Have an opinion about gerrymandering and redistricting? Sound off at these public meetings

    Pennsylvania's old congressional map was ruled an unconstitutional gerrymander by the state Supreme Court last year. (US Government)

    It’s not a 67-county tour, but the public will have an opportunity to sound off on how Pennsylvania should draw its political boundaries at meetings across the state.

    Through an executive order, Gov. Tom Wolf in November created a 15-member commission that will study redistricting and make recommendations to the Legislature.

    Republican lawmakers were not happy.

    GOP leaders from the state House and Senate called the commission a “spectacle [that] only serves as a distraction to the work the Legislature has been doing” and said they would refuse to appoint members. Democrats and Republicans in the General Assembly are already moving ahead with their own proposals.

    Despite the blowback, the commission is hosting nine meetings over the next few months “to talk about making the redistricting process fairer and nonpartisan,” according to a press release from the Department of State. Members of the commission include David Thornburgh, president of the good government organization Committee of Seventy, and former U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent, a Republican.

    People who can’t attend a meeting can provide feedback online by answering questions including “Who do you believe should draw, change, or approve the maps in Pennsylvania?”

    Here are the dates and locations of the announced eight meetings, per the press release. Details for an event in Harrisburg will be announced soon.

    Thursday, April 4
    First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania
    201 W. 4th St., Williamsport, PA 17701

    Thursday, April 18
    Erie County Public Library
    160 E Front St., Erie, PA 16507

    Thursday, May 2
    Carnegie Mellon University’s Simmons Auditorium
    5000 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15213

    Thursday, May 9
    Penn State Berks Perkins Student Center
    1801 Broadcasting Rd., Reading, PA 19610

    Thursday, May 16
    PSU-Altoona Devorris Downtown Center
    1431 12th Ave, Altoona, PA 16601

    Tuesday May 28
    Tindley Temple United Methodist Church
    750 S Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19146

    Wednesday, May 29
    Northampton Community Colle‪ge Alumni Hall‬‬
    3835 Green Pond Rd, Bethlehem, PA 18020

    Thursday, June 6
    Wilkes University Henry Student Center
    84 W. South St., Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701

    Associate Editor Sarah Anne Hughes covers the governor and Pennsylvania's agencies. Before joining the Capital-Star, she was the state capitol reporter for Billy Penn and The Incline, and a 2018 corps member for Report for America. She was previously managing editor of Washington City Paper, editor-in-chief of DCist, and a national blogger for The Washington Post.

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