From left to right: Tonya Bah, Patrick Jones and incumbent Cindy Bass are all running for the 8th District seat on City Council.

by Pete Mazzaccaro

Last week, Tuesday, March 12, was the official deadline for candidates to file petitions to qualify for the upcoming primary election on May 21.

In Philadelphia’s 8th Councilmanic District, of which Chestnut Hill, Mt Airy and Germantown are a part, two Democratic candidates filed to challenge incumbent Councilperson Cindy Bass: Olney activist Tonya Bah and Germantown resident Patrick Jones.

Tonya Bah

Born and raised in North Philadelphia, Bah graduated from Simon Gratz High School and said she decided to leave behind a full scholarship to Temple University after one year to help provide for her family. Her experience has made her a vocal activist for public education and economic justice.

Her top priorities are to bring fair and open government to City Council, equitable funding for public education, fighting poverty through a $15 minimum wage and reduced wage taxes, affordable housing and criminal justice reform.

Bah is currently involved in a host of activities and organizations. She’s a member of the Caucus for Working Educators, the Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools and Opt Out Philly. She’s the president of the Widener Memorial School’s Home and School Association and she’s a steering committee member of Philly Neighborhood Networks.

For more information, see tonyabah.com

Patrick Jones

Jones worked for almost four years as the Director of Constituent Services and as a zoning and tax specialist for Councilperson Bass, whose employment he left in July of 2017. Since then, he has served on the board of the Germantown Special Services District and was the president of the Nicetown Community Development Corporation, stepping down in December last year to run for Council.

Jones has lived in the 8th District his whole life, and his children have all graduated from or are currently attending the city’s public schools. He studied engineering and computer science at Drexel University and business administration and organizational management at Gwynedd Mercy University.

His priorities, if elected, are to strengthen the district’s business corridors through business improvement districts and other means, increased funding for public schools, tougher environmental standards for city businesses and tougher gun control laws.

For more information, see votepatjones.com

Cindy Bass

Incumbent Councilperson Cindy Bass, a Mt. Airy resident, was elected to office in 2012.

She grew up in Philadelphia and got a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Temple University. She went on to work in community development for Mt. Airy USA and later served as senior policy advisor on urban and domestic policy for former congressman Chaka Fattah.

Bass is chairperson of City Council’s Committee on Public Health and Human Services, vice-chair of its Committee on Licenses and Inspections and is a member of the committees on Rules, Streets and Services, Labor and Civil Service, Public Health and Human Services, Housing, Neighborhood Development and the Homeless, Technology and Information Services, Disabled and Special Needs, Ethics, and Global Opportunities and Creative/Innovative Economy.

Some of her recent legislative initiatives include tax credits for businesses harmed by ongoing construction and a bill to help communities address regular nuisance businesses, She has called for an investigation into the lack of minority hiring in the city’s building trades and recently introduced legislation to eliminate the city’s tax abatement law.

For more on Cindy Bass, see cindybass.org

Contact Pete Mazzaccaro at 215- 248-8802 or pete@chestnuthilllocal.com

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