LEHMAN TWP. — The township board of supervisors unanimously adopted a resolution on Feb. 19 to support legislation that seeks to end gerrymandering in Pennsylvania. This resolution calls on the PA Legislature to enact transparent, fair and independent redistricting reform through the creation of an Independent Citizens’ Commission to take over the process of drawing the district lines.
The Lehman Township Board of Supervisors resolution was initiated by resident Susan Roese, a member of Luzerne County Fair Districts, the local affiliate of Fair Districts PA, a non partisan grassroots organization advocating for redistricting reform across the Commonwealth.
Gerrymandering is a practice intended to establish a political advantage for the party in power by manipulating electoral district boundaries.
“The recent lawsuits addressing the congressional district map are only a band-aid on a sore of broken system,” Denise Williams, coordinator of Luzerne County Fair District PA, wrote in an email. “In three years, we will have to do redistricting all over again. The long-term solution to our gerrymandering problem is taking the redistricting out of the hands of the politicians and putting it in the hands of an Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission. The citizens of Pennsylvania deserve a fair, impartial and transparent process. It is time to stop the nonsense.”
The board joined a growing list of municipalities that have passed resolutions in support of the establishment of an Independent Citizens’ Redistricting Commission. Currently, statewide, 15 counties and 176 municipali-ties have passed this resolution. (https://www.fairdistrictspa.com/resolutions-in-support)
In Luzerne County, this redistricting reform resolution has been passed by the following municipalities: Hazleton City, Dallas Township, Plains Township, Kingston Township, Conyngham Borough, Exeter Township, Jackson Township, Edwardsville Borough, Wilkes-Barre City, Forty Fort Borough and the Luzerne County Council.
“Voters should be selecting their representatives and not the representatives choosing their constituents,” James Mogil, State Coordinator for Resolutions, Fair District, PA, wrote in a press release. We are very pleased that the Lehman Township Board of Supervisors has made this statement supporting redis-tricting reform. We call upon every elected official who represents the voters in Lehman Township to publicly support and work to end partisan gerrymandering.”
Fair Districts PA is a coalition of citizens and organizations working to ensure that legislative and congressional district maps are drawn in a fair and transparent way so that voters choose their legislators, rather than legislators choosing their voters. With leadership from League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania and Common Cause PA, groups from across the state have endorsed strong redistricting principles.
More information about the effort can be found at the website, www.fairdistrictspa.com