When a “first” is achieved, it is a genuine Big Deal.
man Person on the Moon. (Neil Armstrong.)
First Woman to Receive a Nobel Prize. (Marie Skłodowska Curie.)
What do Cherelle Parker and David Oh have in common?
First Black Player in Major League Baseball. (Jackie Robinson.)
First Person to Undergo Male-to-Female Surgery. (Dora “Dorchen” Richter.)
First Woman to be Nominated for Philadelphia Mayor. (Cherelle Parker.)
And that fact is noted is almost every story about the former state rep and City Council person.
In a Tuesday Inquirer story, in her first public address since winning the nomination, Parker said she stood on other people’s shoulders, something both true and trite: “I didn’t get here alone. I’m not superwoman. I stand on the shoulders of some women who generations ago, they could have been standing up as the Democratic nominee for mayor were it not for their inability to raise the funds needed to compete with, most of the time, men.”
She name checked a number of women, in addition to her mentor Marian Tasco (who left office in semi-disgrace as one of the Council hogs who glommed DROP payments that were never intended for elected officials): Augusta “Gussie” Clarke, a 20-year Council member and just the second Black woman to ever serve on the body; Roxanne Jones, a Philadelphia politician and the first Black woman elected to the state Senate: Anna Verna, Philadelphia’s first female City Council president; Joan L. Krajewski, who served on Council for more than 30 years; C. Delores Tucker, a civil rights activist and Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
“I don’t know whether or not any of you know who those women were,” Parker told the gaggle of press and onlookers. Most probably didn’t.
I know who they all were, and would add to that list Lynne Abraham, the city’s first female D.A.
Now here’s a little oddity, and a note to the Inquirer’s editing desk: Republican mayoral nominee David Oh is the first Asian to be nominated for the job of mayor.
Why don’t we see that in every Inquirer mention?
Because he’s Asian? Because he’s male? Because racial identity matters only if you are a Democrat?
Your guess is as good as mine.