Populations counts from the 2020 Federal Census were released at the end of April. Pennsylvania has gone from 18 to 17 congressional seats, and soon our legislators will begin creating congressional and state legislative districts that will be in place for the next decade. The results of that effort will determine constituencies for candidates running for Congressional and state House and Senate office and thus will affect the politics, policies and legislative agendas for the next 10 years.
Gerrymandering, the drawing of district lines to benefit a particular political party or candidate, has been used extensively in the past to gain or maintain power and control in our General Assembly. Republicans and Democrats both employ this tactic when given the opportunity and the power to draw the lines. PA voters prefer this were not the case; 70% believe the current method of drawing districts creates polarization and gridlock.
During this redistricting, the process must be open and transparent allowing legislators and citizens an opportunity to make known their concerns and to remedy the county and municipal splits of the last decade. Currently in House and Senate committees, the Legislative and Congressional Redistricting Act or LACRA (HB22/SB222) prioritizes and codifies criteria already mentioned in the PA Constitution. LACRA ensures a transparent process, provides for public input, and establishes strict rules for drawing maps and accountability. We have some strong, knowledgeable leaders in our legislature and in the populace. The time is right; the moment is now! We need to get this done! For more information visit FairDistrictsPA.com.
Jean Handley, Harrisburg
Dauphin County Coordinator
Fair Districts PA
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