Among a solid field of five qualified contenders, Ald. Sophia King stands out in the Feb. 28 special election to replace Will Burns as alderman of the 4th Ward. She has our endorsement.
King, a former Latin School chemistry teacher and Chicago Public Schools administrator whom Mayor Rahm Emanuel appointed to the seat last April, has done an impressive job in her 10 months on the job. She is thoughtful, careful and on top of the issues, and she has been a leader on matters important to the ward. Some have questioned her independence because Emanuel appointed her, but she has joined the City Council’s Progressive Caucus, which often questions the mayor’s initiatives.
If there was a hole in her resume when she was appointed, it was that she was better acquainted with the wealthier parts of the economically diverse ward than the more struggling parts. There are serious problem of public safety, under-resourced schools, a shortage of jobs and a lack of economic development. But as alderman, King has drawn plaudits for the focused way she has educated herself on those issues. She favors a comprehensive approach to crime that addresses its many causes and new revenues for schools, as well as reforming the state’s funding formula.
King has been active in her ward for three decades. She co-founded the Ariel Community Academy, a neighborhood school in the North Kenwood/Oakland area. After the shooting death of Hadiya Pendelton in 2013, she co-founded The It’s Time Organization to help prevent gun violence. She was president of Harriet’s Daughters, which promotes jobs and wealth creation in African-American communities, and she was vice president of the Chicago area Planned Parenthood.
The other candidates in the ward, which stretches from the South Loop along the lakefront to Hyde Park, are organizer Gregory Seal Livingston; attorney and CPA Gerald Scott McCarthy; real estate attorney and civic volunteer Ebony Lucas and attorney Marcellus Moore Jr., a member of two local school councils and a board member of six local organizations.
See 4th Ward candidate videos and questionnaires at http://suntimescandidates.com
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