Jan 2, 2024 - Politics

City leaders on what Cherelle Parker should accomplish as mayor

Illustration of a volcano erupting and creating a question mark from lava

Illustration: Natalie Peeples/Axios

As Cherelle Parker's mayoral administration kicks off, Axios asked local power players what they want her to change or accomplish in Philly in her four-year term.

Here's what they told us.

Of note: Responses have been lightly edited by Axios for style and brevity.

⛪ Mark Kelly Tyler, pastor at Philly's Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church and racial justice activist: Clean the city up. Let's get trash off the streets and into the dump and raise the spirit of the residents.

🏗️ Mo Rushdy, developer and president of the Building Industry Association of Philadelphia: Policies that increase the housing supply overall and create win-win scenarios for affordable housing production by the private sector.

  • Good housing policies and an aligned vision across all city agencies would allow building at the scale Philadelphia needs to reach its housing goals.

💼 Michael Innocenzo, PECO president and chair of the Philly Chamber of Commerce board: I'm excited to collaborate with Parker to bring her Economic Opportunity Plan to fruition, providing everyone with a path to self-sufficiency.

  • By prioritizing equitable growth for businesses of all sizes, we'll create more jobs, reduce crime, and improve the overall quality of life.

🏛️ Faye Anderson, preservation activist: The 76ers' proposal to build a new arena adjacent to Chinatown is one of the most controversial and consequential issues facing Philadelphia.

  • Parker's decision must be guided by facts — not unsubstantiated rosy projections of new tax revenues and recycled promises about diversity in the building trade unions that have gone unfulfilled for decades.

🤝 Sister Mary Scullion, longtime head of Project HOME: Ensure that our city can meet the needs of all unhoused Philadelphians by increasing the number of shelter and safe haven beds.

  • Prioritize rental assistance for low-income households, support voucher-holders by sanctioning landlords who refuse to rent to them, and create more units of permanent housing with appropriate support for people with histories of homelessness.

📍 Larry Ceisler, political consultant: Success with public safety initiatives and creating a better environment for business and job creation.

  • I am also looking forward to Parker being present and providing leadership for Philadelphia.

ğŸŽ¨ Conrad Benner, founder of popular photo blog StreetsDept.com: Philly's artists have a place in everything — artists are creative thinkers, designers and problem solvers who approach the world with endless empathy and a motivated passion.

  • With the Parker administration's support, Philly can be the arts capital of the United States.

🍽️ Derek Beckman, vice chair of the Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association: Focus on improving the safety and cleanliness of our wonderful city, while encouraging community engagement among sectors and stakeholders.

  • Doing so encourages more visits, allowing the hospitality community to showcase our exceptional services and diverse experiences to our visitors and residents.
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