WILL PA-1 EVER GET A BLACK MEMBER OF CONGRESS?
Written by Charles Ellison on January 24, 2018
That’s actually been a daunting question through a blend of several decades of white Irish and Italian descended Congressmen ruling the Philadelphia political machine despite the heavy residential composition of diverse, primarily Black voters. It’s been barely tolerated for as long as anyone growing up there can remember, even as its shape — through dramatic, questionable redesign — has meandered from the city’s western to eastern half over time. Fair Districts PA offers an illuminating interactive map showing that change over 60 years of remapping, just click your cursor over each year.
There is game theory over whether or not the recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling against Republican gerrymandering in the Commonwealth could reverse all that. We’re not sure yet, sifting through all the talk that Democrats could end up with 3 or 4 flipped seats once the current 18 Congressional districts are redrawn. We don’t know how that process will unfold: state Republicans are already asking for a stay. The PA Supreme Court has demanded that state Senate Republicans in Harrisburg redraw the map by Feb. 9th, submit it to Gov. Tom Wolf (D-PA) for approval by Feb. 15th, who then submits it to the Court for final review and approval.