Media statewide take note of DTL initiative and its honored mappers

Chris Satullo| March 12th, 2019

Committee of Seventy CEO David Thornburgh speaks at the Feb. 6 Draw the Lines PA awards event.

It was jam-packed, joyous, sometimes even raucous. Draw the Lines PA took over the Main Rotunda of the State Capitol in Harrisburg on Feb. 6 to honor the regional winners of its first public mapping competition and announce the statewide winners.

About 150 people packed the gorgeous space for much of the event, as legislators, aides and lobbyists also passed through on their daily rounds, stopping for a bit to take in what all the excitement was about.

About 15 state lawmakers showed up or sent aides to congratulate constituents who were on the roster of Draw the Lines honorees.

The state’s media have also taken note of Draw the Lines and above all the powerful story being woven by the skilled citizen mappers, some as young as 14 or 15, who are proving that residents of the state are ready, willing and able to do the job of drawing election maps.

Here’s a rundown of media coverage since we first rolled out our list of regional winners in mid-January:

WPSU public radio in State College has been all over the story.

First it reported on the regional wins for high-schooler Kyle Hynes and the Geography 421 team from Penn State.

Then WPSU did a really nice longer feature on its local mappers.

The station’s thorough coverage wrapped up with the news that Hynes and the Penn Staters were state champs.  Thanks to Maddie Biertempfel of WPSU for her diligence and skill in sticking with the story.

Keystone Crossroads, a joint project of the state's public radio stations, also did a good wrapup of the first competition. 

The Centre Daily Times and also reported on local residents’ great showing.

Erie-area media took notice of the excellent showing of Mercyhurst University students:

The Mercyhurst campus publication was justifiably proud of how students there embranced the DTL challenge.

A brand-new website devoted to Pennsylvania politics and policy, the Penn Capital-Star, was there for the Feb. 6 event in the Rotunda. Its man on the case, Stephen Caruso, was one of the very first people in the entire state to try his hand at drawing a map on our DistrictBuilder tool when the project launched last September.

Harrisburg’s ABC 27 and its Dennis Owens were at the Rotunda to see the parade of honorees as well.  PA HomePage also had a piece.

Lancaster Online did a news piece on its honored mappers from Manheim Township High School, as well as an editorial. weighed in with a piece on the project and the bevy of honorees from Allegheny County.

Our West/Youth champion, Jesse Richardson, gave a fascinating interview to his local paper, the Greene County Messenger. was thrilled to hear about how students from Roman Catholic High School in Philadelphia ruled the East/Youth category.

The smart and engaging students of Team Wilkes (from the university of the same name) earned a spotlight from the Citizens Voice in Wilkes Barre.  The university news outlet trumpeted their achievement as well.

The Temple News did a feature on the team of graduate students who took East/High Ed honors.