Councilwoman Cherelle L. Parker proudly serves the Ninth Council District in the City of Philadelphia. This region spans throughout northwest and northeast Philadelphia communities that include Mt. Airy, West Oak Lane, East Oak Lane, Olney, Lawncrest, Lawndale, Burholme and Oxford Circle.
Prior to her election in November 2015, Cherelle served for 10 years as the State Representative for the 200th Legislative District in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, where she made history by becoming the youngest African-American woman ever elected in September 2005. As State Representative, she earned a reputation for being one of the most effective, politically-savvy and proactive legislators in the region.
During her tenure in the PA House, Cherelle served on the powerful House Appropriations Committee, as well as the Labor and Industry, Professional Licensure, Rules, and Transportation committees. Additionally, she was twice elected by her Philadelphia colleagues to serve as Chair of the Philadelphia Delegation in the PA House. In 2013, she was also appointed Vice Chair/Democratic Chair of the House Committee on School Safety.
Widely recognized for her strong organizational, strategic planning and oratorical skills, Cherelle championed several key pieces of legislation, amendments and policy initiatives including, but not limited to:
- The Philadelphia Tax Fairness Package which provided the City of Philadelphia with the authority to 1) collect delinquent property taxes thereby generating additional revenue for the School District of Philadelphia, 2) create the LOOP (Long term Owner-Occupant Program), 3) expand tax-payment installment opportunities, and 4) ultimately jump-started the conversation regarding Pennsylvania’s Property Tax Uniformity Clause and its impact on the city.
- Act 89 of 2013 – The Commonwealth’s historic Transportation Bill which invested $2.3 billion in the state’s aging roads, bridges and transportation infrastructure, including a $450 million investment in public transportation;
- Local $2 per pack cigarette tax implemented to generate additional recurring revenue for the School District of Philadelphia during a period a gross under-funding;
- Act 75 of 2012, which strengthened victims’ rights by permitting expert testimony in cases of sexual assault.
As State Representative, Cherelle also fought vigorously to safeguard Philadelphia’s Paid Sick Leave ordinance, to ensure that school district resources were used in the classroom, to provide our students with access to high-quality resources, and to preserve the city’s ability to enact local public safety ordinances in efforts to prohibit access to and use of illegal guns.
As Councilwoman, Cherelle pledges to serve the diverse constituency of the Ninth District with the same dedication and tenacity she employed during her time in the Legislature. Cherelle’s mission to bridge the gap between the “haves” and the “have-nots” continues to be her driving force for change. She has dedicated her life to using her voice to advocate for the passage of progressive public policies that will enhance the quality of life for the working class, senior citizens, women, children and families alike, while promoting neighborhood preservation, job creation, economic development, the need for equitable funding for public education and consumer protection laws.
During her brief tenure in the City Council of Philadelphia, Cherelle continues to further strengthen her resolve and relentless passion to address the aforementioned issues. As the chair of Council’s Committee on Labor and Civil Service, Cherelle has taken on the daunting task of working to address Philadelphia’s retirement security crisis, particularly for workers who do not currently have access to a retirement savings plan through their employer. She is also exploring ways to address some of the problems associated with reverse mortgages, further demonstrating her passion for neighborhood stabilization.
Additionally, Cherelle is vice chair of Council’s Committee on Commerce and Economic Development, and serves as a member of the committees on Rules; Appropriations; Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs; Transportation and Public Utilities; Education; Housing, Neighborhood Development and the Homeless; Environment; Disabled and Persons with Special Needs; Global Opportunities and the Creative Economy; Aging; Children and Youth.
Cherelle is also a member of several service-oriented organizations, boards and commissions also working to improve the community at-large. Moreover, as an Eisenhower Fellow, in 2010, Cherelle joined the Women in Leadership program to study the role of women in government in South America. In August 2016, she was named as one of 25 women across the United States selected to join the 2017 Class of the prestigious “Women in Government Leadership Program” sponsored by the Governing Institute.
Cherelle is a graduate of both the University of Pennsylvania and Lincoln University, where she earned Master of Public Administration and Bachelor of Science in English Education Degrees, respectively. Cherelle is also a wife and mother residing in Mt. Airy. She enjoys reading, traveling, cooking and spending time with family and friends during her leisure.