The Gospel Truth Magazine recently caught up with Courtney Omega, a candidate for the Coconut Grove Village Council Election taking place on Tuesday, November 7, 2017. She was kind enough to give us an impromptu interview ahead of Tuesday's election.
Q. Why do you want to join the Coconut Grove Village Council?
A. Community service has always been a way of life for my family. Upon moving to Coconut Grove, I observed a severe disconnect in civic engagement and community awareness. From working in the community I reside and working for the city, I began to understand how important legislation is to this community that was losing such richness in culture and legacy. I prayed about this and decided to run. I think being on a council is a great concerted opportunity to provide influence and representation for the underserved but not undeserving community.
Q. What are the primary goals for your term in office?
A. One of the first things I think is needed for the community of Coconut Grove is an assessment of our current community. The Grove of today is not the Grove of years' past. What are the concerns, interests, challenges and desires of our residents currently? It's time we have fresh energy looking for answers to these questions. Ultimately there are plenty of capital improvements and business initiatives we need to address, but finding out the current needs of our community is of the utmost importance.
Q. Why are you qualified for this position?
A. I can tell you of my degrees, family background and experiences on the job and in my community; but the best answer I have is I am willing. I am qualified because I want to serve this community in every capacity I can in order to progress it. I don't know if my qualifications could ever match my will.
Q. In your opinion, what are the greatest challenges facing the Coconut Grove community and how do you propose to address these challenges?
A. The greatest challenges facing the Grove currently is a lack of connection to the opportunities that will improve our living conditions and the quality of life we deserve. What is most frustrating and concerning is the lack of access though there is an abundance of wealth available for aid to others, our needs tend to be overlooked. We need salaried jobs, quality youth programming with specialized curriculum, services for families affected by mental health issues. However, access to this aid is difficult to understand or receive. We need a better route to receive these services.
Q. What administrative or legislative policies would you implement to improve the lifestyle of Coconut Grove residents?
A. As a servant and member of the community, there are many ways I believe would best improve conditions and the quality of life here. But most pressing currently appears to be proper landscaping to accompany bustling businesses and thriving living spaces. There appears not to be enough interest in improving certain areas due to (home) ownership being low. I believe by aggressive legislation accompanied by salaried jobs, the path to home ownership can be less daunting.
Homeowners and mixed income neighborhoods typically do better economically and increase morale in young children. Young families are typically on the losing end with socio-economically challenged areas. I'm eager to find ways to reduce these negative statistics.
Q. Which person (living or deceased) inspires you the most? Why?
A. I've many figures of family, history and even academic experiences that have inspired me. But my grandmother, Yvonne Scarlett Golden, truly takes the cake. Known to the family as Nanny Nikki (I still have received no explanation why), my grandmother was an advocate for education and equality. She took that passion to serve Daytona Beach in the political arena. She never lost an election as two times Commissioner, and as the first elected African American female Mayor. Though she passed away during her second term, her processional along the beachside burns in my memory as hundreds came out with posters depicting, “RIP Mayor Golden.” She and my mother have become my inspiration for carrying on the Golden legacy.
Q. How can supporters reach out to you?
A. I'm available at two social media pages, Instagram @communitymobilitygroup and @omegacourtney. I can also be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'm also available via mobile; text is preferred 305-993-8570.