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Ethics 01.4.2022

Khalif Ali Joins Plaintiffs Calling for Fair Maps

On December 31, 2021, Common Cause PA's Executive Director Khalif Ali joined plaintiffs from across the state in filing an Application to Intervene in the ongoing congressional redistricting litigation currently before the Commonwealth Court.

Ethics 01.17.2022

Gov. Tom Wolf has vetoed more than 50 bills as he begins his final year in office, a number that illustrates the institutionalized gridlock between the Democratic governor and the Republican-controlled General Assembly.

“They’re using the constitutional amendment to pass legislation they can’t pass through the traditional and appropriate way,” Ali said, calling it unethical.

A new proposal could allow the GOP-controlled legislature to draw gerrymandered lines with little oversight.

“This is absolutely a regression from what we already have,” said Khalif Ali, the head of Common Cause Pennsylvania, a nonpartisan good-government group. “When I was reading through it, I was just amazed.”

A new lawsuit asks the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to intervene in creating a new congressional district map for the Commonwealth, as concerns grow the legislature and governor will not be able to reach an agreement in time for the 2022 primary.

Khalif Ali, executive director of Common Cause Pennsylvania, said they are also asking the Supreme Court to end what's known as "prison gerrymandering," when people in prison are counted as residents of the county where they're incarcerated, not where they would normally vote.

A panel of Pennsylvania’s most powerful lawmakers released new proposed maps for the state’s House and Senate districts Thursday that could dramatically alter the balance of political power in Harrisburg for the decade to come — with the advantage swinging to the Democrats.

“We are particularly concerned with ensuring that Pennsylvania communities are protected and that all Pennsylvanians, but especially Black, Latinx, Asian, Pacific Islander, and other voters of color have an equal opportunity to elect a candidate of their choice,” said Khalif Ali, executive director of Common Cause Pennsylvania.

Voting & Elections 09.22.2021

Pennsylvania's five-member panel redrawing the boundaries of state legislative districts has decided to roll back part of a new policy that dictates how state prison inmates are counted.

“We have talked to inmates who have said that, you know, in trying to contact representatives, it's been a non-responsive situation.” Says Khalif Ali, Executive Director of Common Cause Pennsylvania. Ali says these inmates don't feel adequately represented in prisons outside of their permanent addresses and will disenfranchise 7,000 people.

The commission in charge of redrawing Pennsylvania’s House and Senate maps has voted 3-2 to make a major change to the redistricting process: It will no longer count many state prisoners as residents of the districts where they’re incarcerated, but rather as residents of the districts where they originally lived.

Khalif Ali, who directs Pennsylvania’s chapter of government accountability nonprofit Common Cause, called the change “is an important step toward fully representative legislative districts in Pennsylvania” that has been “a long time coming.”

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