Bilal: First African American Woman to Be Sheriff of Philadelphia in 181 Years

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ROCHELLE BILAL

Correction: Earlier editions of this article stated that Rochelle Bilal was the first woman to be sheriff in Philadelphia. Barbara Deeley became the first woman to hold that title in 2011. Philadelphia has broken the glass ceiling in electing the first woman and African American candidate to serve as Sheriff of Philadelphia. In the general election, Rochelle Bilal ran unopposed securing 215,710 votes.

Rochelle is a 27-year Philadelphia Police Department veteran. She joined the police department as an officer, moved up in rank as an investigator for the Special Victims Unit and then to the High Intense Drug and Traffic Area Unit. She serves as the secretary of the Philadelphia NAACP and the current president of The Guardian Civic League.

Rochelle against all odds rose to victory beginning with earning well over 4,500 petition signatures (the highest earned than her opponents), choosing ballot position number one and aggressively strategizing a massive upset for the two-term incumbent on the May 21 primary election with a 20,000-lead vote advantage.

Rochelle stated after her election, “My gratitude is endless, and I am honored to be the first woman elected to be the people’s sheriff of Philadelphia. Let me thank the voters of Philadelphia for placing their confidence within me to represent you. I will keep my commitment on keeping families in their homes and exercising the best use of city and state resources. Today we made history, but in January 2020 the work begins.

“I am appreciative of the tremendous support from various groups, organizations, faith leaders, ward leaders, committee people and extraordinary citizens who thought it was time for a change.

“Through this process, as a first-time candidate, I found myself entrenched in a village of love, support, and caring citizens who kept me encouraged and focused on the task of being the people’s sheriff.

“Our campaign stood on three principles; working to keep families in their homes; providing full transparency on how taxpayer dollars will be spent and lastly, bridging the gap between the community and the Sheriff’s office.

:And lastly, I would like to thank the following people, because without them there was no pathway to a victory. Teresa M. Lundy, campaign manager; Rodney Little, senior advisor; Micah Sims, senior advisor; Paula Pebbles, senior advisor; Sultan Ashley Shah, field director; Shirley Jordan, treasurer; Adam Erickson and Zack Arnold of Princeton Strategies; Zak Williams, Superior Blue; Tiara Green, Mike Gray, Angela Tilghman and Ron Hawthorne of TML Communications; Hugh Hanie, Voice Production; Richard A. Smith; Edward Lloyd; Rev. Jeremiah Cousins; Jay McCallla and the many hardworking grassroot organizations in Philadelphia.

“Philadelphia, we will build a better and just office, together.”

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One Response to Bilal: First African American Woman to Be Sheriff of Philadelphia in 181 Years

  1. Sorry but Bilal iS NOT the First Woman Sheriff of Philadelphia ,I was, Barbara Deeley.

    barbara a deeley
    November 13, 2019 at 1:14 pm

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