Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Fair Districts PA Pushes “Not Red, Not Blue, Just Fair” Campaign To Fix Our Broken, Gerrymandered Redistricting Process

Fair Districts PA, a project of the League of Women Voters of PA, is pushing reforms to the way Pennsylvania draws legislative voting districts by urging residents to support their “Not Red, Not Blue, Just Fair” campaign.
Fair Districts PA believes letting legislators draft their own districts is a conflict of interest from the start, but there are many other ways it goes wrong--
-- Legislators work behind the scenes with no oversight or standards for fairness.
-- They use mapping technology and big data to profile voters, and use that information to pick exactly who they want in or out of a voting district.
-- They accept money from parties, super PACs, and outside interests, which all target PA because we are a populous swing state with lax campaign finance laws.
-- They can and do draw whatever boundaries will maximize their influence, minimize their accountability, and keep their seats in office secure.
By any measure, Pennsylvania is one of the most gerrymandered states in the country.  Every citizen is harmed by the lack of choice at the polls and an unresponsive, unaccountable legislature.
Until we fix this structure flaw in our elections process, our votes won’t count and our legislators will continue to pay more attention to outside interests than to the people of Pennsylvania.
An October 2019 Franklin & Marshall Poll of registered voters shows overwhelming support for an independent citizens commission to redraw legislative voting districts-- 67 percent favored an independent commission, including 63 percent of Republicans and 66 percent of Democrats and 78 percent of Independents--
-- 72 percent believe the current system of drawing legislative districts allows party leaders to put party interests above voter interests;
-- 70 percent believe the current system creates polarization and gridlock;
-- 65 percent believe the current system lets elected officials choose their voters instead of voters choosing them;
-- 62 percent believe the current system gives voters fewer choices on Election Day;
-- 61 percent believe the current system of drawing legislative districts prevents voters from holding their representatives accountable; and
-- 59 percent of respondents said they were more likely or very likely to support legislators who vote for an independent citizens redistricting commission.
In addition, over 330 municipal governments and 21 counties have passed bipartisan resolutions or letters asking legislators to support redistricting reform representing 68 percent of Pennsylvania’s population.
Events All Over PA
Fair Districts PA is holding dozens of educational events all over the state-- 4 and 5 a week-- to educate voters on the issue and urge them to take action.  Over 30,000 people have attended one of over 840 information meetings held so far on gerrymandering.
March 23 Rally To End Gerrymandering
Fair Districts PA will host a Rally To End Gerrymandering in the State Capitol Rotunda on March 23 at 11:30 a.m. to tell legislators “PA Voters Want Fair Districts.”
Local Groups Near You
Dozens of local groups have already organized across Pennsylvania—from Beaver County all the way on our western edge to Delaware County in our southeast corner. Find a group in your community for information on local volunteer opportunities, links to upcoming events, and more.
Sign The Petition
Sign the online petition to legislators to End Gerrymandering In PA supporting an independent citizens redistricting commission to fix our voting system.  Over 100,000 signatures have been collected so far.
Contact Your Legislator
Write, call or visit your House and Senate member to urge them to support an independent citizens redistricting commission.
Spread The Word To Friends, Neighbors
Help educate your friends and neighbors on this issue with the help of the Fair Districts PA toolbox.
Reclaiming Our Democracy
To learn more about this critical issue, visit the Fair Districts PA website for more information.
Fair Districts PA is officially a project of the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania, a nonpartisan political organization which encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. 
Fair Districts PA receives no funding from political action committees (PACs) or political parties, and is endorsed by a wide range of local and statewide organizations.
Related Article:
PA Capitol Report: Presidential Candidates All In For PA Primary; Permanent State Deficits
[Posted: February 19, 2020]  PA Environment Digest

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