J.B. Pritzker speaks at Indivisible Chicago-South Side’s monthly meeting

“The first thing you got to do is have is a stable government … and it’s very hard to decide that you are going to invest in new jobs in the state when you don’t know what the state budget is going to look like and you’ve got a governor who has gone rogue, he is a madman,” says gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker during an Indivisible Chicago – South Side meeting at the First Unitarian Church of Chicago 5650 S. Woodlawn Ave., Monday, Sept. 25. – Marc Monaghan

By JOSEPH PHILLIPS
Staff Writer

Gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker was the guest speaker at Indivisible Chicago – South Side’s monthly meeting, Monday, September 25, at First Unitarian Church, 5650 S. Woodlawn Ave.

Indivisible Chicago – South Side is the local arm of the national Indivisible movement. The mission of Indivisible Chicago – South Side, according to a statement on its Facebook page, is to unite south siders to fight for progressive values by exerting grassroots influence on elected officials.

During Monday’s meeting, which had about 140 attendees, Pritzker shared his views on how state matters could be improved and answered questions.

“I’m running for governor because everything I care about is under siege by Bruce Rauner and Donald Trump,” Pritzker said. “The state is facing enormous challenges and we need a governor who thinks big and gets real results.”

“Illinois has the highest black unemployment rate of any state in the entire country, it is 13 percent, why do you think that is and what is your plant to address that specific issue?” asks University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy graduate student Chad Courtney of gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker during an Indivisible Chicago – South Side meeting at the First Unitarian Church of Chicago 5650 S. Woodlawn Ave., Monday, Sept. 25. – Marc Monaghan

Pritzker, who will run against State Sen. Daniel Biss and Chris Kennedy in the upcoming 2018 Democratic Party primary election for governor, discussed his vision for the state of Illinois which he said includes, restoring fiscal sanity and having a balanced state budget, the importance of setting children up for success from the cradle to career, restoring and rebuilding the state’s social services, the importance of investing in community’s and economic development and protecting health care.

Pritzker would also mention the importance of supporting small businesses in the community. He said that through his company 1871, he has already helped and establish over 500 businesses since launching in 2012.

“All of the things I’ve accomplished I didn’t do alone,” said Pritzker about the company. “1871 was founded with business leaders and non-profit leaders, and we brought entrepreneurs together to solve a problem: how do we build a great startup hub in Chicago? Same with the 55,000 kids getting school breakfast. Same with the 20 years of leadership I’ve provided in preschool and childcare. Those are things I did with non-profit leaders and business leaders because that’s how you solve big problems.”

According to Pritzker’s website, 1871 was created to support the Chicago digital startup community. Since that time, the business incubator has become the hub for the city’s thriving technology and entrepreneurial ecosystem and is home of more than 400 early-stage, high-growth digital startups. The company is currently located in downtown Chicago inside Merchandise Mart, 222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza, and is also headquarters of nationally recognized accelerators, industry-specific incubators, tech talent schools, the Illinois Science and Technology Coalition and a number of Chicago-based businesses.

In response to a question from University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy graduate student Chad Courtney about black unemployment rates in Illinois, gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker responds, “The best way for us to raise up communities is not to have continual government programs ad infinitum, but to build prosperity in those communities by helping people start businesses in those communities,” during an Indivisible Chicago – South Side meeting at the First Unitarian Church of Chicago 5650 S. Woodlawn Ave., Monday, Sept. 25. – Marc Monaghan

Pritzker, who lives in Chicago, is a managing partner and co-founder of the Pritzker Group, a private investment firm that operates middle-market service and industrial companies. He also invests in digital technology companies.

He is a member of the Pritzker family and has an estimated net worth of $3.4 billion.

Biss was the guest speaker at Indivisible Chicago – South Side’s July meeting.

For more information on Indivisible Chicago – South Side visit indivisiblechicago.com.

j.phillips@hpherald.com