What You Can Do: Kenneth Myers, Chair, PA Common Cause, Urges Efforts to Make PA Senate Bill 484 the Law

Ken Myers, one of JSPAN's founders, had the following letter pubnlished in the Inquirer. Ken also spoke at our November 22 program on Campaign Finance and Resdistircting. JSPAN supporters are urged to contact their State Senator about the bill described here.

From The Philadelphia Inquirer, November 27, 2015

TAKE POLITICS OUT OF THE PROCESS

Because Pennsylvania judges, once elected, run for retention only every 10 years, it is very likely that four of the Democrats who will sit on our seven-judge Supreme Court in January still will be there in 2021, when the next electoral redistricting plays out.

Short of a political tsunami, Republicans may continue to hold the legislature in 2021. But they will have just two votes on the reapportionment commission, and the Democrats will have two votes. The state Supreme Court appoints the fifth member, the "swing" vote, and also gets the final say when citizens challenge the commission's map-drawing.

So the new Democratic makeup of the court carries the seeds of destruction of the present gerrymander that so strongly favors Republicans. Democrats might adopt a winner-take-all map as lopsided as the present Republican map.

This is the time for legislators, facing such uncertainty, to adopt a reform to take politics out of the redistricting process. For example, Senate Bill 484, sponsored by Sen. Lisa Boscola (D., Northampton) would put citizens in control. We need to work for it.

Ken Myers, chair, Common Cause of Pennsylvania, Elkins Park, myers2002@comcast.net