WEBINAR: Draw the Lines – An Electoral Mapping Competition for the Electorate
In 2016, only 6% of PA’s legislative elections were competitive. In the last three congressional elections, no matter how people voted, the makeup of the state’s U.S. House delegation remained the same.
Gerrymandering is a prime culprit. It breeds hyper-partisanship, gridlock and corruption. It thwarts useful actions and reforms aimed at addressing issues where there is consensus across ideologies, including education, economic development, sustainability, healthcare, etc.
Pennsylvania’s congressional map was so gerrymandered that the state Supreme Court ruled it as an unconstitutional, invalidating the map drawn by the legislature and requiring a new one before the 2018 midterms. However, their ruling did nothing to fix the process that produced the map in the first place. In 2021, Pennsylvania will have to draw its voting maps again after the decennial Census. Without process reforms, politicians in Harrisburg will have the power to do again what they did last time.
Draw the Lines (DTL) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan statewide digital mapping competition to engage Pennsylvania’s voters and students in this process, which rightfully belongs to the electorate. Using the same digital technology as the political pros, DTL will empower Pennsylvania’s voters young and old to “Seize the Pen” so that citizens are the ones who draw the lines.
Join Local Government Academy with Chris Satullo, DTL’s Project Director, for this webinar showcasing how thousands of participants will have access to the digital tools that the political pros use to draw the Commonwealth’s electoral boundaries, and how you as civic leaders, and any citizen who is invested in the democracy of Pennsylvania, can participate.
Speaker Chris Satullo is an experienced journalist and civic engagement leader, having been managing editor at the Easton Express in the Lehigh Valley, editorial page editor at the Philadelphia Inquirer and head of news and civic dialogue at WHYY public media. He also co-founded the Penn Project for Civic Engagement at the University of Pennsylvania, which has for a decade pioneered ways for diverse parts of a community to come together to frame and discuss difficult issues, providing useful guidance to leaders. He led the 2011 Fix Philly Districts initiative that was one of the first successful attempts to use DistrictBuilder, the mapping platform on which this competition will be run, in a public mapping initiative.