Gubernatorial candidate Ameya Pawar speaks to UI

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By Daily Illini Staff Report

Ameya Pawar, alderman of Chicago’s 47th Ward for about 6 1/2 years, gave a campaign speech Thursday morning at the Illini Union Hotel.

“I threw my hat in the ring for the Democratic nomination for governor in January after watching what’s been happening at the state level and across this country over the last couple of years,” Pawar said.

Pawar said a driving force behind his candidacy is his belief in social justice, fairness and equality. He acknowledged most people share the same values; however, he would use them differently.

“If we elect people who hate the institutions they seek to represent, if we elect people who hate government, then none of the values that I believe most people share will be embodied in public policy at any level of government,” Pawar said.

Pawar quickly moved to the current issue plaguing the nation and state by current Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner and President Donald Trump.

Pawar’s parents are Indian immigrants who were born in India while the country was still under British rule. The British ruled by exploiting existing divisions in Indian society and segregating citizens based on appearance, location and religion, he said.

“These divisions were made worse by the British pouring gasoline on those divisions and turning Indians against one another,” Pawar said. “If you think about what’s been happening in our country and in our state, I don’t see any difference.”

Relating to British rule in a non-violent way, Pawar said Rauner does the same thing now by turning union families against non-union families and poor white families against poor black and brown families.

He makes people believe that somehow they don’t get ahead because people somewhere else get more than their fair share,” Pawar said.

Pawar said Rauner called Chicago Public Schools a prison and the teachers there illiterate.

Public schools are not funded the way they should be, Pawar said. Furthermore, all the division economic violence is placing on communities is driving a wedge through society.

“If you are against police brutality, you are against white people. If you are against Black Lives Matter, you are against the police. If you believe in a woman’s right to choose, then somehow you are against the sanctity of life,” Pawar said.

For 10 months, Pawar said he has been traveling around Illinois to places where most Democrats traditionally do not go. He believes he shouldn’t write anyone off based on who they voted for in the previous election.

“I do believe that we are neighbors. It doesn’t matter where you live, as Illinoisans we rise and fall together,” Pawar said.

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