The Lead

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

By: - March 20, 2019 2:10 pm

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

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Sarah Anne Hughes
Sarah Anne Hughes

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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