Who Is Cherelle Parker?

The two-term city councilmember from Northwest Philly who champions “middle neighborhoods” is running for mayor of Philadelphia. Here’s what you need to know about her so you can make an informed vote in May.

Who Is Cherelle Parker?

The two-term city councilmember from Northwest Philly who champions “middle neighborhoods” is running for mayor of Philadelphia. Here’s what you need to know about her so you can make an informed vote in May.

On September 7, City Councilmember Cherelle Parker became the third candidate to announce her campaign to become the 100th mayor of Philadelphia, following Jim Kenney’s eight-year tenure.

The second-term City Councilmember represented the city’s 9th District, which consists of the Northwest and Northeast neighborhoods of Mount Airy (where Parker and her family reside), West Oak Lane, East Oak Lane, Olney, Lawncrest, Lawndale, Burholme and Oxford Circle. She was City Council’s majority leader.

At age 17, Parker began a 15-year stint working for Philadelphia City Councilwoman Marian B. Tasco. (Fellow candidate and former Councilmember Derek Green worked for Tasco, too.) She later became the youngest African American woman elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, where she served 10 years.

In 2011, prior to serving on Council, Parker was arrested for driving drunk and the wrong way in her state-issued car on a one-way Haines Street in Germantown. She later testified that she was never on Haines Street and that she did not tell officers that she’d had two martinis and two beers that evening. In 2015, she was convicted of the DUI.

As a member of Council, Parker served as chair of the Labor and Civil Service Committee and vice chair of the Committee on Commerce and Economic Development. She is the first woman to chair the board of the Delaware River Port Authority, and h labor.

Parker has described her mission in government as “closing the gap between the haves and the have nots.” She says her priorities as mayor would be safety, jobs, and city services. Since resigning from her post on Council, she has registered as a lobbyist in Harrisburg.

Here’s what else we know about Cherelle Parker

Cherelle Parker is a Philadelphia City Councilmember and now a candidate for mayor of Philadelphia
Photo by Jared Piper / Philadelphia City Council
  1. SHE PARTNERED WITH COMMUNITY COLLEGE OF PHILADELPHIA to establish the small business training program, Power Up Your Business.
  2. PARKER HAS CHAMPIONED HOME FIXES TO HELP STABILIZE NEIGHBORHOODS. She and Council President Darrell Clarke developed Restore, Repair, Renew to help homeowners access low-interest home improvement loans. She is also credited with increasing the Realty Transfer Tax by .1 percent in order to borrow $100 in bonds to eliminate backlog within income-based home repair programs.
  3. SHE SOUGHT TO PROTECT NEIGHBORHOODS FROM EFFECTS OF DEVELOPMENT by creating a bill that requires them to complete a Project Information Form to let neighbors know about the environmental and other impacts of their proposed projects in communities.
  4. SHE CHAMPIONED THE NEIGHBORHOOD SAFTEY AND COMMUNITY POLICING PLAN, which calls for adding 300 beat and bike police officers to the force, tackling quality of life issues, and increasing community engagement. She also backed up Council President Clarke’s call to reinstate stop-and-frisk, legally.
  5. SHE CALLED OUT KENNEY DIRECTLY AFTER HIS JULY 4 COMMENTS about being tired of gun violence. Later, she publicly recounted telling him that, “If you can feel this way, imagine how Philadelphians who don’t have the ability to check out feel on a daily basis.” She also referred to Kenney’s statement as “asinine.”
  6. SHE HAS BEEN VOCAL ABOUT THE SODA TAX‘S disproportionate impact on communities of color.

Cherelle Parker in Citizen coverage

Videos featuring Cherelle Parker

More ways to learn about Cherelle Parker

This fundraising website is named for Cherelle Parker, but it’s currently unclear if it will become her official campaign website.

Follow Parker on social: Twitter, Instagram.

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The Philadelphia Citizen updates this profile and all our Philadelphia mayoral candidate profiles on a regular basis.

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Header photo by Jared Piper / Philadelphia City Council

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