Curry Introduces Bill to Limit Gerrymandering in Redistricting
By Christina Gongaware, Contributing Writer
In an attempt to halt the practice of gerrymandering, State Representative Lawrence Curry of Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties has introduced legislation for the second time that would strive to ensure fairness in the process of redistricting municipalities and precincts.
“We need to take backroom dealing out of the process of designating legislative districts, and draw the lines so districts are compact, contiguous areas that give our citizens fair representation in government,” said Curry in a statement.
The bill would allow citizens to submit their own suggestions to the Reapportionment Commission and to block the division of a precinct if it consists of a single polygon. It would also put more rigid restraints on the Legislative Reapportionment Commission in their attempts to split a municipality or county.
Curry has represented the 154th Legislative District since 1992 and is a former associate professor of American civilization at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. His district, borders on the City of Philadelphia, an area notoriously targeted by partisan redistricting schemes.
A spokeswoman for Curry said that the Representative would like to see the measure passed in time to take effect during the 2011 redistricting process.
Other legislators have also recently called for an increase in transparency during the redistricting process. They include State Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, Sate Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa,, and House Minority Leader Frank Dermody.