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In run for mayor, Ald. Sophia King wants to rebuild bridges she says Mayor Lightfoot burned

Ald. Sophia King wants to rebuild bridges she says Mayor Lightfoot burned
Ald. Sophia King wants to rebuild bridges she says Mayor Lightfoot burned 03:00

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Ald. Sophia King (4th) has said she never set out to hold the Mayor's office. 

Now, seven years after being appointed to represent parts of the South Loop, Bronzeville, Hyde Park, and Kenwood neighborhoods, and then winning two subsequent elections, she wants to be the next mayor of Chicago.

CBS 2 Political Investigator Dana Kozlov sat down with King to talk about why and what she would do.

"There are many reasons to become mayor," King said.

For King, one of them is rebuilding bridges current Mayor Lori Lightfoot has burned.

"There is so much dissension between this mayor and everyone, quite frankly," she said.

King, seven years into her political career, believes she can rebuild those bridges while focusing on priorities – like bolstering police patrols – which she says will help combat crime.

"We have a plan that puts 50% more officers in the communities, in all of the communities, because they're all being plagued with violence," she said.

King said she plans to increase police patrols by switching to a two-shift system, meaning officers would work 10 hours a day four days a week – rather than 8 hours a day five days a week – while the city works to hire more officers to increase overall manpower.

It's one thing to say hire more police officers, but how does King plan to do that since recruitment has been such a problem for the Chicago Police Department in recent years?

"Retired officers, who work other jobs anyway; a lot of them are in security. I would bring back retired officers," King said.

King plans to bring back 1,000 retired officers if elected, assigning them first as detectives and then as needed.

"I would put them in surge times; you know, when we have festivals, on the lake," and on the CTA, she said.

She also plans to offer incentives to retired officers to rejoin CPD.

"A couple things; with retired officers, they already have benefits, they already have pension. They wouldn't be working full time," she said.

She also believes in holding officers accountable, and she'd replace Police Supt. David Brown with someone within the CPD ranks.

"I believe he's lost the trust of the rank and file," she said.

To help recruit new officers and new public school teachers, King wants to sell them vacant lots, give them interest-free mortgages, and offer down payment assistance. How would she pay for it? She said the money is already there in the city budget.

"We had $85 million in 2022 we allocated to this administration. They not only did not spend 5 million of it, but I do know that now they've rolled that over into the 2023 budget, but if that's your priority, why are not spending it?" she said.

King also wants to immediately bolster alternative response teams; social workers and mental health professionals who respond to non-violent 9-1-1 calls. 

But again, there's the money issue. King said she'd look for budget inefficiencies and other income sources before raising any taxes. 

By the way, Tuesday is her 57th birthday.

One thing you might not know about her: she described herself as a mean bid whist player.

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