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Cherelle Parker

Cherelle Parker served two terms representing the Ninth Councilmanic District and held the leadership position of Majority Leader. Ms. Parker served in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for ten years before running for Council. She is a moderate Democrat. Ms. Parker is the first woman to chair the Delaware River Port Authority. Her legislative achievements include championing the Neighborhood Safety and Community Policing Plan and Philadelphia Taking Care of Business commercial corridor cleaning program. Her biggest issues include public safety, neighborhood development, and city services. 

On Art Programs Reducing Juvenile Violence: So the answer to the question is absolutely, yes, and I want to give you 2 examples of how and why I am a mother, and I am a certified secondary English teacher by profession. NTE Past and Praxis, Past English teacher. I'm the mother of a 10 year old son who happens to like rap music. Well, I happen to like rap music, too, and thought I was going to be a rapper one day, and I was talking to my ten-year-old son and said, Did you know that bars were actually poetry? Do you know Tariq Trotter from The Roots? Who I was with Jane Golden when mural arts dedicated a mural to him. Get interested in poetry. Langston didn't understand. Yes, I'm an English teacher. His name is Langston. He didn't understand that the bars were poetry. In addition, think about roadblocks and games. No matter. The medium allow kids the ability to create.

On Creating an Artist Bill of Rights:  It took a global pandemic for us to recognize that sanitation workers and nurses were essential workers. Artists are essential to fill it off as public health and public safety. Every product, every incentive for home ownership in the city of Philadelphia, for home repair in the city of Philadelphia. We should market it to them and for them, with every other essential constituency in the city of Philadelphia.

On Creating Partnerships: Public private sector, intergovernmental cooperation. Imagine being an artist and you are earning while you are training. So if you are ingrained in our school district of Philadelphia, you should be paid. You should be earning while you are teaching your skills.

On Creative and Performing Arts Being a Luxury or Essential: Like public education, arts and culture is essential. It is the only tool that can't be controlled by power and or wealth to let anyone, despite their race, class or socioeconomic status know that they are packing with potential and pregnant with possibility. It's what has given me the opportunity to know that I could escape. Being born into a low-income family, but I could use the power of words and education to be my equalizer.

On Ensuring Support Beyond Center City: Ensuring that Philadelphia is the safest, cleanest, greenest big city in the nation that provides access to economic opportunity for all. Everyone wants us to get ready for company. We've got to get our house in order first.

On Funding Equity: As stated, we will have a deputy mayor for arts and culture who will report directly to the Mayor. In addition to that, we will have a dashboard that lists every arts and culture organization that is funded by the city of Philadelphia according to genre and or median or a zip code. In addition, the neighborhood-based organizations will be essential, and we will make sure that what is happening in town is readily available in neighborhoods as well.

On Influencing Positive Outcomes: White supremacists thought they could divide a community at 5th and Olive, by destroying the George Floyd Mural.It did nothing but unify us, and our network got stronger. We redesigned it, and we became more unified.

On Making a Cabinet Level Post: We would make sure that the person has the intellectual promise and the respect within the industry to actually lead in that industry. In addition we would make sure that he or she is a consensus builder, a coalition builder to bring all the multi  modal, multi medium facets together and then we want them to be innovative in figuring out how can we generate revenue for arts and culture without always taxing our constituency. 

On Supporting 2026: Do what my grandmother said and get our house in order. I’m going to implement my Neighborhood, Safety and Community Policing Plan and put 300 proactive officers engaged in community policing and neighborhoods across the city. Put on steroids my PHL taking care of business commercial quarter neighborhood cleaning program on the ground and then I’m going to advocate for an increase in a film tax credit in Harrisburg because I want everything recorded when we’re shining in 2026.

On Parks, Rec Centers, and Libraries: Every child deserves to have access to green spaces in their neighborhood. Additionally, recent studies have shown that properly designed and maintained outdoor green space has the potential to help reduce violent crime and gun violence, in addition to keeping residents healthier, and reduces the effects of urban heat islands. As Councilperson, I worked tirelessly to support our neighborhood assets, such as parks, recreation centers, and libraries. These assets serve as anchors for our neighborhoods, and their success determines the surrounding neighborhoods’ success. This requires us to address the rise of violent crimes in our neighborhoods by having additional police out walking the block, getting to know the community.

Currently, the majority of the foot patrol officers are assigned to the highest crime areas. Once the City has filled their depleted ranks through hiring to fill vacancies on the force , the City should disperse beat officers across the City – to neighborhoods, rec centers, parks libraries, and commercial corridors beyond just the highest crime areas. This will allow for the officers to become known in these areas and to act in a proactive manner. Research has found that there were statistically significant reductions in reported violent crime in areas patrolled by beat officers, but the effect faded once the officers were removed from their targeted beats. And when the officers know the residents – know their names and where they live – there is a natural accountability on both ends, and the likelihood of excessive force is reduced. We know community policing works; we now must commit to it.