Former Philadelphia 9th District Councilwoman Cherelle Parker, now resigned, held a two-part function on the evening of Friday, September 10 – to enter a new decade in her life and officially announce her intention to continue a campaign at the town hall. The party took place on the second floor of the Rivers Casino, with a dominant floor plan dedicated to celebrating Parker.
Upon arrival, Parker’s team greeted attendees with surrounding cocktail outposts, a banquet, and photo stations decorated with posters featuring the former counselor’s images and effects. Inside the event space where Parker was delivering his remarks, tables dressed in orange curtains and balloons filled the room. One station contained Number 50 covered in LED lights, where guests could take photos in honor of Parker’s birthday.
Also in the main hall was a stage for Parker’s speech, followed by New York’s “Queen of Rap”, Roxanne Shanté. Among the guests were some of Philadelphia’s political powerhouses, including Council Speaker Darrell Clarke, former City Comptroller Alan Berkowitz and PA House Representative Ángel Cruz, who recently told AL DÍA of his intention to replace María Quiñones-Sánchez at the headquarters of the 7th district.
Another dozen union leaders and city officials were also spotted at the scene, although none gave official approval.
Colby McQueen, a Philadelphia resident in Parker’s neighborhood, arrived earlier the night before the ceremony began.
“I was happy. When I heard she quit, I said I was glad we had someone to look after us,” she said happily. want someone who’s going to come in there and help work for people and not just for themselves, and think of their counterparts there,” she added.
McQueen’s comments echo some of the sentiments Parker held throughout his post.
But not everyone who went there was a Parker voter. Benita, a native of West Philadelphia, was familiar with Parker’s record and is a strong supporter of his candidacy.
“I think it’s time we had a black woman for mayor, and I think she would be a good candidate (…) for our city,” Benita said, also adding her desire for a new local leadership. “I think she would probably do a better job than those men have done for years and years. So I’m excited (…) the city needs another look, another point of view, ”she continued.
Although the mayoral candidate is acutely aware of the context surrounding her bid for Philadelphia’s 100th mayor, Parker pushes back against what she notes as “being put in a box” and says her campaign is closest to the people in her together.
Parker’s story, in many ways, resonates with its base. She was born to a teenage single mother and raised by her grandparents who, as Parker recalls, used food stamps due to their low-income status. At 17, Parker became counselor Marian Tasco’s protege at an administrative office where she navigated voter grievances, learning the practice early on.
Amid a lively DJ set and coordinated dancing, Parker took the stage later than expected to deliver her impassioned message, which could be compared to a church sermon, written to express the rawest aspects of its success, without restriction.
“You also see white people here, Hispanics here, Asians here because I refuse to be put in a black box,” Parker remarked. “The coalition that we will need to make Philadelphia a safer and cleaner city…will not be achieved by a group of people,” she added of her efforts to build support for city scale.
In what sounded like a warning, Parker addressed his DUI as part of a larger message about possible negative coverage, followed by the unusual nature of his candidacy.
“Some people are getting ready to start showing these images. They’re going to show husbands and wives, grandmothers and grandfathers and dogs, and there’s no one but me, Langston and Max,” referring to his son, Langston Parker, and to their pet dog Max. .
And after moving past the script, Parker spoke at her campaign fundraiser, urging people to donate small amounts and support her campaign efforts. While she refuses to be canned by her blackness, Parker’s sharp delivery often draws on her experience to connect with voters who find themselves far removed from the money-injected offers and said she was sad to hear these candidates enter the communities asking for donations.
“I am an English teacher by profession. I mean this, I have no money to pay you. But they want to know how I’m going to compete with these millionaires. I can’t do it without all of you,” Parker told his followers.
Although no names were mentioned, Parker emphasized the financial leverage of well-funded campaigns. “He can have all the millionaire friends he wants. He doesn’t have what’s in me.
Regarding the unexpected remarks, a campaign spokesperson told AL DÍA “we admire his authenticity.”
Closing her speech, Parker summoned the full force of the political and labor elite, whose support she will be vying for in the months to come.
During his tenure, Parker used his platform to add 300 uniformed officers to fight crime, spending $1 million to hire a “more diverse force.” In no specific terms, Parker told AL DÍA that she plans to access every tool in the government’s toolbox to continue her efforts to reduce crime, a pervasive problem that plagues voters.