First elected to City Commission in 2019. Current term expires November 2023.
Chris Praedel was first elected to the Kalamazoo City Commission in November 2019. He is serving the second half of his four-year term. He has served as liaison to the Planning Commission, Kalamazoo Area Transportation Study (KATS), and the Pension Board.
His roots run deep. He was born and raised in Kalamazoo. He is a proud graduate of both Kalamazoo Central High School and Western Michigan University, earning a BA in Management. He also attained the rank of Eagle Scout in local Troop 205.
Chris currently resides in the Milwood neighborhood with his partner, Erin, and three boys: Lincoln (7), Simon (5), and Felix (1). They are animal lovers and have a goldendoodle named Roz and a cat named Iggy.
Chris is especially passionate about literacy and our youth in our community.
Immediately following graduation, he committed to two-years of national service in the Americorp program, Teach for America. He taught in a self-contained third grade and technology classroom in South Chicago and Los Angeles during his service term. He also earned an MA in Teaching from Dominican University. He has mentored two area teenage boys through Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Since 2011, he has remained active in the Kalamazoo Literacy Council (KLC), serving in numerous capacities from Board President (2012-2013; 2014-2015), Annual Campaign Chair (2013, 2015), and numerous subcommittee chairs. The KLC is a nonprofit volunteer tutor organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of adults who struggle to read. He was honored by the organization as the 2016 Literacy Advocate of the Year.
Chris has remained active in a number of other area non-profit organizations, including serving as the fund development chair of the Kalamazoo Promise’s 10th Anniversary Celebration, to provide programming to celebrate Promise students, educators, and the greater community. Chris also currently serves on the 60th State Representative District Service Office (DSO) and Community Services Charity (CSC) Board of Directors, where he serves as treasurer Most recently, he is working with a group of local history enthusiasts on the Kalamazoo Abraham Lincoln Institute (KLI) to commemorate Lincoln’s only visit to Michigan in 1856.
In 2015, Chris was appointed to the City of Kalamazoo’s 21-member Blue Ribbon Panel on Revenue. The Panel was instructed to research, study, and explore revenue options that, when considered together, would address the City’s General Fund structural budget imbalance.
Chris currently serves as Executive Director of Community Homeworks, a local nonprofit which provides critical home repairs and empowering education to income eligible homeowners.
In 2016, Chris successfully organized a Guinness World Record attempt in 2016 for the most marriage vow renewals in one place at Western Michigan University. During his tenure at WMU, was honored with the 2018 WMU Spirit Award and 2017 Make A Difference Award, both peer-to-peer honors.