Kristin Lipkus (Abington Heights HS, Lackawanna County) - Honorable Mention, Eastern Youth

Judges' Statement

Kristin had a remarkable county split count (only 29) without sacrificing other metrics (above average on compactness and competitive districts, around the median on population equivalence). It is very hard to get so many competitive districts while limiting splits; those are not easy values to mesh together. In a shorter personal statement, she successfully argued that you can try to accomplish both.

Personal Statement

I find it ironic that we have gerrymandering in a democratic society. I am sure our founding fathers never imagined that the democratic process could be manipulated. Fortunately, we had the Pennsylvania Supreme Court declare the last districting (2011 map) unconstitutional in 2018. My goal was to try and establish a level playing field in all the counties. I was able to achieve competitive elections in 11 of the 17 districts and minimized the County splits to 29 as well as acheiving a compactness score that was above the median from 2019.