Mayor Berke has placed a new emphasis on ensuring Chattanoogans of all generations, especially young people, have an opportunity to succeed. The City must play a role in supporting students through both strong partnerships with the schools, agencies, and the provision of direct services. However, investing in our Chattanooga’s youth and families is a community priority to be embraced by everyone – government, businesses, churches, families, and schools.


Supporting the development and resiliency of Chattanooga’s families requires programming that addresses the needs of all families regardless of size.  Community efforts should be undertaken to provide pregnant mothers and fathers with the critical knowledge they need to be successful parents.  In addition, the City’s Youth and Family Development Centers should further strong connections and proactively disseminate information to families and neighborhoods.


The success of children and young adults largely depends on the success of their families and communities. The City must help kids in a sustained way, starting as early in their lives as possible to create a critical mass within these communities who understand what it takes to help children succeed.  Through partnerships and cross-sector collaborations that leverage our strengths and assets, the City should build a pipeline of services for kids and young adults.  From increasing access to additional quality early learning opportunities to initiatives aimed at identifying and building on individual skills and talents, the City wants to support enrichment programs.


To combat growing rates of health challenges facing the community such heart disease, obesity, and diabetes, the City and its partners must work to provide tailored programs to Chattanoogans of all ages to promote healthy behaviors.  This includes supporting a wide range of programs from assisting pregnant women with access to prenatal care to supporting early developmental screening for kids.


To help Chattanooga remain the best mid-sized city for everyone, the City wants to provide resources for Chattanoogans to help with a path to opportunity.  This includes supporting initiatives that support financial security to career readiness.

Desired Outcomes:

  • More kids graduating high school college and career ready
  • More pregnant women accessing prenatal care
  • Decrease chronic absenteeism
  • Fewer kids dropping out of school
  • More parental involvement and engagement
  • Increase reading proficiency for children and adults
  • More kids having access to technology
  • Increase access to healthy food
  • Increased social, emotional, and language skills for children
  • Increase in quality early learning and pre-K readiness
  • Programs and access to enrichment and career opportunities
  • Programs supporting and engaging our growing senior population

Overall budget proposals are encouraged to include:

  • Multi-agency and/or multi-department collaboration
  • Mechanisms for citizen involvement & feedback
  • Sustainable practices
  • Research/Evidence based best practices
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion
  • Addresses multiple priority areas

Budget Strategies:

  • Through partnerships with community agencies and other departments, create a pipeline of services available to a geographically targeted group of high risk children and families that provides age specific, high quality interventions including but not limited to financial counseling, mentoring, parenting classes, and tutoring.
  • Utilize Youth and Family Development Centers as neighborhood hubs for the proactive dissemination and provision of services
  • Engage and organize volunteers to increase capacity in existing programs and foster civic participation
  • Provide multi-generational program to encourage a healthy, active lifestyle for families
  • Provide access to technology and computer programming classes
  • Provide public safety classes including safety planning for families and children
  • Attract and retain world-class educators by supporting their housing affordability
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