Pawar Touts Roosevelt-esque ‘New Deal’ For Illinois

April 04, 2017
Ameya Pawar attended an immigrant rights rally in Peoria on Sunday. He says his parents emigrated from colonial India to escape poverty.

Ameya Pawar attended an immigrant rights rally in Peoria on Sunday. He says his parents emigrated from colonial India to escape poverty.

Cass Herrington/Peoria Public Radio

A self-described “underdog” in the race for Illinois governor says he already has a plan to address the state’s ailing economy. Chicago Alderman Ameya Pawar is one of six contenders for the Democratic bid for governor in 2018. Pawar says he strongly favors a progressive tax structure -- meaning, higher taxes on the wealthy.

“But there are other things we can do as well. If we want to cut costs and cut the prison population, then let’s legalize and properly regulate the sale of marijuana. So you generate revenue, but you solve a social problem while you’re doing it.

Pawar’s policies also include universal childcare, equitable school funding and massive infrastructure projects that he calls “Illinois’ New Deal.” The idea is framed after President Franklin D Roosevelt's infrastructure projects that followed the Great Depression.

“I know right here in Peoria, there’s about a billion dollars worth of lock and dam work. So, we have an opportunity to not only build out our intermodal facilities, but also do ecological and wildlife restoration and lock and dam work.”

Pawar says that project would put people to work, create jobs downstream and create a “regional hub” for commerce on the Illinois River.

He was speaking at an immigrant rights rally in Peoria on Sunday. Pawar says his parents fled colonial India to escape poverty. 

Story source: Illinois Public Radio