I am maddeningly frustrated by the stubborn refusal of my Pennsylvania legislators (Sen. John H. Eichelberger, Dist. 30, and Rep. Will Tallman, Dist. 193) to support legislation to rid our Commonwealth of partisan gerrymandering.
My U.S. House District, in particular, (held by U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta) zigs and zags from Cumberland County to Wyoming County. The Pennsylvania Legislature needs to vote in two consecutive sessions to appoint a non-partisan committee to change district boundaries; but so far, neither Senate Bill 22 nor House Bill 722 can even make it onto the floor for debate, due to Republican stonewalling.
Rep. Tallman makes the valid point that gerrymandering is used by both parties when they have control of redrawing boundaries after each Federal Census; but acknowledging that fact doesn't solve it, and when Pennsylvania Democrats are next in control, Republicans will regret their stall tactics if borders are redrawn to favor Democrats. Increasingly refined gerrymandering at the state and federal level has led to radical polarization of our legislative bodies, with drastic delays in getting any legislation passed.
This wasteful partisanship cannot continue. I want Sen. Eichelberger and Rep. Tallman to support Senate Bill 22 and House Bill 722, and get debate started today. I'm a life-long Republican who recently left the party because of electees who put party before their constituents. I will not vote again for any Republican who opposes a non-partisan redistricting committee. I encourage all voters, regardless of party, to insist their legislators pass this reform and get back to representing every citizen.
Jenifer Krieger Johnson