During Mayor Pradel’s time in office, Naperville’s population grew by over 40,000 people, and became more and more diverse along the way.
Today, Naperville’s Asian population numbers over 22,000 and is thriving, in part, thanks to his efforts.
“Mayor Pradel was a great visionary. He quickly understood that Naperville is becoming a melting pot, a diverse community,” said Krishna Bansal, chair of Indian community outreach for the city.
In 2013, Mayor Pradel named Bansal the chair of Indian community outreach and Bill Liu the chair of Chinese community outreach to help get Naperville’s largest minority populations more involved in the community.
“Trying to reach out to the Chinese community to make sure everybody feels at home and to make sure everybody feels very welcome in Naperville,” said Liu in a 2014 interview with NCTV17. “I thought that’s the greatest thing he’s done for the Chinese community here in Naperville.”
He promoted and made public appearances at events celebrating these cultures, and expanding the India Day Celebration to include a parade was his idea.
And Bansal says that big event has made Naperville the epicenter of Indian culture in America – drawing more businesses and people to move here.
“As we’ve just seen the Patel Brothers that is there on Ogden Avenue, that building was vacant for 15 years and now we have a flourishing nice place. We have mall of India and many other places coming here,” said Bansal.
Mayor Pradel’s move to celebrate diversity made has forever made our community a more inclusive one.
Naperville News 17’s Blane Erwin reports.
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