Wednesday February 28, 2018
Measures would improve method of drawing map.
Of course leaders of the Republican Party are upset over the state Supreme Court's new congressional map ("Republicans fume over court's map," Reading Eagle, Feb. 21). They have benefited from gerrymandered districts and rigged elections since the last census in 2010. The result has undermined our democracy with increasingly partisan politics, legislative gridlock and voter disenfranchisement. U.S. Rep. Ryan Costello's complaint that there is nothing fair or impartial about the new map is a good argument for why we all need to urge our legislators to co-sponsor HB722 and SB22.
These bills will create an independent citizens' commission to decide district lines, putting this process into the hands of the people and taking it out of the hands of politicians. These bills offer a permanent solution to partisan gerrymandering, guaranteed with an amendment to our state constitution.
Until politicians are removed from the districting process, lines always will be drawn to benefit the political party in power, with the other side crying foul.
The goal is not to change the results of elections but rather to end the practices used by both political parties to perpetuate power and protect incumbents.
I urge readers to call their state legislators and urge them to co-sponsor HB722 and SB22. If they already support this nonpartisan, grass-roots effort to end gerrymandering, then thank them.
Brydee M. Farmer
Pennsylvania needs redistricting reform