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Parker Wins Philadelphia Mayor Election, Takes On Crime Issues

After a crowded primary, Cherelle Parker, a former Pennsylvania state representative and Philadelphia City Council member who campaigned on hiring more police, won the Democratic nomination for Philadelphia mayor on Tuesday night, emerging decisively from a field of contenders who had vied to be seen as the rescuer of a struggling and disheartened city, reports the New York Times.  If she wins in November, which is all but assured in a city where Democrats outnumber Republicans more than seven to one, Parker will become the city’s 100th mayor, and the first woman to hold the job. Of the five mayoral hopefuls who led polls in the final stretch, Parker, 50, was the only Black candidate, in a city that is over 40 percent Black. She drew support from prominent Democratic politicians and trade unions, and from voters throughout the majority Black neighborhoods of north and west Philadelphia. Some compared her to Mayor Eric Adams of New York City, noting her willingness to buck the party’s progressives with pledges to hire hundreds of police officers and bring back what she has called constitutional stop-and-frisk.

Parker said that many of her proposed solutions had roots in Philadelphia’s “middle neighborhoods” — working and middle-class areas that have been struggling in recent years to hold off decline. “They know it’s not Cherelle engaging in what I call ‘I know what’s best for you people’ policymaking, but it’s come from the ground up,” Parker said. Solutions should come from the community, she said, “not people thinking they’re coming in to save poor people, people who never walked in their shoes or lived in a neighborhood with high rates of violence and poverty. I’ve lived that.” Parker did not attend her own victory party to seek medical attention for a “recent dental issue.” Parker would be taking the reins of a city facing a host of problems, chief among them a surge in gun violence that has left hundreds dead year after year. Philadelphians routinely described crime as the city’s No. 1 problem among crumbling school facilities, blighted housing stock, an opioid epidemic and a municipal staffing shortage.


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