John J. Kennedy, a West Chester University professor of political science and an expert in legislative redistricting, is one of six individuals selected by Gov. Tom Wolf for the Pennsylvania Redistricting Advisory Council, a group 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 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, Oct. 25 at a listening session for the public at WCU. The session will take place at 5 PM at Ware Recital Hall in Swope Music Building, located at 817 South High Street.
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, where 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 opinions in writing to the Office of the Governor, 508 Main Capitol Building, Harrisburg, PA 17120.
Kennedy has written three books on state politics:
- The Contemporary Pennsylvania Legislature (1999)
- Pennsylvania Elections (2005, revised 2014)
- Pennsylvania Government and Politics (2018)
Kennedy 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.
For more information, visit the Pennsylvania Redistricting Public Comment Portal.