Broad Street Brief: Parker Shatters Glass Ceiling; WFP Makes History

November 10, 2023

Election Recap

Cherelle Parker Elected Philadelphia’s 100th, First Woman Mayor

Former state Representative and District 9 Councilmember Cherelle Parker made history on Tuesday becoming Philadelphia’s 100th mayor — the first woman ever to be elected to the prestigious position. She received roughly 70% of the vote compared to Republican mayoral candidate David Oh’s 24%. Parker’s commitment to improving public safety was a large factor in her primary win in a crowded May Democratic primary, and since then, she has even suggested calling in the National Guard to help clean up Kensington — though it is unclear whether Governor Josh Shapiro would sign off on that strategy. During a press conference Thursday morning, Parker announced her transition team, which will be chaired by building trades leader Ryan Boyer, and top priorities, which include selecting a new police commissioner.

Conclusion of City Council Races Brings Historic Firsts, Familiar Faces

While plenty of familiar faces will be returning to City Council come January, the makeup of the legislative body underwent significant changes on Tuesday. Although incumbent Republican Councilmember Brian O’Neill successfully fended off a challenge from Democrat Gary Masino in District 10, he will continue to be the only Republican to serve on City Council for the foreseeable future. For the first time in modern history, the two at-large seats reserved for members of a minority party will be held by members of the Working Families Party, as incumbent Councilmember Kendra Brooks and her running mate Nicolas O’Rourke defeated Republican hopefuls Jim Hasher and Drew Murray. Other newcomers include Jeffery “Jay” Young, Jr., who ran unopposed in the race to replace outgoing Council President Darrell Clarke in District 5; Nina Ahmad, who will become Council’s first South Asian American member; and Rue Landau, who will become Council’s first openly LGBTQ+ member.

Voters Make Office for People With Disabilities Permanent

In addition to electing a new mayor, City Council members, and other municipal officials, Philadelphia voters approved a ballot measure to make the Philadelphia Office for People With Disabilities — created by Mayor Jim Kenney via a 2017 executive order — permanent.

Fewer Than 30% of Philadelphia Voters Turn Out

Despite the historic nature of Tuesday’s election and near perfect weather, fewer than 30% of eligible Philadelphia voters cast ballots, a somewhat predictable outcome for an off-year election.

City Hall

Upcoming Committee Hearings

Philadelphia City Council holds several public hearings throughout the legislative calendar. View here.

  • The Committee on Streets & Services will discuss a proposed no truck parking regulation and the authorization of a sidewalk café during a public hearing on Monday, November 13 at 10 a.m.
  • The Committee on Licenses & Inspections will discuss potential video monitoring of and new enforcement mechanisms to deal with nuisance businesses during a public hearing on Monday, November 13 at 1 p.m.
  • The Committee on Public Safety will discuss the proposed prohibition of facial coverings in certain spaces and explore solutions to ongoing challenges facing Philadelphia’s 911 dispatch center during a public hearing on Tuesday, November 14 at 10 a.m.
  • The Committee on Law & Government will discuss several proposed amendments to the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter, including the potential creation of a Prison Community Oversight Board and an Office of Prison Oversight, during a public hearing on Tuesday, November 14 at 1 p.m.

Around Town

Philadelphians Disagree on How to Address Crime, Survey Finds

A recent survey conducted by the Urban Affairs Coalition found that, while Philadelphians are generally united in their concern about public safety, they do not all agree on how best to address the city’s uptick in crime.

Suburban Spotlight

Democrats Win Big in Philadelphia Suburbs

Democrats in Philadelphia’s “collar counties” won big on Tuesday night, with key victories in the  Bucks and Montgomery County commissioners races, the Delaware County district attorney race, the Central Bucks and Pennridge school board races, and the Chester and Upper Darby mayoral races. The Philadelphia suburbs are widely considered bellwethers for the 2024 presidential race, though an off-year election is an imperfect comparison.


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