Cherelle Parker resigns and joins what is expected to be a crowded race for Philly mayor

Parker becomes the fourth candidate to resign in recent weeks and the third to launch a bid to replace Mayor Jim Kenney.

Philadelphia City Councilmember Cherelle Parker. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Philadelphia City Councilmember Cherelle Parker. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Three members of City Council have resigned in the last two days with intentions of running for mayor.

The latest, Cherelle Parker, admitted some nerves as she sent the letter of resignation to Council President Darrell Clarke. She’s joining what is expected to be a crowded field for Philadelphia’s top job, but believes her experience and ability to create coalitions are key to victory.

“I am not going to allow anybody to just put Cherelle Parker in a black box, I am going to every constituency that I have ever worked with, Black, white, green, yellow, orange, purple, Christian, Jews, Muslims. I don’t care who you are, I am going to compete on who is offering the best plan.”

Parker wants more police on the streets to fight violence.

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“I am proud of the fact that I have never been afraid for Philadelphia to be safer and cleaner and putting people on a path to self-sufficiency, and I am going to continue to be an advocate for putting police on our streets,” she said.

Parker talked about her excitement and exuberance to be the next mayor of Philly.

“We are the birthplace of this nation and we are at a crossroads right now,” she said. ”But we need strong leadership and we need someone who is not going to be thinking about what’s popular, what the sound bite is, but somebody who’s demonstrated that they know how to lead.”

The former Council Majority Leader spoke in the third person as she explained her lived experience is something no one else can bring to the table in this race.

“The authenticity that Cherelle Parker brings, I’m not a Manchurian Candidate, I’m not a machine, I’m not perfect. I lived a life. I was on welfare. I went to the store with food stamps. I didn’t have a father in my life, a mother who died.”

“I’m not a Cosby kid. I’m not a trust fund kid. I didn’t grow up with a silver spoon in my mouth,”  she said. “So when we think about, particularly in Philadelphia, when we’re talking about the issues, the gun violence, the poverty, all of the complexities, also the power of education, everything that it takes to move our city forward, that’s my story. It’s my story and it’s my lived experience.”

Parker will face Maria Quiñones Sánchez and Derek Green, who both resigned their Council seats on Tuesday to run for mayor. Allan Domb resigned from Council in August and is exploring a possible run for mayor.

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