By Sue Ann Rybak

Monday morning local residents had the opportunity to sit down and have a cup of coffee with Councilwoman Cindy Bass at High Point Cafe, 7210 Cresheim Rd.

“People want to feel connected to their elected officials,” Bass said. “We do Coffee with the Councilwoman on Monday because we want to be accessible – we want people to have face-to-face time and be able to talk about whatever they are interested in talking about, whether it’s the abandoned house next door or the playground. Whatever the issue is, we want to get in front of it, so we can be involved in the lives of our constituents. It is very important.”

Andy Trackman, one of the participants, said. “I think it’s great that our councilperson is so accessible because a lot of times, especially now, our elected officials are quite removed from the voters, and this is such a huge step in the right direction. It’s great to have someone show up for coffee.”

“In the lower end of the district, there is almost no place to sit down with constituents and have coffee,” Bass added. “It’s all take out, fast-food restaurants and delis.”

Bass is working on changing that. She recently did a walking tour of the Chew and Chelten business corridor.

Malik Boyd, a candidate for state representative in the 198th District, said he thought that a councilwoman who was out talking to voters in their day-to-day lives brought “a tremendous amount of positivity to the office.”

“It increases constituents’ services that much more,” he said. “I think a lot of times elected officials can get caught up in the legislative session. But, it’s the day-to-day life moments that happen. The more they experience them they’re better equipped to represent the constituents. I am excited about Councilwoman Bass’s tenure, and I am looking forward to working with her.”

The next community meeting will be held at LaSalle University on April 17.