Democratic mayoral candidate Cherelle Parker was at Philadelphia Building Trades Union Hall, 4170 Woodhaven Road, last week to accept a major endorsement.
The building trades will put their members on the streets in support of Parker and, even more importantly, will put a lot of money into her campaign.
“Cherelle Parker will have the resources necessary,” business manager Ryan Boyer repeated.
Parker, a former state representative who resigned her 9th Councilmanic District seat to enter the race, called the news a “game-changing” endorsement.
Boyer noted that the building trades backed Jim Kenney in the 2015 mayoral primary, and the endorsement helped him surge into the lead. Asked why voters should follow the building trades’ recommendation this year after seven-plus years of Kenney, Boyer said Kenney has been a “good mayor” who has had to serve his second term during the coronavirus pandemic.
Boyer said the building trades met with all the candidates and liked, among other things, Parker’s grasp of the city budget. He and Parker were joined by some other union leaders.
“Cherelle Parker is a working people’s person,” said Pat Eiding, recently retired president of the local AFL-CIO.
Wayne Miller, longtime head of Sprinkler Fitters Local Union 692, said Philadelphia has a lot of problems and that Parker has the experience and ability to make tough decisions.
The next mayor will be Philadelphia’s 100th. All 99 mayors have been men.
“Maybe it’s time we have the first woman as the mayor of Philadelphia,” Miller said.
If elected, Parker said she will build 30,000 new units of affordable housing by 2030, work that will be done by the building trades.
Parker also plans to maintain existing housing stock. Other top issues include poverty, gun violence and offering public school students more options to learn trade skills.
Parker said she’ll pay for her agenda by using her intergovernmental skills to leverage money from the state. ••