In a recent election, Philadelphia opted for a change in leadership, electing Democrat mayor Cherelle Parker, who has expressed a firm stance on addressing the city’s notorious open-air drug market. Parker, who takes a tougher approach on crime compared to her predecessor, is willing to explore unconventional measures, including invoking the National Guard, to eradicate the drug crisis on Kensington Avenue. This area, marred by drug addiction and considered a hub of the nation’s opioid crisis, has become a focal point for the challenges faced by Democrat-led cities.
Responding to a voter’s question during a town hall last month, Parker rhetorically asked if she would call on the National Guard to dismantle the open-air drug market on Kensington Ave. She affirmed that the National Guard would play a role in the solution to this pervasive issue. Parker’s commitment to a “strong intergovernmental approach” seeks to address the ongoing crisis on Kensington Avenue and eliminate the open-air drug market that residents are compelled to endure.
The decision to tackle the drug problem with military intervention reflects Parker’s determination to take decisive action. Highlighting the severity of the situation, she emphasized the need to end the open-air drug market and the associated challenges faced by the city’s residents. The move is driven by a desire to bring relief to communities affected by the drug crisis.
Kensington Avenue has gained notoriety through viral videos showcasing drug addicts, many of whom are homeless and live in tents, grappling with the effects of opioids, including the lethal substances fentanyl and xylazine (tranq). Parker’s administration aims to address this crisis head-on, building on her predecessor Mayor Jim Kenney’s soft-on-crime approach, which had resulted in high crime rates. As the first woman elected as Mayor of Philadelphia, Parker has positioned herself as a leader committed to prioritizing public safety, advocating for measures such as “stop-and-frisk” policies, and opposing safe injection sites during her tenure on the city council.