Queena Bass is not just back. She has arrived. Bass tells us she will make her fourth run for mayor this year, this time as a write-in candidate to save the effort and money it takes to get her name on the ballot. Bass says that after 15 years of protesting in Center City, voters already know who she is.
Bass drew attention after Thomas Jefferson University Hospital fired her in 1996. The hospital called it downsizing. Bass called it racism but lost a federal lawsuit and the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear her appeal. Bass protested for years outside the hospital, using a bullhorn and distributing leaflets. She moved to City Hall after the hospital won a court injunction.
Bass won 1,656 votes [.57 percent] when she ran for mayor in 1999, was bumped from the 2003 ballot in a nominating petition challenge and received 950 votes [.33 percent] when she ran again in 2007. She and her family have repeatedly and consistently complained that the local news media, especially television stations, won't give her candidacy the attention it needs to succeed.
Bass said she will be returning to her 2007 political platform of "bringing love to leadership." That apparently means speaking more -- though she has given up the bullhorn -- about what she claims is the injustice of her treatment by the hospital, the media and, more recently, the management of a Center City apartment building where she had been living.
"I'm out there every day -- winter, spring, summer and fall -- handing out fliers," Bass said. "What I'm doing is important. I've been out here for 15 years. People know me."