Many protest state legislative redistricting process - abc27 WHTM

Many protest state legislative redistricting process

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'Occupy Harrisburg' protesters were evicted Friday from Riverfront Park, but before that they were trying to get evicted from a hearing at the Capitol.

'Occupy Harrisburg' shouted and chanted for the first 35 minutes of a legislative reapportionment hearing. They criticized the process of politicians choosing the people instead of the people choosing politicians. Capitol police did show up but didn't shut the group up. There was no confrontation. The packed room listened politely. Then the protesters left and the hearing began.

But even with 'Occupy Harrisburg' gone from the room, there were protesters who weren't happy with proposed political boundaries drawn by Republicans.

Creating the most outrage was the 15th Senatorial district currently represented by Jeff Piccola. It would push Democrat-heavy Harrisburg into Lebanon's district and snake through five counties. It's being called discriminatory.

"By moving Harrisburg into the 48th district in Lebanon County, it dilutes the voices of Harrisburg and disperses its influence," said Jay Costa (D), Senate minority leader.

Commissioners from all five counties that would be in the 15th are against the new plan.

Brenda Benner is a Perry County commissioner. "We have become the forgotten entity," she said. "If this is taken up, Perry County will be divided into three districts."

Two of York County's commissioners spoke out, including Steve Chronister.

Let's put party politics aside," he said. "Let's get together and make a plan that works for the people - that's who you represent."

And Harrisburg City Councilwoman Patty Kim spoke as well. "When gerrymandering takes place, decisions are not made by the electorate but by politicians manipulating the electorate," she said.

Voices were heard loud and clear. Whether they will be heeded and a map will be redrawn, however, at this point, is very unclear.

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