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Why the 2020 Census matters to Orange County

Next year, residents of Orange County will be asked to participate in the 2020 Census. It is important for all residents to complete the census, because the framers of the Constitution of the United States chose population to be the basis for sharing political power, not wealth or land.

Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers…” - The Constitution of the United States, Article I, Section 2.

The data collected determines the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives (a process called apportionment). North Carolina is one of six states projected to gain an extra representative in the House of Representatives based on the 2020 Census. But that only occurs if residents do their part.

Responding to the census also helps your community get its fair share of more than $675 billion per year in federal funds spent on schools, hospitals, roads, public works and other vital programs.

Be a 2020 Census Captain

The Orange County Complete Count Committee, a group consisting of representatives from local governments, community partners, non-profits and volunteers, is recruiting for neighborhood Census Captains to help spread the word about the importance of responding to the 2020 Census next spring.

Census Captains will promote the 2020 Census by sharing information provided to you by the Complete Count Committee via social media, neighborhood email groups, community newsletters, etc. If you are interested or would like to volunteer, please fill out this form.
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Animal Services chooses grant recipient

Orange County Animal Services is proud to announce this year’s recipient of The Pat Sanford Animal Welfare Grant: Trestle Leaf Web Design. This recipient was chosen for the award by a committee consisting of members of the Animal Services Advisory Board and Animal Services staff.
Thanks to a generous donation from Friends of Orange County Animal Shelter, Orange County established the Pat Sanford Animal Welfare Grant in 2016 in honor of Pat Sanford’s distinguished career in animal welfare. The purpose of the grant is to both recognize and support efforts that advance companion animal welfare in Orange County.
The grant can be used for a wide range of pilot or seed projects or to supplement other programs, projects and grants that support companion animals, including those animals used in recreation or therapy. It is available to individuals, groups and organizations. The recipients do not have to live in Orange County, but the funds must be used to aid animal welfare efforts in Orange County. Trestle Leaf Web Design plans to use this award to implement a website that Orange County residents can utilize to help rehome pets and find thereby help to reduce the number of animals admitted to the shelter.
Trestle Leaf Web Design will receive this award from the Animal Services Advisory Board in January 2020. Animal Services would like to congratulate this recipient. We are fortunate to have this establishment as a part of our community in supporting animal welfare.

“I am thrilled to receive the Pat Sanford Animal Welfare Grant and to combine my love of animals with my design skills to make a difference in our community,” said Kimberly Steiner, owner of Trestle Leaf Web Design.
For more information on the grant and to find out more about giving opportunities for this program, visit  

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Community forum to examine Criminal Justice Reform in Orange County

Jonathan Rapping, a nationally renowned criminal justice innovator who is the founder and president of Gideon’s Promise, will be the keynote speaker at a community forum on Criminal Justice Reform efforts in Orange County, The event will be held Saturday, Dec. 14, at the Chapel Hill Public Library (100 Library Drive, Chapel Hill) from 1-5 p.m.

Since its inception in 2007, Gideon’s Promise has grown from a single training program for 16 attorneys in two public defender offices in Georgia and Louisiana to a national enterprise with over 1,000 participants in 40 offices across 27 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The organization’s initial three-year program for new public defenders has expanded into the only comprehensive program model that supports public defenders at all levels of their career. The organization now has programming for new lawyers, supervisors, chief defenders, trainers, law students considering a career in public defense, and the clinical instructors who teach them.

The event is sponsored by the District 18 Bar Racial Justice Task Force and the Chapel Hill/Carrboro branch of the NAACP. Sessions will include panels on The Role of Stakeholders in Criminal Justice Reform and The Intersection of Poverty and the Criminal Justice System.

Speakers include District Attorney James Woodall, Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Carl Fox, Orange County Sheriff Charles Blackwood, Chapel Hill Police Chief Chris Blue and Jasmine McGhee of the N.C. Attorney General's Office.

For more information, contact James E. Williams, Jr., Co-Char of the District 18 Racial Justice Task Force, at 919-819-0364.
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Registration open for PLANT Beginning Farmer Class

The 13th annual beginning farmer class, PLANT (People Learning Agriculture Now for Tomorrow), starts Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020. This class covers many production and business related topics for aspiring farmers.

Each class meets for three hours, from 6-9 p.m. at the Orange County Cooperative Extension office, located at 306-E Revere Road, Hillsborough. Each session is split into three segments taught by experienced local vegetable growers, University professors, Extension specialists or agents or other experts.

This class is part of the PLANT Beginning Farmer program run by Orange County Cooperative Extension that started in 2008. To register, please go here or look for class information on the homepage of the Orange County Cooperative Extension website. Registration deadline is Jan. 3, 2020.

If you have questions about this class or any aspect of the Beginning Farmer Program call Mike Lanier at 919/245-2063.
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