She plans to serve the city proudly!
Cherelle Parker, a native of Philadelphia, former city council member and educator, just made history as the first woman Mayor of Philadelphia, AP News reports. Parker secured the victory in the November election, elected to serve as the 100th mayor of the city of brotherly love. Her message of tackling public safety, education, and economic disparities resonated with voters, and she was one of the few leading Black candidates throughout the race. Parker first became engaged with politics as a teenager, holding positions in local and state office. On January 2nd, she was publicly sworn in as Mayor, the historic inauguration attended by droves of family, friends, legislators, officials, and supporters.
“By every statistic imaginable, I am not supposed to be standing here today. I, Cherrelle Parker, was a child who most people thought would never succeed. And they almost did have me thinking the same thing,” Parker told attendees during her address.
The event was attended by award-winning actress Sheryl Lee Ralph, who ended her inaugural poem with a raised fist in solidarity with Parker. New Philadelphia City Council President Kenyatta Johnson was also sworn in at the ceremony.
Parker doubled down on her campaign commitments, including a 100-day action plan on every attendee’s seat. She outlined a police force that acted “as guardians, and not warriors,” a public safety approach that focused on getting resources to the community, tackling the issues of gun violence and addiction while also eliminating barriers for city jobs like college degree requirements.
“This opportunity to deliver in a meaningful way for the city of Philadelphia – not just for the next four years, but the work we do now – it should be a foundation for the future. I’m not talking about incremental change. I’m talking about bold transformative steps, that when people walk outside of their houses, they can touch, see and feel the results of our labor. If they don’t see it, it’s on us,” said Parker.
Still, Parker warned that not everyone may like her new decisions, but she promised “a data-driven and research-based approach” to law enforcement and public health. Equipped with her education and work history as a state representative and City Council member, she committed to addressing those issues most pertinent in the city, including keeping schools open and creating more affordable housing.
Now, she’s ready to get started, succeeding Democratic Mayor Jim Kenney, and focused on her promise to make Philadelphia “the safest, cleanest, greenest big city in the nation that will provide access to economic opportunity for all.”
Cover photo: Cherelle Parker Sworn in as the First Woman Mayor of Philadelphia/Photo by Kimberly Paynter/WHYY