25 Reasons to FLIP NC

25 Reasons to FLIP NC

The NC GOP has passed so much extreme legislation since taking control of the NCGA in 2010 that it can be hard to keep track of all of the damage they’ve done to our state. But hope is on the horizon. If Democrats can break the Republican majority in at least one chamber of the NCGA, a new progressive era can begin in North Carolina.

Here are 25 reasons we’re fighting for democracy and a progressive future for North Carolina. Read our full list of 99 Reasons to FLIP NC, and then share yours – there are far more than 99 Reasons to FLIP NC!

Meet a FLIPster: Dana Carvalho

Dana, a Chatham County resident who has her own line of jewelry, has canvassed with us five times in Wake County. She especially loves it when she has conversations with people who are surprised and thrilled to learn that their district is flippable. Her history of political action goes back to her Vietnam protesting days. Today, she volunteers with a pro-choice advocacy group in addition to FLIP NC.

Here, a Q&A with Dana. And be sure to join her at one of our remaining canvasses in flippable Wake County! Last call for voter outreach!

Meet a FLIPster: Heidi Colton

Originally from Philadelphia, Heidi lives in NC-H36, one of the flippable Wake County districts where FLIP NC canvasses. She has knocked doors with us at least eight times! Her husband, Josh, sometimes canvasses, too. The couple has three daughters and loves to see live music when they aren’t acting as “human Ubers” for their girls.

The 2016 election marked the first time Heidi got involved with voter outreach. By day, she works in biotech research and development.

Here, a Q&A with Heidi. And be sure to join her at one of our remaining canvasses in flippable Wake County! With less than two weeks until the polls close, it’s GOTV go time!

Meet a FLIPster: Matt & Jake Schwartz

Today, we’re featuring two of our youngest canvassers! Matt and Jake are twin brothers from Chapel Hill who are sophomores at Durham Academy. Theirs is a family that has always talked openly about current events – Jake says he has been incredibly interested in politics since age 11.

In their free time, Matt is a saxophonist for the jazz band at DA. Jake plays Ultimate Frisbee for the school and enjoys club Frisbee in the summer.

Because they can’t drive yet, the brothers usually get a ride from their father to our canvasses. Then, they split up and knock doors with a new canvassing partner each time.

Read this fascinating Q&A with the Schwartz brothers – sure to inspire you to get involved with FLIP NC in these final days before the election!

Meet a FLIPster: Lisa Reiter

She hasn’t always been politically active – after living in the D.C. area for four years, she grew tired of all of the political conversations. But Lisa finds that when the conversations are about true activation – and action – instead of gossip and frustration around our state of affairs, she’s all in.

Read this Q&A with Lisa, and make plans to join her at an upcoming canvass. We’re knocking doors every Saturday and Sunday until the election!

Meet a FLIPster: Francis Ferrell

Francis, a resident (and native) of Durham, is married to our co-founder, Briana Brough. They have two young sons. By day, Francis works for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as a park ranger at Falls Lake.

“My parents were the prototypical 1970s hippies who would bring my siblings and me to peace marches,” he says, “but I would not consider myself to have been ‘politically activated’ until I got involved with FLIP NC.” Now, he’s taking Teddy Roosevelt’s advice, as you’ll read below, to not “fritter away” his time.

Here, a Q&A with Francis. And be sure to join him at one of our upcoming canvasses!

Meet a FLIPster: Laura Ballance

You’ve heard us say that FLIPsters are rock stars – our all-volunteer organization depends on lots of good people lending a hand, making a financial contribution, and participating in our democracy. Today’s featured FLIPster is a literal rock star, though!

Laura is the bassist for indie rock band Superchunk. (If you haven’t already, listen to “What a Time to Be Alive,” Superchunk’s musical response to the 2016 election and all that has happened since.) She also runs Durham’s Merge Records, home to artists like Arcade Fire and She & Him.

Laura still finds time for activism, volunteering with multiple organizations. She had never canvassed before discovering FLIP NC. She’s knocked doors with us in Wake County on three occasions. 

Here, a Q&A with Laura.

Meet a FLIPster: Andrea Cash

Andrea, a Durham resident, is the FLIP NC communications director behind content such as this Meet a FLIPster blog series, our newsletter, and our social media. A former newspaper reporter and magazine editor, she now owns and operates Andrea Cash Creative, helping her small-business and nonprofit clients with content strategy and creation, branding, PR, social media, and video and event production.

Here, a Q&A with Andrea. And be sure to join her in our voter outreach efforts!

Meet a FLIPster: Bryan Luukinen

It's another Meet a FLIPster – video edition! 

Right after our big August canvass in flippable Wake County (80 canvassers! 1,200 doors knocked! 400 conversations!), we chatted with Durhamite Bryan Luukinen, a first-time canvasser. We asked Bryan what's motivating him to volunteer this election season, what's troubling him about the current NC General Assembly, and how his first canvassing experience compared to his expectations. 

We're so glad Bryan is returning for more FLIP NC canvasses this fall! Watch this Q&A, and then sign up to join him! We have plenty of voter outreach opportunities!

Why isn't FLIP NC registering voters?

Some folks have asked why we're not doing voter registration. Here's why:

As a volunteer-run organization led by a small group of folks with full-time day jobs, we started FLIP NC knowing that we have limited time, and we wanted to focus on doing one thing well. That one thing? Getting out the vote among left-leaning, registered voters in flippable legislative districts.

We chose to focus on GOTV because this is a blue moon election year; there are no statewide federal races at the top of the ticket to bring voters to the polls. Turnout for the last blue moon election (in 2006) was just 37% - about half of 2016 turnout. That means we have a huge opportunity to win big just by getting left-leaning voters to the polls this November.

Wondering why we don't just carry voter registration forms while we canvass? Well, first, registering voters has legal implications and should not be done without proper training. Preparing canvassers to register voters would require a significantly longer training process, using valuable time that our volunteers could be spending knocking on doors and talking with voters.

Second, we rarely run into folks who aren't registered, because our walk lists use targeted voter data. Some canvassers who have previously been through voter registration training do bring registration forms along when they canvass; yet they hardly ever have the opportunity to use them. In fact, although our 8-member coordinating committee took voter registration training early on so we would be prepared, only one of us has ever encountered an unregistered person across 14 canvasses.

So while voter registration is certainly a critical and worthy cause, it's not FLIP NC's focus for this election. If it's yours, please consider volunteering with You Can Vote, an outstanding organization that provides voter registration training and registers voters across the state.

Meet a FLIPster: Ben Dawson

Neighbors on Call has done a great job of spreading the word about our canvasses, resulting in fantastic FLIPsters like Ben, who works in manufacturing and lives in Chapel Hill.  

“I attended a magnet boarding high school with a pretty oppressive administration,” Ben says. “That’s where I learned to question authority and fight for what’s right.”

Once he went to college and throughout his 20s, he didn’t pay much attention to politics, but the age of social media put it all right in the spotlight and made the process and results of the process so much more tangible.

And, “Mike Brown’s death in Ferguson really lit the fire for me,” Ben says.  

Here, a Q&A with Ben. And be sure to join him at one of our upcoming canvasses!

Meet a FLIPster: Susan Blount

Susan moved to Chapel Hill in the spring of 2016 after retiring from a 40-year career in the tech industry, working for companies like Digital Equipment Corporation in Massachusetts and Dell and Compaq in Texas. 

“I spent so many years in a solid blue state and then a solid red state, where the need or potential for change was limited, that I was never particularly active,” Susan says. “I admired the Civil Rights workers of the ’50s and ’60s and regretted I didn’t have the opportunity to contribute to such important movement, to make a difference like that.”

Upon moving to North Carolina, Susan volunteered for the Hillary Clinton campaign as a way of meeting like-minded people. “And boy, did I! After the election, our campaign team decided to band together, and Neighbors on Call was founded,” says Susan. “So, finally, an opportunity to make a big difference.”

Here, a Q&A with Susan. And be sure to sign up to join her at an upcoming canvass!

Meet a FLIPster: Brian & Jenni Murphy

It's another Meet a FLIPster – video edition!

Right after our record-breaking July Wake County canvass (80 canvassers! 1,200 doors knocked!), we chatted with Durhamites Brian and Jenni Murphy, who were first-time FLIP NC volunteers.

"I was really scared going into it, and it was so totally not something to be scared of," Jenni said. "People were really excited and really grateful to talk to us."

We're grateful that they've already made plans to come back and talk to more voters! 

Watch our video Q&A with the Murphys, and join them in our voter outreach efforts this fall!

Meet a FLIPster: Anjali Patel

Anjali had never canvassed before her FLIP NC days. She has lived in North Carolina for most of her life. An NC State graduate with a CPA license, she has not always been politically activated. 

“It is so much more than just politics these days,” she says. “What's happened since Trump became our leader has made me more aware of things going on in our country and around the world. There are so many ways to get involved and feel like you're making a difference, that it's hard not to contribute in some way. I just want to show my daughter that it's OK (and actually, great!) to care and do something about it.”

Here, a Q&A with Anjali. And be sure to join her at an upcoming canvass!

How to Get FLIP NC Merch!

With 80 days until the election, we’ve launched our big GOTV push to reach voters across the state through canvassing, phone banking, text banking, and letter writing.

Here’s an opportunity to financially support these efforts AND get some FLIP NC merch! We are an all-volunteer organization – all funds go directly to our voter outreach work. 

Meet a FLIPster: Claudia Koonz

An Orange County resident, Claudia is an author and retired professor of history at Duke. Back in her grad school days, she did some telephone sales and door-to-door opinion surveys. She hated being intrusive and swore she’d never solicit again. “Over the last four decades, nothing made me reconsider until the 2016 election,” she says. “Knocking on doors is still challenging, but the community spirit in FLIP NC inspired me to venture out of my comfort zone.” To date, she’s canvassed with us about six times.

Here, a Q&A with Claudia. And be sure to sign up to join her at an upcoming canvass!

Meet a FLIPster: Brigitte Lyons

Today, we’re bringing you Meet a FLIPster – video edition! We chatted with Brigitte Lyons, the founder of a boutique PR and digital marketing agency who lives in Carrboro, right after our July 22 Wake County canvass.

She has canvassed with FLIP NC about four times but has also done GOTV work for campaigns.

“For me, it’s just really about not feeling helpless. … I’m trying to take back my power by going out and sharing this message that there are things we can do. That voting matters. Canvassing matters. … [Volunteering] makes me feel better, to be honest,” she says.

Watch our video Q&A with Brigitte, and join her at an upcoming FLIP NC canvass!

Fired Up? Ready to FLIP? Help Us Get Out the Vote!

How many of you wish you could jump in a time machine, return to late summer/early fall of 2016, and do a little more work to change the outcome of the election? You’d gladly knock some doors, make some calls, and interact with strangers to see Hillary Clinton in the White House today, wouldn’t you? Let’s not feel any regret on election night 2018!

Imagine how great it’s going to feel as Nov. 6th draws to a close if we manage to break the supermajority in the NCGA, take control of the House for the first time since 2010, defeat the constitutional amendments, and put Anita Earls on the Supreme Court! Help us get out the vote! Some of you may have dozens of hours to give, and others may struggle to find four spare hours over the next few months, but please do what you can to pitch in. We don’t need to change minds. We DO need to get Democrats and left-leaning independents to the polls in record numbers.

Here are some ways you can make a difference by helping to bring a blue wave to NC in 2018.

Meet a FLIPster: Dan Stipe

Today’s featured FLIPster keeps super busy on the weekends playing around the Triangle in his rock cover band, Andrea Cash & Kings of the Highway, along with our communications director, the aforementioned Andrea Cash. Dan is a hugely talented guitarist and singer. But even after a gig that goes until 1 a.m. on a Sunday morning, he still makes time to canvass with FLIP on many Sunday afternoons.

Dan has lived in North Raleigh since 1993. He works as an industrial designer, specifically on medical devices. His political past is peppered with variety. “I would say I've always been politically aware. I was actually a registered Republican until several years ago. I voted for both Reagan and [George H.W.] Bush twice,” he says. “What turned my thinking around was observing how President Clinton was treated when he was in office. It made me realize the Republican Party cared more about their power than what was good for the country. That situation has only gotten worse, and by orders of magnitude.”

Here, a Q&A with Dan.

Meet a FLIPster: Marnie & Andrew Ross

It’s a two-fer this week!

Here’s a fun date idea: Go canvassing together! Andrew and Marnie Ross, a married couple from Chapel Hill, have done this seven times with FLIP NC. It turns out life partners make pretty great canvassing partners, too. Known for their gourmet cooking, they also host FLIP NC’s data entry team meetings monthly at their home – and they feed our number crunchers quite well!

Marnie grew up a military kid. She has now lived in North Carolina for a combined total of 17 years, the longest she’s spent in one state. She works at UNC.

Andrew grew up with parents who traveled the world and lived in impoverished countries when they were young. He was taught from an early age to get involved in order to see the change he desired for society – and to fight for those unable to fight for themselves. He has lived in Chapel Hill since 2007 and works for a retired business owner and philanthropist. Here, a Q&A with the couple.