Based in Sydney, Australia, Foundry is a blog by Rebecca Thao. Her posts explore modern architecture through photos and quotes by influential architects, engineers, and artists.

NPT Adopts Resolution to End Gerrymandering

NPT Adopts Resolution to End Gerrymandering

Members of the Board of Commissioners are (l to r): Michael Dougherty, Matthew Garson, Micah Knapp (Vice President), Matthew Sullivan (President), Kaitlin McKenzie-Fiumara, Larry Baker, and Robert O’Connor.  Photo courtesy of Nether Providence Township

Members of the Board of Commissioners are (l to r): Michael Dougherty, Matthew Garson, Micah Knapp (Vice President), Matthew Sullivan (President), Kaitlin McKenzie-Fiumara, Larry Baker, and Robert O’Connor. Photo courtesy of Nether Providence Township

At its July 25 meeting, the Board of Commissioners of Nether Providence Township unanimously adopted a resolution seeking to end gerrymandering in Pennsylvania. Their resolution supports legislation calling for nonpartisan redistricting reform.

Gerrymandering is the practice in which the governing party gains unfair political advantage by manipulating electoral district boundaries. House Bill 23 would create, by state statute, an Independent Citizens Commission to draw U. S. congressional district maps. House Bill 22 would extend the role of the commission, by state constitutional amendment, to drawing state legislative districts for the Pennsylvania House and Senate.

The two bills would result in one commission. Commissioners would be randomly selected from a list of qualified citizen candidates. Their work would be accountable to voters to make the redistricting process fair, transparent and provide for meaningful public input.

According to Carol Kuniholm, chair of Fair Districts PA:

“For years Pennsylvania has been one of the most gerrymandered states in the nation. Gerrymandered districts confuse and frustrate voters, and undermine real representation. This resolution is an affirmation of our nation’s founding principle: government of, by and for the people.”

Gerrymandering is about fractions. It's also about elections and representation and who gets to draw the lines.

Matt Sullivan, president of the Nether Providence Township Board of Commissioners, said: “Fair Districts PA asked the Township to consider passing a resolution, and the only comments that I heard from residents (both before and after passage) have been in support of that resolution.” Such resolutions have thus far been passed by 20 counties, including DelCo, and 285 municipalities statewide, including Swarthmore, and now Nether Providence.

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