State Representative Jason Barickman and Chicago Alderman Ameya Pawar
By Todd Wineburner
Representative Jason Barickman and Chicago Alderman Ameya Pawar are graduates of the inaugural class of the Edgar Felows program, and they've forged a connection that they hope will serve both of their constituencies. Former Governor Jim Edgar launched the initiative to help eliminate division and partisanship in Illinois politics. The hope is that the program will lead to better decision-making through cooperation.
Barickman and Pawar are two of forty individuals selected for the program's first class. After meeting, they realized that they had a great deal to gain by crossing party and geographical lines, and they've determined to keep communication channels open. Since Barickman once lived in Chicago, they decided that one of their first efforts would be introducing Pawar to downstate communities.
Both men agree that difficult decisions are looming in Illinois, whether the discussion involves Chicago, Pontiac or any other part of the state. They hope that their professional relationship can bring new perspectives to their decision-making.