Updated Oct 9, 2023 - Politics

Meet Philadelphia Democratic mayoral candidate: Cherelle Parker

Cherelle Parker

Photo: Courtesy of the Cherelle Parker campaign

Cherelle Parker is the Democratic candidate running for mayor of Philadelphia in the Nov. 7 election.

The candidate: Parker served as a member of City Council representing District 9 from 2016 through 2022, when she resigned to run for mayor.

  • She also served as the state representative in the 200th District for a decade.

๐Ÿก What neighborhoods have you lived in? Mount Airy, North Philadelphia, West Oak Lane.

๐Ÿ’ผ What are your past jobs? Former staffer to council member Marian Tasco and chairperson of the Delaware River Port Authority.

๐Ÿฝ๏ธ Favorite Philly restaurant: South.

๐Ÿข Favorite downtown building: The Curtis at 6th and Walnut.

๐Ÿ“บ Favorite Philadelphia TV show: โ€œHow to Get Away With Murder.โ€

๐Ÿ’ฐHow much did your property taxes go up last year? $217.

๐Ÿ€ Favorite Philly athlete (past or present) and why? Julius Erving.

๐Ÿš— Savesies: Pro/con? It's a Philly Thing!

๐Ÿ™ How would you enhance the vibrancy of Center City in the post-pandemic era? I would make Philadelphia the safest, cleanest and greenest downtown in America.

  • Our focus would be on arts, culture, restaurants and enhancing overall quality of life.

What's the one moment in your life that most shaped you? In 1989 I went to the Parkway Program high school. It was at that school that I fell in love with Black women's literature and its ability to speak to the issues of the Black community from a feminist lens.

๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿพ What is one fun thing voters don't know about you? I can dance!

Sum up the state of the city in five words or less. Packed potential pregnant with possibilities.

And, of course, why do you want to be mayor? I want to be mayor to tangibly demonstrate that there is a reason to have hope and pride in being from Philadelphia.

  • All residents of Philadelphia should have a sense of belonging and happiness while living in this city and I want to ensure we realize it.

On the issues

Would you increase (โฌ†๏ธ), keep level (โธ๏ธ), or decrease (โฌ‡๏ธ) the police department's budget?

  • โธ๏ธ Keep level

What's one big idea you have to address the ongoing gun violence crisis?

  • Before I left City Council, I introduced a comprehensive Neighborhood Safety and Community Policing plan that called for 300 additional community police officers to be in neighborhoods, out of their cars, and known to neighbors and businesses. My plan focused on a holistic approach to addressing gun violenceย โ€” from quality of life issues to funding violence prevention programs.

Do you support the 76ers proposal to build a new arena in Center City? Yes (โœ…) or no (โŒ)

  • Parker declined to answer.

Explain your answer, in 1 sentence.

  • This is not a yes or no question because I don't have all of the information to make an informed decision, including seeing the economic impact studies, hearing from affected communities, and having a chance to meaningfully talk to everyone who has skin in the game around this project.

Do you support installing permanent public bathrooms in the city? Yes (โœ…) or no (โŒ)

  • Parker declined to answer.

How many would you look to install and in what neighborhoods?

  • Parker declined to answer.

๐Ÿข What's your plan to get more workers back in offices in Center City and throughout Philly? (2 sentences or less)

  • I'll lead by example, and work toward bringing every city employee back in person full-time. From there, I'll work with businesses and private employers big and small to encourage them to follow the city (and private industry-leaders like Comcast who are back to the office four days a week) to bring their workers back into the office.

What's 1 big idea that would be a game-changer for Philly? (2 sentences or less)

  • We'll change the game when we make Philadelphia the safest, cleanest, and greenest big city in America with economic opportunity for everyone.
  • This includes community safety and neighborhood policing, cleaning every block in the city, and workforce development that begins in schools that offer quality seats in 21st century buildings โ€” we can do this and so much more!

๐Ÿช“ What law, tax or program would you scrap immediately, and why? (2 sentences or less)

  • I would increase the number of people able to qualify for the city's Basic Systems Repair Program so that more homeowners can afford to stay in their homes by receiving free repairs to correct electrical, plumbing, heating, structural, carpentry, and roofing emergencies.
  • My hope is to raise the eligibility requirements to the highest amount as allowed by the federal government so that as many Philadelphians as possible can take advantage of this program to make their homes more livable, increase their property values, and hold off gentrification in the city's rapidly changing neighborhoods.

๐Ÿ’ก What is one big idea or policy being used in another city that you want to bring to Philadelphia, and why? (2 sentences or less.)

  • San Diego has a municipal app for residents to call attention to quality of life issues; in Atlanta, they created a position dedicated to promoting minority businesses.
  • In Cascais, Portugal, they're employing artificial intelligence to deploy city services; and in Chicago, they started Invest South/West that has brought over $2 billion in public, private and philanthropic investment into economic development in historically disenfranchised neighborhoods and commercial corridors.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Read Axios Philadelphia's candidate questionnaire with Parker's opponent, David Oh.

This q&a may be updated as election season continues.


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