HARRISBURG – The state Legislative Reapportionment Commission (LRC) today approved a preliminary redistricting map for the state House of Representatives and Senate. The vote to release the preliminary Senate map was unanimous. The vote to accept the preliminary plan for the new state House of Representatives map passed with a 3-2 vote with Chairman Mark Nordenburg, who produced the map himself, breaking the tie. Following the vote, Rep. Valerie Gaydos (R-Allegheny) issued this statement.
“I am disappointed to see so many of our communities in the 44th District, as well as throughout the state, being split up to simply fulfill some artificial and superficial criteria determined by academia. In addition to a lack of transparency and accountability which has plagued the process of creating this preliminary map in the first place, there are two components vital to the state redistricting process in Pennsylvania which seem to be disregarded: the Constitution and communities of interest. The plan put forth by the commission blatantly disregards both and is exactly what our Supreme Court has rejected in the past as offensive to the core principles of democracy.
“It’s not just disappointing for the current elected leaders from both parties who work tirelessly on behalf of their constituents; it’s insulting to all voters to see one political party so blatantly try to skew the lines in an effort to silence the voice of the people.”
Nordenberg, former chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh who was appointed LRC chairman by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, unilaterally expanded his role from a supposed non-partisan referee into that of map maker. He drew a map on his own without regard for the tenets of the fair redistricting process even espoused by Fair Districts PA, League of Women Voters and other good government organizations, and turned people and communities into faceless numbers through a mechanical and emotionless academic exercise.
The commission’s maps may be found here
Public involvement in the legislative redistricting process from this point forward is critically important. The deadline for exceptions is Jan. 18, 2022. Exceptions can be filed here
“It is my hope that through additional process and changes, we can get to a map we all agree is in the best interest of the people and communities of Pennsylvania and not partisan politics.”
Representative Valerie Gaydos
44th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives