Pennsylvania earned a C+ on the community redistricting report card created by CHARGE.
Experts working with the Coalition Hub for Advancing Redistricting Grassroots Engagement graded states on several factors related to the redistricting process and mapping outcomes. Those factors included:
While there is still more work to be done, the graders noted that the latest PA redistricting process was more transparent, open, and responsive than prior cycles.
Organizational and community engagement strengthened: The report noted that organizations and coalitions contributed to a more responsive redistricting process in Pennsylvania by educating and driving community members to participate in providing testimony and in hearings.
Communities had greater influence in the redistricting process because the 2021 Legislative Redistricting Commission (LRC):
These steps all resulted in fairer and more representative maps.
The redistricting process must be improved: CHARGE noted that more structural reforms are required to bring greater transparency and public engagement for both congressional and legislative redistricting. This would ensure that state legislative redistricting is not wholly dependent on who is appointed to the commission. The most important structural reform would be a constitutional amendment implementing an independent redistricting commission in PA.
Greater transparency is still needed: While the LRC process was a marked improvement from past cycles, full public engagement would require the following:
The report emphasized the need to begin work on reform and public outreach much earlier in the redistricting cycle, tying information about redistricting to census and voter outreach efforts.
A C+ grade is not good enough. FDPA will continue advocating for structural reform and expand community outreach to ensure that a responsive, transparent, people-powered redistricting process becomes the norm for Pennsylvania.