Redistricting panel offers new plan


Un­der the Le­gis­lat­ive Re­ap­por­tion­ment Com­mis­sion plan passed last week, many loc­al Sen­ate and House dis­tricts stay some­what sim­il­ar, while a few are dra­mat­ic­ally altered.

The com­mis­sion re­leased a pre­lim­in­ary plan in late 2011, then a fi­nal one.

In late Janu­ary, the Pennsylvania Su­preme Court re­jec­ted the fi­nal plan on con­sti­tu­tion­al grounds, rul­ing that it un­fairly split cit­ies, town­ships and bor­oughs.

The com­mis­sion un­veiled its new maps on April 12. In­di­vidu­als op­posed to it have un­til 5 p.m. on May 14 to file an ap­peal. If the Su­preme Court ap­proves the maps, they will go in­to ef­fect for the 2014 elec­tions.

The 5th Sen­at­ori­al Dis­trict, rep­res­en­ted by Demo­crat Mike Stack, will con­sist of eight full wards: the 41st, 45th, 54th, 56th, 57th, 58th, 65th and 66th. It gen­er­ally in­cludes the river­front, the Far North­east, Castor Gar­dens, Rhawn­hurst, Bustleton and Somer­ton.

The 3rd Sen­at­ori­al Dis­trict, rep­res­en­ted by Demo­crat Shir­ley Kit­chen, loses all of its di­vi­sions in the North­east. The cur­rent dis­trict in­cludes Sum­mer­dale, Lawndale, Fox Chase and Bustleton.

The 4th Sen­at­ori­al Dis­trict, rep­res­en­ted by Demo­crat LeAnna Wash­ing­ton, cur­rently does not in­clude any of the North­east, but will take in Lawndale and Sum­mer­dale un­der the plan passed last week.

The 2nd Sen­at­ori­al Dis­trict, rep­res­en­ted by Demo­crat Tina Tartagli­one, changes quite a bit. The dis­trict will no longer in­clude Kens­ing­ton, but will come north to take in Fox Chase, Bustleton, Rockledge and Abing­ton.

The 152nd dis­trict, rep­res­en­ted by Re­pub­lic­an Tom Murt, will in­clude sev­en di­vi­sions in the Bustleton por­tion of the 63rd Ward.

The 154th dis­trict, rep­res­en­ted by re­tir­ing Demo­crat Larry Curry, will no longer have one di­vi­sion in Burholme.

The 169th dis­trict, which has been va­cant since Re­pub­lic­an Den­nis O’Bri­en joined City Coun­cil in Janu­ary, will be moved to a fast-grow­ing area of York County. The win­ner of next week’s spe­cial elec­tion will serve un­til the end of the year. The win­ner of the gen­er­al elec­tion in Novem­ber will serve a two-year term.

The 170th dis­trict, rep­res­en­ted by Demo­crat Brendan Boyle, will con­sist of the Far North­east neigh­bor­hoods in the 58th and 66th wards.

The 172nd dis­trict, rep­res­en­ted by Demo­crat Kev­in Boyle, will move out to Rockledge and also in­clude new areas of Wissi­nom­ing, Burholme, Rhawn­hurst and Bustleton.

Boyle will be sorry to lose some areas of West May­fair and Holmes­burg.

“I look for­ward in 2015 to rep­res­ent­ing new com­munit­ies as well, if the court ap­proves the map,” he said.

The 173rd dis­trict, rep­res­en­ted by Demo­crat Mike McGee­han, moves north to in­clude much of the 66th Ward’s Far North­east di­vi­sions.

The 174th dis­trict, rep­res­en­ted by Demo­crat John Sabat­ina Jr., gains areas of Holmes­burg, Holme Circle, Pennypack Woods and Academy Gar­dens and loses Castor Gar­dens.

The 177th dis­trict, rep­res­en­ted by Re­pub­lic­an John Taylor, moves north. It loses Ju­ni­ata Park and gains GOP-friendly ter­rit­ory in West May­fair, Holmes­burg and Lex­ing­ton Park.

The 179th dis­trict will change hands from Tony Payton to fel­low Demo­crat James “Scoot” Clay. Payton dropped out of the primary be­cause of faulty nom­in­at­ing pe­ti­tions, leav­ing Clay as the only can­did­ate. The dis­trict will move north to in­clude more of Wissi­nom­ing and Ox­ford Circle.

The 202nd dis­trict, rep­res­en­ted since 1974 by Demo­crat Mark Co­hen, loses its areas of Ol­ney, Lo­gan and West Oak Lane. It is now more com­pact, con­sist­ing largely of areas west of Roosevelt Boulevard and south of Cottman Av­en­ue.

“It meets the Su­preme Court test,” Co­hen said. “I can prob­ably walk from one end of the dis­trict to the oth­er.”

The 203rd dis­trict, rep­res­en­ted by Demo­crat Dwight Evans, will con­tin­ue to in­clude areas of Cres­centville and Lawndale.

Ap­peals can be sent to Charles E. O’Con­nor Jr., Ex­ec­ut­ive Dir­ect­or, 2011 Le­gis­lat­ive Re­ap­por­tion­ment Com­mis­sion, 104 North Of­fice Build­ing, Har­ris­burg, PA 17120.

To e-mail an ap­peal, go to­dis­trict­ and use the “Con­tact Us” link at the bot­tom of the page. Type in the word “EX­CEP­TION” on the first line of the mes­sage.

A pub­lic hear­ing will be held Wed­nes­day, May 2, at 2 p.m., in the North Of­fice Build­ing in Har­ris­burg. To sched­ule an ap­pear­ance at the hear­ing, call 717-705-6339. ••


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