Ameya Pawar

Fall 2018 Resident Fellow

Alderman for the 47th Ward of the City of Chicago

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Alderman Ameya Pawar represent's Chicago's 47th Ward and is serving his second term. He was first elected in 2011 and was reelected in 2015 with 82% of the vote, the largest margin of victory in the election cycle. Pawar is the first Indian-American and Asian American elected to the Chicago City Council.  

Alderman Pawar has focused his legislative efforts around social justice, worker rights, and economic justice. To this end, Pawar has passed 12 major pieces of legislation by leading efforts to reform tax-increment financing, creating the nation's fourth independent budget office, and passing legislation to guarantee earned sick time, combat wage theft, and protect and preserve single-room occupancy housing units for Chicago's most vulnerable. In his ward, Pawar launched GROW47, the City's first comprehensive initiative to link neighborhood schools to their neighborhood high schools. GROW47 is now GROWCommunity, a standalone non-profit working with schools across the north side of Chicago.

Before becoming alderman, Pawar was on staff at Northwestern University where he led efforts to create a business continuity planning program. While at Northwestern, he and two of his University of Chicago classmates wrote a textbook on the connections between disaster, poverty, and a socially constructed narrative around deserving and undeserving populations. 

Pawar has a bachelor's degree in religion an philosophy from Missouri Valley College, a master's degree in public administration from the Illinois Institute of Technology, and is a two-time graduate from the University of Chicago with master's degrees in threat and response management and social service administration. Pawar is a US State Department Critical Language Program alum, a 2012 University of Illinois Edgar Fellow, and was named to Crain's Chicago 40 under 40 in 2011. Most recently, the alderman was named a 2018 McCormick Foundation Executive Fellow.

Alderman Pawar is also the Executive Director of One Illinois, a new non-profit news outlet focused on bridging the divides across race, class, and geography in Illinois.