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The state of gerrymandering in PA and preparing for earthquakes

Written by Benjamin Pontz, Associate Producer | Jul 15, 2019 4:00 AM
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What to look for on Smart Talk, Monday, July 15, 2019:

Last year, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court struck down the Commonwealth's legislative district map as a violation of the State Constitution and imposed its own as a substitute. But with the 2020 census on the horizon, the process of drawing new congressional districts will soon begin anew. 

Under current law, the Pennsylvania state legislature is responsible for developing and approving the map, but a proposal circulating at the Capitol calls for a different approach, establishing an independent commission to draw new lines. Similar proposals have languished in recent years, though a similar proposal passed the State Senate last session. 

What is the current status of gerrymandering in Pennsylvania? What will the process to draw the lines look like after the upcoming census? 

PA Post reporter Emily Previti recently examined this topic, and she joins Smart Talk to share her analysis.

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Emily Previti

Also, earthquakes have rekindled a place in the public consciousness after a pair of tremors - magnitude 6.4 and 7.1 -- struck California last week. The quakes have sparked conversation about the preparedness of American infrastructure to withstand future events and what people should do to make sure their families are prepared. 

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Map of aftershocks from California's earthquakes (Map courtesy of U.S. Geological Survey)

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Helen Delano

Helen Delano, Senior Geological Scientist at the Pennsylvania Geological Survey with the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, appears on Smart Talk to discuss the prevalence of and preparedness for earthquakes in Pennsylvania. 

Earthquake Resources

DCNR page on earthquakes in Pennsylvania

Map of latest earthquakes from U.S. Geological Survey

Building codes toolkit from FEMA

Seismic events in Pennsylvania from Penn State Seismic Network

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