Politics can be a fickle field, especially at the local district level. Sometimes, the person with the most money wins. Sometimes, the person with the best plan wins. What all politicians need, however, is an image in the community they want to represent. Current 8th District Councilwoman Donna Reed Miller had that, which enabled her to successfully maintain the position for 15 years. That’s what 8th district council candidate Cindy Bass wants to continue. Miller has announced she is not running for the seat again this election year, which has opened up the race to plenty of candidates, including Bass, who came in second to Miller back in 2007.
Bass set up campaign headquarters in Germantown, specifically on 5539 Germantown Ave. She wants to be a mainstay in the community, not just someone who goes to council sessions in City Hall without being involved. “Every morning, I visit transit stops to meet and listen to the issues of hardworking folks and every evening I knock on doors to do the same,” Bass said. She believes that working alongside the citizens council members plan to represent is a key factor that is often overlooked in the campaign process. The Finance Director for Cindy Bass, Joseph Corrigan, emphasized that fact. “Bass wants to have a district office here in Germantown, where hard work is needed,” Corrigan said. Bass has two staff members and 30 to 50 volunteers. The latter number will keep increasing up until the day of the election, May 17.
The 8th district is difficult to describe, in that it encompasses what makes Philadelphia unique as a whole. Income levels, ethnicity, religion and other identifiers vary greatly within this district, which includes Chestnut Hill, Mt. Airy, Germantown, Nicetown-Tioga and parts of North Philadelphia.
Bass is focused on three key issues during her campaign. They are crime, economic development and education. Bass realized that these areas specifically are crucial to her district. She plans to speak with community leaders and businesses to promote more employment opportunities for the area, speak with police about crime rates, and be more involved in the education process. Philadelphia City Council does not preside over the school district, so Bass plans to have a more active role in engaging teachers, parents and students alike to make changes.
Germantown is the central area of the 8th District, making it a decisive area for Bass to work out of. “Germantown is one of the great untapped treasures of the City of Philadelphia. Its proximity to public transit, highways and the suburban counties, along with its existing infrastructure, make it a great place to live and do business,” Bass said. “With the right amount of community and government involvement, Germantown could once again become the prosperous place that it used to be.”