Julia Cody (Fox Chapel Area HS, Allegheny County) - Honorable Mention, Western Youth

Judges' Statement

Julia earned metrics were slightly above average across the board. Her personal essay does a nice job of walking us through her process with the map.

Personal Statement

The main factors that influenced how I split up pennsylvania into the 17 district that you see here was population size and preserving county lines and municipality lines. Since the House of Representatives was founded on the idea that population size matters, it made sense to me to prioritize this aspect of my congressional map. Each of the districts in a state are required to have roughly the same population. I wanted the variation within my districts to stay as low as possible, so as I went through each district I didn't move on until the population size was as close to, or exactly the target number present on the stats side of the map. Eventually this got harder and harder to accomplish without breaking up counties and cities. When I got to the city of pittsburgh I decided to preserve the split between allegheny and westmoreland county because allegheny county has substantially more people than westmorland county. I had to split allegheny county into two districts because their total population was way over the target amount and not even in range of being acceptable. I also had to do that when i was drawing districts nine and ten because they encompass the majority of the city and county of Philadelphia. Other than those metropolitan areas, and few counties i had to “take chunks out of” to fulfill the population requirement, almost all of the county lines were preserved. I think that is a pretty important factor when it comes to voter turnout because instead of having to organize and run multiple elections in multiple districts, as well as inform their citizens about where they can go to vote and how absentee ballots work, entire counties can give info and run voter turnout campaigns focused on just one congressional district. With all of a counties voting resources focused on one district, we might see higher voter turnout rates.