Talk about a start-up candidate. His chief supporter was the owner of a bowling alley and he ran his campaign out of his apartment.
With a miniscule budget and longshot odds, Ameya Pawar stuck it to the political establishment, upsetting the chosen heir of 35-year incumbent Gene Schulter in March 2011.
The son of Indian immigrants, Pawar is the first Indian-American elected to Chicago's city council. At 30, he's also the council's youngest member. The West Rogers Park native and Illinois Institute of Technology grad was a staff member at Northwestern's Office of Emergency Management.
When Schulter dropped out of the race in January, Pawar's campaign budget jumped from $5,000 to $40,000 as people go to know Pawar and his candidacy gained credibility.
Encompassing Ravenswood, the 47th is a strip wedged between Ashland Avenue and the Chicago River from Foster Avenue to Addison Street. Part of the Lincoln Square Community Area, Ravenswood has one of the highest-valued real estate markets in the city.
In the words of Pawar himself, 47th Ward constituents were tired of having a rubber stamp alderman. Pawar is working to improve the distribution of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) so they can be funneled to the dozen schols in his ward. At an October 27th ward meeting, district council members determined they wanted to focus on revitalizing schools, gangs and graffiti, pedestrian safety and ward cleanliness, including rodent control.