Philadelphia, the largest city in Pennsylvania and the sixth-most populous city in the United States, has a long and rich history of politics and governance. The city has been led by 99 mayors since its founding in 1682, and in 2023, it will elect its 100th mayor, who will also be the first woman to hold the office. Who is this historic figure, and how much does she earn as the leader of the City of Brotherly Love? In this article, we will explore the salary, net worth, career, partner, and biography of Cherelle Parker, the mayor-elect of Philadelphia.
Cherelle Parker’s Salary and Net Worth
As the mayor of Philadelphia, Cherelle Parker will earn a yearly salary of $240,000, according to the Committee of Seventy, a nonpartisan civic organization that monitors the city’s government and elections. This makes her one of the highest-paid mayors in the country, ranking fifth among the 60 largest cities in the U.S., according to a 2017 report by the American City Business Journal. The average salary for big-city mayors in the U.S. was $125,078, according to the same report.
Parker’s salary as mayor will be a significant increase from her previous income as a member of the Philadelphia City Council, where she earned $141,000 per year. Before that, she served as a state representative for 10 years, earning $87,180 per year.
Parker’s net worth is not publicly known, but some online sources estimate it to be around $7 million. However, this figure has not been verified by any official documents or statements from Parker herself. As a public official, Parker is required to file annual financial disclosure forms that list her sources of income, assets, liabilities, and gifts, but these forms do not reveal the exact amounts or values of her holdings.
Cherelle Parker’s Career
Cherelle Parker has been involved in politics since she was a teenager, when she won a citywide oratorical contest and met Marian B. Tasco, a city council member who hired her as an intern. Parker graduated from Lincoln University in 1994 and briefly worked as a high school English teacher in New Jersey before returning to Tasco’s office in 1995, where she filled various roles for the next decade.
In 2005, Parker ran in a special election to fill the seat of LeAnna Washington, a state representative who was elected to the state senate. Parker won the election and became the representative of the 200th district in Northwest Philadelphia. She remained in the state house for 10 years, five of which she was the chair of the Philadelphia delegation. She championed several bills and initiatives, such as the Philadelphia Tax Fairness Package, a special cigarette tax, and an amendment to allow expert testimony in sexual assault cases.
When Tasco retired from city council in 2015, Parker sought to succeed her as the representative of the ninth district, which covers parts of Northwest and Northeast Philadelphia. She won the Democratic primary and the general election, and was re-elected in 2019. She served as the majority leader of the city council from 2020 to 2022, and led the passage of several ordinances and resolutions, such as the Philly First Home program, which provides grants to first-time homebuyers, and a comprehensive neighborhood safety and community policing plan, which calls for more police officers, mental health support, and social services.
In September 2022, Parker resigned from city council and announced her candidacy for mayor of Philadelphia. She faced a crowded field of Democrats in the primary, including fellow council members Helen Gym and Allan Domb, state senator Anthony Williams, former city controller Alan Butkovitz, and former deputy mayor Rich Lazer. Parker ran as a moderate candidate, focusing on public safety, education, economic development, and quality of life issues. She won the endorsement of several influential groups and individuals, such as the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, the Black Clergy of Philadelphia, and former mayor Michael Nutter. She also raised the most money among the candidates, with over $3 million in campaign contributions.
Parker won the Democratic primary on May 16, 2023, with 37% of the vote, followed by Gym with 25% and Williams with 18%. She then faced Republican David Oh, a former city council member, in the general election. Oh ran as a conservative candidate, emphasizing crime and policing, fiscal responsibility, and school choice. He criticized Parker for refusing to debate him and for being too close to the political establishment. However, he faced an uphill battle in a city where Democrats outnumber Republicans by more than six to one.
Parker won the general election on November 7, 2023, with 76% of the vote, becoming the first woman and the 100th mayor of Philadelphia. She will take office in January 2024, succeeding Jim Kenney, who was term-limited after serving two terms as mayor. Parker has pledged to make Philadelphia the “safest, cleanest, greenest big city in the nation that will provide access to economic opportunity for all”. She has also promised to hire a new police commissioner, address the opioid crisis, and work with the federal, state, and local governments to tackle the challenges facing the city.
Cherelle Parker’s Partner and Biography
Cherelle Parker was born on September 10, 1972, in the Mount Airy neighborhood of Philadelphia. Her mother was an unmarried teenager who died when Parker was 11 years old. She was raised by her grandparents, a disabled Navy veteran and a domestic worker who both grew up in the South. She has three younger siblings, two brothers and a sister.
Parker attended Philadelphia public schools and graduated from Parkway High School in 1990. She then went to Lincoln University, a historically black.