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Cherelle Parker becomes first Black Mayor of Philadelphia

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History was made by Cherelle Parker, as she set two accomplishments, not only becoming the first woman but also the first Black female mayor of Philadelphia.

Parker emerged victorious after defeating her opponent and former city councilman, David Oh.

Democrats outnumber Republicans in Philadelphia 7 to 1

The win over Oh was predicted by many political spectators. In this capacity, Parker replaces the term-limited Mayor Jim Kenney, another Democrat.

Cherelle Parker
Philadelphia Mayor-elect Cherelle Parker speaks during her election night party in Philadelphia, Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

At the Sheet Metal Workers Hall on South Columbus Boulevard, people gathered to celebrate Parker after her victory.

She told her supporters, “That I would put to great use everything inside of me, my lived experience, my professional experience, my academic preparation, that I would put all of it to great use, and I would make Philadelphia the safest, the greenest big city in the nation with economic opportunity for all.”

Serving five terms in Harrisburg as a state representative, Parker also functioned as a leader of the Philadelphia delegation. Following the retirement of her mentor Marion Tasco in 2015, Parker was elected to fill the seat of the Philadelphia City Council and later became the majority leader in 2020.

Parker, currently serving as chair of the Delaware River Port Authority, has held this position since February 2021.

It’s not how you start

Parker was born to a single teenage mother, [she] was raised by [her] grandparents, that [her] grandmother collected welfare and subsidized food to take care of [her].

Parker went on to continue her education, becoming a first-generation college student and earning her bachelor’s degree in education at Lincoln University and her masters at the University of Pennsylvania for public administration.

Cherelle Parker to hire 300 police officials

Parker has promised some changes as the new mayor. It will begin with appointing 300 new police officials and bringing the National Guard to Kensington.

Parker’s most immediate job is hiring a new police commissioner for Danielle Outlaw, who resigned in December. With these changes, Parker hopes to target low-level crimes. She also seeks to lessen gun violence in a city that killed over 360 people this year.

Parker says she strives to make Philadelphia safer for all residents. Further, her plan is to develop “a sense of order in [the] city” by understanding that there is “zero tolerance for any misuse of authority by [the] law enforcement authorities.”

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