Dear Chairman Nordenberg and the LRC, My name is Merle Salkin and have lived in Northeast Phila. all My life. It’s clear that my corner of the city is often last to receive services that constituents need. We must, on all levels of government, understand that we voters are essential parts of the democratic process and have a voice in government. Districts should be drawn with opportunity and access to voting as well as assurance that those elected understand that their oath of office commits them to serving all their constituencies not just those of their own party. Districts should be drawn with as little partisan bias as possible and without bias toward incumbency. Districts should be logical entities and not be placed in counties other than their own. 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 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. As part of the group, I would like to express 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. Partisan gerrymandering is shameful. Despite explicit feedback from many citizens, including our partners at PA Voice, the Senate maps do little to provide fair representation for Latinos. In Philadelphia, the Latino community is split among four districts, whereas the People’s Maps (created by FDPA and endorsed by us) created an opportunity district in this area. We urge you to correct this injustice that has prevailed for too long by creating an additional majority minority district in Philadelphia. PA’s population has shifted significantly over the last ten years, declining in rural/western communities, and growing in more central and eastern cities. The LRC’s Senate map does not adequately represent these shifts. In Southwest and Central PA, the map draws many districts with populations significantly below what might be expected, while in Southeast PA, several districts are drawn with populations larger than one would expect. This means that individual voters in Southeast PA have less clout. The standard deviation percentages favor rural areas and almost erase any changes that should have taken place due to the reallocation of prisoners that was voted on earlier last year. The Senate map distributes the population inequitably, penalizing urban residents and minority communities. We urge you to correct this malapportionment and vote dilution by creating more districts in Southeastern PA. Thank you, Merle Salkin