Cobb Commission Chair Lisa Cupid vows integrity, inclusivity during historic speech

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

Cupid is first African American woman elected as commission chair

Cobb County Chairwoman Lisa Cupid on Monday didn’t sound like someone who had just won an important victory for her political party or is the harbinger of demographic and political change.

In Cupid’s first State of Cobb County speech, the Democrat and only African American woman elected to her position kept the focus on the people she is leading and the direction she wants to take them.

The address was given in front of an historically conservative group of business and political leaders and was hosted by the Cobb County Chamber of Commerce. All 200 in attendance were socially distanced during the luncheon event at the Coca Cola Roxy Theatre.

Cupid, a three-term district commissioner who defeated Republican incumbent Mike Boyce in November, is an attorney and engineer. She and two other Democrats, also African American women, won seats on the commission last fall.

Black Democrats also took over as county sheriff and district attorney in the historic 2020 election.

Cobb County NAACP President Jeriene Bonner-Grimes said she believed that the dramatic shift Cobb’s leadership reflects a national trend of a new, bolder and better generation fighting for change.

“Things that no longer seemed to matter to people became a matter of concern,” Bonner-Grimes said.

For roughly 20 minutes Monday, Cupid spoke mostly about the success of business leaders, county employees, health care workers and public safety personnel during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

She cited as examples the county’s renewed AAA bond rating, the highest possible investor ranking, rising home values and the increasing pace of new single-family home construction, which surpassed the county’s 2019 numbers.

The longer she spoke, the more she talked about her intention of rallying people to break barriers beyond glass ceilings.

Cupid said Cobb’s economic outlook remains bright, but then pointed out the caveat.

Not everyone had shared in the success, Cupid said, and changing that would required a lot of help.

“When I considered what kind of leader would I be, it was to make sure that not only was I all in ... but that everyone was all in, in the success of Cobb,” Cupid said.

Her priorities included operating with integrity, inclusivity, intelligence and innovation and attracting investment.

“We must have sometimes tough but very honest conversations about the state of our county and how to best move forward,” she said. “As we recognize growth, we also have to recognize growth in our disparity.”

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