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Congressional No Muni Split .02 pop dev
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Population based on Census 2020
I like that the submitter reviewed all the testimony and tried to create map that incorporated the priorities of the committee while still creating a fair map. My county is whole and incorporates part of another county, as it must, to reach the required population. I like that this mapper used the areas of Montgomery County that I testified would be good to connect with Bucks County. I chose these areas to retain the naturally occurring competitiveness of Bucks County’s congressional district. PA is a purple state (51% Democrat, 46% Republican, 3% Other) and that purpleness should be reflected in the districts. Competitive districts give more voice to more people and would ensure every Pennsylvanian, from the left to the right to all those in between, are represented in congress. I appreciate the opportunity to view these maps and comment, I just wish the ability to view mapping criteria was more like Dave's Redistricting website. I know many people who testified directed attention to that site and the tools used there. Overall, I hope the final map drawers make competitive districts a priority.
Congrats on the map. I like how you give attention to avoiding municipal splits. This is very important. While roughly equal population is important, I think aiming for such a small population deviation is unnecessary, gives a false impression of precision (because Census data itself is by definition outdated the day after it is collected and is never 100% precise to begin with), and causes you to sacrifice other principles of good mapping. Most districts are compact, but I think there are several that are unnecessarily far flung and oddly shaped. Also, I generally think it is better to split large counties like Butler instead of small counties like Venango. I can't tell if the map unfairly favors Dems or Republicans, but hopefully the map would give each party representation in the congressional delegation proportional to their share of the statewide vote. Some of the districts should be competitive (close to toss ups.)
This map splits 13 counties 15 times. 3 wards are split in Philadelphia. Besides Philadelphia, no municipalities are known to be split and therefore no precincts are split. Philadelphia is the only county that is split more than once. The population deviation is .02% with a range of 158 persons total. Perry and Windsor in Berks County should be swapped out to reduce the range to 152 persons. With no appreciable change in range, one could tweak the map to leave Schuylkill County and Montour County whole and instead split Sullivan and Snyder Counties. And one could also leave Venango County whole and split Butler instead. There are two majority minority districts with Black VAPs of > 37%. One could tweak the map to include one majority minority district with a Black VAP of >50% leaving the other as a coalition district. A good congressional map should work to balance all the metrics and should incorporate community feedback. So I don’t categorize this map as “good”. However, when I listened to the Senate SGC Committee hearing on Congressional Districts, a number of senators seemed genuinely interested in using no municipal splits, minimal county splits and minimal population deviation as the primary map drawing criteria. If a very low population deviation with minimal county splitting and no municipal splitting are the criteria that have been decided upon, this map splits only 13 counties and is different from the ones previously entered into testimony and should therefore be considered.
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