DeLissio announces relaunch of the Government Reform Caucus at rally

HARRISBURG, April 26 – Last week, state Rep. Pam DeLissio (D-Phila./Montgomery) joined constituents and many other citizens from Fair Districts PA in the Capitol Rotunda in their rally for redistricting reform.

“Last session, our collective two-year effort resulted in no legislation regarding this matter making it to the governor’s desk,” DeLissio said. “Instead of giving up, Fair Districts PA has regrouped and, armed with a new strategy, is determined to ensure that an independent citizens’ commission draws the lines for the congressional, state Senate and House redistricting that will occur in 2021.

“During my remarks at the rally, I spoke about three of my favorite hashtags: #cluckfuster, #WhenYouHaveToCheatToWin and #FairAndSquare. Our current system for redistricting is a #cluckfuster. It is clear that not all of the General Assembly does not seem to understand that #WhenYouHaveToCheatToWin, the citizens are the real losers. All that citizens really want is a system that is #FairAndSquare.

“Since my first town hall meeting in 2011 and at every one of my 83 town hall meetings since, I have mentioned the need for redistricting reform. In 2011, constituents wondered why I was talking about a topic that was not needed until 2021. Yet here we are in 2019 still attempting to get this legislation through the General Assembly.

“Our current redistricting system continues to not be fair to the citizens it serves. That is why it is imperative for both sides to work together to create a fair system that serves all citizens equally.”

DeLissio chose to use this opportunity at Tuesday’s rally to announce her effort to reconvene the Government Reform Caucus, a bicameral (House and Senate) and bipartisan (Democrats and Republicans) caucus that focuses on good government reforms.

The Government Reform Caucus was originally convened in March 2013 by Rep. Bryan Cutler, R-Lancaster, and former Sen. Rob Teplitz, D-Dauphin/York. From March 2013 through June 2016, the caucus addressed topics such as gift ban legislation, campaign finance reforms and voting improvements. The goal was to find common ground and to identify legislation that the caucus could support. The redistricting reform issue derailed the caucus.

In contrast to the previous caucus, the relaunched caucus will include the active involvement of advocates and stakeholders who are focused on good government reforms in general. Currently, many special interest caucuses in Harrisburg have the benefit of such outside input. It is anticipated that stakeholder input will bolster this caucus’ efforts.

“We need to change how Harrisburg does business, and the Government Reform Caucus could provide a vehicle to help initiate change,” DeLissio said.