The People's Maps - Lancaster County

Testimony to the Legislative Reapportionment Commission Regarding 2021 Redistricting and the Fair Districts PA proposed People’s Maps My name is Amy Ruffo. I am a resident of Lancaster City. I write to request that the Legislative Reapportionment Commission give serious consideration to the People’s Maps and in particular how Lancaster County’s Senate and House districts are drawn. The Lancaster County Board of Commissioners adopted a county comprehensive plan, Places 2040, in October 2018 after conducting significant civic engagement with residents, business and municipal leaders. The plan defines 8 priorities identified by Lancaster County residents: Managing Growth, Urban Places, Housing Choice, Employment, Transportation, Parks, Trails and Natural Areas, and Thinking Beyond Boundaries. Additionally, character zones are defined: Urban Core, Urban, Suburban, Rural Community, Agriculture, and Natural. Many of those priorities are impacted by state and local laws. The character zones have unique challenges and voters in those defined zones likely have concerns about their community that are similar. The Senate People’s Map proposes three senatorial districts for Lancaster County that align in many ways with Places 2040. It keeps much of Urban core, Urban and Suburban areas within a district and most of Rural community and Agriculture in two districts. Natural areas are located across the county. Lancaster City and the municipalities immediately surrounding it is the metro core of our county. City residents are impacted by decisions made by municipalities directly to the west, north and south, and vice versa. The Senate People’s Map keeps a large portion of farmland communities within two districts, allowing voters in those communities to elect a candidate focused on policies that most impact their concerns. At the same time it gives residents in Lancaster City and the metro core the opportunity to elect a candidate who will focus on priorities relevant to the metro core region. The proposed plan gives Lancaster’s metro core the possibility of a competitive primary and general election. The proposed map gives appropriate weight to the metro core and rural areas - allowing these unique communities to have a voice in who represents them in Harrisburg. Lancaster County has had a moderate growth rate. The increase in population is reflected in the three senatorial districts. Precincts and municipalities are not split with the exception of East Lampeter. The proposed senate district in southern Lancaster County shares a senator with Chester County. The district makes sense as the Octorara School District crosses county boundaries and stays within the senate district boundaries. Gerrymandering is the manipulation of district lines to protect a party or individual (candidate or incumbent).The PA People’s Maps were drawn to reflect communities well and make sure their voices are heard. Fair Districts PA maps did not start with the current district map and merely redraw those lines. This means incumbent protection was not prioritized over other criteria. Starting from a blank map and listening to local voices is the best way to redistrict in a way that gives PA voters a voice. I ask the Legislative Reapportionment Committee to give serious consideration to the People’s Maps and in particular how Lancaster County’s Senate and House districts are drawn. Respectfully submitted, Amy Ruffo See link for relevant documents, graphics and data mentioned in my testimony.