Hena Veit, a forensic mitigation specialist who lives in Mayfair, is running as a Democrat for a City Council at-large seat.
Veit, 52, was born in Pakistan, grew up in London and has lived in Northeast Philadelphia for the past few years. This is her first time running for elected office, and she joins a crowded field vying to fill five at-large seats reserved for the Democratic majority.
She told the Northeast Times that her work inspired her to run for Council. Veit is hired to advocate at sentencing hearings for those convicted of crimes in an effort to reduce their prison term.
In her role, Veit said she spends a lot of time in jails talking to people who are preparing to be sentenced for major crimes. Now, she said she wants to work on the societal issues that lead people to prison.
“I work in a field where I’m listening every day to the problems,” said Veit, a mother of four. “I’m looking for solutions.”
A major part of her platform is criminal justice reform. Veit said she would like to see more diversionary programs for non-violent offenders that offer them an opportunity to go to trade school or learn a skill.
Veit declined to talk about District Attorney Larry Krasner, who has come under fire in some circles for his progressive policies.
“I’m not going to discuss Larry Krasner,” she said.
Veit also wants to repeal the soda tax, which she said hurts businesses and poor residents. In regard to supervised drug injection sites, she said she believes money and effort could be better spent on other initiatives to fight the opioid epidemic.
In addition, Veit said she wants more funding devoted to education, road improvement projects and sanitation.
Veit’s campaign is being managed by James “Skip” Montell, of Somerton. He said ballot position will be key to her chances of making it to City Hall.
To make it onto the primary ballot, Veit must gather 1,000 signatures by March 12.
At least two at-large Democratic seats will be won by newcomers in this year’s primary because Councilmembers Bill Greenlee and Blondell Reynolds Brown have said they will not be running for reelection. ••
Jack Tomczuk can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org