Protecting incumbents prolongs distorted districts
The Preliminary Plan for the Senate districts barely improves the compactness, not to mention the common sense, of districts such as the 19th. I have to assume that the protection of incumbents played a large part in the formation of the preliminary Senate districts map. As much as I like my State Senator here in the 19th, I personally believe that protecting incumbents prolongs the life of distorted districts and therefore should not be part of the redistricting process. I would prefer the PA People's Map (from Fair Districts PA) over your preliminary map for the following reasons: 1) It has a compactness score for the district that I would be in (the 37th) that is more than 2 times better than the preliminary plan's 19th (43.4 vs 19.3). 2) It has a lower population deviation for the 37th/19th (1.8% vs 4.7%). (Figures are from pennsylvania.redistrictingandyou.org.) The PA People's Map does go across county lines to form the 37th Senate district, but it does so in a way that makes sense after soliciting feedback. Having a Senate district stretch from southwestern Chester County (rural, farming, etc.) all the way to northeastern Chester County (suburban, corporate, etc.), in a mainly narrow strip, never made sense to me in the first place. Protecting incumbents means that we are stuck with nearly the same distorted district as before here in the area of the existing 19th Senate district. Please: Throw away the existing districts. If you don't want to use the PA People's Map, then start from scratch. There are only 50 districts, compared to 203 in the House. There is time to do it.