Mayor Berke meets with President Obama to discuss economy
Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke is back from the nation's capital after meeting with President Obama and Vice President Biden. Their focus was on the middle class.
Sixteen recently elected mayors invited, ranging from New York city to Seattle, L.A., and Chattanooga. President Obama says that's because they lead cities that are central to our country's economic progress.
"I never thought that I'd be in the oval office," Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke said.
But, that's where he found himself Friday. The group of mayors sat down with the president and vice president to talk economics and determine how to help grow their cities.
"Once you have meetings with the mayors of the major cities, the president of the United States, the vice president, you understand how important it is for our country that Chattanooga succeeds," Mayor Berke said.
He says it's clear adding more manufacturing jobs plays a big role in that success.
"We did talk through a number of different ideas. I think in the long run, what I got from it is, the focus on manufacturing and the way in which we can truly grow our middle class through the right policies," Mayor Berke said.
The president says the federal government can help by passing a budget, in order to give a more predictable economic environment and allow cities like Chattanooga to attract investment.
"We can get away for the first time in a couple of years, from the constant brinkmanship and crisis governance that we've seen up on Capitol Hill," President Obama said.
Berke also met President Obama back in July, when he spoke to employees at the Amazon Fulfillment Center with a similar message about job growth.
"What I wanted to make sure is that once again, we really put Chattanooga on the radar and let the president and vice president know what was going on here and how special a community we have," Berke said.
Mayor Berke says he was glad to remind leaders of the success Chattanooga's had in recent years with attracting large companies.