The Montgomery County Democratic Committee will host a town hall meeting on Wednesday, May 24, to address the problem of gerrymandering in Pennsylvania and examine the options for much-needed reform.
The deliberate mapping of congressional and legislative districts to benefit one party or the other is one of the major fair-election, fair-governance issues of our time.
Gerrymandering is engineered so that incumbents gain a better chance of re-election and challengers don’t stand a chance. Gerrymandering restricts real voter choice, fosters legislative gridlock, and leads to extremism on both the right and left.
With new political maps to be drawn by the Pennsylvania Legislature after the 2020 Census, now is the time for reform effort. The Wednesday forum, which is free and open to the public, will be led by a panel of experts who will explain the problem and and offer solutions. They will then field questions.
* State Senator Daylin Leach, PA State Senator from the 17th District, will outline how, when, where, and by whom, Congressional and state district maps are drawn in Pennsylvania, the current situation and prospects for change in Harrisburg.
* Dr. Joan Duvall-Flynn, President of the NAACP PA State Conference, will discuss the impact of partisan gerrymandering on the work of social service advocates in the Commonwealth.
* Val Arkoosh, chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners, will examine the issue from the perspective of county governance, focusing on the difficulties created when gerrymandering needlessly carved up Montgomery County into multiple congressional and state legislative districts.
* Ben Geffen, attorney at the Public Interest Law Center, will focus on current and possible future litigation in Pennsylvania and nationwide as the courts grapple with this problem.
* Carol Kuniholm, chair of Fair Districts PA, will explain how Fair Districts has raised voter awareness of gerrymandering to unprecedented levels in its promotion of a bold legislative solution to the problem of partisan gerrymandering in Pennsylvania.
* Joseph Foster, chairman of the Montgomery County Democratic Committee, will moderate.