Letter: Chestnut Hill and Mt. Airy belong together in their state house district

Posted 1/6/22

As some of you may have read in last week’s edition of The Chestnut Hill Local, Chestnut Hill residents are about to be involved in a redistricting for future elections when it comes to our …

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Letter: Chestnut Hill and Mt. Airy belong together in their state house district

Posted

As some of you may have read in last week’s edition of The Chestnut Hill Local, Chestnut Hill residents are about to be involved in a redistricting for future elections when it comes to our representation in the Pennsylvania State House.  As one of the communities included in the 200th District, which has been represented by Chris Rabb for the last three sessions, we have long been grouped with nearby communities with which we share many mutual interests. Chief among those is Mt. Airy.

I have always thought of Mt. Airy as our sister village. It’s the next neighborhood down the hill along our retail corridor of Germantown Ave. It’s home to the sister location of our beloved food co-op. There are many shared parks where residents of both neighborhoods gather together with kids and dogs and for events.  We even share our small local newspaper now.  And I can WALK to it - which means everything to my devotion to  “shopping local” and keeping my footprint small.

What Chestnut Hill has with sister neighborhoods like Mt. Airy is called “communities of interest” … meaning that our interests are similar, our resources are often shared and we are often of like mind on all kinds of local issues. One example of such issues would be our shared commitment to increasing and caring for significant green spaces in our neighborhoods. Another would be our devotion to historic preservation. These shared interests often require representation on a state level - to access permissions, grants or funding, or to create legislation that is congruent with what we hope to achieve or accomplish.

Unfortunately, the proposed redistricting would separate us from most of Mt. Airy. It would group us instead with neighborhoods on the other side of the Wissahickon, including Roxborough and Manayunk. 

While both Roxborough and Manayunk are great communities in their own right and are fun to visit for the sake of a brunch or dinner or a walk along the Schuylkill … they don’t feel like a natural continuation of “Home” in the way that Mt. Airy does. Communities of interest are all about COMMUNITY of course, the most important piece of which is made up of people we actually know. And the people we are most likely to know are the people close enough to see all the time in the course of our daily life.

I’d really like to keep building upon that already-existing feeling of community with Mt. Airy, as well as the important sense of PLACE that continues to grow between our neighborhoods, which many of us find to be so inclusively and increasingly beloved.

If you agree that the imminent redistricting should allow for Chestnut Hill and Mt. Airy to remain together as connected communities of interest, for all the many things we share and have in common  … Please sign this petition we’ve started to have the redistricting committee in Harrisburg hear and heed our wishes. It’ll just take a moment … and your help would be so appreciated.

Hillary O’Carroll

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  • coachgdr

    This petition is not available at this link.

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