Redistricting testimony

January 18, 2022 Dear Chairman Nordenberg and the LLC, My name is Laurie Albert and I have resided in Delaware County, Pennsylvania for close to 40 years. My children attended school in the Marple Newtown school district. My husband and I are former administrators and are now retired. I am embarrassed to say that most people know our congressional district as “the one where Donald kicks Goofy”. I am a member of the Pennsylvania Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. We are 40 synagogues comprising about 40,000 souls, and Jewish communities across the commonwealth uniting to advocate for fair and racially equitable legislative maps. Jewish sacred legal text teaches “a ruler is not to be appointed unless the community is first consulted.” Our faith calls us to advocate for maps that will provide all Pennsylvanians, especially marginalized groups and racial minorities, with adequate representation. We would like to express our gratitude to 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 than in years past. We are especially grateful for your consideration and attention to racial equity. 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 with your commitment to creating minority opportunity districts and to taking community comments into account. We urge you not to give in to partisan pressure to backslide on the improvements to ending partisan gerrymandering and creating opportunity districts in the House and to make necessary changes to Senate and certain House districts. The LRC House of Representatives map for Delaware County does a poor job keeping school districts intact. More than half of the county’s districts are split; in some cases, they are split three ways. It also splits all four of the county’s most under-resourced school districts. We urge you to revisit the Delaware County maps and work toward keeping communities intact by uniting the school districts and making it easier for under-resourced neighborhoods to access their legislators. Sincerely, Laurie Albert, member of Temple Sholom in Broomall and the Religious Action Center/Pennsylvania