LETTER: Trust in citizens: Pass redistricting reform
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”
So begins the opening line of Charles Dickens’ classic novel “A Tale of Two Cities.” He could not have imagined how applicable his words would be in today’s world.
In the midst of the worst health care and economic crises our country has faced in the lifetime of most of us, the best is truly the courage, competence, self-sacrifice and dedication exemplified by all of our frontline health care workers, food industry workers, transportation and delivery industry workers, down to our local mail carriers.
Their saving grace is awesomely inspiring and gratifying, even as to witness it breaks our collective heart. These are the strong, selfless Americans most of us believe we all are, and who are now proving we are. We are all in their debt. One we will never be able to repay in kind.
FairDistrictsPA has been advocating and working for the passage of two PA House bills (HB22 and 23) that will create an 11-member citizens redistricting commission for the drawing of our new federal and state electoral districts in 2021, following the census count. Still sitting in the House State Government committee (since April 2019!), the full House has yet to take up these bills.
One of the cynical refrains we often encounter from elected representatives when discussing these bills with them is, “Where are you going to find 11 citizens to do this?”
We at FairDistrictsPA have never doubted that there are many caring Pennsylvanians who will step up to selflessly serve our commonwealth on such a commission.
But for any doubting representatives, the answer must surely be: Look around you. You will see them everywhere. Fair-minded, courageous citizens possessing the moral rectitude solely to do right by their fellow citizens if tasked with preserving their most basic liberty: the free and equal power of their vote.
A citizens redistricting commission can be yet another example of rendering the best in us. Trust in it. Remember the nurses. Pass HB 22 and 23.