Emanuel Names Sophia King as New 4th Ward Alderman After Burns' Surprise Resignation

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Monday that Sophia King will be named the new alderman for the city's 4th Ward, replacing current alderman Will Burns.

“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 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.”

The appointment comes after Burns' surprising resignation earlier this year. King was among 18 candidates reviewed by a five-member selection committee. 

Three finalists met with Emanuel last week and the decision was made over the weekend, the mayor's office said.

“I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work. I believe the only solutions we are missing are the ones we won’t work on together,” King said in a statement. “I look forward to collaborating with all people who want to make a positive difference in the city that I love, and to continue to position the 4th Ward as an example of transparent, innovative and community focused work that lifts all residents. I appreciate the confidence of Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his willingness to engage a new voice."

Burns announced earlier this year he was leaving city council to work in the private sector at AirBnb, the website that enables homeowners to list properties for temporary rental. 

The 4th Ward is home to President Barack Obama and is located on the South Side of Chicago. It includes the Oakland and Kenwood neighborhoods and parts of the Hyde Park and Bronzeville neighborhoods. 

King is scheduled to appear in front of the City Council's Rules Committee ahead of a confirmation vote by the City Council Wednesday. Once approved, she will be sworn in. 

King is the founder and president of Harriet's Daughters, a non-profit group of professional women that works to advocate for policies and processes that secure employment opportunities for African-American communities. 

She received her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Illinois, and a master’s in education and social policy from Northwestern University.

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