Local Governments Push Redistricting Reform

Local governments across the state have begun passing resolutions in support of redistricting reform.

The Pittsburgh City Council led the way, passing a resolution in December, 2015, in support of SB 484, the senate bill supported by Fair Districts PA.

In April, the Cumberland County Commissioners passed their own resolution in support of a citizens commission for legislative redistricting and congressional reapportionment. According to Commissioner Jim Hertzler, “This is about good government in Pennsylvania (and) removing, to the fullest extent possible, politics and partisanship from the once-every-ten-years exercise of drawing state legislative and congressional districts so that voters, instead of politicians, are the ones choosing their elected officials.”

The Capitol Region Council of Governments, composed of municipalities and boroughs of Cumberland, Dauphin and York Counties, passed a similar resolution in mid-May, along with a chorus of resolutions from East Pennsboro, Upper Allen, West Hanover, Highspire and Lower Paxton townships.

In eastern Pennsylvania, the Swarthmore Borough Council has added its voice to calls for an independent citizens redistricting commission.

To echo the words of Cumberland Commissioner Hertzler, counties, townships, even cities, “should not be carved up…to suit the political whims of power brokers in Harrisburg.”

Has your own community been carved up in ways that diminish representation and undercut accountable government? Consider asking your county commissioners or town council to pass a resolution in support of redistricting reform.