Penny Rich for County Commissioner

Penny Rich Running for Reelection to the Orange County Board of Commissioners

Press Release

November 6, 2019

Orange County Commissioner Penny Rich is pleased to announce that she will be filing on December 2, 2019 with the North Carolina Board of Elections seeking a third term representing southeast Orange County (District 1) on the Orange County Board of Commissioners.

“I am proud of the work I’ve been able to accomplish as the chair of the Board of Commissioners, and I want to continue moving the county forward as we address the pressing problem of climate change, continue to create good paying jobs by introducing opportunities for economic growth, and keep pushing towards a more equitable county for all,” Rich said.

Penny has served on the Orange Board of County Commissioners since 2012 and remains committed to being a strong voice for the environment and transportation, economic development and job creation, affordable housing, social justice and our schools. In 2019 Commissioner Rich was nominated and appointed to serve as the Chair of the Board and has lead the board through negotiations securing over 100 million dollars of economic development investment in Orange County along with a commitment to add 650 living wage jobs over the next 5 years, growing to 1100 jobs over 10 years.  She currently serves as the Finance Chair of the Orange County Visitors Bureau, and Vice Chair of the Solid Waste Advisory Group (SWAG). 

She also serves on the: 

  • Durham Chapel Hill Orange Metropolitan Planning Organization (DCHO-MPO) 
  • The Triangle Council of Governments (TCOG)
  • The Chatham-Orange Workgroup
  • Go Triangle Special Tax Board
  • The Orange County Juvenile Crime Prevention Council
  • The Schools Joint Action Committee
  • The Upper Neuse River Basin Association  

Rich also leads the Quarterly NC DOT/Orange County meetings and School Collaboration Meetings. She co-chaired the Rogers Road Task Force and was proud to cut the ribbon on the long awaited sewer project, now in place. Rich has had the pleasure of being a Kenan Scholar Mentor since 2018 and enjoys helping the next generation of leaders reach their goals.

Commissioner Rich continues to work with our delegation to the North Carolina General Assembly to help expand Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act. As North Carolina continues to work against the interest of our residents, she will keep up the fight with our allies in Raleigh to implement progressive policies and to help usher in a blue wave.

Over the next four years, Rich plans to focus on the climate crisis, social justice, and economic development. 

  • Climate: Commissioner Rich will work on local and regional efforts to address the climate crisis, including the expansion of Orange Public Transit and a transition to solar powered buses. She will invest climate tax money into energy efficiency measures for lower income housing and the installation of solar panels on all government buildings. She will work with developers to encourage residential solar on new developments. 
  • Social Justice: Commissioner Rich will continue to push an anti-racist message and to voice opposition to hate groups operating and organizing in Orange County. She will work to explore affordable housing options utilizing county owned land, and will continue to push for a living wage. 
  • Economic Development: Commissioner Rich will continue to recruit companies to Orange County to grow the commercial tax base, shifting the tax burden away from homeowners and providing more funding for our schools. She will work to retain small businesses, and will partner with municipalities and UNC to create space for startups to stay in Orange County. 

Commissioner Rich lived in Chapel Hill from 1998-2018 and has lived in Carrboro since 2018. She owns a personal chef and catering company.  She was raised and educated in the New York City area where she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Pratt Institute and a Master of Arts in Communication Technology at New York University.

Commissioner Rich will be posting updates and events on her political Facebook page . Please “Like” the page for up to date information. You can also follow Penny on Twitter @pennyrich or Instagram @penny2rich, or visit her web site at

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