Could become first Black woman to lead city
By Kristina Dixon | Across Black America
Former Pennsylvania state representative and Philadelphia City Council member Cherelle Parker has won the Democratic nomination for Philadelphia mayor.
If she wins the general election in November, she will become the first Black woman to lead the city. Her campaign has been controversial as she has run on a ‘promise to increase the number of police in the racially segregated city,’ and bring back constitutional “stop-and-frisk.” Parker, 50, was the only Black candidate and appears to have a great chance of becoming mayor, as Philadelphia is more than 40% Black, according to the New York Times.
Still, many have drawn comparison to New York’s Mayor Eric Adams, who, though Black, has supported what some deem as harmful legislation that disproportionately criminalizes Black and Brown people. However, the excitement around what Parker’s win could mean for Black women in politics has not been dimmed.
“It’s really exciting because it’s another glass ceiling that’s broken. Women and Black women especially have always been underappreciated,” said Catherine Hicks, president of the Philadelphia chapter of the NAACP. Among some of Parker’s other campaign promises are a proposition to extend school days from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and a plan to work with state leaders to significantly increase the minimum wage.
Parker claims that her plans to tackle issues are focused on the “middle neighborhoods”—working and middle-class areas that have been struggling in recent years to hold off decline—insisting that she is simply responding to what she’s been told from the community.
“They know it’s not Cherelle engaging in what I call ‘I know what’s best for you people’ policymaking, but it’s come from the ground up,” Parker said. She believes that solutions should come from the people of Philadelphia and “not people thinking they’re coming in to save poor people, people who never walked in their shoes or lived in a neighborhood with high rates of violence and poverty. I’ve lived that.”