Proposed 156th, 167th, and 74th Districts

Mark Nordenberg Chairman, Legislative Reapportionment Commission Chairman Nordenberg, I am writing to you regarding the newly proposed PA State House map. The proposed map is, in large part, an improvement over the existing map with fewer counties split, offers more compact districts, and more balanced representation. Even with these improvements, there is cause for concern in Chester County. Specifically, the newly drawn 155th, 167th, and 74th Legislative Districts. Of note, the split of East Caln Township and Downingtown Borough, and the split of Caln Township into two different Legislative Districts fail to preserve communities of interest and community representation. Splitting East Caln Township and Downingtown Borough into the 167th and 155th Legilsative Distrcts, respectively, creates a gerrymandered border given the geographic location of East Caln that encircles the eastern border of Downingtown Borough. Additionally, they share interests and resources, including the Downingtown Borough Police Department, fire departments, and emergency services. East Caln lies within the Downingtown Area School District. Should East Caln be split from Downingtown Borough, the shared school district will be further fragmented and the representation of the voters there would be diluted. East Caln is part of the culture and community of the 155th Legislative District, including Downingtown Borough, Uwhclan Township, and the majority of the Downingtown Area School District, therefore should be included with the 155th Legislative District. A second concern is the splitting of Caln Township into two legislative districts, with three precincts included in the 155th Legislative District and the remaining precinct in the 74th. Caln Township, locally, is considered part of the greater Coatesville community. Caln Township is part of the Coatesville Area School District, provides police resources to the City of Coatesville through sharing of police, and shares community organizations, nonprofits, and volunteers. Caln Township and the City of Coatesville even merged their little league organizations recently. Additionally, the proposed map splits the campus of struggling Brandywine Hospital in half, as the campus straddles two precincts. While the future of Brandywine Hospital is yet to be determined, it remains in the interest of the community to ensure fair representation for those precincts. The proposed map would allow for voters from Honey Brook Borough and Township to make decisions for the people of the Coatesville Area. Honey Brook is a largely rural area with very different needs and interest than the Coatesville Area, with Coatesville being Chester County’s only urban city. Leaving only one precinct in the 74th Legislative District greatly weakens the voices of the voters in the greater Coatesville Area and does not preserve true community representation. The people of Chester County expect, and deserve, a fair State House map that maintains the integrity of community representation. I request the Legislative Reapportionment Committee include East Caln Township into the 155th Legislative District and keep all four precincts of Caln Township together in the 74th Legislative District. Sincerely, Josh Maxwell Vice Chair Chester County Board of Commissioners