KALAMAZOO, MICHIGAN— April 30, 2019 — Life resident of Kalamazoo, Chris Praedel, 33, will formally launch a bid later today for a seat on the Kalamazoo City Commission via a video on his website and social media.
“I’m running because I want to be part of creating a future we can be proud to hand over to our children.,” said Praedel in his video announcement. “I’ve lived in Kalamazoo my entire life, and this is where my wife, and I, have always wanted to plant our roots and raise our family. Our roots run deep. We envision a city where every person can plant their feet firmly and build their bright future too.”
“Kalamazoo is a community of unending possibilities. It’s time to usher in a new era of leadership. I know we can tackle the great challenges we face. I want the world to look at Kalamazoo with wonder as a place that does it better than anywhere else, creates an inclusive environment where every person feels safe and at home, harnesses the entrepreneurial spirit, and fosters a high quality of life in each of our neighborhoods.”
Priorities: Getting at the Root
Praedel’s website will roll out his top five priorities in the next several weeks, including improving voter turnout in local city elections, homelessness, youth employment and programs, entrepreneurship incubation and creating vibrant neighborhoods. “The Foundation of Excellence provides aspirational funding to get at the root of our greatest challenges. These vital funds set us on a path to further support our Promise kids and create a model for a high quality of life for every resident.”
Born and raised in Kalamazoo’s Spring Valley Neighborhood, Praedel attended K-12 in Kalamazoo Public Schools and Western Michigan University, where he served as student body president in 2007-2008. Out of college, Praedel served two years of national service in the Americorp program, Teach for America. For the past nine years, he has been a marketing/communication and event planning professional. He has remained active in the community, serving in various leadership, fundraising and board roles with the Kalamazoo Literacy Council, Kalamazoo Democratic Party, Kalamazoo Promise 10th Anniversary, Kalamazoo Abraham Lincoln Project, and as a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters. In 2015, he served as a member of the City of Kalamazoo’s Blue Ribbon Revenue Panel. He currently is employed at Western Michigan University, where he has served for five years and leads a team as the Director of Events in the Office of Development and Alumni Relations. He was honored in 2017 with one of the peer-to-peer WMU Makes a Difference Awards and in 2018 with the WMU Staff Spirit Award. He was recognized by the Kalamazoo Literacy Council (KLC) as the 2016 Literacy Advocate of the Year. Praedel resides in the Milwood Neighborhood with his wife, Erin, a local business owner and marriage and family therapist, and two sons, Lincoln (4) and Simon (2).
The Election and City Commission
Elections for the Kalamazoo City Commission will be held on Tuesday, November 5, 2019. The Kalamazoo City Commission is comprised of seven (7) elected leaders, including a separate race for Mayor and six (6) City Commissioner seats. Three (3) seats are up for election every two years, with seats currently held by David Anderson, Don Cooney, and Shannon Sykes up for election this year. The person with the highest vote tally of the three open seats becomes Vice Mayor. Those elected to the seats will serve a four (4) year term, expiring in 2023.