State College, PA - Centre County - Central Pennsylvania - Home of Penn State University

Letter: Stop Gerrymandering in Pa.

on July 13, 2020 4:45 AM

Gerrymandering in Pennsylvania is unfair.

Our legislators had an opportunity to fix this, but they failed. Now the deadline for amending the Pennsylvania Constitution has passed. We lost the chance to establish an independent Citizen's Commission for drawing district boundaries for Congress and the PA Legislature.

Instead, after the 2020 Census, politicians (including Sen. Jake Corman and Rep. Kerry Benninghoff) will meet secretly to determine new district maps.

Reform bills were introduced back in April 2019, but never came to a vote. House Bills 22-23, and Senate Bills 1022-1023, had:

- the most cosponsors of any bills this session,

- support of municipal resolutions representing over 70% of the state,

- over 100,000 petition signatures,

- polls showing more than 2/3 of Pennsylvania voters support a Citizens Redistricting Commission.

In response to thousands of postcards, emails, letters, and phone calls from constituents, personal meetings, demonstrations at their offices and town hall questioning, Corman and Benninghoff only made vague statements of support.

And then what did they do? Nothing!

The Senate and House committee chairs, John DiSanto and Garth Everett, killed the bills without hearings.

Corman and Benninghoff, the Senate and House leaders, were missing in action.

They must be salivating now at the prospect of drawing themselves unassailable districts, and rewarding their friends with districts computer-designed to rig their re-elections.

Our government continues unaccountable, unresponsive and unable to hear those citizens it's supposed to serve.

But there's a solution. Stop gerrymandering! Vote Corman, Benninghoff, and the rest out of office.

Howard Bond
State College

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