With No Action From the Governor, MarchOnHarrisburg Returned.
On Tuesday, June 26, MarchOnHarrisburg occupied Governor Wolf's office, demanding immediate action to end gerrymandering, before it was too late. During our six-hour occupation of his office, we met with his chief-of-staff, Mike Brunelle. We made ourselves very clear: If Governor Wolf did not use his Constitutional power to call legislators back from their summer vacation and vote on clean redistricting reform, we would be back.
On Thursday, July 5, a week after our occupation of Wolf's office, about two dozen activists set up camp outside of Governor Wolf’s home in Mt. Wolf, bearing signs that asked, “WHERE’S WOLF?” as well as life-size ‘Gerrymander,’ and ‘Waldo’ puppets.
While many Americans were still celebrating the Fourth of July Holiday (or recovering from it,) democracy-activists spent the day camped out in both the blazing heat and the pouring rain.
As they camped out, they chanted and sang:
"Bribery and map-rigging, that's their game. Shame, shame, shame, shame!!"
After several hours, Governor Wolfs office called MarchOnHarrisburg executive director Rabbi Michael Pollack and offered this compromise: Governor Wolf would not call a special session but once the legislature is back in session, redistricting reform would be placed at top priority.
However, because of the deadline for the Constitutional Amendment that redistricting reform requires, MarchOnHarrisburg denied that compromise and continued to camp-out.
Later that day, Wolf’s office responded this protest with the following statement:
“Even before I had the honor of being elected Governor, I supported removing politics from redistricting, as well as a true independent commission to draw Pennsylvania’s lines. Though bills have advanced in the legislature to address this issue, I urge leaders in the General Assembly to come together to finalize a compromise before the end of the month. If they do, I am ready to call a special session for a vote on a consensus, bipartisan redistricting reform proposal.”
MarchOnHarrisburg is now working with leadership in both chambers to work together to pass a bill consistent with what the citizens of Pennsylvania have demanded for more than a year. We are asking that they support an up-or-down vote on the Samuelson Amendment to SB 22, which would fix the mess that the Senate made of the Independent Redistricting Commission.
WE WON'T BACK DOWN. WE WILL PURSUE EVERY strategy AND TACTIC AS WE FIGHT FOR A DEMOCRACY FOR ALL OF US.