The Issues

Economic Development

Growing the economy means investing in small businesses, ensuring citizens have the skills to compete, and strengthening infrastructure to support business recruitment, retention, and expansion.

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 has built on our city’s great entrepreneurial spirit while continuing to attract companies from across the world like Alstom and VW to invest in our city. Through incentives like the Growing Small Businesses (GSB) initiative, Andy Berke has worked to help grow businesses made right here in Chattanooga. And by launching programs like TechHire, Chattanooga's will be paired with the training they need to compete for the open IT jobs of today.

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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.

Even though the School Board and the County Commission operate and fund the schools in Chattanooga, Andy Berke understands that 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. As Mayor, Andy Berke ensures the City fulfills its part. Under Andy's leadership, the City has invested in building smarter students and stronger families by supporting early childhood development, providing literacy as well as character education, and creating effective programming for seniors and parents.

Andy Berke has escalated the City's participation in Tech Goes Home, an initiative to tackle digital equity by providing seniors and parents important digital literacy training and access to hardware like Chromebooks at a reduced cost. In addition, he is ensuring public school students who qualify for free or reduced lunch have access to the fastest Internet in the Western Hemisphere through EPB's NetBridge initiative.

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Government Accountability

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.

During his first week as Mayor, Andy Berke restructured City government to reflect the priorities of Chattanoogans. Since then, the City of Chattanooga has strived each day to operate a high-performing government by embracing Budgeting for Outcomes, ensuring the long-term financial health of the City, using each dollar effectively, and providing excellent customer service. And Andy Berke has worked diligently to ensure the City provides the very best service at the very best value to citizens - all without a tax increase.

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Public Safety

Safety is a prerequisite for the success of any community. That’s why Andy Berke has relentlessly focused on making streets safer for all. 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.

From the moment he took office as Mayor of Chattanooga, Andy Berke has promoted a community centered, multi-faceted public safety approach focused on prevention, effective prosecution, and proactive problem-solving. Chattanooga has seen gains in public safety but the work is not done. Through strong partnerships with law enforcement agencies throughout the area as well as effective leadership at the Chattanooga Police Department, the City will continue to implement innovative and effective policing strategies, prevention programs for our youth, strong community relationships, and high-quality emergency response.

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Transparency & Civic Engagement

Technology has created unprecedented opportunities for government to collect data and to report information publicly. Through implementation of several open data initiatives, including signing the City's first Open Data Policy and launching a user-friendly open data portal, Andy Berke has worked to ensure this public information is more easily accessible online and through citizen requests. Andy believe this is an essential first step in achieving meaningful accountability and an open civic dialogue about the real issues in our city.

Additionally, Andy understands that civic engagement is vital to our government and our community. It strengthens public decisions and contributes to a vibrant and inclusive city. During his time in the state legislature, Andy Berke regularly held public forums and attended neighborhood meetings and as Mayor, he has continued this commitment. From his monthly Burgers with Berke public lunches and Chattanooga Forward public forums to his frequent use of social media to engage citizens, Andy demonstrates that civic engagement is a key principle of public service.

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© 2012 Andy Berke. All Rights Reserved.

Paid for by Berke for Mayor, Cari Henderson, Treasurer Contact Andy