The terms “racial equity” and “communities of interest” are sometimes equated, as if respect for communities of interest is the sole and best guarantee of racial equity.
Fair Districts PA strongly supports the need for racial equity in any redistricting process. At the same time, we are aware of divided opinion regarding “community of interest” provisions within a legislative framework. The following is an attempt to clarify our position in this continuing conversation.
Communities of interest and racial equity are not synonymous.
Our supported bills include the following as additional protection for minority communities:
Opinion is divided regarding community of interest language:
States are the laboratories of democracy in an experiment still in process.
We believe that in Pennsylvania the best avenue to racial equity is a demographically diverse commission with provisions for compliance with the Voting Rights Act, required public input and transparency and protection of municipal and county boundaries, plus explicit protection of minority participation.
We are working to have this reform in place for legislative and congressional redistricting before 2021.