Three Lower Merion state representatives are following in the footsteps of Haverford's State Rep. Greg Vitali, doing everything in their power to stop the Pennsylvania Legislative Reapportionment Commission's redistricting of the township via the voices of their constituents.
Lower Merion Reps. Tim Briggs, Pam DeLissio and Mike Gerber announced April 26 that they posted online petitions to their state house websites, allowing residents the opportunity to express their disdain over the redistricting process.
The redistricting plans announced last fall will split Lower Merion Township among four State House districts. Lower Merion previously had two representatives up until 2001, when it was split into three districts.
"Changes are being made to the 149th District that bare no benefit to the current district or solve no problems for Lower Merion Township," Briggs said in a news release. "The split is nothing more than the result of political influence in order to gain stronger, safer Republican seats in neighboring Delaware County.".
In the news release, Gerber said the preliminary plan may not follow constitutional and judicial guidelines set forth in the redistricting process, which "call for keeping communities together by reducing the number of splits in any given municipality."
"This map clearly flies in the face of Constitutional law and is nothing more than an attempt by those in power who control the mapping process to maintain their power," Gerber adds in the release.
DeLissio's 12 town hall meetings held over the last 17 months saw her advocating for a nonpartisan redistricting process.
"The preliminary redistricting plan that was recently approved is a direct outcome of a partisan process that is not in the best interests of the citizens," she said in the release.
Residents who sign the petition the three state representatives collaborated on will have their names displayed on a separate page from the petition's statement.
The petition on the lawmakers' websites read: "We the undersigned oppose the Pennsylvania Legislative Reapportionment Commission's proposed plan to divide Lower Merion among four State House districts. Dividing our community into four districts could make it more difficult for residents and representatives alike to focus on the problems and concerns specific to Lower Merion."
The electronic signatures will be submitted to the commission before the public comment period ends May 14.
Stay tuned to Neighbors for continued coverage of redistricting in both Haverford and Lower Merion townships.