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December 08, 2023

What is Cherelle Parker's intergovernmental roundtable? Here’s everything you need to know

The mayor-elect's appointed group includes leaders form the city, state and federal levels — all Democrats — who will help shape her first term

Government Cherelle Parker
Cherelle Parker roundtable @cherelleparkerphilly/Instagram

Philadelphia Mayor-Elect Cherelle Parker, shown above on the campaign trail, created an intergovernmental round table comprised of US Sen. John Fetterman, Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson, PA Rep. Donna Bullock and more.

This week, Mayor-elect Cherelle Parker announced the creation of her intergovernmental round table, a group of Philadelphia leaders from the municipal, state and federal levels who will help decide the city's future. 

The group, which Parker described as her "kitchen cabinet," will meet regularly during her term to advise on issues such as homelessness, workforce development and affordable housing. More than two dozen democrats from Philadelphia, Harrisburg and D.C. were appointed, including U.S. Sens. John Fetterman and Bob Casey, and State Sen. Vincent Hughes, who will chair the roundtable. 

"Building relationships that are strong enough to get things done and create the roadmap for this group today, this is how we will deliver the results: working together," Parker said at a press conference announcing the news. "And working together also helps us to strengthen something, quite frankly, that's missing a whole lot in politics that we don't talk about: That's trust. And you learn to trust people when you build relationships with them."

How does the roundtable work? To start, the chosen elected officials will work on committees that include addiction; homelessness; mental health and behavior; affordable luxury housing; workforce development; clean and green initiatives and returning citizens. 

At its core, State Rep. Donna Bullock said the roundtable will work together in a multi-jurisdictional manner. It also means that the senior teams of members will work together. Bullock noted opportunities to coordinate at the local, state and federal level to secure funding for gun-violence prevention initiatives and affordable, safe public transit system as potential initiatives. 

"This round table is more than a token," Bullock said. "It's more than a group of elected officials that like to meet — and trust we like to meet — but we're not just meeting to meet … It is a pledge to those neighbors, to our neighbors that we will do more than play nice in the sandbox."

According to Hughes, a roundtable like this has never been done before. Parker pointed to business and interfaith roundtables as examples of what she has in mind. 

The roundtable does not include any elected leaders from the Working Families Party or Republicans. City Councilmember Jamie Gauthier, who represents West Philadelphia, was not on the initial list but was added by Parker afterward. Nikil Saval, a state senator representing parts of the city, was also notably left off. 

"This is the kitchen cabinet, this means that the Parker administration does not attempt to move forward with the legislative effort without it coming through this intergovernmental round table," Parker said.

Here's who will be taking a seat at the roundtable

From the federal government:

• U.S. Sen. Bob Casey
• U.S. Sen. John Fetterman
• U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle
• U.S. Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon 

From Harrisburg

• Sen. Jimmy Dillon
• Sen. Art Heywood
• Sen. Christine Tartaglione
• Sen. Sharif Street
• Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams
• Rep. Anthony Bellmon
• Rep. Kevin Boyle
• Rep. Donna Bullock
• Rep. Danilo Burgos
• Rep. Morgan Cephas
• Rep. Jason Dawkins
• Rep. Pat Gallagher
• Rep. Jose Giral
• Rep. Jordan Harris
• Rep. Steve Kinsey
• Rep. Joanna McClinton
• Rep. Darisha Parker
• Rep. Regina Young

From Philadelphia city government

• Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson (incoming council president)
• Councilmember Cindy Bass
• Councilmember Mike Driscoll
• Councilmember Jamie Gauthier
• Councilmember Katherine Gilmore Richardson
• Councilmember Jimmy Harrity
• Councilmember Curtis Jones
• Councilmember Quetcy Lozada
• Councilmember Anthony Phillips
• Councilmember Mark Squilla