Testimony to LRC about The People's Maps

I live in Honey Brook Boro, Chester County. I have been anxiously awaiting the commission’s draft maps, but I think you will be hard-pressed to do as well as the Fair Districts PA People’s Maps. The People’s Maps really hit every important measure AND preserve the state’s political proportionality. Chester County was badly fractured in the last redistricting, and not only that, both current House and Senate maps extended those fractures into neighboring counties, sometimes over the natural barrier of a river. That history makes FDPA’s People’s Map for the Senate especially thoughtful. We have a reasonably large Plain and Amish community in the west/southwest, and that was taken into account in our joint district with Lancaster County. Delaware & Chester counties have a long history of sharing legislative districts and work space, but their municipalities are very strictly cared-for in the People’s Senate Map. In the People’s House Map, it is easy to see how the mappers took into account all the relevant factors: school districts, municipalities, historical and economic ties as well as geography. We do not cross the Schuylkill River — long an annoyance and sign of disrespect for our communities. While Chester County does share Twin Valley School District with southern Berks, that school district is fairly evenly divided between the two counties and maintains a clear county division, avoiding any split of Morgantown and being clear about where that municipality belongs. Finally, I am extremely grateful the People’s Maps do not divide Pottstown like they did in the last maps. Pottstown is in Montgomery County but it was unfair to the people living there to be divided between two legislators. At least one of those legislators suggested, “two heads are better than one” but we the people would add, “when one is a cabbage.”