Mayor Cherelle Parker last week addressed the Millbrook Civic Association.
Parker recognized state Sen. Jimmy Dillon, state Reps. Martina White and Ed Neilson, Register of Wills John Sabatina, city elections commissioner Lisa Deeley and FOP Lodge 5 president Roosevelt Poplar. She also asked former House Speaker John Perzel to step forward to thank him for helping her, when she served in the House, secure funding for recreation centers in her district.
The mayor, 51 and the mother of an 11-year-old son, said one of her focuses will be lowering the homicide rate. There were 410 murders in 2023, which was down from the 514 in 2022, 562 in 2021 and 499 in 2020. She favors hiring more officers and increased use of beat cops to build trust with communities. And she supports police “Terry stops” of suspected criminals.
She wants an improved public education system and for Philadelphia to no longer be known as the poorest big city in America.
Angered when people refer to the city as “Filthadelphia,” she wants to fulfill a campaign promise to make Philly the “safest, greenest, cleanest” big city in the country.
Parker mentioned her opposition to safe injection sites. She plans to work with the state and federal governments, businesses and faith-based groups to benefit the city. She celebrated the state’s recent $24.7 million grant to the Water Department for infrastructure improvement projects.
She also wants to find employees to work in the thriving life sciences and biotech industries, where the pay is high.
In response to a question about young people trashing local athletic fields, Parker said she would use her upcoming budget address to outline issues such as the importance of proactive community policing.
Parker asked Millbrook residents to work with her on issues they care about.
“I can’t fight this fight alone,” she said.
In other news from the Jan. 30 meeting:
• Family-run AW Auto & Truck Wholesalers, which has been in business for 40 years and has two locations in New Jersey, is seeking a use variance to open at 1818 Franklin Mills Circle, next to Sam’s Club.
At present, the site is being used for truck parking. The trucks will have to move if AW gets its variance. Sam’s Club is said to be supportive of AW.
The lot is 2½ acres. About 70-75 vehicles will be on site, along with a modular sales office. Most of the cars for sale will be ones that have come off lease.
The company plans to hire from the community, use a local union electrical contractor and patronize area repair shops.
The business will be open Mondays through Saturday, with security on site whenever it is closed.
Members voted 21-6 to support the variance.
• Sen. Jimmy Dillon will hold a town hall on affordable higher education on Feb. 26, at 6 p.m., at Community College of Philadelphia Northeast Regional Center, 12901 Townsend Road. Light refreshments will be provided.
Dillon will hold a Senior Expo on March 28, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at MaST Community Charter School III, 1 Crown Way.
• Millbrook Civic Association will meet again on Tuesday, Feb. 27, at 7 p.m. at Calvary Athletic Association, 4330 Deerpath Lane. ••