The mission of Fair Districts PA is to create fair legislative districts and a fair and transparent redistricting process in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvanians deserve state and federal representatives who are accountable and responsive to the citizens they serve, and a system that allows voters to choose their politicians, instead of the other way around.
Gerrymandering hurts the democratic process in many ways:
- Safe “red” and “blue” districts send more extreme candidates to Harrisburg and Washington, increasing partisan divides.
- Districts stretch over several municipalities and larger geographic areas make it difficult for representatives to maintain relationships with the communities they represent.
- Politicians in soft “red” and “blue” districts have little incentive to respond to their constituents.
NOT RED, NOT GREEN, JUST FAIR
Fair districts must:
- Adhere to all Constitution and Voting Rights Act requirements
- Make all districts as equal in population as possible within an established minimal range of deviation
- Respect city and county subdivisions, natural geographic features and communities of interest
- Encourage geographical compactness
- Not be drawn for the purpose of favoring or discriminating against a political party or candidate
Redistricting reform should:
- Assign the redistricting power to an independent commission, of which neither the commissioners nor members of their immediate families may be government or party officials
- Ensure the transparency of the process and meaningful opportunities for public participation
- Establish strict timelines for redistricting after each U.S. Census
- Address other causes of redistricting unfairness
Greater Transparency and More Public Engagement
- A user friendly website for free public access to data, maps and all redistricting information
- Multiple statewide public hearings before and after redistricting plans are approved
- Meetings that are all subject to the open meetings law. Hearings must be live-streamed, held at convent times for the public and accommodate multiple languages
- The ability to submit a redistricting plan or part of a plan which the committee must review (this applies to all Pennsylvanians)
- A written report of decisions, rationale and process
Clear and Measurable Redistricting Criteria
- Mandates compact and contiguous federal and state districts
- Adds enforceable limits on splitting counties beyond what is required by population and bans dividing voting districts
- Protects racial and language minorities against discrimination in the mapping process
- Outlaws district plans designed to protect incumbents or discriminate against political parties
- Promotes keeping communities of interest intact