In the State Senate, Andy Berke worked to move unemployed workers off of the unemployment rolls and onto the work rolls. That’s why, with the support of Democrats and Republicans, Andy worked with Governor Haslam to pass the Tennessee Works program into law.
As Mayor, Andy Berke will build on our city’s great entrepreneurial spirit. Chattanooga needs to continue to attract companies from across the world like Alstom and VW to invest in our city. But we also need to help grow businesses made in Chattanooga – startups and small businesses that will fuel our growth for decades to come. This wave should reach every part of our city. Whether it is a new tech company in St. Elmo or a new small retailer in East Brainerd or a grocery store in East Chattanooga, Andy Berke will work every day to bring new jobs and new opportunity to the entire city.
Every day in the General Assembly, Andy Berke worked to improve public education – because it is the most important investment that we can make for our future prosperity and because every child has a right to an excellent education. That’s why Andy was a leader in efforts to raise standards and improve performance in our schools. That’s why he fought to hold our colleges and universities accountable for results and to make them more affordable for Tennessee families. And that’s why he passed the first law in our state to begin to track how parents and schools work together.
And as Mayor, Andy Berke will do exactly what he did in the State Senate -- wake up every day working to improve our schools so that every child will have a chance to succeed. He will work to help children build on their strengths rather than just focus on their weaknesses. Whether it is computers or soccer, poetry or physics, a musical instrument or designing a building, we know that every one of our children has a unique talent that gives them the opportunity for success.
Even though the School Board and the County Commission operate and fund the schools, the City still has a role to play when it comes to investing in the next generation of Chattanoogans. All of us – parents, churches, schools – share responsibility for our kids. Andy Berke will make sure that the city fulfills its part.
Tax dollars are our investment in the community, and it is incumbent on the stewards of government to make sure they are spent wisely.
For five consecutive years, Andy Berke voted for balanced budgets. He led the effort to hold private education contractors receiving millions in government funding accountable for their results. His EFFECTS bill required state government to focus on what state government was getting for taxpayer dollars.
On Day One as Mayor, Andy Berke will review all of City government to ensure that we are spending tax dollars wisely. Chattanooga will adopt a system of transparency and accountability and renew a focus on a City government that gets results
There’s a word for crime in Chattanooga – unacceptable. We have too much crime, too much violence, too many neighborhoods where people worry about their safety, too many victims and too many lives lost to careers in crime. It has got to stop, and it will stop. We can’t eliminate all crime, but we can surely make Chattanooga a safer place to live and work.
From his first days in Nashville, Andy Berke worked to stop offenders from repeating their mistakes when they return to our community. He fought to increase funding for programs designed to help law enforcement and community organizations work together to reduce shootings, punish violent offenders and create opportunities for young people who want to avoid the criminal path.
Andy Berke will give law enforcement the direction and the tools to do their jobs. He will work with prosecutors and the criminal justice system to punish criminals who violate our right to safety in our homes and in our neighborhoods. At the same time, he will build the partnerships necessary to prevent crime, to protect our citizens and to ensure opportunity for all.
Technology has created unprecedented opportunities for government to collect data and to report information publicly. As much as possible, Andy will work to ensure that this public information is more easily accessible online and through citizen requests. This is an essential first step in achieving meaningful accountability and an open civic dialogue about the real issues in our city.
Civic engagement is vital to our government and our community. It strengthens public decisions and contributes to a vibrant and inclusive city. Andy will be committed to leading a city government that embraces community engagement and responds to the issues and concerns raised by citizens and community organizations. During his time in the state legislature, he regularly held public forums and attended neighborhood meetings. As Mayor, he will spark an ongoing discussion of how we continually work together to renew Chattanooga.
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