Gerrymandering: Where Do We Stand?

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Op-Ed Was On Target

Thank you for printing such a balanced op-ed by Rabbi Moshe Brennan (“Maybe Modesty Is Exactly What Society Needs,” Oct. 26). We have become a society of victims instead of a society of responsible individuals.

Reading this article made me reflect on rabbinic learning rather than buzz words to address today’s issues.

Barbara Oslick | Wynnewood

Amend Pennsylvania’s Constitution

Thank you for your column on gerrymandering (“One Man, One Vote — Really,” Oct. 26).

Gerrymandering has been on my radar screen since the lawsuit arising out of the 2010 redistricting. I was pleased in 2015 when the Democrats won a majority of seats on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, since they will have the final word on the 2020 districts. Most importantly, since that fateful day last November, I have been involved with Fair Districts PA, an organization dedicated to amending the Pennsylvania Constitution to create a truly independent commission to draw Pennsylvania’s state and federal districts, as in other states.

Pennsylvania is one of the worst states in the country for gerrymandering. Although gerrymandering has deprived Democrats of equal representation, in other states gerrymandering has deprived Republicans; in the future in Pennsylvania, it could be Republicans that could be deprived. This is a bipartisan issue and one that will move politics away from the radical extremes on both sides by ensuring that voters choose their politicians, not politicians choose their voters. Passage of SB 22 and HB 722 will help move politics to the moderate center where it should be.

Joel Cheskis | Harrisburg

Pennsylvania’s Lines Are Unfair

I commend you bringing nonpartisan attention to the issue of the Pennsylvania 7th Congressional District, the DJOPA event on Nov. 1 and Daylin Leach’s candidacy in the most recent edition of the Jewish Exponent (“One Man, One Vote — Really,” Oct. 26).

Democrats, by registration, outnumber registered Republicans by more than 800,000 voters. When you look at those numbers, it is quite clear that something is amiss in the drawing of the districts if Democrats only hold five seats to the Republicans’ 13. Although I am not a resident of the 7th, I live in Montgomery County and have been gerrymandered to a district shared with Philadelphia. (Prior to this we were gerrymandered to that almost equally inane 6th Congressional District extending to Berks County.)

While I like and respect Democratic Rep. Dwight Evans, it is really unfair to all citizens, their municipalities and their representatives to have congressional districts that make no sense from any standpoint of governance other than to lump as many Democrats in one district as possible. You stated as much as well.

I hope that the lawsuits in Pennsylvania can pave the way for a better system of creating congressional districts. Even if no ruling will be forthcoming before the 2018 elections, perhaps the idea of a nonpartisan (or bi- or multi-partisan) commission to draw districts will somehow take hold.

Nina S. Rosenthal | Villanova