Statement of Micah Sims, Common Cause Pennsylvania Executive Director
Pennsylvanians should be choosing their elected representatives, not the other way around. The courts made that abundantly clear when they threw out the hideously biased map drawn by the legislature. But yesterday Pennsylvania House State Government Chair Daryl Metcalfe revealed that he missed the message and that he and, certain lawmakers remain unwilling to show due deference to the citizens, the constitution or the welfare of our state. The amendment and dramatic altering of HB722 is a clear contradiction to the overall wishes of citizens to remove politicians from the process of drawing legislative maps. For more than a year, through grassroots movements such as Fair Districts PA and others, communities across the Commonwealth have been educated about the disease known as gerrymandering and how it has crippled the formation of a reflective democracy. It is my hope that this action by Rep. Metcalfe ignites a new surge of citizen activism, coalition building and stronger commitment to bring true redistricting reform to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It is time for citizens to remind Rep. Metcalfe and his allies, this isn’t the end but just the beginning of a reform movement that embraces the values of fairness and equality which will improve the lives of all Pennsylvanians.