Last week’s borough council meeting was a rare standing-room-only gathering as mayor Betty Copeland was formally named Mayor of the Year by the Pennsylvania State Mayors’ Association.
Copeland became Bridgeville’s first female mayor and first Black mayor when she was elected to the office in 2017 at the age of 83.
Rather than publicly advocate for specific policy changes, Copeland uses the mayoralty to be a sort of goodwill ambassador around town—attending and organizing events, personally welcoming new residents, congratulating longtime residents on milestone anniversaries, and otherwise recognizing the people who bring positivity to Bridgeville.
“She remains dedicated to Martin Luther King Jr’s concept of the ‘beloved community,'” said Keith Moss, who sits on the PSMA nominating committee. “[Betty] encourages others to give back to community by volunteering wherever possible. A true leader who leads by example, she is proving that you’re never too old to spread kindness and encourage volunteerism.”
Copeland thanked the organization for the award, but said that she alone could not take credit.
“I am so grateful to all of you for this special recognition, but I owe it all to these people,” she said, gesturing to the borough officials at her side, “because they’re the ones who make me stand out and make me look good.”
Copeland then addressed turned to the audience and said: “Thank you to all of you who are here for letting me know that I matter, but you are the people who inspire me to do what I’m doing. God bless us all.”
For more on Copeland and her award, youcan watch the entire presentation on the YouTube link above, or read TribLive’s longer write-up here.