Philadelphia County map
Dear Chairman Nordenberg and the LRC, My name is Steven Koffs, and I am a retired attorney formerly practicing in Philadelphia. I am currently serving as a pro bono attorney for neglected and abused children in Philadelphia. I live with my family in King of Prussia, and I am a lifelong citizen of Pennsylvania. The children I serve come from low-income, minority communities, and I am interested in seeing those communities receive fair and equitable representation in our legislature. I am a member of the Pennsylvania Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. We are 40 synagogues comprising about 40,000 people, and Jewish communities across the Commonwealth uniting to advocate for fair and racially equitable maps. Our faith calls us to advocate for maps that will provide all Pennsylvanians, including racial and ethnic minorities, with adequate representation. 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 on your commitment to creating minority opportunity districts and to taking community comments into account. We urge you to end partisan gerrymandering and create opportunity districts in the House and to make necessary changes to Senate and certain House districts. The Senate maps do little to provide fair representation for Latinos, despite explicit feedback from many citizens, including our partners at PA Voice. In Philadelphia, the Latino community is split among four districts, whereas the People's Maps (created by Fair Districts PA and endorsed by us) created an opportunity district in this area. As the Latino population in the Commonwealth has grown exponentially, we have 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. We thank 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. It is good to see that you are paying attention to racial equity in the redistricting process.