Community members from across the 4th Ward spoke about the opinions and questions they still have about Interim Ald. Sophia King (4th) at a meeting last night.
The third meeting of the group trying to change 4th Ward politics took place yesterday at Room 43, 1043 E. 43rd St. More representation from different parts of the diverse ward were present yesterday, such as residents from north of Roosevelt Road and Dearborn Street.
Whether the residents came from the South Loop or from Kenwood, all of them agreed on one question: Who is Sophia King?
After the announcement of King’s appointment came on April 11, her background has popped up as being the founder of the non-profit organization, Harriet’s Daughters, a former member of the Local School Council (LSC) at Ariel Community Academy, 1119 E. 46th St., and the former president of the Kenwood Park Advisory Council (KPAC).
King was actually appointed to her position at the KPAC by the then alderman, Toni Preckwinkle, and George Rumsey, the president of the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference, as part of an effort to restart the council in order to be in full compliance with the Chicago Park District.
King was also one of the Kenwood residents who opposed the proposition to restore two Frank Lloyd Wright Houses in the neighborhood, the George Blossom House, 4858 S. Kenwood Ave., and the Warren McArthur House, 4852 S. Kenwood Ave., into a two-building bed-and-breakfast back in 2013.
Besides her background, the community members knew little about their new alderman, including her stances on things such as development, public safety and education.
Joy Clendenning, a member of the Kenwood Academy High School LSC, said King has a lot to prove in the education sector.
“I have not seen her at anything regarding education,” Clendenning said at the meeting. “Not when Canter was closing or when Dyett was on a hunger strike…and that is of concern to me.”
King’s children attend the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, 1362 E. 59th St., which brought up a question from the community: What are her stances on public education?
According to Marcellus H. Moore, Jr., that was one of the questions asked during the interview process in choosing the interim alderman. Moore applied and advanced to the second stage of the process, and gave some insight into how that process was carried out by the five-person selection committee.
Moore said his first interview was a 10-minute phone interview with about five questions and then an in-person 15-minute interview. Questions such as “What would you do in your first 100 days?” and general questions about development in the ward were asked, but Moore said that overall, the process seemed fair to him.
“I did not get a sense that they were trying to sway anything a certain way,” he said.
Moving forward, the group plans to continue to meet once a month to discuss their wants and needs in an alderman before the special election in February of next year.
Eighteen candidates applied for this interim alderman position, and while it is unclear who will run officially for next year’s special election, King will be on the ballot.
“It is important to remember that she is an alderman and that she is also running for alderman,” Clendenning said.
[Via: Hyde Park Herald]