Redistricting reforms would lead to better governing
By Steven Hoffman
Do you know who wins when a political party can gerrymander “safe” districts where the elected official only has to please voters of his or her own party?
The political party wins.
Everybody else loses.
Pennsylvania is one of many states across the country where gerrymandering has created legislative districts that are at best illogical and unfair, and at worst an unseemly corruption of our democratic process.
Pennsylvania State Sen. Lisa Boscola has introduced statewide redistricting reform legislation that would establish an 11-member, independent citizen’s commission to redraw Congressional and state legislative district maps. The legislation would require significant public input, establish map-drawing standards, and create a fair process for map adoption.
Politicians from both parties have already proven that they can’t be trusted to oversee the map-drawing process, and that they can’t be counted on to put the needs of citizens first. One of the reasons that politicians have almost completely abandoned the middle ground of the political spectrum in favor of the “far right” or “far left” is gerrymandering. Why compromise and make deals on legislation with the opposing party when it’s far easier to appease the narrow base?
Some common-sense redistricting reforms are necessary to ensure that we have a representative democracy. Hopefully, state lawmakers can work toward legislation that will result in a method of redistricting that is fair for everyone.
Canine Partners for Life celebrates its 30th anniversary year
Through the years, this newspaper and our family of magazines have had a number of opportunities to write about Canine Partners for Life, the Cochranville-based organization that is a leader in training assistance dogs. Since 1989, Canine Partners for Life has placed more than 700 service and companion dogs in 45 states. These canine companions have provided assistance for people who have a wide variety of physical or cognitive disabilities, including spinal cord injuries, epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, cerebral palsy, ALS, stroke, cardiac conditions, arthritis, spina bifida, Parkinson’s disease, and more.
One of the events that is scheduled to celebrate Canine Partners for Life’s 30th anniversary takes place on Saturday, May 4 at the DuPont Country Club in Wilmington, Del. Guests at the Unleashed & Uncorked: Puppies & Pearls event will enjoy a wine pull and wine toss, as well as a silent and live auctions that include everything from elegant jewelry to an autographed Carson Wentz jersey. Information about how to attend the event can be found on the organization’s website and Facebook page.
Congratulations to Canine Partners for Life for reaching another milestone and for continuing to help so many people in a meaningful way.