Indian American Chicago Ald. Ameya Pawar dropped out of the race for governor about five months ago and now he is launching his own non-profit news outlet, according to the Chicago Sun Times.
Pawar told the Chicago Sun Times that One Illinois is supposed to be the “progressive response” to the conservative think tank, the Illinois Policy Institute.
The organization’s first batch of stories will focus on Illinois’ river towns along with “the resilience of communities” and will go live shortly after the March 20 primary.
“Our goal here is — I don’t think it’s liberal or hyper liberal or far left to simply talk about investment or equity or fairness because if that is considered liberal or progressive, we are heading to a very scary place,” Pawar told the Chicago Sun Times, adding that “Illinois is not a terrible place to live, despite what people say.”
Pawar will work to bring communities together for the economic development and the policies that support working families.
According to a pitch provided by One Illinois, one of the group’s goals is to disrupt the marketplace of ideas by bringing stories based on empathy and unity and highlight the human impact its policies have on voters.
The group is made up of six people: Pawar, who will serve as the president; Ted Cox, a former DNAInfo Chicago and Daily Herald reporter, who will serve as a senior advisor and editor; Katelynd Duncan, an advocate for the #metoo movement in Illinois, who will also serve as a senior adviser and a co-founder and three freelancers including a documentarian and a podcaster.
In conjunction to hosting live events such as town halls, content will get posted on social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
One Illinois will also utilize organized labor, progressive advocacy groups and national groups to push out its stories as well as tell stories in local newspapers, on TV and radio.
Pawar told the Chicago Sun Times that he is also planning on partnering with the Illinois Economic Policy Institute and the New America Foundation while asking his own donors to participate in the effort, he will also talk to foundations about forming additional partnerships.
Although Pawar understands that it is difficult to launch any new media organization, he still “sees a need for a positive narrative for the state, as a response to some far right content being read throughout the state and country.”
“I think the Illinois Policy Institute and Breitbart [News Network], they profit off of disunity.
They are not trying to bring people together or onto a common agenda or on moving the ball forward,” Pawar told the Chicago Sun Times.
The Illinois Policy Institute is a conservative and free-market think tank and has spent years developing a presence on its website, and also in newspaper editorials and on the radio.
In an email to the Chicago Sun Times, Hilary Gowins, a spokeswoman for the organization stated: “For 15 years, the Illinois Policy Institute has been the state’s strongest voice for taxpayers. We’ve built an amazing policy, media and messaging organization that holds politicians of both parties accountable.”
However, Pawar thinks otherwise.