RESPONSE: In PA, Common Cause Wants Equitable, Fair, Transparent Maps
- Micah Sims, david vance
Statements of Micah C.T. Sims, Executive Director of Common Cause PA & Kathay Feng, Common Cause National Redistricting Director
Common Cause and Common Cause Pennsylvania issued the following statements today after Gov. Tom Wolf officially rejected the maps that Republican leadership submitted Friday to redraw the commonwealth’s 18 congressional districts in response to a state Supreme Court ruling in January that found the legislative borders to be unconstitutionally gerrymandered:
“State leaders so far have missed a grand opportunity to work cooperatively to ensure every Pennsylvanian has fair representation. We continue to hope that a bipartisan consensus will emerge to give residents what they want — the end to gerrymandered districts and legislative boundaries that are more reflective of our diverse state,” said Micah Sims, Executive Director of Common Cause Pennsylvania. “At the end of the day, no matter who draws the maps — whether it’s the legislature, the governor or the courts — Pennsylvanians deserve legislative districts that are fair to all voters, that are produced with complete transparency with respect to the data they used to draw boundaries, and that maintain racial equity for communities of color throughout the commonwealth.”
“In a victory for the Commonwealth, the courts struck down the old political maps and ordered new ones that give all Pennsylvanians fair representation. Unfortunately, old habits die hard and the Legislature has proposed new districts that benefit the political insiders at the expense of everyday people,” said Kathay Feng, Common Cause National Redistricting Director. “Pennsylvanians deserve fair representation. We look forward to a redistricting process managed by the court that will create fair and equal representation of every Pennsylvanian, regardless of their party affiliation.”
In redrawing the districts, Common Cause Pennsylvania focused on two key issues, along with the neutral redistricting criteria: equity and transparency. For instance, ensuring that communities of color in southeastern Pennsylvania, and Philadelphia specifically, have districts that allow people of color to elect candidates of their choice is a priority. Further, to regain voter confidence, mapmakers from both parties must disclose the data they use to draw district lines. Voters need to be certain that politicians are not drawing districts to give their party an unfair advantage.
For more information at the Common Cause Pennsylvania website, click here.