February 24, 2023
Sophia King has represented the 4th Ward on Chicago’s City Council since 2016. The former educator and small business owner led the effort to raise Chicago’s minimum wage to $15 an hour in 2021.
Her ward includes parts of Columbia College.
King, who is not running again for City Council, has sought to distance herself from that position and instead join in the contentious battle for mayor, offering herself as someone who can deliver stability and a middle-of-the-road approach to issues that divide the city.
Crime and Public Safety
To address, crime the mayoral challenger would create a “Chicago Reserve,” which would consist of 1,000 retired Chicago police officers to handle “crucial” but “non-dangerous” duties throughout the city.
She also would:
- have police officers work 10 hours per day, for four days a week to get more “boots on the ground” throughout Chicago. Officers would be guaranteed “multiple” days off in a row every week and
- embrace technology to combat crime in the city, specifically by using drones as “first responders.”
King said she will work with community businesses and other “stakeholders” on priorities for a “thriving downtown.”
“Chicago can lead the region in job creation and workforce development with a focus on lifting working families and building strong communities,” King told the Chicago Tribune. “I understand that STEM jobs account for two-thirds of the U.S. workforce and the need to sustain STEM workers is vital to our economy.”
King said affordable housing is the responsibility of the entire city, not just the segregated parts of it.
Her plan includes encouraging and incentivizing mixed-use and mixed-income developments with strong housing components to improve housing affordability and to better align zoning, taxes, subsidies and housing incentives.
To increase the safety of alternative forms of transportation besides cars, King would:
- seek lower speed limits in neighborhoods to 20 miles-per-hour,
- implement a no-turn-on-red policy,
- increase safety resources for the elderly and people with disabilities and
- continue crafting an “aggressive” protective bike lane plan.
For public transportation, King would:
- convert the non-sworn security patrols into full-time Transit Police Officers,
- make “significant” investments in cleanliness and
- take a regional approach to public transport to take advantage of larger resources.
King said attracting more students to the Chicago public school system would incentivize growth downtown and throughout the city’s neighborhoods.
“People will not stay in Chicago or come to Chicago if they do not feel safe or have good schools to send their kids,” King said. “We can grow the school population by putting resources into existing schools and increasing the growth of selective enrollment school options, however, with a strong neighborhood component.”
King said she is hopeful that the newly elected school will “engender a greater sense of individual responsibility for CPS,” saying that the school board has acted as an extension of the mayor’s office.