Slate Belt Region of Northampton County

Dear Commission Members, My name is Stephen Reider and I am the Director for the Slate Belt Rising (SBR) program which is the first and only multi-municipal Neighborhood Partnership Program in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Since SBR was formed in 2016 the program has made great strides in the revitalization of four boroughs in northern Northampton County, Pennsylvania and forged strong relationships with the legislators that currently represent the residents of the region. The reason for my letter is to share the concerns that residents and program volunteers have concerning the preliminary maps for the new legislative districts and voice our opposition to them. In these maps, two municipalities from Northampton County including Portland Borough, a member borough of the SBR program, will be moved from a district within the Slate Belt region and Northampton County to a new district within Monroe County. Slate Belt Rising believes that this will negatively impact not only the program but the constituents of the area because of the competition for resources that will be born from this new district and the loss of longstanding relationships with current legislators. Municipalities have varying needs and concerns; we believe that the Slate Belt and its municipalities will be best represented by keeping the legislative districts as they currently stand. We hope that you will take our request into consideration. Sincerely, Stephen Reider Director of Slate Belt Rising