|Public hearing scheduled in Uniontown Aug. 26
As the General Assembly embarks on the important task of redrawing the boundaries of the state’s congressional districts, Rep. Matthew Dowling (R-Fayette/Somerset) is inviting residents of the 51st District and surrounding areas to offer input in the process.
“Redistricting is necessary to provide fair and equal representation for all Pennsylvanians and to ensure the Commonwealth is meeting the ‘one person, one vote’ standard prescribed in the Constitution,” Dowling said. “This year will mark the most open and transparent redistricting ever undertaken in the Commonwealth, and I am proud to be a part of it. We are opening the door for people to share their input in a variety of ways, and I encourage area residents to take advantage of those opportunities.”
Among the most notable of the opportunities is a scheduled public hearing of the House State Government Committee to be held at 9 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 26, at State Theatre Center for the Arts, 37 E. Main St. in Uniontown.
People who would like to testify at the hearing are invited to sign up at the congressional redistricting website, www.PARedistricting.com
. Testifiers have the option to appear in person or may submit written testimony for consideration by the committee. To access the registration and submission pages, click on the “hearings” tab and then click on the Uniontown hearing to provide testimony.
In addition to hearing testimony, residents are invited to offer input on the current congressional district map and submit the boundaries for their communities of interest using online mapping tools also available at www.PARedistricting.com
“Communities of interest” refers to a group of people with a common set of concerns and may include things like ethnic, racial or economic groups. When drawing district maps, lawmakers are charged with trying to keep those communities wholly within one congressional district.
“As a member of the House State Government Committee, I am pleased to have the opportunity to take part in these hearings and especially to host one here in Uniontown to ensure people in our region have a stronger voice in the redistricting process,” Dowling said.
In addition to the online tools to provide input, Dowling noted www.PARedistricting.com
also serves as a valuable source of information about the congressional redistricting process and offers videos of past hearings as well as a schedule of those coming up.
Congressional redistricting is undertaken every 10 years based on data collected during the decennial census. Pennsylvania currently has 18 congressional seats but will be dropping down to 17 based on census results. Congressional districts are drawn via legislation that must be approved by both the House and Senate and signed by the governor.
State House and Senate districts will also be redrawn as a result of population changes identified in the census. Those lines are drawn by a Legislative Reapportionment Commission, which is also holding hearings. To learn more about that process, visit www.redistricting.state.pa.us
Representative Matthew Dowling
51st Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Patricia Hippler