‘This is our year’: Philadelphians celebrate Parker’s inauguration as city’s 100th mayor

About 3,500 people nearly filled the spacious Metropolitan Opera House of Philadelphia to witness the inauguration of Mayor Cherelle Parker. The line to enter was still hundreds long well after the ceremony was scheduled to start.

The historic nature of the day was on the minds of many who had acquired tickets.

Janice Sykes-Ross said that Parker’s election is already making a difference for Philadelphians.

“This is our year, as a Black woman, having a woman leading the city of Philadelphia,” she says.

“Having the first African American female mayor in Philadelphia is [a] historic occasion,” said Philly resident Julie, who declined to give her last name. “I definitely want to be here to be a part of that and to cheer her on.”

Cecilia Fernandez told WHYY News the festivities were warranted. “You know, the 100th mayor, the first female mayor, it’s important,” she said. “It’s a good thing to celebrate.”

When asked about why she thought the day was significant, Marlene Olshen replied, “Well, first of all, first woman mayor, second of all, 100 years, and, third, hope.”

Beyond the significance of the day, attendees were adamant they had elected the right person to face the equally significant challenges the city faces.

“There’s a lot of challenges in our marginalized areas,” said Brittany Smalls of Mt. Airy. “There’re housing concerns, crime, education, and those are just some of the issues that I think we need to face head-on and really have a strategy. And her plan is to bring everybody together to strategize.”

  • January 2, 2024
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