Legislative Leaders Seek Applicants Interested in Serving as Chair of Reapportionment Commission
HARRISBURG - The four caucus floor leaders - Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward (R-38), House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff (R-171), Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa (D-43), and House Democratic Leader Joanna McClinton (D-191) - today announced that they are seeking applications from individuals interested in serving as the chair of the 2021 Legislative Reapportionment Commission (LRC).
The LRC is a five-member panel responsible for redrawing the boundaries for state Senate and state House districts. Article II, Section 17, of the state constitution names the four caucus floor leaders as members of the Commission. They are to choose a fifth member, who serves as chair of the LRC.
The constitution requires that the chair of the LRC be a citizen of Pennsylvania who does not hold a local, state or federal office to which compensation is attached.
"Redistricting is a once-a-decade exercise, and among the most important issues we will address in 2021. I am committed to upholding the rights of the people by ensuring an open, fair, and transparent redistricting process," said Sen. Kim Ward. "A public search for someone to chair the Commission is the first step in making that happen."
"As a member of the Legislative Reapportionment Commission, I am committed to fair, open, and legal process," said Rep. Benninghoff. " The person who we select as chair should seek be a neutral arbiter who holds those same values and commitments."
"It's an honor to serve on this commission and to begin this important process, we must find another member who is committed to equity and transparency," said Sen. Costa. "I look forward to recruiting a chairperson who will work tirelessly to ensure we draw maps that provide fair representation for the decade to come."
"The people are the ones responsible for choosing their elected representatives, not the other way around," said Rep. McClinton. "As a member of this commission, I'm seeking a chairperson who shares my commitment to ensure that power remains in the hands of voters."
The floor leaders, who were officially certified as members of the LRC on March 16, 2021, said they expect to hold one or more public meetings to interview applicants.
State legislative districts must be redrawn to reflect population changes over the past decade as measured by the federal census. Each Senate district and each House district must conform to the one person, one vote standard established by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1964 (Reynolds v. Sims).
Interested individuals must be willing to serve, uninterrupted, for the entire timeframe required for the Commission to complete its work. Although serving as chair of the LRC is not necessarily a full-time commitment, it does require a significant investment of time. Historically, the chair of the LRC has been provided with a small staff for the duration of the Commission's work.
Previous LRC chairs include former Superior Court Judge Stephen J. McEwen, Jr., in 2011, former Supreme Court Justice Frank J. Montemuro, Jr., in 2001, attorney Robert J. Cindrich in 1991, James O. Freedman, Dean of the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1981, Professor A. Leo Levin of the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1971.
Applicants should send a resume or curriculum vitae, along with a letter explaining their qualifications to serve as chair of the Commission and their reasons for being interested in the position, to:
Legislative Reapportionment Commission
c/o Brent McClintock, Executive Director
Legislative Data Processing Center
Senate Box 64, Main Capitol Building,
Harrisburg, PA 17120
Submissions can also be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications must be received no later than Friday, April 9, 2021.
The leaders indicated that, in addition to those who apply via this process, other qualified individuals may also be considered to chair the Commission. If the floor leaders do not reach agreement on an individual to serve as chair of the LRC, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court will make the appointment.
For more information on the redistricting process, please visit https://www.redistricting.state.pa.us/. The newly redesigned website provides easy access on all mobile devices, an option to receive email alerts and updates, access to Census shapefiles and Summary Files, and Congressional and Legislative Plans, Maps and GIS data for download.
CONTACT (Sen. Ward): Erica Clayton Wright, email@example.com, (717) 787-6063
CONTACT (Rep. Benninghoff): Jason Gottesman, firstname.lastname@example.org, (717) 783-1918
CONTACT (Sen. Costa): Brittany Crampsie, email@example.com, (717) 787-7683
CONTACT (Rep. McClinton): Bill Patton, firstname.lastname@example.org, (717) 772-9850