Harrisburg – February 23, 2018 – State Sen. Vincent J. Hughes (D-Philadelphia/Montgomery) statement on congressional redistricting:

“While the map ordered by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court addresses the problem of political gerrymandering — and that was absolutely necessary — with respect to fair representation for African-Americans in Philadelphia — the numbers tell the story:

“In the district represented by U.S. Rep. Dwight Evans, the African-American total voting age population was reduced from 57 percent to 56 percent. In the district that U.S. Rep. Bob Brady represents, the African-American total voting age population was 32 percent. In the new district created that covers most of the rest of Philadelphia, the African-American voting age population was reduced to 24 percent. Finally, a small portion of Philadelphia was put in a district that covers most of Delaware County. Those are the facts.

“Addressing the Republican political gerrymander could have been done without these reductions. There has been a long and ugly history of the denial of voting rights and fair representation for African- Americans in this country and this state. In fact, we can see a resurgence of voter suppression and voter nullification activities creeping up when many thought this battle had been won years ago.

“For too long, gerrymandering has been used to dilute the voting power of African-Americans. While the map drawn by the Supreme Court may be better for Pennsylvania, I do not believe fair representation for African-Americans was achieved in the Philadelphia districts.”