CHICAGO: The Democratic Party nominee for Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, believes South Asians are under-represented in public life and he intends to do something about it if elected to lead the state.
Pritzker, a successful venture capitalist, entrepreneur and philanthropist, was speaking at a meeting June 11, at Mysore Woodlands in Chicago’s Little India on Devon Ave. The meet-and-greet was organized by the Indian American Democratic Organization, a Chicago-based political advocacy group founded in 1980, that engages South Asians in the political process and supports candidates from these communities.
In his speech addressing the gathering, Pritzker said the South Asian American community is under represented and if elected he would like to work towards the progress in that area, and that he has spent his life standing up for Democratic values.
“I come from a home where my parents have taught me to fight for social, economic justice for equality and inclusions,” Pritzker said, dwelling on the history of his own immigrant family which had to undergo hardships when they came to this country as refugees.
Also present at the meeting was Pritzker’s running-mate and Democratic nominee for Lt. Governor, Juliana Stratton.
The Honorary Co-chairs of IADO, Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Illinois; Chicago 47th Ward Alderman Ameya Pawar; and Democratic Nominee for Illinois’ 8th State Senate, and IADO Board President Ram Villivalam worked jointly to host the event and had invited all the business owners of Devon Avenue.
Pritzker also stressed the need to create more opportunities for small business, including small and micro loans; quality education for all; improved early childhood education; and the need for childcare. He accused incumbent Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner of cutting childcare by 90%. Pritzker noted his own work with the childcare system through non-profits like the Greater Chicago Food Depository and Share Our Strength and said he had helped expand the federal No Kid Hungry school breakfast program so 230,000 more kids could start their day off right.
He said he has a vision that “every student who graduates from high school should have an opportunity to go to college and shouldn’t be strapped with debts for the rest of their lives.” He also expressed support for universal healthcare in the state.
Villivalam, IADO president, also spoke about universal preschool, the childcare system, the need to provide an excellent education and job creation. Rep. Krishnamoorthi said he expected Pritzker to win because he has been running a “fantastic” campaign. Alderman Pawar said Pritzker believes in all the ideas he expersses and was the best candidate for Governor.
“J.B.Pritzker represents the American Dream of the immigrants and that’s what he is trying to do for the rest of us all that we can live the American Dream as well,” Krishnoorthi said. He praised Stratton as being the best candidate for Lieutenant Governor with her history of fighting discrimination and for encouraging tolerance, diversity, and inclusion.
The Congressman concluded his speech by urging the people to come out and vote in order to help JB and Juliana.
Stratton in her speech, echoed the ideas expressed by Pritzker, growing small businesses, bring quality education, etc.