"Chattanooga Forward is about great ideas, but more than ideas, it's about action," says Mayor Andy Berke at the Thursday night kickoff at Lupton City's Rivermont Elementary.
Chattanooga Forward consists of six separate task forces, each charged with brain storming for ideas on how to forge the city's future on six specific topics, ranging from sports & outdoors, entertainment, housing, downtown, arts, technology & entrepreneurship.
Citizens visiting the station of each task force, watching, listening, reading, thinking and ultimately voting on the merit of each task force and their suggestions for advancing the city.
Very quickly, we found voters such as Sylvia Phillips, concerned about Chattanooga's growing demand for housing. "We have a lot of developments in downtown, in the downtown area, but they're not affordable," sighs Phillips.
Longtime Chattanoogan Sandy Kurtz couldn't limit her concerns to a single, encompassing topic. "Housing and transportation within the city is important , I support our outdoor recreation and preserving our environment and scenery, those are important things," said Kurtz.
Phillips says she was hoping for more from the housing task force. "I was trying to see where I can put something down to address our homeless populations downtown so we can get an incentive to get them some housing."
Whether or not this will work, Kurtz says she has faith while telling Channel 3 Chattanooga Forward reminds her of another city initiative from yesteryear.
"This is a throwback to our original "Chattanooga Vision" process we did some years ago now and we are renewing that."