|By Rep. Torren Ecker (R-Adams/Cumberland)
Every 10 years, state officials are required to redraw state General Assembly and congressional seats. Though this may sound like a just a step in the legislative process, it has a great impact on you. Where the lines are drawn determines who is eligible to represent you and your neighbors in the state House, state Senate and in Congress.
Rightly so, the bi-partisan Legislative Reapportionment Commission, made up of two Republicans and two Democrats and a chair selected by the state Supreme Court, redraw the state House of Representatives and Senate districts.
The Pennsylvania House of Representatives has a direct hand in drawing the congressional maps. Unfortunately, Pennsylvania’s population has not increased at same level of many other states. As a result, we are already facing one hurdle as Pennsylvania is losing one congressional seat, a century-long trend, that we must reverse, but that is for a future column.
Information collected through the U.S. Census determines the number of congressional representatives each state is entitled to based on population, and is used to determine where districts will be located. States are responsible for redrawing the geographic area of their congressional districts to ensure equal and fair representation, commonly referred to as redistricting.
To make the congressional redistricting process transparent, the House State Government recently kicked off a series of hearings to receive input from residents on the congressional redistricting process. Next month, the committee will be in our area to hold a hearing locally. The hearing will be held York College’s West Campus Community Center, 441 Country Club Road, on Wednesday, Oct. 13, at 4 p.m. Residents who want to provide in-person testimony at the hearing can register to do so at www.PaRedistricting.com.
Those who cannot make it to the hearing can still provide feedback via several user-friendly online tools. They can submit boundaries of their communities of interest, comment on the current congressional map and submit written testimony by going to www.PaRedistricting.com. These innovative online tools bring the redistricting process to you to ensure your voice is heard.
I hope everyone will take advantage of this opportunity to be part of the process.
Representative Torren Ecker
193rd Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Greg Gross