Mayor Andy Berke on Wednesday addressed a global delegation of leaders from cities and countries across the world regarding the July 16, 2015, terror attack and provided feedback on ways cities can establish their own strategies to counter violent extremism.
The first annual Strong Cities Network Global Summit is currently being held in Antalya, Turkey.
At the Summit, Mayor Berke also announced that Chattanooga would join the Strong Cities Network. Other American cities currently members of the Strong Cities Network include New York, Atlanta, Denver, Minneapolis, and Montgomery County (Maryland).
During his morning keynote speech, Mayor Berke first briefed the audience on the city of Chattanooga, in particular demographics and social challenges. He went on to outline the circumstances of the July 16, 2015, terror attack and the impact on citizens. Mayor Berke praised the response of the Chattanooga Police Department (CPD) and detailed how the community responded to the attack.
“To be a great city, we have to be an inclusive and resilient city,” Berke told Summit attendees. “How cities respond to these types of events says much about who we are.”
“For Chattanooga, hate was not the answer to this terrible incident,” said Mayor Berke of the July 16, 2015 terror attack.
Mayor Berke led the U.S. delegation of two dozen leaders to the summit and, of the five keynote speakers, Mayor Berke was the only keynote speaker representing the United States. The keynote speakers included Hassan Ali Joho, Governor of Mombasa, Nairobi; Frank Jensen, Lord Mayor of Copenhagen, Denmark; Dr. Ranjit Patil, Minister of Maharashtra (Mumbai), India; Hans Bonte, Mayor of Vilvoorde, Belgium; and Andy Berke, Mayor of Chattanooga, Tennessee, United States of America.
The Strong Cities Network was launched last September and features 50 cities from around the world, including small and medium-sized cities along with metropolises such as London, New York, and Paris.