Cherelle Parker Elected As First Female Mayor Of Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 9: The Philadelphia mayor's office sign is shown at City Hall October 9, 2003 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. An electronic listening device was found in Mayor John F. Street's office during a recent security sweep. Reports say that sources in the FBI acknowledge that the agency is responisible. The mayor, who is in a tough campaign for reelection in four weeks, denied he is the target of a federal investigation. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)
The Philadelphia mayor’s office sign is shown at City Hall October 9, 2003 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)

OAN’s Elizabeth Volberding
11:15 AM – Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Cherelle Parker, a liberal woman with a lengthy political history in Philadelphia, has been elected as the city’s 100th mayor and the first woman ever to be sworn into the mayor’s office.


Parker, a former member of the Philadelphia City Council, has been elected as the city’s new mayor after defeating Republican candidate David Oh, who was also a City Council member.

Parker, 51, has reportedly been involved in social justice efforts and politics since she was just a teenager. She will be replacing former Mayor Jim Kenney.

During a victory speech on Tuesday night, the mayor-elect, who was surrounded by family, friends, and supporters, urged “unity and togetherness” to help address some of the city’s most difficult problems.

“My message to Philadelphians from all walks of life is that if they would just give me the opportunity that I would put to great use everything inside of me – my lived experiences, my professional experience, my academic preparation – that I would put all of it to great use to work with you all to make Philadelphia the safest, cleanest, greenest big city in the nation with economic opportunity for all,” Parker announced.

Parker’s commitment for Philadelphia is to make the city the “safest, cleanest, greenest big city in the nation that will provide access to economic opportunity for all.”

Additionally, she recognized herself as a leader whose government background would enable her to address ongoing problems in the “City Of Brotherly Love” that is riddled by drug addiction and poverty. 

“We can’t solve these problems alone,” Parker said in a previous interview. “We need the federal, state and local government, along with the private sector and philanthropic communities, to help us address public health and safety.”

As a result of Parker’s election win, Oh accepted defeat and wished Parker success, providing his support in her approaching term as the new mayor of Philadelphia.

“It is her responsibility now and we will all support her to make her the most successful mayor that this city has seen, because that’s what’s in the public interest for all of you,” Oh said

Parker’s moderate message struck a chord with voters who are growing more concerned about quality-of-life issues, such as potholes, malfunctioning streetlights, and trash collection, in addition to public safety.

“We will have a police department that is supported by the mayor that is the best, well-trained and is proactively engaged and woven into the fabric of our communities, along with mental health and behavioral health supports, along with social and human services and connection to employment opportunities and workforce development address and quality of life issues,” Parker said.

Her most prominent priority for the city is public safety, which includes bringing on 300 new police officers and implementing new ways to hire fresh applicants.

“Believe me, if all goes well, and the people of the city give me the opportunity to serve as their 100th mayor, immediately after the general election you will see some movement on that selection,” Parker said. “Knowledge of the city of Philadelphia is extremely important along with cultural competency and, quite frankly, emotional intelligence. In addition to that we’re going to need a strong leader who is not afraid to make tough decisions that may not be popular with some in our city.” 

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