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Election Preview: The 200th Legislative District

Cherelle Parker is running.

We're running preview of key primary races in Roxborough-Manayunk. For the 200th Legislative District Democratic primary, incumbent Cherelle Parker is running unopposed. (Parker was originally opposed by Bobbie Curry, but she has been removed from the ballot.)

Currently represented by: Rep. Cherelle Parker, who was first elected in 2005.

Who's running: Parker.

Parker's Background:
"I started at the tender age of 17, working as a community organizer in the Northwest Philadelphia community West Oak Lane, and I continue doing that work from 17 until today," Parker said. After getting her start as a community organizer, Parker went on to become a certified secondary English teacher, before becoming special assistant to Councilwoman Marion Tasco (D-9th District) until she ran for State Representative in 2005.

Why Parker first ran for the office:
"I thought if I had a seat at the table, and could represent the people that I had been working with and living with for years, I could bring home the resources needed to improve the quality of life for Philadelphians and Pennsylvanians at large," Parker said.

According to Parker, one of the hallmarks of her campaign was the economic development of neighborhoods, and she continues to work for resources to aid community organizations that encourage that development.

What Parker has accomplished:
"I believe in order for a community to know if you’ve been affective, they need to know what tangible changes have been made," Parker said.

Parker pointed out that she has worked to get resources for streetscape and lighting throughout the commercial corridors in the 200th Legislative District, as well as nearly $6 million for organizations such as the Chestnut Hill Community Association, the Chestnut Hill Business Association, Mt. Airy Day, East and West Mt. Airy Neighbors Associations and the Roxborough YMCA, among others.

"That makes a difference to me, to have people drive through my district, through the commercial corridor, and see it’s improved over x amount of time."

What Parker is working on:
-Since 2007, Parker said, she has been working on House Bill 1264, which would allow for expert testimony in cases of sexual assault, which is now on the calendar for the State Senate.

-House Bill 2191, which would regulate predatory payday lending in Pennsylvania.

-Chair of the Philadelphia delegation to the State House.

Quotable:
"I'm not doing anything special. I'm doing what I should be doing as an elected official. I fight to see that those tax dollars you pay are reinvested back into your community, come back to your neighborhood," Parker said.

Correction: A previous version of this article said Bobbie Curry was challenging Cherelle Parker, but her name was recently removed from the ballot.

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