Get to know your districts, and see what gerrymandering looks like across the state.
If you want to see gerrymandering in action, just take a look at Pennsylvania’s district maps. Across the state, you’ll see lines that cut through communities, dividing school districts, neighborhoods, or even city blocks.
Our congressional districts—which control who represents you in the U.S. House of Representatives—are some of the most gerrymandered in the nation. See for yourself: zoom in on your own district’s boundaries, or look at what’s happening across the state. Here are a couple prime examples to get you started:
District 7 has a shape so incongruous, it’s known as “Goofy Kicking Donald Duck.” Look at the way it snakes across five different counties, spreading from the suburbs in Montgomery County, northwest of Philadelphia, down to the state line in Delaware County (but skirting around the City of Chester), and then west to Chester County, north to Berks County, and even over to a few bits of Lancaster County. These lines don’t respect community boundaries. They reflect political manipulation.
District 16 uses what’s known as a “lasso”: it takes Reading, one of the poorest urban communities in the country, and connects it with a tiny leash to Lancaster County, which is primarily populated by farms and small towns. As a result, politicians serving this district end up ignoring the needs of Reading. Looking at this map, it’s no surprise that Reading has the most underfunded school district in the country—because politicians aren’t paying attention to the city’s needs.
Congressional districts over time
Our district lines didn’t get this way overnight. Select your district and see how much its shape has changed over the past 60 years—it might be more dramatic than you think.
PA House and Senate districts
Congressional districts get a lot of attention in gerrymandering conversations, but they’re not the only place where politicians have drawn district lines for their own political gain. You can also find examples of manipulated districts in both the PA House and Senate maps.
Help us stop gerrymandering now