About Gillian Terlecky: I am a senior studying public at Drexel University, where I am a Global Engagement scholar. I want to work on US health care policies after graduation.

We honored Terlecky for creating a map with the districts as close to equal population as any, without excessive splitting of municipalities. She also submitted a strong essay.

Personal Statement

I decided to focus on contiguity, compactness, and population equivalence. I ensured each district would be contiguous by carefully drawing the lines to avoid cutting weird patches out of a district. For instance, at one point I managed to have a tiny sliver of district 13 cut into district 12 and form an island that no longer allowed the districts to be continuous. I remedied the situation by moving some other lines around and reconnecting the patch to the original district 13. In the end, I managed to have all 18 of our districts be contiguous.

 I also did our best to make the districts compact. This was not easy and definitely took a lot of time to ensure we did not take too much of the population our or in a district. The compactness is 31.2%, which is a bit lower than I was initially striving for, but because it was so tedious to round out the edges I had to be careful and sacrifice only a little bit at a time for each district. If I moved too much at once we would end up having to redistribute a lot of population, which just became too complicated.
Finally, I did my best to ensure that every district had as close to the same amount of people as possible. The population equivalence is 3512, which is definitely not too bad considering how polarized some of the population numbers were before I started redistricting. I had to be careful around districts 1-6 because they are so densely populated and every tiny change in districting lines would end up dramatically shifting the population. Ultimately, I am pleased with the result and opted not to make any further changes and risk having to redraw all the districts again.