Indian-American candidate releases first campaign ad in Chicago treasurer’s race

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The Indian-American candidate for treasurer of the City of Chicago, released his first television ad Monday Feb. 11, titled, “Noise.”

Still video capture from Alderman Ameya Pawar’s new tv ad “Noise” released Feb. 11 for his campaign for the position of Treasurer of the City of Chicago. (Photo: Pawar’s campaign mailing)

Alderman Ameya Pawar, who describes himself as a “progressive Democrat” was leading in an early January poll in a field of three candidates, Crain’s Chicago Business reported Jan. 2. However, the poll conducted by Anzalone Liszt Grove Research for Pawar, showed 50 percent of the voters undecided. The municipal elections, including for the Mayor of the Windy City, are scheduled for  Feb. 26.  The poll showed Pawar had 26 percent of the vote, compared to his opponents Rep. Melissa Conyears-Ervin (16 percent), and Peter Gariepy (6 percent), Crain’s reported.

Pawar’s ad is expected to air on broadcast and cable stations and has a run-time of :30 seconds. It may be viewed here and https://www.dropbox.com/s/nh1m8f5e013yiyv/AmeyaPawar_Noise.mp4?dl=0

The video begins with Pawar walking in a snowy scene the honking of cars, construction sounds, and sirens blaring, until he begins to speak.

“When you shut out all the noise, you can hear their stories. Families, some like mine, who came here with nothing. People just looking for a fair chance,” Pawar voice says in the background, as he walks with a decisive gait and interacts with members of the community. .

According to his campaign website, Pawar’s father came to Chicago more than 40 years ago. “His career tracked a turbulent time in American manufacturing where offshoring, automation, and the squeezing of workers meant he was trapped in an endless cycle of starting a new job and layoffs,” Pawar says on the website, adding, “Experiencing first-hand how income inequality impacted my family, my community, and the city inspired me to go into public service.”

In the video ‘Noise’, Pawar says, “As Alderman, fighting income inequality has been my priority. We raised the minimum wage, and we took on the Mayor to keep neighborhood schools open,” he goes on to say, promising that, “As City Treasurer, I’ll create low interest loans for affordable housing and to start new neighborhood businesses. I’m Ameya Pawar. Let’s write Chicago’s next story together.”

Pawar has been endorsed by the Chicago Sun-Times editorial board, as well as SEIU Local 1, IUOE Local 150, U.S. House Representatives Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, Mike Quigley and Jan Schakowsky, as well as Father Michael Pfleger, Aldermen Pat Dowell, David Moore, Tom Tunney, and Harry Osterman. Others who support him include  Cook County Democratic Committeeman Paul Rosenfeld, Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer, Cook County Board of Review Commissioner Michael Cabonargi, Cook County Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Commissioner Josina Morita, Former City Clerk Miguel del Valle, State Rep. Jaime Andrade, State Rep. Greg Harris, State Rep. Theresa Mah, State Rep. Ann Williams, State Sen. Heather Steans and the first Indian-American State Sen. Ram Villivalam.

It is unclear what the turnout at the Feb. 26 elections will be. In addition, Pawar’s base appears to be a more youthful segment of the community, according to the poll. How many of them will come out to vote is not predictable.

Pawar, 38, earlier tried and then abandoned a run for Governor. He has been an Alderman from the 47th Ward in the city since 2011, and was re-elected in 2015.

On his Twitter feed, Pawar announced his new ad, saying, “I ran for office to fight income inequality and poverty — because everyone in Chicago deserves a fair chance. It is time to use our investment power to invest in us.”

His ad comes on the same day as the first City Treasurer debate was scheduled.

Pawar has a bachelor’s degree in religion and philosophy from Missouri Valley College, a master’s degree in public administration from the Illinois Institute of Technology and is a two-time graduate from the University of Chicago with master’s degrees in threat and response management and social service administration.

He is an alumni of the US State Department Critical Language Program, a 2012 University of Illinois Edgar Fellow, and was named one of Crain’s Chicago Business Chicago 40 under 40 in 2011, according to his website.

Most recently, he was named a 2018 McCormick Foundation Executive Fellow. He is currently a Fall 2018 Pritzker Fellow at the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics. Pawar is also the Executive Director of One Illinois, a new non-profit news outlet which his bio says is focused on bridging the divides across race, class and geography in Illinois.

Pawar lives in Chicago’s Lincoln Square neighborhood with his wife, Charna, and their daughter Sigalit.

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