As a long-term resident of Chapel Hill, I’ve known Penny Rich for years, both as a civil servant and a neighbor, and I’m proud to have her serving the citizens of Orange County.
Penny has been instrumental in decisions that have been made to better our community. She deeply understands that vibrant, sustainable communities can only be made possible through smart growth and economic development, social justice, environmental protections, and a robust, accessible and inclusive education system. Moreover, Penny approaches each issue with an open, curious mind and a genuine desire to understand both the facts and the emotions surrounding it before she develops her position.
As a lifelong cyclist and the president of a local nonprofit that leverages the benefits of cycling for youth development, one issue near and dear to my heart is cyclist safety. House Bill 232 has highlighted, unfortunately, the divide that exists between motorists and cyclists on this topic. Penny has made it a point to educate herself on what does and does not contribute to cycling safety. As a result, she’s put forth a solid and balanced set of recommendations: Mutual respect and understanding; education for both parties regarding current laws and best practices; a transparent and inclusive process for recommending any new legislation; and that any new legislation be logical, backed by solid evidence of its value to cycling safety, and not overly burdensome to administer.
Penny Rich has earned the opportunity to serve again as Orange County commissioner, and Orange County deserves a commissioner as qualified and passionate as Penny.