Friday July 7, 2017
Thankfully, there are efforts with significant momentum to end gerrymandering in Pennsylvania, and lawsuit after lawsuit against it in states across the country. The U.S. Supreme Court will soon consider gerrymandering's constitutionality, as will our own state Supreme Court. And according to recent polling by Franklin & Marshall College, 80 percent of Pennsylvanians want redistricting reform.
In Berks County, we know firsthand the consequences of gerrymandering. We have four congressional representatives instead of one. They barely know us, and none of them live locally. Berks has twice the number of state senators as necessary, and only one of the four lives here. Six of the county's nine state representatives do not represent the majority party in the county.
The two state bills that would end gerrymandering are sitting in committee in each chamber of the General Assembly. We need them to be moved out of committee and passed by the Senate and House.
Democracy does not exist where gerrymandering exists because gerrymandering rigs elections to favor one party over others. Gerrymandering undermines the authority of our elections because it makes most votes meaningless. We all need to reach out to our state legislators and insist that they let the people of Pennsylvania, not politicians, decide how our congressional and legislative districts are determined. Urge them to stand up for democracy and speak out in support of Senate Bill 22 and House Bill 722.
Gerrymandering fight needs more support