We successfully  limited industrial development to areas with road and sewer infrastructure, and prevented logging in protected reservoir land.   We helped keep rural convenience centers open and continue to influence trash and recycling services to rural areas based on  our “Talkin’ Trash” survey - a groundbreaking survey of nearly 1000 rural households insert link to survey.


Over the years, our work has become more collaborative.  Examples include our Rural Road Safety Coalition, and our work with rural fire departments and county leaders to improve emergency response to rural areas.   


We are actively working to connect rural neighborhoods, civic and faith groups.  These connections serve to strengthen individual neighborhoods and organizations, and make it easier to for communities to stay abreast of important policy and community issues.   


We distribute a newsletter reaches over 1000 households throughout the county and towns, and keeps residents regularly informed on issues and events.  We enhance our reach using social media, personal email networks, and telephone trees which are popular amongst our elder residents.   Groups throughout the county are invited to contribute to our newsletter to promote their events and share information broadly.


OCV is a 501(c)(3) organization.    We are non-partisan, non-denominational and racially inclusive.




Orange County Voice (OCV) is a grassroots organization serving rural communities in and around Orange County, North Carolina.   Our mission is to educate and build awareness about rural communities, and to engage rural voices in public policy and decision-making.   We work with rural communities, local and state authorities, local media and experts, to:


  • Encourage community building and connections between rural neighborhoods, civic groups and faith communities.  We support farmland preservation and vibrant community-based businesses.  We aggressively oppose unwanted municipal or industrial development, or the use of eminent domain in rural areas 


  • Educate visitors, neighbors, and local leaders about rural culture and communities with tours, media and community events 


  • Assure sustainable environmental practices to protect natural resources, including residential wells. This includes actively pursuing alternatives to landfills and the land application of sewage sludge.


  • Advocate for fair representation, including service and tax equity for rural communities.  We emphasize how rural communities differ from urban and suburban neighbors to assure that programs and services fit rural lifestyles.   We discourage "one-size-fits-all” solutions. 


Using research, education, and fact-based advocacy, OCV helps citizens and communities work with elected officials and other leaders to develop win-win solutions that are socially, environmentally and fiscally responsible.  Slowly but surely, we are making inroads into towns and UNC, replacing rural/urban tension with awareness of how our rural community complements and enriches our towns and university communities


Our core mission requires that we stay abreast of developments that potentially impact rural residents.   When we started in 2008, the rural community was blind-sided by unexpected legislation for an Orange County landfill.  A county waste facility followed.  We successfully mobilized the community to block these initiatives, and in the process developed a following that includes all of rural Orange and parts of Alamance and Chatham counties.