Former city council member Cherelle Parker won Philadelphia’s Democratic mayoral primary on Tuesday, making her the favorite to become the city’s 100th mayor, the first woman and first Black woman to serve in the role. Democratic voters in Philadelphia outnumber Republicans 7-to-1, which gives Parker a huge advantage leading up to the general election.
In a tweet, Parker expressed honor and joy at the nomination.
“I’m so incredibly honored to have earned the Democratic nomination tonight. It’s been a long road, and to see the tireless work of my campaign team, supporters, and family pay off is humbling,” she wrote. “I’m looking forward to November and bringing our city together as its 100th mayor.”
Cherelle Parker will face off against Republican challenger David Oh in the Nov. 7 general election.
“It’s really exciting because it’s another glass ceiling that’s broken. Women and Black women especially have always been underappreciated,” Catherine Hicks, president of the Philadelphia chapter of the NAACP, told WHYY.
Cherelle Parker is no stranger to the city of Philadelphia. The West Oak Lane native attended Philadelphia public schools her whole life, earning her bachelor’s degree from Lincoln University and her master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania.
Parker served 10 years as a state representative for northwest Philadelphia making history as the youngest Black woman elected to the State Legislature. In 2015, she was elected to the city council where she tackled public safety and quality of life problems in the city.
On her website, Parker has pledged to hire 300 additional foot and bike patrol officers to walk a beat in every neighborhood of the city, fill current vacancies within the police department and quality-of-life issues such as cleaning streets, fixing broken streetlights, and repairing and preserving homes where the owners may not be able to afford the repairs. She also says she wants to invest more in community engagement to address long-term issues that lead to a rise in crime.
Parker has robust plans for Education, cleaning and greening Philadelphia as well as a plan for creating economic opportunities for residents of the sixth largest city in America. She’s been endorsed by former Mayors Michael Nutter and John Street and former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell.
But critics are calling her out for her stance on stop and frisk.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Parker was the only mayoral candidate who didn’t say they opposed stop and frisk during a mayoral forum in January. She also supported City Council President Darrell Clarke’s plan to practice stop and frisk as a solution to gun violence last summer.
Although Parker is the favorite in November she will have her hands full trying to convince voters she is the right person to change Philadelphia for the better.
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