Born & Raised in Saint Paul: Chris’s roots in Saint Paul run deep. He is a lifelong Saint Paul resident, born in 1961 as one of six kids in a classic Saint Paul, Irish American Democratic family. His mom, Bridget, grew up on University and Farrington, raised the family and operated an Irish imports store. His dad, Nick, Sr., was born and raised in Frogtown and championed human rights, justice and progressive causes as Majority Leader of the Minnesota state senate.
Growing up, Chris attended St. Luke’s, graduated from Cretin in 1979, attended undergrad at the University of Minnesota and graduated from the U of M law school in 1987.
A Father & Husband: Chris and Connie met and married 16 years ago. Together, they lived in Frogtown for five years, where Chris served as president of the District 7 (Thomas-Dale) Planning Council. They then moved to the West Side and have lived there ever since.
Their daughter Molly is 13 years old, a seventh grader at the district-sponsored Twin Cities Academy charter school and a budding peace activist (she was already published in Minnesota Women’s Press). Their son Aidan is 10 years old, a fourth grader at Adams Spanish Immersion public school and a hockey and soccer star, saxophone extraordinaire and budding comedian. Connie is a former community organizer with the Saint Paul Tenants Union and All Parks Alliance for Change (APAC) and is now a real estate agent.
In His Free Time: Chris enjoys camping, hiking, coaching his kids' sports, running along trails in Saint Paul’s parks (and the Twin Cities marathon on occasion), listening to music and playing the bagpipes. Chris’s passions are his kids, Connie and public service.
Experience: Chris spent eight years working in Hennepin County as a public defender and prosecutor. Proposals to build a metal shredder along the Mississippi River in Saint Paul inspired his first run for the Saint Paul City Council. Chris represented Ward 2 from 1997 to 2003. Currently, he is an investment management consultant working with non-profit organizations and is also president of United Family Practice Clinic (serving people without insurance and/or with low income).
Chris's accomplishments as a City Council member include:
* Led the fight for decent, affordable housing, including creation of the city's affordable housing policy and building of affordable housing units on Upper Landing
* Obtained critical funding for the Neighborhood House (Paul and Sheila Wellstone Center)
* Led the fight for historic preservation against destruction of Seventh Place, Orpheum and Coney Island buildings
* Championed the arts, including establishing a fund for neighborhood art and streetscape projects
* Led on the environment, including signing the statement on global climate change through ICLEA (an international organization of cities working on global warming), sponsoring an ordinance to ban phosporous in fertilizers, and preventing a metal shredder from being placed on the riverfront
* Sponsored renaming Concord Street to Cesar Chavez Boulevard
Chris has served on the boards of the Red Cross, Community Stabilization Project and Riverfront Corporation, as well as the NARAL Board.
Retiring Saint Paul councilman leaves art behind
Chris Coleman earmarks $150,000 for sculptures, benches and other public art projects.