Favors, Berz: A Focused, Local Approach to Women’s Issues

Although women account for more than half of the population of Tennessee, you won’t see this reflected in our local political chambers or boardrooms. Out of the nine Chattanooga City Council members, only one is a woman and there was not a single woman on the Hamilton County Commission for almost a decade (2005 to 2014).

There are important questions that must be answered and issues that must be analyzed for our communities to realize the economic and social worth of all women. When Mayor Andy Berke asked us to co-chair a new group to advocate for the social and economic advancement of women, we gladly accepted. It makes all of our lives better — including men — when women can grow wealth in our city, exchange bold community ideas and contribute to strong families.

With a grassroots coalition of more than 75 women, we have quickly gone to work. Over a series of collaborative meetings, we’ve focused our work on six critical areas: education, health care, childcare, justice, leadership, and economic opportunity

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