Chloe Coney retiring as U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor's district director
Chloe Coney is retiring at the end of this month after 10 years as U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor's district director and more than 40 years' work locally in housing and economic development.
“Chloe’s passion and expertise have served our neighbors, families and businesses well,” Castor, D-Tampa, said Wednesday in a statement released through her office. “She is revered by Tampa’s community for her lifetime of service."
Starting in 2007, Coney helped launch Castor's district office in Tampa and worked on constituent service and outreach as a wave of foreclosures and business losses hit Tampa during the Great Recession.
“With Chloe by my side, we held seven foreclosure prevention workshops, several job fairs and other district events to reach thousands in our district and help lift them as well as our businesses into economic recovery,” Castor said.
But Coney's community work began long before she joined Castor's office.
Coney, 66, grew up in Tampa, and earned a bachelor's degree in sociology at Florida A&M University. She received a master's in biblical counseling from Florida Beacon Bible College in Largo.
In 1992, she founded the Corporation to Develop Communities of Tampa. As head of that organization, she oversaw job training and home ownership counseling for thousands of people, construction of affordable homes in East Tampa, an infusion of new businesses and the opening of a youth center in place of an abandoned bar.
Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn said Coney was, "in every sense of the word," a pioneer on behalf of East Tampa who brought federal, state and city funds to bear on the area's problems and trained a generation of activists who followed her.
"Probably more than almost anybody, Chloe spear-headed the effort to begin the revitalization of East Tampa," Buckhorn said Wednesday. "She was out there long before anybody else. She brought it to the attention of influencers who normally would't have set foot there. ... She led drug marches. I can't tell you how many drug marches I've been on with her."
With Coney's retirement, Marcia Mejia, Castor's communications director, will become district director. Grants coordinator Steven Angotti will take over communication duties along with continuing to work on grants. Dewayne Mallory, a U.S. Army veteran who has worked as legislative aide for several bay-area state legislators, will become Castor’s outreach director.