Fair Districts PA announces support for the proposed maps of Governor Wolf and Draw The Lines. Today the Senate State Government Committee meets to vote on a Congressional Map.
From the beginning our focus has been on removing the conflict of interest politicians have in drawing district maps. When legislative leaders manipulate district boundaries to keep themselves in office or to silence their opposition, we ALL lose. This abuse of our political system has made Pennsylvania one of the most gerrymandered states in the country.
We do not support HB 2146 as is. We have questions about the selection and amendment process and lack of clarity about priorities and criteria.
We appreciate the public process and narrative about process and priorities accompanying the Draw the Lines Citizen’s Map. We also appreciate the process undertaken by the Governor’s Redistricting Advisory Council to listen to citizens and create redistricting guidelines, which have informed the map he proposes. We would support either map.
Regarding splitting Pittsburgh: the boundaries of many PA cities no longer reflect the lived experience of those who live there. A strong argument can be made for splitting cities themselves to provide more accurate representation for the entire metro area, depending on the size of the city and the composition of neighboring communities. In this, as in so much else, local voices matter.
We believe the process as it has been demonstrated so far makes clear the need to enact legislation clarifying the redistricting process, timeline, public input and enforceable priorities.
We also would like to see more analysis on any proposed map regarding expanded opportunities for minority representation, given the significant and continuing growth in Pennsylvania’s minority communities.