Cindy Bass, Eighth District

Name: Cindy M. Bass
Age: 43 (11/4/67)
Residence: Mt. Airy
Hometown: North Philadelphia
∙    Parkway High School, 1986
∙    Temple University, 1990, Bachelors in Business
Occupation: Senior Policy Advisor for Urban and Domestic Policy to Congressman Chaka Fattah
∙    Scott, husband
∙    Carson, almost 2
∙    Michael, nephew, 21
Career highlights:
∙    Developed successful housing counseling program for Mt. Airy, USA
∙    Obtained $1.8 million for streetscape improvement along Mt. Airy Commercial Corridor Spearheaded repair of Cresheim Valley Road after flooding
Political experience:
∙    Senior Policy Advisory to Congressman Chaka Fattah
∙    Special Assistant to State Senator Allyson Schwartz
∙    Delegate to Democratic National Convention 2000, 2004 and 2008

Why did you get into politics?

“When I lived in my old neighborhood in North Philadelphia, I began volunteering at a very young age. I wanted to be proactive in making my community better and take a leadership role in those improvements. Getting involved in politics was the natural progression of that service.”

What would your most urgent legislative priority be in office?

“My most urgent priority in Council will be to put legislation in place in order to make my district more business friendly. The commercial corridors in my district will be my main priority.”

What most needs improvement in your district or in the city at-large?

“My district needs improvements in its commercial corridors. Germantown Avenue and the other corridors in my district need fresh ideas and leadership. All of the corridors in my district need to operate under a plan in order to make them effective as the economic engines of my district.”

What do you love about Philadelphia?

“I love Philly’s people, its neighborhoods, its history and its untapped potential. I know that Philadelphia has a bright and vibrant future and is on the cusp of being the next great city. It’s affordable in comparison to other cities in the region, and its culture and recreation are unparalleled in the northeast.”

What Council practice or custom would you most like to change?

“I believe that Council needs to be less parochial and look outside the box—and the city—for solutions to the city’s problems. We need to be constantly seeking best practices, even if they don’t come from within, and putting them to work here.”

Do you support term limits?

“I do not. I believe that they undermine the will of voters.”

What is your position on DROP?

“The DROP program has been misused by elected officials (for which it was never intended). It was developed as a retirement and succession planning tool for use by the city to manage its workforce and budget. Thus, I believe that the DROP program should go away. Its tarnished reputation and expense is unpopular with Philadelphians. There must be, however, a supplement to aid our hard working retirees after many years of service to our city. We must replace DROP, taking key elements from it and developing a new entity to assist our rank and file members. Many people assume that retirees receive an excellent retirement package, with health benefits and cost of living adjustments - not so! Pensioners receive healthcare for 5 years after retiring, and no cost of living adjustments. DROP needs to be replaced with a benefit that reflects our appreciation and today’s economic realities.”

Why should the voters entrust you with a Council seat?

“This is going to be an exciting time in the district as well as the city. There will be new leadership and a new face to City Council. With my prior legislative experience on the state and federal levels, I have skills that I can draw from to move my district in the proper direction. I have also done work in the non-profit world as well as the private sector which gives me the ability to understand all facets of the issues that will face the district in the future.”

What’s the most interesting non-political thing about you? What one thing would you like voters to know?

“Above all else, I love being a mom. I am extremely invested in my community and knowing that my daughter’s future is at stake makes me work hard to ensure a better future for the people of the eighth district and the city.”

Written responses from the candidates are posted verbatim. Profiles compiled following telephone interviews are sent to the candidates for verification of their accuracy. The non-partisan Committee of Seventy does not endorse or oppose any candidate and is providing this information as an educational public service. Seventy reserves the right to edit candidate responses for length, clarity, and style.

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