The Ameya Pawar for Governor campaign today released a new video, “Don’t Close Our Communities,” as part of its latest digital buy the day after launching a new initiative raising awareness to the problems communities across our state face as a result of decades of disinvestment. Ameya Pawar, 47th Ward alderman and Democratic candidate for Illinois governor, and his running mate Tyrone Coleman, Mayor of Cairo and candidate for lieutenant governor launched the initiative at a press conference followed by a demonstration at the Chicago Regional Housing and Urban Development offices.
The new video opens with Pawar discussing his fight against Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel when he closed 50 public schools in mostly minority and lower-income areas and draws a parallel with how HUD is closing public housing units in Cairo. A lifelong Cairo resident who lives in the public housing at risk of closure gives first-hand testimony on how our government is failing to improve the lives of the poor and working-class. Coleman talks about the need for a government that believes in communities the same way community members believe in each other.
“People are so worried about giving something to somebody, who they don’t feel deserves it. We’re not asking to be millionaires here. We want the same as everybody else…an opportunity,” says Kristin Simulton, a public housing resident in Cairo.
Our government is failing us. Whether it’s schools being closed in Chicago or housing being shuttered in Cairo, communities across the state are feeling the effects of politicians who are out of touch with their needs, pursuing an agenda that benefits the wealthy and corporate interests while leaving the rest of us behind.
“If we’re going to lift every community up - from Chicago to Cairo - then we have to stop allowing politicians to close our communities. To close our public schools. To close public housing. Stop closing our communities. Invest in them,” Pawar says.
Over the coming weeks, the campaign will use its platform to drive the debate around the need for more investments in public institutions to prevent closures. On Thursday, Coleman will embark on the first leg of the Don’t Close Our Communities tour, with scheduled stops in East St. Louis, Urbana, Carbondale, Brookport, Eldorado, Chester, Kaskaskia, and Cairo.
The issue is Cairo’s housing issue is the result of fraud and mismanagement of the Alexander Co. Housing Authority. They were spending fed dollars on trips and employee perks while the units slipped into disarray. I imagine the feds pulled funding not because of not understanding their issues, but because of the mismanagement and status of the buildings. Sad situation all around.
This message is so important. While other candidates worry about getting early endorsement, picking running mates and filling their bank accounts with their own money, Ameya is out in communities, talking about the issues that matter the most.
This will be the one thing no other campaign can steal.
Mayor Coleman during his years a City Council member knew of the conditions in Cairo Public Housing and was ok with them. During Mayor Colemans first term as Mayor he knew the conditions, and allowed them to continue. Only after HUD and the Southern Illinoisan become involved has he stood up to fight to keep the votes warehoused in the same Public Housing. He is fighting to keep his votes, not to improve the residents lives. You cant be part of the problem for several years, then try to be the solution to the problem.
More than half of Chicago Elementary school students and more than 75 percent of high school students do not attend their neighborhood school. Schools should be an anchor for a community. Those anchors don’t exist in some of Chicago’s most stressed neighborhoods — which is one of the reasons those neighborhoods are failing.