A dramatic 94th minute winner from new forward Devante Cole secured the Bantams their maiden three-point haul of the 2015/2016 campaign in front of a delirious home support at the Coral Windows Stadium.
With the club's traditional strong backing from the terraces pushing them on, City seemed to grow in confidence as the crucial second period worn on, forcing back Vale more and more until Cole's late goal came.
Aided by the boost of the Vale victory, Parkinson now wants City to carry on with their recent progression.
Parkinson said: "This is an important win for us.
"I think you could see in the first half that Port Vale were a team full of confidence.
"They had just picked up a great win over Doncaster Rovers and put in a good display at West Brom in the (Capital One) cup, and perhaps we looked like a side who needed that result, especially at home.
"With all the talk about our season ticket sales over the summer, the lads are desperate to do well for the supporters.
"This is a big win for us as a result then, and hopefully we can build on it.
"It has been a tough start to the season, there's no doubt about that. Missed penalties and a few disjointed performances, but the Barnsley performance last weekend was a start.
"We are certainly not there yet - there is still work to do - but I do think there were a lot better signs in that second period (vs Port Vale).
"We had more confidence and conviction on the ball, and we looked to have more of a cutting edge as well."