Dwelling Democratic Leader Joanna McClinton votes in favor of Legislative Reapportionment Commission’s Preliminary Legislative Maps

Dwelling Democratic Leader Joanna McClinton votes in favor of Legislative Reapportionment Commission’s Preliminary Legislative Maps

Residence Democratic Leader Joanna McClinton votes in favor of Legislative Reapportionment Commission’s Preliminary Legislative Maps

HARRISBURG, Dec. 16 — Democratic Chief Joanna McClinton, D-Phila/Delaware, unveiled the pursuing assertion for the duration of the conference of the Legislative Reapportionment Fee:

Today is an essential working day for the Commonwealth and a significant day for me individually.  When I very first took the oath of business office to serve in the Pennsylvania Home of Representatives in 2015, I could not have foreseen that I would have the prospect to be a member of this Fee and to participate in its vital get the job done. 

I truly feel compelled to commence these remarks by thanking you Mr. Chairman for your management, stewardship and direction.  You have led us as particular person Commissioners and this complete course of action with an aim and scholarly hand that has produced a honest and just preliminary system. 

Your final decision to marshal stakeholders from all corners of the Commonwealth with a range of perspectives and a wealth of know-how supplied a firm basis on which we as Commissioners could count in establishing this prepare.  The transparency and community input driven through the several general public hearings, leveraging participation of both Commissioners and witnesses, helped us to much better understand the impacts and consequences of prior redistricting on the correct of voters to equal participation in the electoral approach.

Our do the job was tough.  The demographics of the Commonwealth changed noticeably about the previous decade.  The Commonwealth’s inhabitants shifted appreciably from the west to the southeast.  The amount of Pennsylvanians dwelling in city and suburban communities grew, though rural counties declined in populace.  In addition, there has been a considerable improve in the range of minority inhabitants.  The amount of Pennsylvanians who determine as Black, Hispanic, Asian or multi-racial amplified by a lot more than 800,000 given that the previous census, although the White inhabitants decreased by a lot more than 540,000.  The racial composition of far more than 10% of the Commonwealth’s overall inhabitants adjusted.   

The Commissioners and the Fee employees have used a fantastic deal of time studying and being familiar with the implications of these demographic improvements.  I was specially amazed with the testimony of the citizens and specialists who appeared in advance of the Fee and shared their views on what a fair and consultant map should really seem like.  And I very substantially appreciated the steerage we gained from the professionals concerning the constitutional and other aspects that will have to be well balanced to satisfy the Commission’s mandate of “reapportioning the Commonwealth” and make sure that Commonwealth elections will be “free and equal.”   

Motivated by this do the job and the citizens at the rear of the statistics, it is my honor to vote now in favor of the preliminary prepare introduced by the Chair.

To start with, I believe the Household map relatively accounts for the spectacular demographic modifications in the inhabitants of the Commonwealth considering that the last reapportionment.  The plan recognizes and accounts for the inhabitants declines in the west and the populace progress in the southeast by building three new Residence districts in Philadelphia, Lancaster and Montgomery Counties.  The prepare respects communities of desire through the state.  It also comports with the Voting Rights Act which requires that communities of colour will have to have the exact same option as other members of the citizens to participate in the political system and to elect associates of their alternative.  And, not insignificantly, as a final result of the historic vote by the Commission to reallocate incarcerated people today to their household communities, the prepare eliminates the representational inequities that result when incarcerated folks are counted exactly where they are incarcerated alternatively than at their households.    

Second, the preliminary Dwelling map is agent of the Commonwealth as it is currently and makes it possible for for equivalent participation in the electoral process.  Our Commonwealth has a extensive record of protecting the appropriate of the folks to good and equivalent representation in state govt.  The Pennsylvania Constitution—considered the most democratic of its time when the 1st condition constitution was ratified in 1776—sought to secure accessibility to the electoral course of action for all people and to ensure that this suitable of the people would eternally keep on being equivalent.  Due to the fact 1790, Write-up 1, Part 5 of the Pennsylvania Constitution has mandated that “[e]lections shall be totally free and equal.”  The Structure thus assures that all voters shall have an equal chance to translate their votes into illustration.  A long time of gerrymandering in past reapportionment cycles resulted in districts and election outcomes that were not rather consultant of Pennsylvania voters.  The preliminary prepare that is presented nowadays substantially corrects these wrongs via trustworthy adherence to the needs in the Pennsylvania Structure.  The proposed Residence map consists of 203 compact and contiguous consultant districts that are as approximately equal in inhabitants as practicable and the map also satisfies the “free and equal” mandate in the Pennsylvania Structure.    

Third, the preliminary prepare is the product or service of an inclusive method, sturdy debate and skilled collaboration.  The Chair has invited participation by diverse voices and has solicited expert advice and instruction, together with from the Commission’s Chief Counsel, the Honorable Robert L. Byer, and other nationally acknowledged specialists who appeared and offered testimony at the general public hearings and in any other case assisted the Commission.  The mix of these several diverse voices resulted in a agent and fair map.   

For these good reasons, I will vote in favor of the preliminary strategy.