The race for the Orange County Board of Commissioners extremely important. Our public schools are under siege from the state government, and we need strong supporters of public education in these roles now more than ever.
I would like to offer my endorsement for the two strongest candidates for Orange County commissioners in District 1 in next month’s Democratic primary: Jamezetta Bedford and Penny Rich. Jamezetta Bedford served as a CHCCS board member for 12 years. During her tenure, she founded our district’s Special Needs Advisory Council and singlehandedly advocated for our special-needs students before such programs existed. I was fortunate enough to serve with Jamezetta during her final two years of service, during which time I experienced her educational philosophy and advocacy firsthand: She believes that when it comes to our children, “all means all” – meaning that every child in our district is entitled to a free and appropriate education. As a practicing certified public accountant, Jamezetta is extremely detail-oriented and fairness-minded. She has inspired me in my commitment to our district, and is one of the most loyal and tireless advocates for all of our children. I believe there is no greater supporter of public education.
Penny Rich has served as an elected official in our community since 2009, both as a member of the Chapel Hill Town Council and as a county commissioner. She is a person with a tremendous sensitivity to the members of our local community who are the least visible on the political stage; for example, during the most recent discussions on the bond hearing, Penny was the leading advocate for combining a strong housing policy with strong support for our schools. She has proven to be an ardent supporter of our special district tax, which is what helps keep our schools strong by funding them to the maximum level—this is very important in light of our state’s lack of financial support for education.
I urge you to vote as I will on March 15 for Jamezetta Bedford and for Penny Rich. Most importantly, I urge you to vote!
BOARD MEMBER, CHAPEL HILL CARRBORO CITY SCHOOLS