Our government no longer works for us because it doesn’t have to.
Every 10 years, the party in power gets to redraw legislative districts in a way that benefits its party, and punishes any leaders who did not toe the party line. The result is usually disconnected, unrecognizably shaped districts that divide neighborhoods and strain the resources of our representatives.
Often, these districts are so safe that incumbents encounter no real opposition. Their main loyalty is to the donors who will fund their run in the primary. Many legislators dislike this system that places fundraising and party loyalty above the needs of their constituents. Luckily for us, there’s a solution.
The Pennsylvania Senate is introducing SB22, a bill that calls for a nonpartisan Redistricting Commission. This bill must pass both houses this year and in 2018, so that it can be placed on the 2020 ballet for the general election. Districts will be redrawn in 2021.
Fair Districts Pennsylvania is a grassroots, nonpartisan organization mobilizing citizens to support this effort. Fair Districts Centre County is our newly formed local chapter. Please contact your representative and Sen. Jake Corman and urge them to support this important legislation. Soon there will be a Centre County Fair Districts website to contact for more details. In the meantime, or anytime, check fairdistrictspa.com for updates and more information.
Timothy Dunleavy, Patton Township