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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: June 7, 2022 01:41 PM
From: Representative Christopher M. Rabb
To: All House members
Subject: Requiring reapportionment of wards in Philadelphia
As is required by our US Constitution, a census is taken every ten years to determine how federal funding should be allocated, how military, infrastructure and transportation projects should be planned, among various other purposes.
Another critical role of the census is helping how legislative districts on the federal, state and local levels are reapportioned. The irony is that all of these districts are comprised of wards (which themselves consist of divisions – our state’s most basic sub-unit), the latter are not required to be reapportioned. As a result, Philadelphia has not updated ward boundaries in over 50 years.
As a result, due to decades of demographic shifts, Philadelphia’s current wards have vastly different populations and geographic footprints.
My forthcoming bill would amend the Pennsylvania Election Code to require the City of Philadelphia to expand the decennial reapportionment process to political wards within its municipal borders. This legislation would mandate its city council establish a non-partisan commission charged with presenting a plan to reapportion wards in the city to the aforementioned governing body.
It is long passed time for Pennsylvania’s largest city to modernize its ward reapportionment process and ensure that it is done so in a transparent, efficient and equitable manner.
Please join me in supporting this bill to strengthen the civic infrastructure of the city known as the birthplace of democracy.

Introduced as HB2925