Decision Apopka 2018
Unopposed no longer.
With just over three months to go before Election Day, two Apopka residents have filed to run against incumbent City Commissioner Diane Velazquez in the Seat #2 race – Leroy Bell and Alicia Koutsoulieris.
Velazquez welcomes her two opponents to the race, but says she will keep working for Apopka during the election cycle.
“Earlier this year, at a city council meeting, I did state my intention to run for re-election and continue representing the residents of Apopka, the business community of Apopka, and all those associated with our great city. I just opened my official re-election campaign, but I will continue to work and serve my constituents without distracting the community in view of the recent occurrences of Hurricane Irma and Maria. These events did affect our city, and I realize that many of our residents and business people have been challenged. I will be here to help those in need, along with the administration and staff of the City of Apopka. I would like to comment as to having two opponents for Seat #2. For those that remember my last campaign’s main focus and primary platform, the theme was “inclusion.” This means that any person interested and willing to participate in matters that affect our community should be able to have an opportunity to do so. The slogan used in my last campaign, and will be continually used in this campaign is “City Government Matters.” This translates to, any person can get involved in local government and make a difference.”
Koutsoulieris is a relative-unknown in Apopka politics, having never run for office, and only moving to Apopka two years ago. She 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.
Koutsoulieris 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.
“For years I’ve volunteered for many different organizations in different roles, said Koutsoulieris. “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.”
Koutsoulieris believes she is best equipped to move Apopka forward into its future.
“At the City Council Meetings, I hear a lot about disconnect within the community. Apopka is a smaller city when compared to neighboring Orlando. We should easily be able to move forward together and I want to be a part of that. I would also encourage growth. With the new hospital and the new city center comes new opportunities most important, employment. Bringing more jobs to Apopka will be a huge benefit to the community.”