Congratulations to Fels alumna Cherelle Parker ’16 on her historic election as the 100th mayor of Philadelphia. Her victory is a milestone achievement, as she will become the city’s first woman to assume this position.
Mayor-elect Parker’s deep commitment to public service is evident throughout her entire career. Her dedication to serving her community began in high school, where she interned for Councilwoman Marian B. Tasco. She later returned to Councilwoman Tasco’s office and rose to serve as a senior staffer. Parker also made history in 2005 when she became the youngest Black woman elected to the state legislature, and she spent a decade representing her constituents in Northwest Philadelphia. Parker was then elected to city council in 2015, serving the Ninth Council District, where she represented northwest and northeast communities as a city councilmember and was elected by her colleagues to serve as the council majority leader. She championed significant legislative and policy initiatives, including funding schools, community and economic development, safety, and infrastructure.
Parker is a passionate advocate for education, noting the pathways that her educational experiences opened for her. She grew up attending Philadelphia public schools, went on to earn her bachelor’s degree in English education from Lincoln University as a first-generation college student, and earned her Master of Public Administration from the Fels Institute of Government in 2016.
Remembering Parker’s time at Fels, Core Instructor Claire Robertson-Kraft remarked, “Cherelle Parker is one of the most memorable students I’ve taught in my decade as an instructor at Fels. She brings a tremendous amount of grit to everything she does, and Philadelphia is lucky to have such a passionate and committed public servant at the helm.”
Read more about Parker’s win and this fall’s on-campus voting at The Daily Pennsylvanian >