Ameya Pawar, 47th Ward Alderman and Democratic candidate for Illinois governor, hosted members of the South Asian media in Chicago for a round table discussion about his platform – A New Deal for Illinois. The March 28 event was held at Mysore Woodlands restaurant on Devon Avenue where Pawar discussed his campaign for governor and his vision for Illinois.
Pawar answered questions from the media on a range of issues including his positions on immigration, visas and sanctuary cities. As a first generation American, whose parents immigrated to Illinois from India in the 1970s, Pawar knows first-hand that welcoming immigrants is a core American value – and a critical part of our growing economy, a press release from Pawar’s office said.
“We cannot sit by and let politicians divide us, pitting one community against the next,” Pawar said. “While Bruce Rauner remains silent in the face of Donald Trump’s Muslim ban, I will continue to stand up for the rights of immigrants and remind people of the ways immigrants of all backgrounds contribute to our state and country,” he added.
When asked about his position on supporting refugees, Pawar said people fleeing warzones and oppression need help. “Refugees cross deserts and oceans in support of freedom, and Illinois should stand ready to give them the opportunity to pursue a brighter future,” he told the media.
With the state of Illinois operating without a budget for more than 21 months and the looming deficits and pension obligations, Pawar elaborated on how he plans to deal with the state’s fiscal situation if elected governor. Noting that Illinois has a $700 billion economy, the fifth largest in the country, Pawar said the idea that “our state doesn’t have the means to balance a budget and pay our bills is false.” The problem is said is that the current tax structure unfairly burdens the middle class. “We need to reform our tax structure by imposing a progressive income tax like our neighboring states in order to ensure the wealthy pay their fair share,” he said.