Sierra Club Issues Endorsements in Orange County Races

The Orange-Chatham Group of the Sierra Club issued endorsements in some of the upcoming Orange County primary races last night. Their picks were Barry Jacobs and Mark Marcoplos for the Orange County Board of Commissioners and Bethany Chaney for the Carrboro Board of Aldermen. Here's more from the Sierra Club press release:

The North Carolina chapter of the Sierra Club announced its endorsements today for races in Orange County. Current at-large commissioner Barry Jacobs, District 2 challenger Mark Marcoplos, and  Carrboro alderman candidate Bethany Chaney were endorsed. 
Barry Jacobs: A long track record of support for the environment
The club was impressed by Jacobs’ history of service: nearly 16 years as commissioner, as well as another 11 years before that on the Orange Water and Sewer Authority board and county planning board. The political committee of the club’s Orange-Chatham Group was especially appreciative of Jacobs’ support for Orange County’s Lands Legacy program, which has protected over 3000 acres of rural land from development since its start in 2000. 
Max Felsher, a member of the executive committee of the local group, said that Jacobs’ recent work was also a good fit for the group’s priorities. “Barry Jacobs supported letting Orange County citizens vote on a half-cent sales tax to fund public transit, and he continues to support the light rail project between Chapel Hill and Durham. He also shows strong support for reducing our solid waste stream and maintaining recycling programs in rural areas of the county,” Felsher said. “His answers to questions in our interview and forum showed thoughtfulness and impressive awareness of the environmental issues that the county is facing.”

Mark Marcoplos: Strong environmental activist and business owner
In the District 2 race, Marcoplos’ long list of accomplishments as an activist and builder attracted the attention of the club. Olga Grlic, co-chair of the local group, said that Marcoplos had impressed the group with his knowledge of environmental issues. “Through his experience as a green builder, Marcoplos has an understanding of energy, waste and construction issues,” Grlic said. “He’s advocated for energy efficiency, reuse and other aspects of green building as a teacher, trainer, and speaker.” 
Grlic said Marcoplos has also participated as an activist in campaigns related to many of the club’s high-priority issues. “He’s opposed expansion of nuclear power generation and pushed for solar installations. He helped form the Citizens Landfill Council in the 90s to try to find common ground on a landfill in Orange County.” Grlic said that Marcoplos’ service on the Orange Water and Sewer Authority Board of Directors, the Orange County Planning Board and the Orange County Economic Development Commission would prepare him well to be county commissioner.
Bethany Chaney: Knowledgeable and innovative
Jason Baker, member of the executive committee of the Orange-Chatham Group, said that Chaney’s work as chair of the Carrboro Planning Board would help her carry out the duties of a Carrboro Alderman if elected. “She’s interested and up to date on environmental issues and aware of local challenges,” Baker said. “She’s sound on development and permitting issues. She’s a big supporter of light rail and public transit in general, as well as walkability and bike lanes.” Baker said that Chaney would be innovative in her approach to the issues facing Carrboro, an appropriate stance for a vibrant college town.

The Sierra Club supports candidates with demonstrated knowledge of local environmental issues who will provide strong leadership on matters including growth and conservation. The club encourages its members and any local residents who care about the environment to support candidates who have shown leadership on these issues in the May 6 election. We are confident that these Sierra Club-endorsed candidates will make a positive difference.



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