Orange-Chatham Group of the Sierra Club announced Monday its endorsement of Kevin Foy for Mayor of Chapel Hill. OCG Political Chairman Dan Coleman explained, "Kevin Foy is quite simply the strongest environmental candidate that Chapel Hill has ever had for mayor. He's even stronger than the Foy whom we supported in the past because his experience on the Town Council has made him a more knowledgeable and more effective advocate for the environment."
The endorsement was based on the candidates' records of public service, their performance at the Sierra Club forum and the candidates' responses to a questionnaire. Coleman commented that "We felt we had quite the luxury with this race since the two leading candidates were both incumbent council members. Given the importance of the environment to American voters, candidates across the political spectrum claim to be environmentalists. Deciphering the eco-rhetoric can be quite a challenge to citizens. In this case, we could look past the campaign slogans to examine the votes and initiatives of the candidates. That made Foy the obvious choice."
The Sierra Club cited Foy's strong support for the Resource Conservation District, for the integrity of the urban services boundary, for the inclusion of significant public space in any development of the town's parking lot No. 5 on West Franklin Street and for transportation policy that seriously addresses auto trips. "The Triangle now has the nation's 11th worst air quality," Coleman said. "Kevin Foy understands how serious that is. And he knows that our society has been engineered for auto-dependence. Much as the car and oil companies ripped up trolley lines back in the 1930s to force us to use their products, a requirement that we now take us granted, Foy knows that transportation alternatives will become second nature when they are built into the fabric and landscape of our lives with a comparable level of both ease and necessity.
"We also commend Foy's record of requiring developers to build affordable housing. Even though a 15 percent affordable housing requirement has long been part of the Comprehensive Plan, previous councils never insisted that developers meet it. Foy has been a real leader in turning that around. Many people don't understand affordable housing as an environmental issue, but one of the reasons we value home ownership is because homeowners tend to be better stewards. And that's what Foy is all about: effective stewardship of our natural environment and our social diversity. We are very pleased a candidate of his statue to endorse in this race."
The OCG has approximately 2,400 members. Endorsement recommendations are made by the executive committee that is elected by the members and are approved by the executive body of the N.C. chapter.
OCG also expects to make endorsements in the Town Council race shortly after its forum for council candidates Oct. 9. The forum will be at 7 p.m. at Town Hall and will be cablecast on Channel 18.
Orange-Chatham County Group
The length rule was waived.
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