PA representatives, in just under two weeks.
Many of the co-sponsors know first hand the disruption to communities when district lines divide municipalities and counties unnecessarily.
Many believe an independent commission would open the door to more accountable government, more effective representation and greater trust in the electoral process.
Many of them have heard from you, their constituents, about the need for change.
Some representatives have asked to see the bill itself before signing on. The blueback (draft copy before introduction) is available online here.
Some have asked thoughtful questions about specific language in the bill or about why we support it. Our responses to those questions and others are available to download here.
There is no way to take politics out of our electoral processes, but we believe HB 722 and SB 22 would remove partisan manipulation and personal motivation.
For most of us, redistricting reform is not the issue that brought us to the political arena. We are motivated by a wide mix of priorities: equitable school funding, accountable government, a strong PA economy, fair wages, well-prepared work force, strategic, long-term planning, a commonwealth where every family thrives. Our priorities are wide, but we’ve come to a shared conclusion: if we can’t reform the way districts are drawn, we will never have a responsive government able to address the other pressing issues that concern us.
Please check our spreadsheet to see where if your own legislators have supported HB 722 or SB 22. If so, please send a quick “Thank You!” email and ask that they urge their colleagues to support these bills.
If not, please share the link to the appropriate bill and ask them to co-sponsor.