The Building Trades Council backs her for Mayor.
The Building Trades Council backs her for Mayor. Photos: Alan Nunez/ Al DÍA News

Philadelphia Building Trades Council endorses Cherelle Parker for Mayor

For Parker, it’s a huge backing from the coalition of more than 50 member local unions that work in the construction industry.


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The Philadelphia Building Trades Council (PBTC) is endorsing former City Councilmember Cherelle Parker for Philly Mayor in 2023 — an important backing that’ll trigger a wave of funding and support in the lead up to May’s primary. 

The council made their announcement in their union hall in Northeast Philly on Wednesday, Feb. 22. 

In a statement from Ryan N. Boyer, the Business Manager at PBTC and Laborers District Council of Philadelphia, he acknowledged Parker’s long standing support for worker’s rights and the lives and families of blue-collar workers.  

“Philadelphia is a working-class city. Cherelle’s years of steadfast support of workers and blue-collar men and women, and her continuous commitment to worker’s rights prove time after time that she means what she says about fighting for everyday folks and their families,” he said. 

Boyer, also the first Black Business Manager for PBTC, is endorsing Parker to be the city’s first woman, and first Black woman Mayor of Philadelphia. Parker is also the first woman to be endorsed for Mayor by the organization in its history. 

“We need to elect a Mayor who has the experience, is tested and vetted, and has the proven track record of creating change that hard-working Philadelphians deserve — Cherelle Parker has all of that and more,” Boyer said. 

The Council is an organization made up of more than 50 member local unions that work in the construction industry across Philly. Considered to be one of the more prized endorsements for city Mayor, the group supported Mayor Jim Kenney’s successful runs in 2015 and 2019.

The winner of the primary in May will most likely win the entire race as registered Democrats in Philadelphia significantly outnumber Republicans in Philadelphia. 

Parker was eager to make the official announcement as she understands the benefits of such an endorsement —  the council’s super PAC can accept and spend unlimited funds as long as they do not coordinate with campaigns.

“I am so proud and honored to have their support behind me as I work tirelessly to become the historic 100th mayor of Philadelphia! Looking forward to making history together!” she tweeted. 

Former city deputy managing director and political insider, Jay McCalla, told Axios that historically, the council has been a well-funded, experienced, and well respected political operation, but Boyer is still a new face at the top. 

Parker is Boyer’s first endorsement as head of the group and according to McCalla, there is a lot on the line for Boyer if Parker were to flame out. 

“The members of the building trades are used to having power and if Ryan loses them by… endorsing the wrong candidate, then he has a problem,” McCalla said.

But Boyer is seemingly convinced with his decision as his statement reads that he has nothing but full confidence for the former member of the Northwest Coalition, an African American group of political leaders that produce high voter turnout in their wards.

“I’ve witnessed firsthand — when you talk to Cherelle, she listens. She hears the concerns of her constituents and her community, and finds a solution to get things done,” said Boyer. “I am proud that the members of my union have given the maximum allowed by law, but there is still more to do.”

“It’s time to elect a REAL leader and a REAL voice for our city,” Boyer’s statement concluded. 

Parker’s endorsement from the council comes at a critical juncture in the race as we near the primary and as other front runners have been spending big from their own respective endorsements from other unions. 

The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers and AFSCME District Council 47 backed Helen Gym, while AFSCME District Council 33 — the largest labor union for city workers — endorsed grocer magnate Jeff Brown.


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