HD74 - A minority-opportunity district gone

To the members of the Legislative Reapportionment Commission: The proposed new legislative districts do address years of gerrymandering which have thwarted the democratic process by creating districts that favor one party over the other. In Chester County, most of the lines are fair and make sense. I am concerned about one particular district, the 74th. One of the goals of the redistricting is to create minority opportunity districts which will allow our constituents of color to elect representatives that truly represent them and their concerns. The 74th Legislative District, under the current district lines, accomplished that goal. The representative from this district is the only Chester County State Representative who is a person of color, and the only House member of color outside of an urban area. The new Legislative District lines drastically change the demographics of voters within the 74th District. The current (2014) 74th District is comprised of 60.17% White Voters, 23.09% Black Voters, and 17.98% other voters of color. The proposed 74th District would comprise of 66.55% White Voters, 20.32% Black Voters, and 14.06% other voters of color. The shift in demographics is striking, an increase in white voters and a decrease in the numbers of voters who represent people of color. In fact, the new lines actually remove Caln Township where people of color vote and include Honey Brook Township that is predominantly white and conservative. Caln Township is split to accomplish this, thus dividing a school district, one that is consistently underfunded and in need of serious support from the Commonwealth. I urge the commission to reconsider the lines drawn for the 74th Legislative District. It is imperative that we support minority representation within Chester County. The new district lines do not accomplish this goal.