Redistricting advocates tell Pa. House leaders that transparency an absolute necessity in mapping process

One by one, a who’s who of Pennsylvania’s most well-known redistricting advocates told Harrisburg leaders what they’d been waiting years to say in a public hearing: that they’ll be watching — and will do everything in their power — to ensure that once Congressional maps are drawn in the next few months, there won’t be any partisan parlor games, backroom deals or funky boundaries.

Khalif Ali, executive director of Common Cause Pennsylvania, recommended that lawmakers start from a blank map, disregarding any existing boundaries and building their own based on public testimony. It might take longer to create, he said, “but we believe that the time spent will result in a map that will be far more representative to the people of the Commonwealth.” Could this practice disadvantage current incumbents? Sure, but protecting incumbents shouldn’t be the goal of redistricting, Mr. Ali said.