Elected to City Council in 2012, Councilwoman Cindy Bass represents Philadelphia’s 8th Councilmanic District. She continuously works to improve the quality of life for residents in the communities of Germantown, Mt. Airy, Chestnut Hill, Logan and parts of Olney, West Oak Lane, North Philadelphia and Feltonville. Councilmember Bass holds leadership positions including Council Deputy Whip and Chair of two Council committees: Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs; and Public Health and Human Services.
A tireless fighter for quality-of-life issues affecting Philadelphians, she has fought against blight and trash in the city’s neighborhoods and fought for expanded library hours and safer, better equipped recreation centers.
Bass has advocated for changes to the city’s tax structure so that people do not get taxed 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.
She is known for her accessibility and numerous outreach events designed to empower and engage people throughout the 8th District. In her role as Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Committee Chair, she spearheaded an initiative to install security cameras and anti-loitering devices in every rec center in Philadelphia.
Bass has further advocated for public playgrounds to include play equipment for children with developmental delays and fitness equipment for older adults, making all centers both intergenerational and welcoming.
Most recently, she successfully fought to make sure the 8th District received its fair share of funding from the city’s Rebuild program.
Councilmember Bass works valiantly to rid her district of nuisance businesses while helping to create and support good businesses. City Council passed two bills Bass introduced that were aimed at tackling nuisance business practices and improving the quality of businesses in all of Philadelphia’s neighborhoods. The Nuisance Business Bill holds businesses responsible for nuisance behavior.
In another move to improve residents’ quality of life, in 2022 she took steps to protect Philadelphia car owners from the growing number of catalytic converter thefts. City Council unanimously passed her bill calling for strict penalties and other key provisions to eliminate the illegal buying and selling of stolen catalytic converters and other precious metal vehicle parts.
And, as the Chair of the Council Committee on Public Health and Human Services, Bass has an aggressive and comprehensive agenda to promote public health. Recognizing the disconnect between the number of individuals without quality healthcare in Philadelphia and the city’s reputation as one of the largest and best healthcare networks in the world, Bass knows more can and must be done.
Her legislation authorized the Committee on Public Health and Human Services to hold hearings examining the Philadelphia Department of Human Services’ scorecard on Community Umbrella Agencies or CUA agencies that provide services to children in the DHS system, after the scorecard revealed many of these agencies were operating below satisfaction.
She has sponsored groundbreaking legislation and initiatives on other fronts, from requiring the City of Philadelphia to offer a tax credit to businesses that are harmed by significant infrastructure improvement projects to calling for an investigation into the lack of minority participation in the city’s building trades.
Tapping into her coalition building capabilities and commitment to bettering the lives of 8th District residents, Bass has teamed up with organizations to provide free programs and services. Defender Days, a free expungement clinic, is the product of a partnership with the Defender Association of Philadelphia. It enables people with Philadelphia County adult arrest records to wipe their records clean so they can move forward with their lives.
She has also joined with nonprofits, Allegheny West Foundation, Philabundance, and several others to help reduce hunger and food insecurity by hosting bimonthly food distributions of free, fresh produce, meat, dairy and other staples to anyone everyone who stops by.
Councilmember Bass has experience working in the United States Congress and Pennsylvania State Senate. She has also worked on numerous campaigns, supporting progressive candidates from Presidents to local committee people. She served as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012, and has been a member of Democratic State Committee for more than 12 years. She is a longtime Democratic Committeeperson who currently is Leader of the 22nd Ward.
Beyond her political background, Bass has had extensive experience in the areas of economic development, banking, housing, and civic engagement. Councilmember Bass is a lifelong Philadelphian who grew up in North Philadelphia, graduated from its public schools, and earned a bachelor’s degree from Temple University. She has lived in East Mount Airy for more than three decades and is the proud mother of a teenage daughter