Ram Villivalam State Senate bid endorsed by top leaders

Ram Villivalam
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Ram Villivalam

CHICAGO: Ram Villivalam, a young energetic Indian American has announced his candidacy for Illinois Senate seat from the 8th district (50th Ward) of Chicago. He is pitted against stalwarts like State Senator Ira Silverstein, who has been Senator for the past 20 years, and others including David Zulkey, and Caroline McAteer-Fournier.
His plus point besides his youthful zeal is that he has been endorsed by top brass leaders like Brad Schneider, Senator Laura Murphy, U.S. Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, U.S. Congressman Mike Quigley, U.S. Congressman Raja Krishnamurthi, U.S. Congressman Brad Schneider, Sierra Club, AFL-CIO, Equality Illinois PAC, and National Nurses United.
Incumbent Senator Ira Silverstein was recently accused of sexual harassment and apparently has his image a bit tarnished. Denise Rotheimer had levelled sexual harassment complaint against Sen. Ira Silverstein, D-Chicago. Chicago Sun Times, a leading Chicagoland daily newspaper, has endorsed Ram over Silverstein.

The 8th State Senate district has the highest concentration of Asian Americans in the state of Illinois. If elected, Ram Villivalam, 31, will be the first Asian American elected to the Illinois State Senate and the first South Asian American elected to the Illinois General Assembly.
Ram Villivalam stands to champion for diversity and progressive values as against almost all of Trump’s policies. He is ready to stand up to NRA and protect gun violence and believes in equality for all.
In a talk to this paper, he said “I am running because I believe we need a new generation of elected officials in our government, we need more diversity in who is making the decisions that impact our communities, and we need someone who will actually lead on the challenging issues we face,”
Ram added “we need a change, We need to decrease communal violence and making funding equitable for our education system in our public schools., funding of after-school programs and other extracurricular activities. My policy platform includes lowering taxes for middle-class families, reduce gun violence in our communities, equitably fund our schools, and increasing access to affordable healthcare.”
Ram is president of Indo-American Democratic Organization (IADO) since 2015. He was an outreach director for Brad Schneider and has also worked for the Service Employees International Union of Illinois, advocating home care for seniors and people with disabilities, child care for working families, Medicaid for those in need and a living wage for those who care for our most vulnerable.

His parents immigrated to the United States in 1970s. His father who came from Andhra Pradesh, worked as a dishwasher for $2.50 and mother worked in an AmVets Store. So he thinks that he can relate to average man’s problems in a better way.
“We need to fix wages, fix healthcare and fix education system” he said adding that he would like to improve the ratio of students to teachers 38:1 in schools. “We all have to have a better education system,” he said. “I support comprehensive immigration reform and protection of DACA immigrants. I believe in family unification as this country was built on immigrants.”
Hate crimes against Indian have gone up. “That’s what happens when leaders like Trump rule. There is discrimination in LGBT community. The district is infested with crime and violence in the Little India or Devon neighborhood. “We need to stop gun violence,” he said.
Villivalam supports universal background checks and licensing gun dealers.


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