If elected, Cherelle Parker would be Philly’s first Black female mayor. Here’s why that’s significant

A Democratic advantage is leaning in Parker’s favor for the November election
Cherelle Parker participated in KYW Newsradio's "Breakfast with the Candidates" mayoral debate on May 4, 2023.
Cherelle Parker participated in KYW Newsradio's "Breakfast with the Candidates" mayoral debate on May 4, 2023. Photo credit Holli Stephens/KYW Newsradio

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Cherelle Parker’s mayoral win in the Democratic primary is history in the making. Voter registration in Philadelphia favors Democrats by a 7:1 margin, which means the city will likely not only see its first woman as mayor, but its first Black woman.

“For all the little Black girls in every ZIP code across the city, what an incredible thing to see,” said Brittany Smith, executive director of Philadelphia’s Black Leadership PAC, which endorsed Parker for mayor.

In a city where Black people make up more than 40% of the population, voters chose a Black woman to address the issues they care about most, Smith said — a trend in political races across the country over the past few years.

“Black women have really found success across all levels of office and played pivotal roles in voter mobilization and voter turnout, really making their voices heard and changing the course of elections,” she said. “It’s really an incredible time for women of color, for Black women in politics who want to make sure that the issues that we care about the most … are prioritized.”

Parker has said she will prioritize Black business growth and generational wealth creation, if elected.

Molefi Kete Asante, professor of Africology and African American studies at Temple University, said it’s no surprise that many Black voters supported someone who is relatable and promises to be tough on the issues, like rising gun violence.

“Women, especially African American women, they know the difficulties and the problems that exist for ordinary people in society,” he said, “and they speak to those issues in a very direct way. And Cherelle Parker does.”

Parker faces Republican challenger David Oh. Both served together in City Council before resigning to run for mayor. The general election is Nov. 7.

Get to know Parker on this episode of the KYW Newsradio original podcast “Who’s Running for Philly Mayor?”

Featured Image Photo Credit: Holli Stephens/KYW Newsradio