Penny Rich for County Commissioner

My Focus


Affordable and Workforce Housing

  • Led the fight to include Affordable Housing in the 2016 bond
  • Continue efforts with town leaders to identify Affordable Housing opportunities (Green Tract/small parcels of OC land)
  • Work with stakeholders to develop a comprehensive long term plan (Community Home Trust, Habitat for Humanity, Empowerment)
  • Develop plans for senior Affordable Housing/Age in place
  • Develop a strategy for workforce housing
  • Land bank for future affordable and workforce housing


Economic Development 

  • 1st vote as a county commissioner was for the Morinaga Candy Factory, bringing 90 new jobs and needed tax dollars to boost our county
  • GE plant in Mebane expansion now employing over 500 folks and hosting visitors from all over the world
  • Finance Chair of the Visitors Bureau. Heads in Beds, clean EcoD. Visitors come to OC for more than just UNC. High School and League sports, Food and Culture. 3.5 million visitors to OC each year.
  • Strongly support infrastructure investment in EDD’s (economic development districts)


Environmental Protection 

  • Support public transportation to reduce our carbon footprint
  • Co-Chair of SWAG (Solid Waste Advisory Group) working to reduce our waste stream – recycling and organics
  • Encourage the acquisition of land through the “Land Legacy Program” to protect important natural habitats
  • Supports Orange County’s Voluntary Farmland Preservation Program (currently 52 farms)


  • Supported the 2016 bond for capital improvements and renovation for older schools
  • Address inequities between old and new schools
  • Support efforts to increase safety on all school campuses
  • Creative solutions to address the “State defunding” of education i.e. Teacher Assistants
  • Encourage a long term maintenance plan for all school facilities
  • Support ongoing data presented in SAFPO


Social Justice 

  • Continued sewer infrastructure efforts in the Historic Rogers Road neighborhood
  • Continued support for Community Centers including Rogers Road and Cedar Grove
  • Extend bus service in rural Orange County
  • Increase efforts to find housing for the homeless population
  • Continue discussion to create a Safe House for women and children
  • Continue discussion to open a men’s homeless shelter in OC
  • Engage Chapel Hill to extend bus service hours for the Rogers Road route



  • NACo –National Association of County Commissioners Technology and Telecommunication Policy Steering Committee
    • Rural broadband
    • Cyber Security/state and local
  • Advanced Leadership Corp – School of Government – Ambassador
  • Finance Chair – Orange County Visitors Bureau
  • Co-Chair SWAG – Solid Waste Advisory Group
  • Chair – Intergovernmental Parks Workgroup
  • Rotating Chair – Orange, Durham, Chapel Hill Workgroup
  • Chair- Communications Task Force – Strategic Plan
  • Nominating Committee – Triangle Council of Governments
  • Co-Chair – Historic Rogers Road Task Force



  • Resolution Urging the North Carolina General Assembly and Governor McCrory to reconsider its decision not to expand Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act to provide coverage for poor and low-income adults
  • Resolution in Opposition to Offshore Exploration, Drilling Activities and Seismic Blast Activities off the Coast of North Carolina
  • Resolution Declaring Indigenous Peoples’ Day



  • Make emails to ALLBOCC address public
  • Chair to write a letter requesting United Health Care cease supporting divisive policies of ALEC
  • Urge board to expand summer youth jobs for high risk teens
  • Create independent local business database for web site
  • Living Wage committee – This became a grass roots effort now called OC Living Wage
  • Create an Orange County intern program
  • Chair to write a letter of support for Sunday voting in OC