The 8th Councilmanic District’s three-term incumbent Councilmember Cindy Bass announced her re-election campaign at Dare to Imagine Church on Saturday to a mostly packed audience of supporters.
The 8th Councilmanic District’s three-term incumbent Councilmember Cindy Bass announced her re-election campaign at Dare to Imagine Church on Saturday to a mostly packed audience of supporters, which included former mayor John Street and several members of City Council, including Darrell Clarke, Maria Quiñones-Sánchez, Katherine Gilmore Richardson and Kenyatta Johnson.
“It's a part of my core and every fiber in my being to be a fighter and to ensure that people aren't left behind, not valued and not considered no matter what their position is in life, and I am in no way tired from this fight,” Bass said to rounds of applause at the announcement. “As a matter of fact, I feel I'm just getting started.”
“I’m not satisfied” was the most common refrain of Bass’s speech, and with it, she rattled off a laundry list of things she still hopes to change as a sitting member of City Council. The homicide rate, a lack of Black and Brown developers in the city and her feeling that many of the city’s departments – specifically the Streets Department and the Department of Licenses and Inspections – don’t have enough resources to serve Philadelphians.
“These are our sons, our children, our nephews,” she said, referring to those affected by violence in the city. “We have to protect them. We have to talk about what you do when the shooter lives with you.”
As for development, she said, it is just “a chosen few” who get to develop property in the 8th District - and not enough of them come from minority communities.
“You can't say that Black votes matter but practice that Black development doesn't matter,” she said. “I'm going to keep fighting.”
Towards the end of her speech, Bass talked about her record. She highlighted her initiatives, such as helping put cameras in every recreation center in the city, fighting against “nuisance businesses” and for keeping her office open during the pandemic even when most businesses were shutting down.
“Everything shut down and we turned up,” she said.
Bass also claimed credit for starting Defender Days, a program her office formed in partnership with the Defender Association of Philadelphia that allows residents to have free discussions with Defender Association attorneys about their criminal cases.
The event dwarfed the size of her challenger’s campaign announcement a week before. Seth Anderson-Oberman, who has the potential to become Bass’s first serious primary challenger, announced his campaign the previous Saturday in a small room inside of the Project Learn School, located at 6525 Germantown Ave.
During her speech, Bass took some apparent shots at Anderson-Oberman without mentioning him by name.
“You can't say 'I want to be involved,' but what you really want is you want to take over,” she said. “And you can't be the aggressor and when I fight back you say you're the victim. You've got to be one or the other.”
At the moment, it’s unclear whether any other challengers will enter the race. Ballots are typically finalized in March, barring any legal challenges that can extend the timeline.