Chattanooga’s mayor talks about inspiration, challenges and movies
As part of new semi-regular series here at The Pulse, we will be reaching out to a wide variety of people in and around Chattanooga to find out what makes them tick and why they do what they do.
For our first “Five Questions” feature, we reached out to Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke, who took some time out of his busy schedule to share his thoughts with us.
The Pulse: What’s the best part of your job?
Mayor Berke: To see progress in real time. When someone calls City Hall with a problem that impacts their day to day life, and we are able to fix that problem, it’s rewarding to see how our work can impact someone’s life immediately. Whether it’s making sure a mother gets an emergency food voucher to help feed her family for the next week or closing down event halls where young people are the victims of violence, seeing the product of our work and how it makes peoples’ lives better in real-time is hands down the best part of my job.
TP: What’s your biggest challenge?
AB: Trying to find a way to make a difference in gun violence is both incredibly challenging and frustrating. I get a text from the Chief [of Police] every time there is a shooting in our city and, far too many times, I’ll need to call the victim’s family the next day to offer prayers and consolation for the loved one they lost. This is unfortunately a challenge I wake up to everyday and what I spend the most hours in my day working to solve.
TP: Who has most inspired you?
AB: I grew up watching my dad go to work every day singularly devoted to solving problems for other people. This taught me the value of helping others while giving back to my community. While an essential part of my father’s job and life was to help other people, he was incredibly focused on family. When I was young, he always came to the activities my sister and I were a part of and attended things that were important to us. I never understood how difficult that was.
TP: What was the best advice you’ve ever been given?
AB: Focus on the things that matter and let go of everything else.
TP: And for our final question, what’s the last movie you saw (and did you like it)?
AB: Now You See Me 2…and it was terrible!
We'd like to thank Mayor Berke for taking time to be part of our new feature. If you have any suggestions of who you'd like to see questioned in future issues, send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org