Gerrymandering is not dead

ROSE REEDER

Lock Haven

Apparently, some citizens think that the gerrymandering issue is solved now that the courts have created a new congressional district map. This is far from the case. If we do not achieve placing a Constitutional Amendment on the ballot in 2020, nothing will change.

It could even get worse. Once the census is complete, we will return to the unfair practice of politicians drawing their own biased maps, leaving our vote to be manipulated and degraded once again. Not only will our votes continue to be affected, but it will likely cost us a lot of tax dollars because of new court cases and challenges. The courts can change a map, but only a Constitutional Amendment will change this self-serving process. This is an amazingly difficult task. The process will take two and a-half years, and if we fail at any step on the way, we will have gerrymandered maps into 2031. And, as computer programs become more sophisticated, so will voter data mining and map drawing.

Unless you, the citizens, step up, like our county commissioners and our municipal leaders did, we will fail.

We all need to keep asking for HB722 to be moved out of the House State Government Committee (SGC).

State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-Butler County, chairman of the SGC, has clearly and publicly stated that he will never allow this bill to move forward.

What kind of representational democracy is that?

Over half the state representatives have co-sponsored this bill. Of the current bills in the House, this bill has the most support. Some 5.2 million Pennsylvanians are represented by current resolutions such as our strong Clinton County leaders have passed. Approximately 200 resolutions are completed and 159 are in progress. By what authority does Rep. Metcalfe hold this bill hostage? This is one man holding up what 5.2 million, and soon to be more, people want.

Is that the American way? If you find this as appalling as I do, call Rep. Metcalfe and insist that he move this bill forward and put aside his personal interests. If you don’t want to speak to anyone, call in the evening and leave a message. All you have to do is give your name and where you live and ask that HB722 be given a hearing now. His number is 717-783-1707. It only takes 1 minute. Please help us move this bill forward.

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