DeLissio advocates for redistricting reform
HARRISBURG, Feb. 3 – In anticipation of the decennial U.S. Census report in 2020, which provides the accounting for where citizens live, state Rep. Pam DeLissio D-Montgomery/Phila., looks forward to the opportunity to continue to address redistricting reform; redrawing the geographic boundaries of state and congressional legislative districts.
The manipulation of the geographic boundaries to favor one political party is called gerrymandering. DeLissio said gerrymandering happens in our commonwealth every 10 years under the guise of redistricting.
There will be a number of pieces of legislation circulating in the PA General Assembly on this matter, and as DeLissio often exclaims, the devil is in the details.
Fair District PA is a grassroots coalition of citizens and organizations working to ensure that district maps are drawn in a fair and transparent way through a process that allows voters to choose their legislators rather than legislators choosing their voters.
Senate Bill 484 from last session along with the House companion bill (H.B. 1835) sought to amend the Pennsylvania Constitution to establish an independent citizens redistricting commission with clear standards to ensure public input and a fair, non-partisan outcome. Both bills received positive review from redistricting analysts and both were supported by legislators from both parties and will be reintroduced this session.
Common Cause PA and the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania, have passed resolutions in support of redistricting reform.
DeLissio encourages anyone who wants to better understand the political and legislative process to consider getting involved with the redistricting reform effort. Fair Districts PA holds twice a month conference calls on the first and third Thursday of the month to keep citizens informed about this effort. Local groups are also organizing. You can visit the website at FairDistrictsPA.com.
“If the size of the legislature were to be reduced without gerrymandering being outlawed, our governance process would be even more prone to serving special interests and not our citizens,” said DeLissio.