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The Building and Construction Trades Council has given its support to Cherelle Parker in the race for the Democratic primary for Mayor. In accepting the support, Parker said she’s “ready to rumble,” and vowed to crack down on those illegally performing construction work in Philadelphia.
“No more construction in the middle of the night when no one can see you. No more construction without pulling the appropriate permits and licenses necessary to do that work. No more paying people under the table in cash so you can avoid our tax structures,” she said.
The powerful Electricians Local 98 abstained from the vote along with the union representing stagehands in the city, but trades council head Ryan Boyer said the group would have enough money and people on the street to influence the contest in Parker’s direction.
“This is serious business. Homicide, poverty, schools, do we want to hand that to someone who just started yesterday, or that just wants headlines, or to someone that has done the work, that’s Cherelle Parker.”
Boyer said the group met with all the candidates and culled it down to a final three before making a decision. “It was clear that Cherelle Parker was our candidate,” he said.
The endorsement is a first for Parker, although her campaign said they expect more in the days to come. Sam Staten of the laborer’s union says Parker is a friend to labor in the city.
“She’s going to change the face of the public schools, she’s going to change the face of the communities, she’s going to change the face of the City of Philadelphia,” Staten said.
While this is the first union endorsement for Parker, other candidates have been racking up support over the past several weeks.
Helen Gym has the endorsements of the Teachers Union, white collar city workers, and others, while Jeff Brown has the support of District Council 33, which represents blue collar city workers. Other groups are expected to announce their support as Primary Election Day draws closer.
The support of organized labor and other groups is crucial because they provide money for campaign ads and people to work streets and polling places to hand out literature and encourage people to vote for their candidate. All those activities are expected to be very important in a race with so many candidates and what could be low turnout.