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New Mayor Brings Hope for Political Representation

A large milestone was achieved Nov. 7 by Cherelle Parker, the first woman to be elected mayor of Philadelphia. As a suburb outside of Philly, Villanova reacted to this exciting news.

Parker is Philadelphia’s 100th mayor and has lived in Philadelphia her entire life. Previous to this, she was the first African-American woman to be elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. 

Parker won the election by a landslide. According to NBC, with 99% of the votes counted, Parker had won 74.7% of the votes.

Parker’s goals for Philadelphia are clear. According to Fox 29, she hopes to tackle Kensington, an area in Philly with drug issues. She says she will have backing from the police and the National Guard to make it happen.

Philadelphians and residents of nearby counties are celebrating this victory and acknowledging this historical event. This means a lot to women, young and old, to see this (sometimes rare) representation in politics. 

“It makes me really happy to be represented in this new place, especially when women’s rights are being brought up more and more in politics,” freshman Hannah Sullivan said. 

This is a valid and common notion for many from other states who are now living in Villanova, and surely residents of the city who are concerned about similar issues. Isabella Balain, a junior political science major, shared her thoughts. 

“Hearing that Philadelphia voters elected the first woman and first Black woman as mayor is amazing news,” Balian said. “In the past few years, our country has seen record breaking numbers of women being elected to public office. As a young woman hoping to pursue a career in politics, it is great to see the strides voters are taking to elect more diverse candidates.”

The significance of diverse politicians lies in the importance of being sensitive and aware of all affected individuals when advocating for issues. Without candidates of different backgrounds, it can be difficult to be inclusive in this way. Many students see this election as both well-deserved and a move forward for political representation in the area.

“ Parker has a long history in politics, as she served as a state representative for 10 years,” Balian said. “I am hopeful that Mayor Parker’s road to office mirrors the future of representation for women, and specifically Black women.”

It seems that it will be. PEW Research Center has reported increasing numbers of women in all branches and levels of government, and Parker’s election is another step towards increasing representation of Black women in America’s government. 

If Mayor-elect Parker’s ideas, or politics in general, interest you, there are a few places you can check out for more information. Her Instagram is @cherelleparkerphilly, and the account frequently features updates about events where she will be attending or speaking, and her goals for the future of Philadelphia and ways to get involved.

Attending one of these events may interest you, and with the SEPTA, it would be very easy to find transport there. 

Parker also values community organizations, with an online forum available for non-profits to request recognition or support on her website, www.transition2023.org, along with resources that may be helpful for these groups.

Those looking to benefit other candidates and increase diversity in American politics, should register to vote and look for politicians that align with them. As time goes on, we continue to make history with each election, and voting for educated and well-suited candidates like Cherelle Parker will only continue to diversify American politics. 

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    Hugh SalvaDec 23, 2023 at 10:25 am

    This is awesome news!

    Reply