Ameya Pawar

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Ameya Pawar
City of Chicago Alderman
from the 47th Ward
Assumed office
May 16, 2011 (2011-05-16)
Preceded by Eugene Schulter
Personal details
Born (1980-04-22) April 22, 1980 (age 36)
Chicago, Illinois
Political party Democratic
Residence Chicago, Illinois
Alma mater Missouri Valley College (B.A.)
Illinois Institute of Technology (M.P.A.)
University of Chicago (M.S., M.A.)

Ameya Pawar (born April 22, 1980) is a member of the Chicago City Council as Alderman of the 47th Ward of the City of Chicago.[citation needed] He was first elected in the 2011 municipal elections, and was elected to a second term on February 24, 2015.[citation needed] Pawar's 2015 re-election was secured with over 82% of the vote, the largest margin[citation needed] in the election cycle. In 2014, 2015, and 2016, Pawar was voted 'Best Alderman' by the readers of the Chicago Reader.[1] Pawar is the first Indian American and Asian American in Chicago City Council history.[citation needed] He succeeded Eugene Schulter who had been the Alderman of the 47th Ward since 1975.

At Northwestern University[edit]

Prior to his election, Pawar was on staff at Northwestern University in the Office of Emergency Management.[citation needed] At Northwestern, he was responsible for the development of a university-wide business continuity program.[citation needed] While working at Northwestern University, he and two of his classmates from the University of Chicago were awarded a contract from Taylor and Francis to write a textbook based on their work in emergency management.[2] The textbook is based on a model Ameya developed with two of his classmates at the University of Chicago's MSTRM program — the model is called Social Intelligence. Their work calls for the real-time aggregation of data to develop composite views of communities to better inform emergency preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery activities. Pawar and his co-authors have presented their work at annual Federal Emergency Management Agency conferences and other national conferences since 2008. He holds a M.S. in Threat and Response Management from the University of Chicago and a master's degree in Public Administration from the Illinois Institute of Technology. The textbook was released on December 29, 2014.

He is enrolled in a third master's degree program at the University of Chicago in the school of Social Service Administration. In 2009, Ameya was a US State Department Scholar. In 2011, Pawar was named to the Crains Chicago Business 40 under 40 list. He was also recognized by the New Leaders Council as an emerging leader under 40 in 2011. In 2012, he was named an Edgar Fellow by the University of Illinois.

Aldermanic career[edit]

In 2015, Pawar was appointed co-chair of the Working Families Task Force. The task force will provide Mayor Emanuel with recommendations for paid sick leave, paid family leave, and scheduling protections for hourly workers. In 2014, Mayor Emanuel appointed Pawar to the Minimum Wage Working Group. The work of that group led to a Chicago minimum wage of $13/hr.

In 2011, Gov. Patrick Quinn appointed Pawar to the Illinois Innovation Council. Pawar is the only elected official on this statewide council. In 2013, Gov. Patrick Quinn appointed Ald. Pawar to the Asian American Employment Plan Council.

Pawar was listed as a surrogate on the Obama 2012 campaign.

In his first year in office, Pawar has advanced the following projects:

Pawar sponsored and passed the following city-wide legislation:

  • Urban Agriculture[3]
  • Human Rights Ordinance - prohibiting employers from discriminating against job applicants' credit history or employment gaps[3]
  • Anti-wage theft Ordinance[3]
  • Licensure of Debt Collectors Ordinance[3]
  • City Council Office of Financial Analysis - the independent budget office[3]
  • Sweat-Shop Free Procurement[3]
  • Preservation of SRO Housing in Chicago[3]
  • TIF Accountability Ordinance[3]
  • Chicago Language Access Ordinance and creation of a Municipal ID taskforce[citation needed]
  • Chicago Earned Sick Time/Paid Sick Leave Ordinace
  • Chicago Towing Bill of Rights

In December 2012, Pawar introduced an ordinance creating an Office of Independent Budget Analysis. This proposal and major reform creates an office which would provide City Council with independent analysis of privatization efforts and the annual budget. New York City and Pittsburgh have similar offices. The ordinance was immediately sent to Rules Committee where it is currently buried. In August 2013, Mayor Rahm Emanuel threw his support behind Pawar's budget office proposal and the proposal passed in December 2013. In May 2015, former Governor Quinn senior staffer Ben Winnick was rolled out as consensus candidate to run the new independent budget office. This after Pawar waged a behind the scenes campaign to prevent a former alderman from obtaining the appointment.

In March 2015, Pawar gave a TEDx talk titled: Deciding to Decide. This talk featured Pawar's signature effort of creating a neighborhood K-12 system in the area he represents and the greater north side of Chicago. Pawar's GROW47 effort recently scaled from the 47th ward to three wards. Ald. Pawar is leading an effort to create a system within a system. The scaled effort, GROWCommunity, is gaining recognition across the City for attempting to provide all families equity and stability. The GROWCommunity effort was recognized by the Urban Land Institute with a 2015 Vision Award. Since that time GROWCommunity has been working to obtain non-profit status so that Pawar's work can continue after he leaves office. GROWCommunity is recognized now citywide as a model for linking communities to neighborhood schools and high schools.

In April 2016, Pawar introduced the Earned Sick Time ordinance with a coalition of aldermen and advocacy groups. The ordinance passed in June 2016 and will take effect on July 1, 2017 impacting over 500k workers in Chicago.

In April 2013, Pawar introduced the TIF Accountability ordinance. This ordinance passed City Council in July 2013. For the first time, Chicago will publish TIF promises versus what is finally delivered. According to Pawar, the TIF accountability ordinance is major TIF reform and will prevent companies from forcing Chicago into paying TIF subsidies.

While running for office, he created a 'first generation' Open 311 app named Chicago Works. This app enabled Chicago residents to make service requests from their iPhone. A new version of the Chicago Works app is available in the Apple app store. Chicago Works is the first app to connect directly into the City of Chicago's 311 system. It's the first app developed after the Open 311 announcement.

Committee assignments[edit]

Alderman Pawar serves on the following committees in the Chicago City Council:

  • Public Safety
  • Economic, Capital and Technology Development
  • Zoning, Landmarks and Buildings Standards
  • Special Events, Cultural Affairs and Recreation
  • Committees, Rules and Ethics


  • Alderman Pawar was appointed to the Illinois Innovation Council by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn in 2011
  • Pawar sits on Chicago's Open 311 Steering Committee.[citation needed]

Editorial opinions[edit]

  • Prior to taking office, Pawar authored an opinion article in the Chicago Sun-Times that outlined the need for Chicago to attract manufacturing jobs through an industrial cluster initiative.[4]
  • He co-authored an opinion article with Ald. Pat Dowell on Mayor Emanuel's Infrastructure Trust proposal. As a result of their opinion piece, the language in the legislation was changed.[5]
  • In February 2013, Pawar authored an op-ed titled, "Insure Guns to Ensure We Save Lives." This opinion piece was published by the Chicago Tribune. In it, Pawar argues for the requirement of gun liability insurance in order to own a gun. Pawar argues that gun liability insurance would curb straw purchases.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Best alderman". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 2016-01-15. 
  2. ^ Pawar, Ameya; Epstein, Charna R.; Simon, Scott C. (2015-01-01). Emergency management and social intelligence: a comprehensive all-hazards approach. ISBN 978-1-4398-4797-8. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "About the Alderman & His Team |". Retrieved 2016-01-26. 
  4. ^ Chicago Sun-Times
  5. ^ Chicago Sun-Times

External links[edit]

Politics Tonight - Ameya Pawar and Will Burns - CLTV|WGN: