When it comes to Pennsylvania politics, the Lehigh Valley Live website says voters deserve better. And more, that they deserve reform – in the realm of redistricting in particular.
Fortunately, the need for fair, competitive legislative and Congressional districts comes at a time when interest in reform is high, the news organization recently wrote.
Not convinced gerrymandering is a serious issue in the current state of Pennsylvania politics? What LehighValleyLive.com had to say may just change your mind:
“The long stalemate between Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and Republican majorities in the Legislature was made possible by lawmakers ensconced in “safe” districts through gerrymandering. They knew they wouldn’t be called on the carpet by enough constituents to matter, or by credible election opponents.”
But that, they said, is a symptom of a more significant problem:
“Pennsylvania is among the most gerrymandered of states. Redrawing congressional and legislative districts to protect incumbents and extend majority power is taking its toll. Voter apathy is perpetuated. Challengers are discouraged by daunting registration numbers and the inability to attract campaign money.
The net result is bad government. Incumbent protectionism neuters debate, problem-solving, compromise, reform and progress.
There is hope, however, that Pennsylvania could join a handful of states opting for independent commissions to oversee the remapping of districts every 10 years.”
That hope? A bipartisan group of legislators who’ve come together to create two bills – one in the state Senate and one in the House – that would change the way political maps are drawn in Pennsylvania by creating an independent redistricting commission.
Fair Districts PA = a coalition of citizens and nonpartisan nonprofit groups calling for this kind of reform – is a vocal supporter of this legislation and we invite you to learn more about the bills and to join us in advocating for them by signing our petition.