Last Monday, July 24th, governor hopeful Ameya Pawar continued on his One Illinois Tour with a town hall in Naperville. His tour has included stops in Harvard, Rockford, Jacksonville, and Macomb, to name a few.
Pawar campaigns on the idea that “you need to elect people who believe in government.” Pawar noted how the object of many candidates, including sitting governor Bruce Rauner, is to divide the citizens of Chicagoland from the citizens of Southern Illinois to polarize urban from rural. While this divide has previously worked to win elections and maintain a corporate presence in the Illinois government, it has done little to nothing to actually create progress for the Illinoisan people.
Pawar is hosting conversations in towns often overlooked by both Democratic and Republican candidates in order to gain a better understanding of the needs of everyone. Pawar is paying special attention to the needs of rural Republican voters who often do not get a voice in the gubernatorial elections.
Pawar has been criticized by Democrats and Progressives alike for the joining in on the race. Democrats do not want a grassroots candidate to succeed, and Progressives believe that there is “only room for one progressive in (the) race.” Fellow Progressive gubernatorial candidate and friend, Daniel Biss, told Pawar to immediately drop out. To that, Pawar countered that there should be as many progressives in the race as possible, to allow for their viewpoints to become more mainstream.
Some of Pawar’s key issues include a universal childcare for families making $75,000 or less, a decrease in the “demonization” of teachers and their unions, and a push for incremental tax increases rather than sudden, abrupt ones.