How Your Written Testimony Makes a Difference

When you’re unable to get to a hearing for oral testimony, your written testimony can make an impact on how maps in PA are drawn for the next 10 years. Here’s what you can do.

Research has shown that legislators will take feedback to redistricting committees and the more specific and local you are, the better. Your testimony is an important part of building pressure for Fair Maps.

We currently have four committees collecting written testimony for Congressional District reapportionment and State House and Senate District Reapportionment. This table will direct you to all of your available outlets.

Committee What are they redrawing? Written Testimony Deadline
Written Testimony Submission
Legislative Reapportionment Commission State House and Senate districts Not Yet Given PA Redistricting Site
House State Government Committee Federal Congressional Districts October 13, 2021 Only through partisan website by region
Senate State Government Committee Federal Congressional Districts Not Yet Given Only through partisan website
Governor’s Advisory Commission Federal Congressional Districts Not Yet Given Public Comment Site

Writing your Testimony

To write testimony that can influence the decisions of our legislative representatives when they draw the maps that will impact the state over the next 10 years, we suggest the following:

1. Think Local

Testimony and feedback regarding small geographic areas have a higher likelihood of becoming adopted by the map drawers. You may want to consider limiting your feedback to specific geographic areas, keeping in mind the more specific, the likelier your feedback will be adopted:

2. Define Your Community

Be clear about the community you are representing, give details to decision-makers that can help them make specific decisions surrounding your community. Maps and demographic data cannot easily tell the story of how people relate in a particular area. Questions worth considering:

3. Give Instructions

Tell the drawers what you would like to see happen. Some examples you may consider below:

Some Great Examples from This Year:

Legislative Redistricting Commission

Ardith Talbott

House State Government Committee

Xiohang Daoughty
GL Johnson
Timothy Campbell
Cristina Beuger
Karen Calhoun

Additional Resources

Brennan Center - 6 Tips for Making Effective Redistricting Comments

The Fair Districts PA Testimony Worksheet - Use this to help guide writing a more in-depth testimony

Prepare Your Testimony (available in 5 languages)

Election Law Journal - Study on Congressional Redistricting Testimony