The home of Neftali Ramos in Norris Square hosted a diverse, standing-room-only crowd buzzing with enthusiasm waiting for the arrival of Cherelle Parker, leading Democratic Mayoral candidate. Cherelle Parker, who is looking to succeed Mayor Jim Kenney, who is term-limited after serving eight years. The Sunday afternoon «meet and greet» was an intimate, relaxed affair, where the hard-working candidate, who is fighting for every vote, took off her high heel shoes and slipped into her more comfortable flat shoes. The relaxed atmosphere was a great opportunity to get to know the candidate without a filter. The Sunday afternoon meet and greet was about Parker, who can become the first woman and woman of color elected mayor of Philadelphia. When one asked her about the Black and Latino political alliances that had Latinos as the swing vote, she stated that Latinos were not a swing vote, but part of the overall vote that will get her elected.

But the afternoon also belonged to other new political partners: City Councilperson Quetcy Lozada, who is fending off a challenge from a neophyte candidate, Andres Celin, a modern-day radical who lacks the experience and has not endured the life of generations of Latinos that came before him. In attendance was City Council’s 7th District, longtime 19th Democratic Ward Leader, Carlos Matos, John Scott, former 18th Ward Democratic Ward Leader John Scott, and Nayda R. Cintron, founder/former Executive Director of the storied Norris Square Civic Association.

Ramos, of Puerto Rican descent, is the first political director of a significant Philadelphia mayoral campaign, said, «My family was overwhelmed by the support of so many young and older political activists; the attendees looked like Philadelphia –Latino, Black, White, Asian, and LGBTQ.»

«While the media are consistently telling Latinos that their participation in the political process is significantly lower than that of other ethnic groups in Philadelphia and the nation. “This behavior can be attributed to elected officials’ lack of involvement with this growing community”, said Matos. For her part, Cintron added, «Cherelle Parker’s campaign strategy of frequent visits to Latino and other neighborhoods, could create a rainbow alliance of African Americans, Latinos, Asians, Labor, LBGTQ, and others of diverse political ideologies”.

This story is a part of Every Voice, Every Vote, a collaborative project managed by The Lenfest Institute for Journalism. Lead support is provided by the William Penn Foundation with additional funding from The Lenfest Institute, Peter and Judy Leone, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Harriet and Larry Weiss, and the Wyncote Foundation, among others. Learn more about the project and view a full list of supporters here.


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