February 18, 2014 | Vol. 74 No. 31

Boundaries of 36th District are going to change

Change is coming to the 36th Legislative District currently represented by State Rep. Harry Readshaw.

The new 36th Legislative District will retain the communities in Blue; add the communities in Gold; and, lose the communities in White.

The 2010 census identified a loss of population in the greater Pittsburgh area and a gain in the eastern part of the state, in Allentown, Lehigh County. The last redistricting took place in 2001 after the 2000 census.

Pennsylvania state legislative districts typically include approximately 60,000 to 62,000 residents.

To accommodate the shift in population, the 22nd Legislative District, which includes Pittsburgh's 19th Ward and parts of the 18th, 20th, 21st and 32nd wards along with Baldwin Township, Castle Shannon and parts of Whitehall, will be relocated across the state to Lehigh County starting in 2015.

The new 36th District will lose West Homestead and Whitehall and add parts of South Side, Mt. Washington, Bon Air, Beechview and Brookline along with more of Baldwin Borough. Mount Oliver Borough will remain in the district.

According to Rep. Readshaw, reapportionment follows an informal policy of "last in, first out" for legislative districts.

Recently, the 22nd Legislative District was represented by Chelsa Wagner until she resigned in January 2012. Marty Schmotzer won the Special Election to serve out the term of Ms. Wagner until the end of 2012 and Erin Molchany won the seat for the full 2013-14 term.

With Ms. Molchany being the newest representative in the southwestern Pennsylvania area, her district was chosen to be moved across the state. As a private citizen, before taking office, Ms. Molchany testified against the reapportionment plan moving the 22nd District.

In the remapping, Ms. Molchany's Mt. Washington home sits in the new the 36th District, putting her in a showdown for the seat with Mr. Readshaw.

Mr. Readshaw has served at the state representative in the district since first being elected in 1995.

Ms. Molchany officially kicked off her campaign for the seat at an event at City Theatre on South Side on Monday, Feb. 17.

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