Philly City Council Plans to Revise Its Redistricting Plan to Address ‘Prison Gerrymandering’


The Philadelphia Inquirer: Sean Collins Walsh | February 23, 2022


City Council is planning to revise its recently approved redistricting plan to ensure incarcerated Philadelphians are counted in their home districts, instead of the city jails or state prisons in which they were held at the time of the 2020 census.


Council President Darrell L. Clarke confirmed that his office is working with Mayor Jim Kenney’s administration to adjust its population data to tackle the issue known as “prison gerrymandering,” a redistricting practice growing more common that is aimed at ensuring voters in districts with correctional facilities aren’t overrepresented.


It’s unclear when legislation will be introduced to amend the redistricting bill that Council approved two weeks ago, but it is expected to be in place for the 2023 election cycle, when all Council seats and an open mayor’s race will be on the ballot.


“Once all the data is in hand, it will be sent to a vendor to begin incorporating it into our redistricting map,” Clarke spokesperson Joe Grace said. “It will happen as expeditiously as possible, but we want to make sure it’s done correctly and accurately.”


New City Council Districts Approved


City Council on Thursday approved new Council district boundaries, unanimously adopting an amended version of a plan originally proposed by Council President Darrell Clarke.


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