The Coconut Grove Village Council (CGVC) is an elected body consisting of nine representatives. The Council serves as a forum for the residents and businesses of Coconut Grove to raise issues of concern to them, to discuss proposed projects and events, and to bring these issues to the attention of the relevant City and County Officials.
NEW COUNCIL MEMBER
OLIVIA G. MEYER-MASSEY
Born and raised in Coconut Grove, I attended Saint Alban’s and the Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart before attending high school in North Carolina, where I founded a social justice club and was recruited to take part in a special section of Honors Global Issues. Designed to foster a deeper understanding of the roots of global poverty, the course enabled me to personally consult with philanthropist, Howard Buffet, World Bank President, Jim Yong Kim, award winning journalist and author, Nina Munk, and anthropologist
and physician, Paul Farmer.
As the daughter and granddaughter of civil rights activists, these deliberations strengthened my interest in identity politics, intersectionality and social justice and inspired me to co-organize a well-attended peaceful March for Black Lives in the summer of 2020 that aimed to highlight the systematic neglect of historically black neighborhoods, displacement and lack of affordable housing in Coconut Grove.
Drawing on my own diverse background, I explored modern vernacular expressions of multiculturalism in fashion at the Miami Fashion Institute where I received an Associate in Science degree in Fashion Design. As a beach volleyball champion, two-time varsity MVP and three-time all-conference player with eight national championships under my belt, I am a natural fit for my new position as the Phoenix Volleyball Club Tournament Director/Coach. I am excited to hold my practices on the same courts at Kennedy Park where I began my training as a 12-year-old.
I am committed to the prevention of any further loss of the heritage and cultural identity of our home—
Miami’s very first neighborhood. The potential division of our historic village into three separate districts, the pending demolition of our
iconic historic Playhouse, and the severe lack of enforcement of our zoning code and tree ordinance are proverbial slaps in the face of those who came before us. I look forward to finally expanding the segregation-era boundaries of our Business Improvement District and fostering the implementation of the Coconut Grove CRA so that displaced Grovites can afford to move
NEW COUNCIL MEMBER
I am the Director and CEO of City Permit, a nationwide construction consulting company.
While attending FIU I earned my bachelor’s degree in International Business with honors simultaneously working three jobs to put myself through school. During my studies I was enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and successfully completed Officer Candidate’s School (OCS). I am a founding member of Sigma Lambda Beta, an international multicultural fraternity and a Google Building Opportunities through Leadership Development (BOLD) scholarship recipient.
I originally started working in the West Grove at Virrick Park in 2010 as part of the America Reads federal work study program. It was rewarding helping children excel academically and watch them regain confidence as they transitioned from feeling written off to being successful students. This experience furthered my affinity for serving my community and being a part of the solution.
I relocated back the DC metropolitan area in 2012 and moved back to Coconut Grove in the 2018. I fell in love with Coconut Grove during my undergraduate years and knew when I came back to Miami I would live in the Grove.
As City Permit continued to grow, I wanted to further impact my community so I founded The City Permit Foundation. My non-profit organization is focused on direct programming for underserved communities and at-risk youth. We promote financial literacy, health education, and community enrichment. We’ve already sponsored a back-to-school drive where we were able to donate 85 backpacks with school supplies, a Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner Giveaway where over 100 families were fed, and Toy Drive with the City of Miami Parks & Recreation and Thelma Gibson Foundation sourcing and distributing over 300 toys.
I know the only way to make a difference is to lead by example by being proactive. As a council member I intend to be active in the Housing & Zoning and Outreach & Visibility committees. There are many issues the Grove is facing and with a unified and informed constituency we can address the Playhouse Project, NCD Zoning, Affordable Housing, Virrick Park Swimming Pool, Redistricting, and extended opportunities for businesses to thrive and expand in the West Grove.