In this season of giving thanks, I am ever so grateful to be able to serve the people of Orange County and to serve with six compassionate colleagues and 900 amazing county employees. We have confronted many challenges, and though we often have to make trade-offs, we seek the best for our community with a collaborative spirit.
This also is the season when food pantries are most in need. Despite our image of affluence, the risk of hunger is real in Orange County, for children, adults and elders. Several local organizations are accepting donations of food, personal care items, and gifts, including: Orange Congregations in Mission (OCIM), Meals on Wheels of Orange County, Inter-Faith Council of Social Services (IFC), and Orange County Schools.
In addition, let us give thanks to our elected officials who will be stepping away from public office to pursue other adventures, after serving us in invaluable ways in recent years. We appreciate you:
- Lydia Lavelle, Mayor of Carrboro (since 2013, and on the Town Board 2007-2013)
- Jacquelyn Gist, Carrboro Council Member (since 1989!--i.e., 32 years)
- Allen Buansi, Chapel Hill Council Member
- Hongbin Gu, Chapel Hill Council Member
- Mary Ann Wolf, CHCCS Board Member
- Lisa Kaylie, CHCCS Board Member
The Marion Cheek Jackson Center and the Community Empowerment Fund have been awarded $25,000 by Duke Energy for training and policy reforms. Duke Energy is providing over $1 million to organizations working for social justice and racial equity across North Carolina.
On Nov. 19, Indira M. Everett, Director of East Region, Government & Community Relations, issued an email announcement which included these remarks from the recipients:
"The Community Empowerment Fund is honored to be receiving a social justice and racial equity grant from the Duke Energy Foundation. This support allows us to engage deeply in person-centered relationships with CEF members, working with them to secure housing, Orange County increase employment, and achieve financial stability while also advocating for policy changes that will reduce the racial wealth gap and increase access to affordable housing for those at 30% AMI and below." – Donna Carrington, Executive Director, Community Empowerment Fund.
"The Marian Cheek Jackson Center is so thrilled to receive this generous award from Duke Energy. This award will allow us to continue to ensure that Black and Brown folk of Chapel Hill and Carrboro can stay in their homes, preserve their history, and have access to safe and affordable housing. We thank Duke for supporting us in securing systemic equity for our neighbors." – George Barrett, Executive Director, Marian Cheek Jackson Center.
The Board of County Commissioners will hold two meetings in December, and will then take our winter break. Please note that our first meeting will be on MONDAY, Dec. 6, at 7 p.m.; this is our organizational meeting. The second meeting will be on Tuesday, Dec. 14.
Both meetings will be held virtually, and we will have our regular agenda, which means members of the public will have opportunities to speak before the Board. Please sign up with the Clerk's office before 3 p.m. on the day of the meetings.