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This edition is sponsored by Oak City CRE

Hi y'all,

What is your biggest "what if?"

Unless you're Gwyneth Paltrow in "Sliding Doors," you can only envision so much of what may have happened differently in your life if you'd missed that bus or broken up with the wrong person earlier.

A series of random actions, fate or a higher being brought you to where you are today, depending on your view of the world.

But within the crazy coincidences or moments of fate, there are some compelling true stories.

That question of "what if" is the theme around our May 4 Converging Stories event.

Converging Stories: What If?, from Raleigh Convergence x Transfer Company, is now seeking potential storytellers for our coached live storytelling event.

How to throw your hat in: Send a 100-word first-person story around the theme to before 5 p.m. March 22. 

How it works: Selected potential storytellers will each be coached to share a true, 10-minute story that interprets "What If?" in different ways.

Have questions? Reply to this email!

To your stories,
Sarah Day

📸: Devin Desjarlais Photography
Message from Oak City CRE:
For the month of March, Oaks & Spokes and Oak City CRE are teaming up to offer a custom “Greenways are the Best Ways” t-shirt featuring a map of the Raleigh Greenway system. 

51% of all proceeds go directly to Oaks & Spokes. T-shirts are screen printed by hand in Raleigh on Bella+Canvas Tri-Blend unisex shirts. 

Prices start at $26 including free shipping. Shirts are available in four colors: Charcoal Black, Grass Green, Gray, and Navy.
Buy your shirt today

Why you should care about the 2020 Census

The 2020 Census might not be at the top of your list of community-shaping efforts for the future of Raleigh — but it should be.

As early as today (March 12-March 20), Wake County residents will begin receiving invitations with instructions for responding online to the 2020 Census.

Here is what you’ll want to know about getting an accurate 2020 Census count, and how it matters to our future in Raleigh and Wake County:

It shapes local planning

This data will be used to properly count what Raleigh looks like on April 1, 2020, for the next 10 years. 

“The Census is also our gold standard of data. It’s the backbone of almost every other federal statistical product and state and academic surveys,” said Dr. Rebecca Tippett, chair of the N.C. Counts Coalition and founding Director of Carolina Demography at the Carolina Population Center at UNC-Chapel Hill, in an interview in mid-2019. 

“Without high quality, accurate Census, we would really be undermining our ability to generate knowledge about who were are and how we’re doing for the next decade.”

Everyone is counted, regardless of citizenship or age

There will not be a citizenship question on the 2020 Census form, and your response can’t be used against you or shared with other agencies.

Children, even babies born on April 1, are also counted. 

It shapes representation

This information shapes redistricting at the local and state level, but also means more national representation for our growing state. 

If North Carolina gets an accurate count, our state is expected to gain an additional seat in the U.S. House of Representatives and an additional seat in Congress, according to the N.C. Counts Coalition

It shapes funding

In Raleigh, the city has shared each person represents $1,600 in funding.

The N.C. Counts Coalition says our state “receives North Carolina about $16 billion annually in federal funding from Census guided federal programs…

“A single missed person is almost equivalent to a forfeited $16,000 in funding for North Carolina over a 10-year period.”

A breakdown of funding for N.C. in the past from Census-directed funding shows:
  • $10.6+ billion for health programs
  • $3.2+ billion for human services
  • $964 million for transportation
  • $956 million for education
  • $508 million for housing. 
Join The New Neighbor Project!

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👋 Join the Facebook group for SE Raleigh, Cary, Knightdale or Raleigh (for new and existing neighbors!)
Coronavirus update: What a state of emergency means

📰 The news: A week after the first coronavirus case was reported in Wake County, Gov. Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency for North Carolina on Tuesday.

The big picture: Declaring a state of emergency is common after natural disasters, but in this case, it's meant to help increase testing, among other things that would help contain the pathogen from spreading further.

The context: With that state of emergency, specific guidance for the Triangle included the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services' recommendation to cancel or postpone events that draw large crowds to help contain the virus.

The St. Patrick’s Day parade in Raleigh this weekend is canceled, Art in Bloom at the North Carolina Museum of Art is postponed. Wake County Public Schools canceled upcoming field trips. The Town of Cary suspended senior programming and closed its senior center for the time being.
On Wednesday, an 8th person in North Carolina was identified as a “presumptive positive” case of coronavirus, or COVID-19.

The person, also the 7th in Wake County, had visited Biogen, a Research Triangle Park company. Biogen’s company conference Feb. 24-27 in Boston is connected to five other Wake County cases, WRAL reports.

On late Wednesday, INDY Week reported a Durham resident with a confirmed case was in the state when symptomatic but drove out of state.

NC Health News reports that state officials seemed to have more urgency about the situation on Tuesday. Quoting DHHS secretary Mandy Cohen, "This is serious, we want people to be aware, and start to take these steps because if we can do them thoroughly, my hope is we can… protect people’s health."

From Wake County’s coronavirus page: If you have specific questions about COVID-19 and your risk, you can email

[read more in our regularly updated guide]


Lady Luck opens today in Downtown Raleigh. The heavily Instagrammable venue with small plates, creative cocktails and a neon Miami nightclub feel is at 222 Glenwood Ave. The local creatives behind the project include Kevin Ruiz (chef) Balu Torres (who opened Totopos, Chido Taco and more) and Megan Corbally (beverage director, formerly of The Cortez). [Raleigh Magazine]

Hundreds of protestors marched through Downtown Raleigh Tuesday night into early Wednesday morning. The situation was complex and incorrect information traveled quickly on social media. Police have since released body cam footage of the incident where police shot and injured a man. [News & Observer]

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