Pennsylvania Redistricting Reform

The Pennsylvania Legislature has been battling the last couple of weeks over the first step towards approval of a state constitutional amendment that would put redistricting in the hands of an independent non-partisan body. The legislature has to approve the bill in two different session and and put it towards a statewide popular vote in order for it to pass and apply to the 2010 Pennsylvania redistricting.

A lot has been said back and forth about Babette Josephs (D-Philadelphia) chairman of the Pennsylvania House Government Committee and her role in the matter. As chair of the committee she wields the ability to block the legislation from going to the house floor, and has done so. This article at the Pocono Record includes a general summary of the events. Because of her actions, controversy has brewed throughout the state’s media. Below are some of the things written for and against the proposal:

Against the Reform Bill:

  1. Letter from Babette Josephs at the Pennsylvania House website justifying her actions
  2. Letter to the Pocono Record
  3. Letter to the editor (top one) in the Philadelphia Inquirer
  4. Kill Gerrymandering in PA (A website dedicated to the reform bill, but includes copy of form letters from Rep. Josephs to constituents writing about the issue)

Editorials or opinions in favor of the reform:

  1. Citizens Voice – Wilkes-Barre, PA
  2. Centre Daily Times – State College, PA
  3. Press Release – Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell
  4. Common Cause and the League of Woman Voters (via Morning Call – Allentown, PA)
  5. Pocono Record – Stroudsburg PA
  6. Columnist and Editorial at the Philadelphia Inquirer and – Philadelphia, PA

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