Monday, October 10, 2016

Norco Council, LWV, Take Aim at Gerrymandering

Jeffrey Fox
The Bethlehem Press recently ran a series about gerrymandering and the bipartisan redistricting reform bills sponsored by State Senator Lisa Boscola and State Rep. David Parker. One long-time advocate of this kind of reform is NorCo Council member Peg Ferraro, a Republican. She was in the audience at a recent forum concerning the gerrymander at Unitarian Universalist Church in Bethlehem. She and Democrat Ken Kraft agreed to cosponsor a resolution calling on the state legislature to enact changes in the redistricting process that will prevent legislators from picking their voters.

Resolutions supporting the Boscola-Parker proposal have already been approved in Pittsburgh, Cumberland County, West Hanover Township, ​East Pennsboro Township, Upper Allen Township, Lower Paxton Township, Highspire Borough Council and Capital Region Council of Governments.

Northampton County will consider this resolution, thanks to a request from Slate Belt resident Jeffrey Fox reside. "Northampton County has always been a leader," he said. "You can be a leader in this effort as well by passing a resolution ... that puts the redistricting process back in the hands of the citizens."

In the meantime, the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania has asked all candidates to state whether they support redistricting reform:
Pennsylvania is home to some of the most gerrymandered districts in the US. Unfairly drawn districts disenfranchise voters and make it more difficult for legislators to effectively represent all of their constituents. Would you support redistricting reform through removing elected officials from the process and instituting an independent citizens’ commission to draw the maps, changing where prisoners are counted, and/or implementing stricter methods of statistical verification? Please explain your answer.
Locally, most Lehigh Valley legislatros champion gerrymanding reform. All three state senators who represent the Lehigh Valley are on board, including newly elected Mario Scavello. The only state legislators who have failed to cosponsor gerrymander reform are Joe Emrick, Marcia Hahn, lame duck Julie Harhart, Gary Day and Ryan MacKenzie. Hahn has ignored several emails from at least two people on this topic. That's because she thinks she can pick the voters and not the other way around.

So far she has been right.


Anonymous said...

Marcia Hahn is a dirt bag, pure and simple! Time to level the playing field and vote her out!!!!!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Calling her a dirt bag is no way to convince her to do what is right. But a decent Dem needs to take her on bc she has grown increasingly distant from the people she is supposed to be representing.

Anonymous said...

Another empty gesture for publicity and ego. The state will do nothing about this issue and this is just a kiss your mother resolution for a feel good publicity stunt by county pols that have nothing to lose.

Ho hum

Anonymous said...

Why did you not delete the "dirt bag" comment.

Anonymous said...

Without the gerrymandering of the r's Hahn and Emerick would live in the same district. That's why you haven't heard from them

Anonymous said...

I've sent Rep Hahn two emails on the topic, but still no reply... Thanks for the reminder, I will now send a third...

Scott of Lower Nazareth.