UPDATE: Ending Gerrymandering in PA

art for fair districts

Editor’s Note: Today, we wanted to bring you an update from our friends at Fair Districts PA – a coalition to which Pennsylvanians for Fair Elections belongs. Here’s what you need to know:

Dear Friends,

It’s been a busy few weeks for Fair Districts PA. We’ve had crowded events in places like Philadelphia, where over 700 citizens gathered a block from City Hall to learn about gerrymandering, and in Allentown, where more than 300 turned out on a Friday night to explore the need for change. We’ve had speakers across the state speak to forums, civic gatherings and organizations of all kinds.

As we speak, we’ve had advocates on other issues say “we all need to join together to see this change.” We’ve been told by legislators – past and present – that until our redistricting process is reformed, Harrisburg will be the place where good solutions die.

Senators Lisa Boscola (D) and Mario Scavello (R) are circulating a co-sponsorship memo for a bill that incorporates the best feedback and advise about bills supported in the  2015-2016 session. While the Boscola-Scavello bill has not yet been introduced, we’ve been told the number will be 22 and senators can sign on now as co-sponsors.

This would be a good time to call, write or visit your PA state senators to ask them to co-sponsor. Talking points, summary of the proposed bill and a link to find your legislators are all available here.

In the last session there were many redistricting reform bills introduced and the same will be true in this session. This shouldn’t be cause for alarm or confusion. Our goal is to see the state constitution amended to create a strong independent redistricting commission and to invite all who care about reform to join us in that goal.

We’ll be discussing legislation, sponsors and other news in our conference call this Thursday evening.

Our update conference calls are now scheduled on the first and third Thursday evenings of the month, from 7 to 8 PM. They’re listed on the website calendar. A link to the recorded conversation will be placed on the calendar the day after each call.

The call-in number and access code for all will be the same: (641) 715-358, access code 594190.

Please be aware that this will be a long-distance call. The update part is usually an hour, with conversation afterward as long as callers want.

If you don’t already follow us on Facebook, please take a look. We’ve had great coverage lately and shared some interesting action ideas. We’ll have some fun new material posted soon we’d like you to share.

With your help, we continue to educate the public and our legislators about the harm done by partisan redistricting.

Thank you for your part in helping grow the movement to end gerrymandering in PA.

Carol Kuniholm

Fair Districts PA

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