“After I was in east Cobb and came over to south Cobb and saw the indifference, I decided to get involved,” she said. “As a resident, I never saw things moving forward as well as they could.”
Cupid, 35, is one of six candidates in the July 31 Democratic Primary for southwest Cobb’s place on the Cobb Board of Commissioners. Since no Republican qualified for the election, the winner of the primary is expected to go on to serve a four-year term.
She said she plans to take simple steps at first, like hosting more town hall meetings than incumbent Woody Thompson, who hasn’t hosted one since September.
“It’s absolutely necessary,” Cupid said. “To me, you cannot be connected as a politician unless you are connected to the people. Visibility means a lot, having someone present means something. Businesses are struggling out there, and they need to know they have support.”
The county can also increase productivity by partnering with other agencies. Cupid said that instead of closing senior centers, the county could work with churches to get volunteers to work there. The same could be done with libraries, where parents could help out.
“These partnerships don’t cost money,” she said. “Just knowing who’s out there and what the needs are, and how we can collaborate. I think partnerships can be powerful in this economic period.”
Cupid said she often doesn’t know where Thompson, who is running for a second term as a Democrat after representing the area as a Republican from 1997 to 2005, stands on issues facing the county.
“I don’t know, at the end of the day, whether he has any interest in the issues the community shares, and I think that’s critical,” Cupid said.
Cupid said she would also like to see more people included in the process of working on the county’s boards and committees. Two of the higher profile committee appointments the Board of Commissioners has made recently were to the Citizen Oversight Committee, which spent last year finding efficiencies in county government, and the South Cobb Redevelopment Authority. But the board ended up appointing two of the same people to both boards to represent south Cobb — Westside Bank President Ford Thigpen and Deloitte consultant Darhyl Watkins.
“That’s not taking anything away from what Ford Thigpen and Darhyl Watkins have done,” Cupid said. “It’s just opening the opportunity to broaden the perspective.”
While she is supportive of the work the recently reformed redevelopment committee is conducting along with the county, as well as the plans for Mableton and the Six Flags and River Line areas, along the Chattahoochee River, she wants to make sure the plans go through.
“I think the plans are great to want to improve an area that has struggled over the years and become the highest crime area in the county,” Cupid said. “I have not seen a plan that has recommended something that’s not positive for the area. But recommending and not implementing is comparably wrong to not having any plan at all for the area.”
Cupid is also skeptical of the county and redevelopment authority’s plans to purchase apartment complexes along Six Flags Drive for a “land bank,” to eventually be sold for redevelopment.
“Land banking can certainly be a useful tool,” she said. “Until the county can free up money to do it, it’s just one suggestion of many suggestions for the Six Flags area.”
Cupid has bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Georgia Tech and English from Georgia State University, having worked as an engineer and policy analyst. She is planning to graduate with a joint law and masters in public administration from Georgia State in December.
Among her volunteer work is service as president of the Silver Creek Homeowners Association in Austell, as well as the Austell Community Task Force. She also works with her church and Georgia State.
Cupid said that, if elected, she would initially serve as a full-time commissioner, though she doesn’t rule out taking an additional job in the future.