Fair Districts PA

MISSION

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

GUIDING PRINCIPLES

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