Pennsylvania Redistricting Reform Commission Releases Final Report – Thank You and Next Steps

Katie Phillips Active + Engaged Residents, Advocacy

Redistricting Reform Commission Report

After a months-long process, Governor Wolf’s bipartisan Redistricting Reform Commission released the final report on August 29, 2019. The Commission was formed by an executive order from Governor Wolf in November 2018 and tasked with exploring ways that “Pennsylvania could curb gerrymandering and make redistricting fairer and nonpartisan.” The Commission was chaired by David Thornburgh, President and CEO of the Committee of Seventy. You can learn more about all members of the Commission here.

The Commission embarked on a listening tour across PA and collected feedback through two different surveys as part of their public engagement process before writing and releasing the report, which can be read here. In total, over 1,100 Pennsylvanians participated in the process, adding important voice and context to the discussions and deliberations.

In the report, the Commission emphasizes that “any model proposed for Pennsylvania should feel true to the Commonwealth’s distinctive history, culture, and sense of community.” The Commission proposes a balanced model that provides a role for both bipartisan collaboration between citizens to create district maps as well as a role for legislators in the final approval and adoption of maps.

As noted in Fair Districts PA’s statement, the report demonstrates that Pennsylvania voters “are overwhelmingly in support of a citizens redistricting commission to draw congressional and legislative district lines through a fair and open process.”

PUMP is an endorsing organization of FDPA and shares the goal of a redistricting process directed by a nonpartisan citizens commission.  Along with FDPA and other coalition members across the state, we continue to support the “Two Bills/One Commission” approach outlined in current House Bills 22 and 23.  We look forward to considering the perspectives and contributions of the Commission as the conversation and legislative process moves forward in the coming weeks.

Thank You!

Thank you to Governor Wolf and the entire Redistricting Reform Commission for the important work they did to engage the public throughout this process, develop recommendations, and help the Commonwealth move towards a nonpartisan redistricting process that fairly represents all voting populations. Thank you also to all the PUMP members and Pennsylvanians across the state who made their voices heard throughout the process.

Next Steps:

PUMP remains committed to collaborating with partners across PA to end gerrymandering. The Commission’s findings and recommendations only heighten our resolve to advance meaningful reform here in PA to ensure that ALL are fairly represented at the decision making table.

Here are some more ways you can get involved:

  • Fair Districts PA – connect with FDPA for the latest information on legislative opportunities to reform the redistricting process. Right now, FDPA is advocating for the passage of House Bills 22 and 23 to achieve the goal of an independent, citizens redistricting commission. On September 18, the PA House State Government Committee will be holding a hearing on redistricting reform in Harrisburg. This is an important opportunity to contact your legislators and let them know how you feel about gerrymandering in Pennsylvania and the reforms you want to see happen.