How can all the sponsors of HB2420 be silent?

I am amazed that I’ve not seen any Representative writing in to any paper in support of HB2420 after Rep. Josephs pulled the vote. How can over 90 sponsors be so easily cowered by the PA leadership? This inaction just demonstrates more strongly how much power is in the use of gerrymandering. Please let all of the sponsors know how disappointed you are in them.


2 Responses

  1. As I said in Young Philly Politics, my district has seven wards. Four of the seven were in the district from which I was elected in 1971.

    I tried mightily to keep the district within those four wards in 1981–filing a lawsuit which lost by a four-three vote in the Supreme Court and waging a campaign of public advocacy–but the district gained three other wards anyway as the population of Philadelphia shrunk and the city lost five House seats.

    The district gained a fourth additional ward in the 1991 redistricting, as the city lost two additional House seats.

    In 2001, one of the wards added in 1981 and the ward added in 1991 were surrendered to the district now represented by Tony Payton, and a ward to the north of the existing district was added, as the city lost one additional House seat, making the total of eight House seats lost during my tenure.

    Every time an area of the state loses population, the geographical size of the district grows. Statewide population gains have also increased the population size of all Pennsylvania House districts since 1971: my district has gone from something like 54,500 people in 1971 to virtually 62,000 in 2001.

    Despite all the zigs and zags in my district, it is only 9 or 10 miles from the farthest points in the district to each other. It is a distortion to look at the geographical shape of my district without a sense of scale. Any look at a map with a sense of scale will show that it has one of the shorter distances from the farthest points of the 203 House districts.

  2. Rep. Cohen,
    The length in miles is of no consequence regarding your district. What does matter is that there are actually alternating streets in your district and out of it. That is called “Divide and Conquer”. By splitting up the voters even the neighbors can’t discuss your performance since they are in a different district. The map says it all and there is no escaping the fact that it is unfair. Fix it, you have the chance.

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