A pivotal choice for Philadelphia’s Northwest neighborhoods

by Carla Robinson, Editor
Posted 4/13/23

As Philadelphia’s City Council race heats up, residents of Northwest Philadelphia’s 8th District find themselves at a critical crossroads. Send us your questions before two upcoming debates.

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A pivotal choice for Philadelphia’s Northwest neighborhoods


As Philadelphia’s City Council race heats up, residents of Northwest Philadelphia’s 8th District find themselves at a critical crossroads. The upcoming election, which likely will determine their city council representation for the next four years, presents a stark choice between the incumbent, Cindy Bass, and her first significant challenger in more than a decade, Seth Anderson-Oberman. Voters can either stay the course with Bass or opt for the possibility of something different with Anderson-Oberman.

To help you make this important decision, The Chestnut Hill Local is partnering with a group of community organizations to co-sponsor two debates. The first, scheduled for April 26 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Germantown Jewish Centre, is being presented by West Mt. Airy Neighbors and East Mt. Airy Neighbors in partnership with Pleasant Advisory Council, Chestnut Hill Community Association, Germantown United CDC, and Face to Face Germantown. The second, which is hosted by G-Town Radio and will be broadcast live on that station, is scheduled for May 9, 7 to 9 p.m. at Center in the Park in Germantown.

And we’re asking for your help. We’ll be posing key questions to both of these candidates, and we want to be sure we are addressing your core concerns. What are the issues you care most about, and what questions do you think we should be asking? What is it that you think works, or doesn’t work, about your current city government? Please send us your questions and comments, at editor@chestnuthilllocal.com.

We have been hearing from many people, for instance, that the high cost of housing is a major concern. Do you think city government should do anything about that, and if yes, what? And while there is nearly universal agreement that crime is a major problem, there is much less agreement about how our elected leaders should address it. What are your thoughts?

This particular race also has the potential to impact not just Northwest Philadelphia, but the city as a whole. After 12 years on the job, Bass has enough seniority to potentially secure the influential job of City Council president if she is reelected. Do you think, based on her track record, that she deserves a chance at that role?

Anderson-Oberman, meanwhile, is a political newcomer. Still, he has managed to outraise Bass in cash donations, an indicator that he is a serious contender with significant grassroots support. What is he tapping into that she is not? Could he be better equipped to capture the demands of the moment, and best represent the constituents of the 8th District?

In today's politically charged environment, where national issues often overshadow local concerns, it's easy to forget the vital role local elections play in shaping our communities. Decisions made by local officials have direct, tangible effects on our daily lives – whether that’s about what it costs to rent a one-bedroom studio, what’s being done to redevelop lagging commercial corridors, or whether you feel safe walking home at night. 

It’s your future, and it’s going to go one way, or another. Which way that turns out to be is up to you. You have a real choice when you walk into the voting booth in this year’s Democratic primary on May 16. The upcoming debates are an ideal opportunity to take that choice seriously. We hope to see you there.