Dear Friend,

New voices are speaking for OCV.  After years of working on behalf of rural Orange County, I have decided to run for Orange County Commissioner-at-Large in the May Primary.  Consistent with OCV policy and 501c-3 status, I have resigned from OCV's Board and am now one of the many voices that OCV was created to serve.

Years have passed since OCV first began - starting with UNC's proposed airport and the county's proposed waste transfer station, followed by work on zoning and land use, OWASA's logging project, Efland's sewer rates, rural road cycling, and lots of "Talking Trash."  Together, we prevailed over divisive politics, misleading reports, and competing agendas, to protect our shared values and commitment to sustainability.   We teamed with Justice United, the Rogers-Eubanks Neighborhood Association (RENA), environmental organizations, rural fire departments, cyclists, town leaders, and neighborhood groups, to bring diverse views to the table.

I am especially proud of the role OCV played in closing the county landfill and bringing long-promised amenities to the Rogers Road Community; and in instigating the groundbreaking Emergency Services Workgroup.  Each initiative demonstrated our belief that better solutions can be found when we engage all voices - including the towns - in real discussions about the future of our communities.

Along the way, we all learned that rural Orange County speaks with many voices, and on matters of community, we generally agree.  Education has been our strongest tool and,  using in-depth research, site visits, and media pressure, we helped to educate open-minded decision-makers on the real facts at hand, often changing the course of public policy.  Our efforts were made possible through your committed support, as well as great leaders like Ellie Kinnaird, Valerie Foushee, and Earl McKee. 

On a personal level, these past six years have been an incredible education in both the power of community and the role rural Orange County plays in complementing our towns and renowned university.  We live in a unique place filled with great natural and cultural resources, and countless neighbors and communities who exemplify our values.  OCV has allowed me to connect with people who might not otherwise cross my path, many of whom are now my friends.

There are no words to express my gratitude for the privilege of working with you and rural Orange County.  I remain committed to OCV's vision to strengthen our community through local networks that connect civic, faith, neighborhood communities - and even our local governments.  I have made a personal donation to show my support for this important work, and invite you to consider doing the same.  To donate, click here.

Please reach out to OCV's leadership team to learn more about OCV's plans for the future and how you can become more involved in OCV's work.  Here is a little bit about the team (click on their names to contact them by email):

Alex Castro Jr., Chair:  Alex has served on OCV's Board for two years.mmHe also serves on the Advisory Council on Aging, the Orange County Transportation Board (OUTBoard), Chapel Hill Meals on Wheels, and the Habitat for Humanity Family Selection Committee.  

Nick Davis, Vice-Chair:  Nick recruited OCV to help him stop plans for a Chatham County Landfill.  Nick has served on OCV's Board for two years, and has been a strong advocate for environmental issues.  He is working hard to connect OCV with local organizations outside Orange County.

Tish Galu, Treasurer:  Tish is the Chair of Orange County Justice United and has served on OCV's Board for four years.  She has been a constant ally on our most important issues, and helped connect OCV's work to the towns of Carrboro, Chapel Hill, and Hillsborough.

Norma White, Secretary:  Norma has been with OCV from the start, and has been instrumental in developing our presence in Northern Orange County.

Maple View Farm's Bob Nutter and Mike Hughes, who serves on the OWASA Board of Directors, will remain on OCV's Board and continue to help with zoning, land use, and environmental issues.

Please stay in touch.  My personal email address can be found below.  In the meantime, please support OCV with your time, your money, and your continued interest in its important work.  Please click here to donate.

As always, thank you for your support for the rural community and OCV's work for all of us.

Bonnie Hauser

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.  - Margaret Mead  

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