1. A person or thing that is mysterious, puzzling, or difficult to understand.
Alicia Koutsoulieris is an enigma.
She is a mysterious candidate who has nearly no ties to Apopka politics and has only lived in the city for two years. It’s puzzling that she is running this longshot campaign against an incumbent (Commissioner Diane Velazquez), and two other well-known residents of Apopka (Leroy Bell and Alice Nolan), for the City Commission (Seat #2). And it’s difficult to understand her pathway to victory given her low name recognition, lack of fundraising, and inexperience in running a campaign.
Her climb to win this election is steep.
But while Koutsoulieris lacks name recognition in Apopka, she does not lack in passion to help those most in need. And it’s her eclectic blend of education and community service that make her candidacy so intriguing.
Koutsoulieris has lived in Central Florida since she was five years old, and graduated from the University of Central Florida, holding a BA in Political Science (2009) and a BA in History (2010). She is presently pursuing a Masters Degree in Political Science.
“I’m a relatively new resident here in Apopka,” said Koutsoulieris. “We bought a house here about 2 1/2 years ago. The draw was that my family was here, but also the city seemed a little more welcoming… a little more of a hometown feeling than Orlando.
She is also is involved with many community organizations, with a number of volunteer leadership roles; including, The League of Women Voters, The American Red Cross – Mid-Florida Chapter, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, Amnesty International, an International Delegate for Inter-faith Peace Builders, United Nations Association of Greater Orlando, and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) of Central Florida.
She believes she is best equipped to move Apopka forward into its future because of her blend of political training and public service.
“For several years, I’ve worked and volunteered with organizations that help those in need in the community. Now that my time as a student is coming to a close, I want to use the skills I’ve acquired to work in a new capacity within the community. It’s my responsibility to do my part when and where I can to help. To serve as a city commissioner, this would be another opportunity to continue that work in a new capacity.”
This is Koutsoulieris’ first trip into the political arena, and while it is unlikely to result in a seat on the Apopka City Commission, it’s also unlikely that this will be her last attempt at elected office. Her passion, political training, and community service make Koutsoulieris a likely candidate in elections to come.