The Honorable Cindy Bass represents the 8th District of Philadelphia, which includes Chestnut Hill, Mount Airy, Germantown, Nicetown, Tioga, Logan, and parts of North Philadelphia. First elected to City Council in 2011, Councilwoman Bass has been a tireless fighter for safe and livable neighborhoods, empowering underserved communities, and removing barriers to access and opportunity for those Philadelphians who need it most. Currently serving her second term, Councilwoman Bass is the Chair of the Committee on Public Health and Human Services, the Committee on Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Affairs, and Vice-Chair of the Committee on the Environment.
Councilwoman Bass has a reputation for coalition building, community engagement, and rolling up her sleeves to get the job done without fanfare. She has fought against blight and trash in our neighborhoods, worked to organize schools and communities to stay connected to neighbors, and has identified and spoken out on the issues that people care about. She is honored to take on these challenges on behalf of her constituents and all Philadelphians.
Councilwoman Bass has advocated for keeping schools open on behalf of parents in underserved communities, and is making sure that the changes to our city’s tax structure don’t tax people out of their homes, particularly in gentrifying neighborhoods. She also recognizes the power of an organized community and local participation to make neighborhoods destinations of choice. Bass’ philosophy of building and strengthening partnerships as a way to accomplish community-driven goals embodies her approach to development and government’s role in neighborhood improvement.
As the Chair of the Committee on Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs, Councilwoman Bass has led to the unprecedented transformation of Philadelphia’s recreation areas—focusing on safety, access, and inclusion. She led the charge for the installation of security cameras at 162 recreation centers and playgrounds and, most recently, for play equipment for children with developmental delays and fitness equipment for older adults at city playgrounds, ensuring that all centers are both intergenerational and welcoming. Her committee will also be taking the lead in hearings for the $600 million Rebuild Philadelphia Initiative to revitalize parks, recreation centers, and libraries across the city and is dedicated to ensuring that it creates more minority and female participation in the building trades.
In her role as Chair of the Committee on Health and Human Services, Councilwoman Bass has planned an aggressive and comprehensive agenda to promote public health. Recognizing the disconnect between the number of individuals without quality healthcare in Philadelphia, a city with a reputation as one of the largest and best healthcare networks in the world, Bass knows that more can and must be done. With this in mind, she plans to introduce a package of health care bills in early 2017 to address the disparities in preventative care, treatment, and availability of services among low-income Philadelphians.
Among her other health-related legislative accomplishments include:
• Requiring City buildings with public access to install baby changing tables in all men’s and women’s restrooms;
• Requiring that tenants in apartment building be provided with a written disclosure of the building’s policy on smoking; and
• Targeting the continuing threat of lead to the health and safety of our young people—especially in low-income communities—by updating the existing Lead Paint Disclosure law to include the presence of lead water service lines.
She has also authorized a number of upcoming hearings on the quality and stability of Direct Support Professionals, access to preventative care for HIV patients, and the adequacy of SEPTA’s paratransit services to individuals with disabilities and senior citizens; advocated on behalf of the Health Department’s new anti-smoking regulations in low-income neighborhoods; and called on public schools, prisons, and homeless shelters to provide free feminine hygiene products.
Councilwoman Bass has also been at the forefront in addressing some of the district’s most chronic quality of life issues. In the fall of 2016, her nuisance business bill was signed into law by Mayor Jim Kenney. Drafted in collaboration with community groups and city officials, Councilwoman Bass’ measure requires that businesses take a more active role in preserving the quality of life in their communities and, specifically, in and around their businesses. Relatedly, she has been a staunch crusader against “stop n go” establishments and has gone on a number of undercover tours to highlight their many violations of state and local regulations. In addition, she recently announced the creation of the District 8 Trash Task Force — a group of community leaders, elected officials, and activists working towards a solution to the long-term problem of trash dumping in Philadelphia.
Councilwoman Bass has sponsored groundbreaking legislation on other fronts, particularly as it relates to economic justice. She recently introduced legislation calling on the City of Philadelphia to divest its holdings from Wells Fargo in the wake of their predatory banking practices, in addition to a bill prohibiting supermarkets from placing deed restrictions on stores they close so they can’t be used by other grocery chains in high “food needs” neighborhoods. She has also called for the establishment of a Mentor-Protégé program to address the lack of minority participation in the city’s building trades.
Councilwoman Bass was born and raised in North Philadelphia, having graduated from Parkway Northwest High School and Temple University with a B.A. in Business Administration. She worked as a Special Assistant to State Senator Allyson Schwartz and served as Senior Policy Advisor on urban and domestic policy to Congressman Chaka Fattah. She has served as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012, and been a member of Democratic State Committee for more than 12 years. She has also been a Democratic Committeewoman for the 22nd Ward since 1998. Additionally, she has served in senior positions for numerous campaigns for Governor, U.S. Senate, Mayor and City Council.
For the past 25 years she has been a resident of East Mount Airy and is a proud mother to her 7-year-old daughter, Carson.