George Urges Stand Against Redistricting Plan
HARRISBURG – State Rep. Camille “Bud” George, D-74 of Clearfield County, is urging residents of Clearfield County and beyond to fight a proposed redistricting map that would splinter Clearfield County among three lawmakers in two years.
“The proposed map will harm rural Democrats and Republicans alike and will fracture a large part of central Pennsylvania beyond recognition and reason,” George said. “If left to stand, it would dilute the voice of voters from Clearfield, Cambria, and Somerset counties and beyond.”
George, who is retiring after his 19th term ends on Nov. 30, said a preliminary plan adopted April 11 would move the 74th Legislative District to Chester County in two years and carve the long-standing district among three lawmakers.
“Residents in Clearfield Borough and parts of Lawrence Township would be moved to the 72nd Legislative District – which traditionally has encompassed much of Cambria County and northern Somerset County,” George said. “The new district would stretch from Clearfield Borough to near Johnstown, an 88-mile and 90-minute stretch.
“Much of Clearfield County’s northern tier – from Pike Township east through Karthaus Township – would move in 2014 to the 75th Legislative District that contains all of Elk County,” George said. “Meanwhile, seven townships and eight small boroughs in southeastern Clearfield County would be swallowed by the 73rd Legislative District, consisting of 14 townships and 12 boroughs in Cambria County.”
George said the proposed map would be a region-wide disaster should it take effect in 2014, affecting Republican and Democratic lawmakers and harming their constituents.
“Citizens need to tell the Legislative Reapportionment Commission that its latest plan is not compact or workable for residents in the region and needlessly splits municipalities as well as natural boundaries and allegiances,” George said. “As I warned last October, too much is at stake not to mount a fight.”
George said citizens can sign an electronic petition opposing the plan through a link on his website, www.pahouse.com/george. The petition will be presented to the commission before the public comment period ends on May 14.
Comments also may be submitted online at www.redistricting.state.pa.us/Contact.cfm or be mailed to:
Charles E. O’Connor, Jr., Esquire
2011 Legislative Reapportionment Commission
104 North Office Building
Harrisburg, PA 17120
“This proposed plan would diminish political power throughout the region, leaving it without effective voices in the state Capitol,” George said. “It strikes at the heart of rural Pennsylvania and should be thrown out.”