Democrat mayor-elect Cherelle Parker, who is much tougher on crime than her predecessor, says residents should not have to live with the drug crisis on Kensington Avenue and is willing to put an end to the open-air drug dens by any means necessary, including military intervention.
During a town hall last month, Parker was asked by a voter if she would invoke the National Guard to clean up Kensington Ave., which is riddled with drug addicts and is considered to be an epicenter of the nation's opioid crisis that has plagued Democrat-run cities.
"Will I call on them to help us, for example, shut down the open-air drug market in Kensington that's being allowed to prevail?" Parker asked rhetorically, according to the outlet.
"They will be a part of the solution," she asserted.
Parker wants there to be "a strong intergovernmental approach to address the crisis ongoing in Kensington" that will "put an end to the open-air drug market and drug use residents are being forced to live with," she told the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Many Americans have seen the viral videos that have surfaced from Kensington Avenue over the past few years which show drug addicts, who are mostly homeless and living in tents, entranced in zombie-like states after getting high from opioids that include fentanyl and xylazine (tranq), which is a lethal veterinary tranquilizer that is found in over 90 percent of street drugs in Philadelphia, according to the network.
Parker is replacing Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, who had a soft-on-crime approach that resulted in high crime rates. She previously served in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and as a member of the Philadelphia City Council. She is also the first woman to be elected Mayor of the city.
Tackling crime will be one of Parker's administration's main focuses. The mayor-elect has thrown strong support behind the controversial "stop-and-frisk" policies, and while serving on the city council, she opposed safe injection sites.
Parker will officially take office in January 2024.
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