Today Governor Wolf released an executive order creating a Pennsylvania Redistricting Reform Commission.
The commission will examine best practices, invite public input and make recommendations for a non-partisan redistricting reform process. The full announcement is available here.
Two leaders from within our Fair Districts PA coalition will be part of the commission. David Thornburgh, Executive Director of the Committee of Seventy, has been appointed as chairman. Susan Carty, President of the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania, will also serve on the commission, along with academics, past elected officials, four current legislators and Amanda Holt, who led a successful lawsuit challenging the 2011 legislative district map.
Governor Wolf’s executive order is a very positive and encouraging development in the fight against partisan gerrymandering. As the Governor’s order clearly states: “Pennsylvania residents have overwhelmingly expressed their desire for an independent, nonpartisan redistricting commission to oversee the legislative redistricting process.”
Fair Districts PA supporters across the state welcome the opportunity to offer comment and attend commission meetings on this important issue. Our coalition of good-government organizations and thousands of citizen advocates will provide whatever help we can to end the conflict of interest that allows party leaders to draw district lines designed to maintain their power and protect incumbents.
We’ll be encouraging Fair Districts PA supporters to attend the six open meetings to be held across the state and to submit comments online in support of an independent citizens commission.
As the order says, “the success of our democracy demands fair, equitable elections.” Fair districts, drawn through a fair, transparent process, are foundational to representative democracy and essential to restoring confidence in our electoral system.
Fair Districts PA commends Governor Wolf for this important step forward in the fight to end gerrymandering. This new commission will be a valuable addition to the work toward redistricting reform and a chance to broaden the conversation with legislators and the public.