Where do Philadelphia’s mayoral candidates stand on Temple issues?

Both candidates said they would be committed to a number of safety and crime reduction efforts around the city.

Cherelle Parker (left) and David Oh (right) are the two major candidates in Philadelphia's 2023 Mayoral Election. | ROBERT JOSEPH CRUZ / THE TEMPLE NEWS | COURTESY / WIKI-IMAGES

Temple students and the community will have the opportunity to vote for the next Philadelphia mayor on Nov. 7.

While Democratic candidate Cherelle Parker and Republican candidate David Oh have different ideas for how to run the city, both have firm stances on issues affecting Temple students and community members, like crime, safety and quality of life.

Student Body President Rohan Khadka, a junior secondary education-social studies major, believes the next mayor should be someone who listens to Temple students’ needs and concerns.

“It’s also like what we’re looking for right now of the [Temple] president: who’s going to bring everyone together, and who’s going to be truly a listener and truly a critical thinker to understand the hardships and experiences that people are feeling and how they can use those and use their position as a bully pulpit to be the platform of change?’” Khadka said. 

Historically, the mayoral race in Philadelphia is not competitive, as the last Republican mayor served from 1941-52. Nearly 76 percent of voters are Democrats, according to voter registration data from Pennsylvania’s Department of State.

Here’s what both candidates would mean for Temple if elected.


Parker, a former City Council majority leader and state representative in Northwest Philadelphia, served on City Council with Oh before resigning to enter the race.

At a Democratic mayoral debate at Temple on April 11, Parker stressed the importance of addressing citywide police shortages. In March 2022, she introduced a neighborhood safety and community policing plan, which would aims to hire 300 additional officers. 

Although Temple University Police Department is facing retention and recruitment concerns amid a national shortage, the department is actively trying to increase its force. 

Parker also supports stop-and-frisk, a controversial policing tactic allowing police officers to stop, interrogate and search people based on reasonable suspicion, as a tool for curbing citywide gun violence. 

She would have zero tolerance for misuse or abuse of authority when conducting searches, and thinks the “Bailey agreement,” which was created in response to a 2010 stop-and-frisk civil rights case, has helped the city better determine when reasonable suspicion has been used to make a stop, Parker said at the debate.

“I do know that the unconstitutional use of the tool stop and frisk has disproportionately negatively impacted Black and brown boys,” Parker said. “The constitutional use of it as a policing tool is something that our law enforcement must use in order to ensure that our city is safer.”

Parker also wants to invest in community engagement initiatives to address long-term issues that have led to a rise in crime, and she hopes to solve quality-of-life issues by cleaning streets, fixing broken streetlights and repairing and preserving homes around the city.

Cherelle Parker did not immediately respond to The Temple News’ request for comment.

While serving as a council member, Parker introduced a resolution to investigate the burden of student debt on older borrowers. The legislation was passed, authorizing a Special Committee on Student Loan Debt.

Cherelle Parker won Philadelphia’s mayoral primary with 32.9 percent of the vote on May 16, beating out eight challengers for the Democratic nomination. Parker is currently the clear favorite to become the next mayor.


Oh, an army veteran, resigned from City Council in February to run for mayor. He is a former Philadelphia assistant district attorney and the first Asian American to hold political office in the city. Oh’s platform prioritizes criminal prosecution, education reform and mitigating taxes and regulations for businesses. 

Oh views Temple as one of the most important institutions in Philadelphia and hopes to work with the university to address issues like security, infrastructure, cleanliness and living standards in North Central.

If elected, Oh said would collaborate with Temple to improve TUPD’s coordination with the Philadelphia Police Department and increase law enforcement around campus.

TUPD currently contracts with PPD for supplemental patrols due to a new agreement that took effect on March 1.

Oh, who has long been a proponent of using drones to fight crime, told The Temple News he would also encourage the university to create its own drone force to patrol on and around Main Campus.

“I am going to work with Temple University and really pressure them to do their part because they are taxing our law enforcement when they reduce their law enforcement and the last administration, for whatever reason, at Temple did not want to coordinate their Temple police with the Philadelphia Police,” Oh said.

The mayoral hopeful believes reforming SEPTA’s transit police will improve the quality of life for Temple students. While on the council, he attempted to withhold money from the agency to pressure them to improve efficiency, safety and cleanliness, Oh said.

In 2019, Oh proposed a yearly $1,500 tax credit for Philadelphia residents who recently graduated to help ease the burden of student debt. That bill was ultimately defeated by the City Council, but Oh is open to pushing for it. 

“In something like that, by the way, you really need a bill that’s been passed in council,” Oh said. “Now I can lobby for it. I can push for it. I can negotiate for it. I see it as an important part of workforce competitiveness.”

Additionally, Oh wants to work with Temple to improve trash pickup in the surrounding community to maintain cleanliness and address animosity between students and community members, he said.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.