Non-profit

Fair Districts PA

Website:

www.fairdistrictspa.com

Location:

PA

Formation:

2016

Chair:

Carol Kuniholm

Type:

Advocacy project

Parent Organization:

The League of Woman Voters of Pennsylvania

Fair Districts PA is a project of the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania-state chapter of the left-leaning League of Women Voters, which was formed to influence the Pennsylvania redistricting process.

Background

Fair Districts PA was founded in January 2016 in Pennsylvania by representatives of organizations including the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania (the state chapter of of the left-leaning League of Women Voters), Common Cause Pennsylvania (the state affiliate of Common Cause, a progressive group focusing on campaign finance law and redistricting), the Committee of Seventy (a civic group active primarily in Philadelphia), and the Pennsylvania Council of Churches. Though the organization is officially a project of the League of Woman Voters Pennsylvania, it is a part of the national League of Women Voters’ “People Powered Fair Maps Campaign,” a nationwide redistricting initiative. [1]

Fair Districts PA advocates for legislation that would influence the redistricting process. Largely, its activities consist of hosting advocacy events, sponsoring local affiliate groups, urging its members to write op-eds to local newspapers, collecting signatures for aligned petitions, and providing speakers free-of-charge to aligned organizations. [2]

National left-of-center organizations whose state chapters have endorsed Fair Districts PA include the American Defamation League, American Association of University Women, Americans for Democratic Action, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and Sierra Club. [3]

The Legislative and Congressional Redistricting Act

Fair Districts PA supports the Legislative and Congressional Redistricting Act, a bill introduced on February 26, 2021 to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives by Representative Wendi Thomas (R-Richboro) and to the State Senate by Senator Lisa M. Boscola (D-Northampton). If passed, the bill would mandate the creation of a new website providing public access to districting information, multiple hearings before and after the approval of redistricting plans, that redistricting meetings be live-streamed on the internet, and increased regulations on when district lines can cut through county borders. [4][5][6]

Funding

Donations to Fair Districts PA are reported to the Internal Revenue Service as income to the League of Women Voters Pennsylvania and its sister 501(c)(3) organization, the League of Women Voters Pennsylvania Citizen Education Fund, depending on the intended use of the donation. According to the organization’s website, Fair Districts PA received an out-of-state donation in the form of a grant from the left-wing Ben and Jerry’s Employment Foundation of $25,000. [7]

People

Carol Kuniholm is the executive director of Fair Districts PA as well as the vice president of government and social policy on the state board of the League of Women Voters Pennsylvania. Prior to working in redistricting advocacy, Kuniholm was a youth pastor at the Church of the Good Samaritan, an Episcopalian church in Paoli, Pennsylvania. [8][9]

The League of Women Voters

Fair Districts PA is part of The League of Women Voters’ People Powered Fair Maps Campaign and officially a project of its Pennsylvania-state chapter. [10] The League is known for its lobbying and advocacy on a number of left-leaning issues and initiatives, such as liberal tax and spending policies, government-run child care, Social Security expansion, amnesty for illegal immigrants, and government-provided “basic” health care, which would encompass abortion and contraception, long-term care, mental health care, and housing for the homeless. [11]

References

  1. “About.” Fair Districts PA. Accessed March 5, 2021. https://www.fairdistrictspa.com/about ^
  2. “Take Action.” Fair Districts PA. Accessed March 5, 2021. https://www.fairdistrictspa.com/take-action ^
  3. “Endorsing Organization.” Fair Districts PA. Accessed March 5, 2021. https://www.fairdistrictspa.com/about/endorsing-organizations ^
  4. “House Bill No. 22.” The General Assembly of Pennsylvania. February 26, 2011. Accessed March 5, 2021.  https://www.legis.state.pa.us/CFDOCS/Legis/PN/Public/btCheck.cfm?txtType=PDF&sessYr=2021&sessInd=0&billBody=H&billTyp=B&billNbr=0022&pn=0619 ^
  5. “Solution.” Fair Districts PA. Accessed March 5, 2021. https://www.fairdistrictspa.com/solution ^
  6. “Senate Bill 222.” The General Assembly of Pennsylvania. February 26, 2011. Accessed March 5, 2021. https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/billInfo/billInfo.cfm?sYear=2021&sInd=0&body=S&type=B&bn=0222 ^
  7. “About: Who Funds Fair Districts PA?” Fair Districts PA. Accessed March 5, 2021. https://www.fairdistrictspa.com/about ^
  8. “Carol Kuniholm.” Jefferson Education Society. Accessed March 5, 2021. https://www.jeserie.org/program-lecturers/carol-kuniholm ^
  9. Caruso, Stephen. “Former Gov.’s son tours Pa. in VW van to raise redistricting awareness.” Pennsylvania Capital-Star. April 5, 2021. Accessed March 5, 2021. https://www.penncapital-star.com/government-politics/former-gov-s-son-tours-pa-in-vw-van-to-raise-redistricting-awareness/ ^
  10. “About.” Fair Districts PA. Accessed March 5, 2021. https://www.fairdistrictspa.com/about ^
  11. “Impact On Issues. 2016-2108: A Guide to Public Policy Positions League of Women Voters of the United States.” League of Women Voters of the United States. 2017. Accessed March 5, 2021.  http://forum.lwv.org/sites/default/files/impact_on_issues_2016-2018_full.pdf ^
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