On April 11th, the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners unanimously passed a resolution in support of congressional and state legislative redistricting reform. The resolution calls for the Pennsylvania General Assembly to put an end to gerrymandering and the butchering of county, city and township lines for political gain. Pennsylvania is currently one of the most gerrymandered states in the nation, and is in need of serious reform.
In the last redistricting cycle, legislators in Pennsylvania created districts that maximized political advantage for the majority party. This helped to create a hyper polarized General Assembly that faced a nine-month budget stalemate and contributed to the partisan polarization we see in Congress.
The constitutional amendment Cumberland County is calling on the General Assembly to support would require district lines to be drawn by an independent commission “devoid of political motivation.” This reform would be a significant step toward ending partisan gerrymandering in the state. Cumberland County is the second jurisdiction to demand an end to gerrymandering in recent months. Back in December, the Pittsburgh City Council passed a similar resolution calling for the General Assembly’s creation of an independent commission.
The Cumberland County Board of Commissioners declared the following:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners does hereby support legislative efforts to secure expeditious action of a constitutional amendment that would, among other reforms, assign the decennial task of both legislative redistricting and congressional reapportionment to an independent citizens redistricting commission.