By ALLISON MATYUS
Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Monday night that Kenwood resident Sophia King was selected as interim Alderman of the 4th Ward.
“For almost 30 years, Sophia King has not just lived in the 4th Ward, she has worked to improve the quality of life for everyone who lives there,” Emanuel said in a written statement. “She has led initiatives to increase education, recreation, employment and safety, as well as quality affordable housing. She will be a tireless advocate for her constituents as she serves on City Council.”
King’s is the founder and president of the non-profit group, Harriet’s Daughters, which is a group of professional women who work to create, support and secure employment opportunities in African-American communities. King was also a member of the Kenwood Park Advisory Council for seven years.
She is married to Alan King, a member of the Chosen Few DJs, who put on the Chosen Few Picnic in Jackson Park each year.
King was chosen out of the 18 candidates who applied for the position. According to a member of the selection committee, Bill Lowry, Emanuel was supposed to make his decision on April 29, so this early announcement comes as a surprise.
“I applaud the Mayor’s appointment of Sophia King as alderman,” Lowry said. “Sophia will provide unbridled service, transparency and a clear vision for the future to the residents and businesses of the 4th ward.”
King will serve as alderman until the special election in February of 2017. Community members hope to have a say in this election in choosing their elected official.
Gabriel Piemonte, an organizer of the monthly community meetings that discuss what they want in an alderman, said that the group plans to continue to meet, despite the appointment.
“Sophia King and her husband are bedrock members of the community, the committee couldn’t have made a better choice,” Piemonte said. “The problem with this appointment is not the person, it’s the process. The mayor shouldn’t pick our elected officials, that’s why they are called elected officials.”
King will be voted on in a City Council meeting on Wednesday and sworn in once approved.
According to the Illinois State Board of Elections Website, King has already raised more than $29,000 in contributions for her aldermanic campaign.