PA Legislative Redistricting

Dear Chairman Nordenberg and the LRC, My name is Lynore Eisman, Retired Educator in the Philadelphia School District for 37 years. My husband and I have lived in Philadelphia all our lives. We and our children attended Philadelphia schools. It is important to have fair and racially equitable maps in Pennsylvania. I am concerned about how the maps are being redistricted. Everyone’s vote must count. We are members of the Pennsylvania Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. We are 40 synagogues comprising about 40,000 souls, and Jewish communities across the commonwealth uniting to advocate for fair and racially equitable legislative maps. Jewish sacred legal text teaches “a ruler is not to be appointed unless the community is first consulted.” Our faith calls us to advocate for maps that will provide all Pennsylvanians, especially marginalized groups and racial minorities, with adequate representation. We would like to express our gratitude to the LRC for your hard work and your efforts to improve the redistricting process. Thank you for holding hearings and making the process more transparent than in years past. We are especially grateful for your consideration and attention to racial equity. It is heartening to see maps that reflect the growth in communities of color and give minority voters more representation than in years past. We are paying close attention to the final map release and trust that you will follow through with your commitment to creating minority opportunity districts and to taking community comments into account. We urge you not to give in to partisan pressure to backslide on the improvements to ending partisan gerrymandering and creating opportunity districts in the House and to make necessary changes to Senate and certain House districts. Despite explicit feedback from many citizens, including our partners at PA Voice, the Senate maps do little to provide fair representation for Latinos. In Philadelphia, the Latino community is split among four districts, whereas the People’s Maps (created by FDPA and endorsed by us) created an opportunity district in this area. As the Latino population in the commonwealth has grown exponentially, we are yet to see a Latino State Senator. We urge you to correct this injustice that has prevailed for too long by creating an additional majority minority district in Philadelphia. Sincerely, Lynore E Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel