A local expert has been elected to the Governor’s Advisory Board on the New Parliamentary District – Reading Eagle

John Kennedy

Upper Providence — John Kennedy knows one or two things about Gerrymandering’s parliamentary district, including the origin of the word “Gerrymandering”.

Residents of Upper Providence Township, a professor of political science at West Chester University, 2018 League of Women Voters Proceedings It abandoned the district created by the Harrisburg Republican Party in 2011 — including the nationally infamous curved Seventh District. As “Goofy Kick Donald Duck”.

His testimony about the district, created in 2011, concluded that “this is a map of Gerrymandering designed to put Democratic voters at a disadvantage.”

In that case, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court agreed that the 2011 constituency change following the 2010 census was a “state constitutional unconstitutional partisan gerrymander.”

The court has created a new, more compact and adjacent district with the Democratic Party’s victory in the 2018 US parliamentary elections. Madeleine Dean, D-4, Krisiflahan, D-6, Mary Gay Scanlon, D-5. — All in areas where democratic voter registration has increased significantly over the last decade.

Kennedy will now play a role in the redrawing of the parliamentary district following the 2020 census.

Unlike 2011, when there was a Republican governor in Pennsylvania who approved a map created by the Republican majority, the currently created map will be approved or rejected by Democratic Governor Tom Wolf.

Kennedy is one of six selected by Wolff for the newly established Pennsylvania Constituency Change Advisory Board, “reviewing the parliamentary constituency change plan passed at the General Assembly later this year. We will provide guidance to the governor to support. ” September 13 press release from the Governor’s Office.

His special specialty is to make sure that the new map “does not divide the communities of interest as much as possible”.

Kennedy used his hometown of Lee High Valley to describe the “community of interest.” For example, if you go from Allentown to Hershey, but have a map that excludes Bethlehem and Easton, it divides the community of interest. People say they live in the Lee High Valley. It’s the Lee High Valley Transport Authority, not the Allentown Transport Authority. It’s Lee High Valley Airport, not Allentown Airport. Not the Allentown Iron Pig (baseball team), but the Lehigh Valley Iron Pig. “

Communities of interest include counties and municipalities, and Congressional district maps should try to avoid dividing them as much as possible, says Kennedy, who holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Kutztown University and a PhD. Says. From Temple University.

The two main tactics used in Gerrymandering are “cracking” (diluting the voting rights of opposition supporters in many districts) and “packing” (opposing parties to reduce voting rights in other districts). Concentrate your voting rights in one district).

Reading Eagle: Susan Keen

The original cartoon by Elkanah Tisdale showing Elbridge Gerry’s “Salamander” appeared on page 1 of the Salem Gazette on Friday, April 2, 1813. Cornell University: Convincing Cartography: PJ Mode Collection, Public Domain,

Gerrymandering is not new.

In fact, as the name implies, it dates back to the early 1800s. This is a combination of the governor who approved the disputed district and the animals whose district is similar.

Elbridge Gerry, who died as Vice President of the United States in 1812, was Governor of Massachusetts and signed a bill to create a partisan district in the Boston area, which is compared to the form of Salamander.

Increasing political interests in this re-district cycle is the fact that the census has shown that Pennsylvania has lost its population in the last decade. As a result, the number of delegations to the US House of Representatives will be reduced by one, bringing the total to 17 seats.

However, while having high political interests, there is also a growing public awareness of not only the importance of changing constituencies, but also how they can be manipulated to serve political objectives.

Like Kennedy Credit Group Fair District PA When PA to draw a line It campaigned a civil panel responsible for all re-districts in Pennsylvania, both at the state and federal levels. The constitutional amendment needed to make that change failed in Harrisburg, but the work made more people aware of what was coming in the next round, he said.

These organizations use computer models to show that voters can easily bring together communities to create meaningful maps, rather than having voters choose representatives, and vice versa. According to Kennedy, it’s about pulling an incumbent or a member of the other party out of the district.

“Few people noticed this process ten years ago, and there were no hearings,” Kennedy said. “But what has happened since then has highlighted this as an important issue.”

Gerrymandering, seeking a partisan advantage, has also helped strengthen political views in both Pennsylvania and other countries, Kennedy said. “Currently, voters have little elasticity,” he said. “It’s not a matter of convincing voters of your view. Now it’s all about maximizing voting on your part.”

As a result, “many over the issue of hot buttons, lean meat to stir up bases to participate in polls, less discussion about the actual problems facing the country, and less merit of compromise. There is a fight, “says Kennedy.

Fairer districts force politicians to try to win uncommitted voters and are more likely to compromise across the aisle without fear of bipartisan primaries as a punishment for “cooperating with the other side” He said he would.

The panel that Kennedy serves aims to do it all.

Other members of the advisory board are Tabatha Abu El-Haj and Ph. DJD, professors of law at Drexel University. Lee Ann Banaszak, PhD. , Pennsylvania State University Political Scientist. Beth Campbell Ph.D., a mathematician at the University of Gettysburg. Dr. Christopher S. Fowler, Geographer at Pennsylvania State University, Soji Turante, JD, Former Philadelphia City Attorney.

“We have had one meeting so far, and more are planned,” Kennedy said on Tuesday.

According to Wolf’s office, the council specializes in civilian, constituency change to make overall recommendations and emphasize completeness and impartiality in demarcating maps of the Pennsylvania Parliament. Involve the home and other stakeholders.

The Wolf administration has provided a direct opportunity for the public to participate and hear their voices. Launched new district reorganization website Citizen members submit a proposed district map, outlining the communities of interest they believe should be specially considered in the district restructuring process, and reviewed by the governor and district restructuring advisory board. You can submit a comment.

“We want to hear from you because this very important process begins in Pennsylvania,” Wolff said in a press release. “Your vote and your voice are important, so take a moment to share your thoughts with us.”

“I think the process will be much better with more public involvement,” Kennedy said.

But Kennedy’s committee has nothing to do with the re-electoral districts that take place in the legislature and in the House of Representatives, Kennedy said.

The process complies with the law of creating a panel of five members to draw the line for the new district. Both the House and Senate majority leaders each appoint one member, and both the House and Senate minority leaders each appoint one member. This year they appointed themselves.

The fifth member of the tie-break vote, which estimates each vote of the Democratic and Republican parties, is in the fifth of the six re-election cycles, after legislative leaders have failed to agree on the fifth member. Appointed by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in May. Of the committee.

Mark Nordenberg, a former Prime Minister of the University of Pittsburgh and a former Dean of the University of Pittsburgh Law School, has been selected as the fifth member of the panel.

The other member is Kerry Benninghoff, Republican leader of the House of Representatives in Center County. Philadelphia Democrat and House Minority Leader Joanna McClinton. Westmoreland County Republican Senate Leader Kim Ward and Allegheny County Democratic Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa.

By law, the Commission has redrawn the boundaries of all 253 districts of the Pennsylvania Parliament this year, and the Governor has played no role.

A local expert has been elected to the Governor’s Advisory Board on the New Parliamentary District – Reading Eagle

Source link A local expert has been elected to the Governor’s Advisory Board on the New Parliamentary District – Reading Eagle

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