About 130 Pennsylvanians gathered at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Harrisburg to celebrate accomplishments of the past few years and prepare for the challenges ahead. FDPA Chair Carol Kuniholm opened the meeting, acknowledging the dedicated work of volunteers across the state that contributed to better legislative maps drawn for the next decade.
The conference theme, Reclaiming Our Democracy, focused on three areas of work remaining:
Anthony Eid, member of the first Michigan Citizens Independent Redistricting Commission, shared highlights of the Michigan effort.
John Kromer, professor with Penn Urban Studies and author of “Fixing Broken Cities”, introduced FDPA’s new report: Dysfunction By Design? Why Pennsylvania’s State Legislature Is So Unproductive… and How We Can Fix It.
Susan Boser, professor in the Department of Sociology, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, spoke about challenges facing PA’s rural communities and the importance of rural voices in political discourse
Pennsylvania Policy Director for BFA, explained why democracy is good for business and spoke about the importance of building coalitions with business leaders across the state to support fair, secure and accessible elections for Pennsylvanians.
Formerly incarcerated activist and veteran Nick Pressley, All Voting is Local’s Pennsylvania State Director, shared his commitment to bridging the urban/rural divide and the work of winning power for marginalized communities everywhere.
Tom Ulrich, founder of Good Government PA, made clear that prior experience is not required to build virtual and local networks and provided examples of building networks to support the work of democracy. Reclaiming Our Democracy: Redistricting, Rules and Representation, 3:30-4:30pm
Susan Spicka, executive director of Education Voters of PA, explained inequities in PA charter and cyber-charter school funding formulas and the urgent need for fair funding reform.
Drew Hart. Assistant Professor of theology at Messiah College in Pennsylvania, described his work of collaboration with faith-based activists to advocate for anti-racism and address societal challenges. He is the author of “Trouble I’ve Seen: Changing the Way the Church Views Racism” and directs Messiah’s Thriving Together: Congregations for Racial Justice.
Links will be added as these sessions are posted on the Fair Districts PA YouTube channel
Fix Harrisburg / Legislative Rules Reform:
Local Organizing and Building Coalitions: