Strengthening and Expanding Community
Orange Park Normal and Industrial School - Connie brings a strong voice encouraging broader civic participation in community affairs while promoting new avenues for building a sense of shared community. Working with the Historical Society of Orange Park, Connie pressed for formal recognition of the Orange Park Normal and Industrial School, founded in 1891 so that the children of former slaves could be educated. The school was so successful that white children began to attend, which began a path to integration (and to which Florida officials then began to create barriers).
Miller Street Community - Believing that broad civic participation builds a stronger community, Connie is a vocal advocate for increased public leadership from within the African-American community and was pivotal in appointing the first African-American Councilman to the Town Council. She also played a key role in bringing long lost recreation equipment back to the community at the Miller Street Community.
The Longest Table - Northeast Clay County has a long tradition of community celebrations and events: fireworks celebrations, Orange Park’s Fall Festival, farmers’ markets, and historic parades. Connie saw a new opportunity known as The Longest Table, a sit-down dinner along Kingsley Avenue (east of Hwy 17 toward the St. Johns) that brought together residents from diverse backgrounds to break bread, share stories, and get to know each other. Connie hopes this tradition can continue and that, with fresh ideas, other new traditions that foster a sense of shared community will spring up within District 3 and across Clay County.