Support/suggestions for LRC proposal

Dear Chairman Nordenberg and members of the LRC, My husband and I live in Allegheny County, in the 42nd House District and the 37th Senate District. We are members of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. I serve on our synagogue’s Civic Engagement/Social Action committee, as well as a number of other organizations which strive to make a difference to people in need. Nothing is more important than fair and effective representation of all Pennsylvanians. The establishment of the LRC, with you in the role of Chair, was an immensely encouraging development for all residents seeking this fairness. We’re grateful for the improvements the LRC has achieved through hard work and careful attention in a compressed time frame—greater transparency, more public involvement, and preliminary maps showing careful consideration of growth in minority populations that should improve fair representation for these communities. We urge you to resist partisan pressure to back off from any of these reforms. The people should be choosing their representatives, not representatives choosing their people! As residents of Allegheny County, our only more specific suggestion for House maps is that the Committee closely consider the Unity Maps proposal submitted by PA Voice. Their suggestion for House maps would create 3 House districts with majorities of people of color in the county, rather than the 2 included in the LRC preliminary map. Our general comment on the LRC Senate maps is that population growth in the Southeast of the state, and population decreases in the Southwest and Central areas, aren’t fully reflected in the proposed districts. To achieve real fairness we urge that this be addressed in the final proposals. Thank you for your crucial and excellent work, and for the opportunity to be part of this. Sincerely, Debra and Ronald Schneider Temple Emanuel of South Hills Pittsburgh, PA