New Cobb County Commission Chairwoman Cupid fields residents questions

Cobb Commission Chair Lisa Cupid gives the State of the County address at the Roxy Theatre at Truist Park Monday, March 8, 2021. STEVE SCHAEFER FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION
Cobb Commission Chair Lisa Cupid gives the State of the County address at the Roxy Theatre at Truist Park Monday, March 8, 2021. STEVE SCHAEFER FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION

Credit: Steve Schaefer

Credit: Steve Schaefer

In her speech to nearly 200 people at a Cobb County Chamber of Commerce lunch on Monday, newly elected County Commission Chairwoman Lisa Cupid spoke in general terms about how she wanted to lead.

But that evening at the Sewell Mill Library and Cultural Center near the intersection on Lower Roswell Road, Cupid stood before a few dozen residents and addressed particular issues impacting every day life.

Cupid, a Democrat and the only African American woman elected to lead Cobb’s five-member board of commissioners, took questions big picture and small: about the county’s growing cultural diversity and population; on zoning issues; and traffic at a particular Smyrna intersection.

The crowd asking the questions skewed older and reflected the county’s growing diversity.

Cupid spoke most specifically about inclusivity and her position on expanding the board, which now is led exclusively by women, three of whom are African American.

Cupid, whose parents immigrated from Guyana, South America, said she was interested in establishing a multicultural group to listen to the concerns of different communities in Cobb, explore the benefits that a diverse population brings and to advise the county’s leadership.

“I can tell you growing up as a first generation American, there are some nuances and some strengths when you come from other places,” Cupid said.

Cupid was not enthusiastic about expanding the number of commissioners in light of the county’s other needs. Fulton County, for example, has a seven-member board.

“If I had a choice to add more commissioners or more people serving our communities by way of staff, I would choose the latter,” Cupid said. “If we have gaps in service, we have gaps in people who can respond directly. It’s one thing for a constituent to call me. But when you call me, I’m calling a staff member.”

Cupid, a three-term district commissioner, defeated Republican incumbent Mike Boyce in November. Two other Democrats, also African American women, won seats on the commission last fall.

Cupid’s victory has often been cited as a prominent example of Cobbs’ changing demographics and shifting political landscape.

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