PA Press Club Luncheon – Monday, June 24, 2024

The Honorable Cherelle Parker

Mayor, City of Philadelphia

Cherelle L. Parker was born to a single teenage mom and raised by her grandparents James and Dorothy Parker. It was the power of a village – her family and her community – and their belief in the power of education that gave her the opportunity to succeed. A graduate of Philadelphia public schools, she was the first person in her family to go to college; earning her bachelor’s degree from Lincoln University where she was a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., then earning her master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania. After receiving her undergraduate degree, she taught public school as a high school English teacher and ESL teacher working with immigrant children and adults.

Inspired to public service by Councilwoman Marian Tasco, who she had interned for, Cherelle worked in Tasco’s office and rose to serve as a senior staffer where she oversaw – among many other things – the implementation of all economic and community development initiatives that helped neighborhoods and business corridors thrive. By the time she left, she became one of Councilwoman Tasco’s most trusted advisors.

While serving at the State Capitol, Cherelle was elected to the State House and went on to serve for 10 years representing Northwest Philadelphia. On winning her election, she made history as the youngest African-American woman elected to the State Legislature. In Harrisburg, she was elected by her colleagues to chair the Philadelphia Delegation, and it was her leadership in this role that she earned her reputation as one of the most effective legislators in Harrisburg.

Cherelle returned to City Council, as an elected Member, in 2015, representing 9th District in Northwest and Northeast Philadelphia. In 2020, she was elected by her colleagues as Council’s Majority Leader.

A single mom, Cherelle lives in Northwest Philadelphia with her son, Langston and their dog, Max.