See what we’ve already accomplished—and what needs to happen next.
Building on productive relationships cultivated in past sessions, Fair Districts PA leaders worked closely with legislators to fashion an innovative reform strategy for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 legislative sessions.
Two Bills–One Commission
- House Bill 23 (a simple statute passed in one session) would amend the election code to create an independent citizens commission to handle congressional redistricting. It would also put requirements in place for transparency and public input and strengthen mapping criteria for both congressional and legislative redistricting.
- House Bill 22 would amend the PA Constitution to assign the legislative redistricting process to the commission created by House Bill 23. In effect, HB 22 would piggyback on HB 23, making it possible for selection and training of an independent commission in time for the 2021 redistricting.
Read: Summary of the bills
In the 2017-2018 Legislative Session
In the final days of 2016, FDPA leaders and allies worked with legislators and policy staff to redraft reform bills ignored by the PA Legislature in the 2015-16 session. In the 2017-18 session, Fair Districts PA supporters made redistricting reform an issue to be reckoned with. The House bill we supported (HB 722) gained more co-sponsors than any other introduced in its session. The Senate bill (SB 22) was amended and passed in the Senate only to die under the weight of over 600 proposed amendments in the House. In the end, legislative maneuvers in both houses made clear the need for attention to procedural rules and the need for even stronger outreach to legislators and the public.
Attention Is Growing
Fair Districts PA supporters have made over 600 presentations in communities across the state, testified before the Legislature, appeared on dozens of radio and TV public affairs programs, and talked with numerous editorial boards. The results:
- Statewide, over 300 municipal governments, including 20 county commissions, have passed bipartisan resolutions or letters of recommendation calling on their legislators to reform the redistricting process. They represent more than half the PA population.
- To date, almost 60,000 Pennsylvanians have signed petitions supporting an independent redistricting commission.
- Our supporters have called, visited legislative offices, and sent thousands of letters, emails, and faxes to their local legislators calling for change.
- Hundreds of letters to the editor have been published in hometown papers calling for reform.
- Dozens of media outlets statewide, representing big cities and small towns and a full range of political views, have issued more than 100 editorials, op-ed pieces, and columns–virtually ALL of them calling for reform.
- In June 2018, the well-known Franklin & Marshall College Poll found that 64 percent of Pennsylvanians favor reforming the state’s redistricting system and 69 percent favored turning the job over to an independent commission.
Speak up. Show your elected officials that their constituents demand fair redistricting policies.
We’ve made great progress in informing the public on the issue and in making our concerns clear to our Pennsylvania legislators. But there’s still work to be done, and we’ll need your help to ensure that in future elections we are the ones choosing our politicians, not the other way around.
Take Action-Contact your legislator
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