John J. Kennedy to Represent Pennsylvania’s Redistricting Advisory Council on October 25 at a Public Listening Session
John J. Kennedy, West Chester University professor of political science and an expert in legislative redistricting, is one of six individuals selected by Governor Tom Wolf for the Pennsylvania Redistricting Advisory Council, a group the governor tasked with ensuring integrity and fairness when Pennsylvania’s congressional map is redrawn.
Once every 10 years, Pennsylvania draws new congressional district maps through the legislative redistricting process following the release of U.S. Census data. The governor created the advisory council to address the fact that Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation has been reduced from 18 to 17 seats since census data showed that the state’s population has decreased. As populations shift, voting district boundaries are updated so that congressional lawmakers represent a fair portion of the state’s population.
Gov. Wolf has invited voters to voice their opinions at a series of listening sessions. Kennedy will represent the advisory council on Monday, October 25, at a listening session for the public at WCU. The session will take place at 5 p.m. at the University’s Ware Recital Hall in Swope Music Building at 817 South High Street, West Chester, PA 19382. To attend, RSVP with your name and the event date to the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs at OIARSVP@pa.gov.
Another opportunity for the public to provide feedback on redistricting is the redistricting website at which members of the public can submit proposed district maps, outline communities of interest they believe should be considered in the redistricting process, and submit comments. The public can also submit their opinions in writing to Office of the Governor, 508 Main Capitol Building, Harrisburg, PA 17120.
Kennedy has written three books on state politics: The Contemporary Pennsylvania Legislature (1999) and Pennsylvania Elections (2005, revised 2014), both published by The University Press of America; and Pennsylvania Government and Politics (2018, Cognella Academic Press). He serves on the Executive Board of the Pennsylvania Political Science Association and is a charter member of the Pennsylvania Policy Forum. In 2017, he served as an expert witness for the plaintiffs in the landmark case, League of Women Voters v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, which successfully overturned the congressional district maps across the state.
Kennedy’s fellow council members have expertise in redistricting, political science and mapmaking:
- Tabatha Abu El-Haj, Ph.D. J.D., professor of law, Drexel University
- Lee Ann Banaszak, PhD., political scientist, Penn State University
- Beth Campbell Ph.D., mathematician, Gettysburg College
- Christopher S. Fowler, PhD., geographer, Penn State University
- Sozi Tulante, J.D., former Philadelphia City Solicitor
For more information, visit the Pennsylvania Redistricting Public Comment Portal.