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.

Meet a FLIPster: Isabel Geffner

Isabel, a Chapel Hill resident, is the daughter of two public servants. Her mother was a public school teacher in New York City, and her father was a union organizer. Her professional career has had many dimensions to it – both in the private sector (trade book publishing in New York City) and the public sector (as a social worker at the Chapel Hill Police Department and the founder of a nonprofit focused on adolescent mental health). Currently, she works at Book Harvest in Durham, an organization that is devoted to addressing inter-generational poverty by ensuring that access to literacy resources and supports are available to every child. While Isabel considers herself a bit of an agitator and activist, she generally defines herself as a wife and mother above all things. Especially germane to her involvement with FLIP NC, her son Will Guzzardi is a state representative in Illinois from the 39th District in Chicago. “My son is fighting the good fight in a state that, while traditionally Democratic, still bears the trappings of entrenched power struggles and budget challenges,” Isabel says. “Will is teaching me so much about how to advocate for legislation that protects workers and wages, education, and the economy. It’s a tough world our legislators live in.” Here, a Q&A with Isabel.

Meet a FLIPster: Mark Hellman

Mark is retired from NCDOT, where his job before moving into management was meeting with property owners to acquire the right of way for new road projects – everything from paving dirt country roads to building I-540. His first extensive canvassing was in Chicago, often for candidates not supported by “the Daley machine,” such as George McGovern in 1972. “I admired some things about the machine, such as the starter jobs they provided to some low-income youth, but it wasn't reliably progressive, to say the least,” Mark says. Here, a Q&A with Mark. 

The 5 Most Flippable House Districts In and Around the Triangle

Live in the Triangle? Want to see a more balanced NCGA? Want to restore the governor’s veto power? Here’s where you should be working and who you should be working for as the November election approaches! We need volunteers to get out, educate fellow North Carolinians, and urge them to VOTE!

Our best opportunity to break the supermajority and restore the governor's veto power is to focus on the NC House, where Democrats need a net gain of 4 seats to break the supermajority and 15 seats to pull even. Just think of it – we can gain 4 seats within the 919 area code alone!

Meet a FLIPster: Ann Humphreys

Meet a FLIPster: Ann Humphreys

Some members of our FLIP NC team have day jobs that require them to spend their days typing on a computer. Ann spends hers hula hooping. Yes, for 10 years, the Carrboro resident has been a professional hula hooper, traveling to teach adults how to dance with a hula hoop. Before that, she worked at the Center for Death Penalty Litigation as a mitigation investigator. She’s also a trained editor, and she writes poetry and sings for fun. Ann has a long history of political involvement. She canvassed during the 2000, 2004, and 2008 elections and participated in the Occupy and Moral Monday movements. Here, a Q&A with Ann.

Meet a FLIPster: Kumi Smith

Kumi is an infectious disease epidemiologist on the faculty of UNC's school of public health. Her focus on HIV prevention forces her to contend with issues like health care access and chemical dependency. Even though she sees nothing “political” in these issues, the current climate has turned her into an accidental activist. The Chapel Hill resident had never canvassed before FLIP NC. Now she has three canvasses and some text banking under her belt! We appreciate her making the time, especially considering her travel schedule for work. Here, a Q&A with Kumi.

Meet a FLIPster: Laura Ritchie

Introducing Laura Ritchie, a Raleigh native who works in medical administration. Laura discovered FLIP NC when she encountered a canvassing team walking up the driveway of her friend’s house. She’s one of our most loyal canvassers, despite having never been particularly active with politics before she crossed paths with us. We love the energy she brings to our organization. Here, a Q&A with Laura.

Our Education System Needs Us to FLIP NC

Check out this feature to see just how underpaid teachers are in North Carolina. Not only are NC teachers paid over $13,000 less the national average, but their salaries have fallen by over 11% in the past 15 years, when inflation is taken into account. 

When we knock on doors, voters tell us that education is the single most important issue to them. And yet, the Republicans in the NCGA are purposely starving our public school system of even the most basic resources.

The Ever-Changing Maps: Wake and Mecklenburg Edition

As the candidate filing period comes to an end and 2018 election campaigns begin in earnest, the NC House maps in Wake and Mecklenburg counties are still being contested in court for yet another election cycle.

Read on for a quick summary of the twists and turns in the legal case, what the NC House maps are likely to look like for 2018, and what this means for Democrats’ chances to break the supermajority or, better yet, to take back the NC House altogether in 2018.

FLIP’s Tips for Canvassers

Nervous about canvassing for the first time? Only natural! But when you sign up for a FLIP NC canvass (list of upcoming canvasses and links to RSVP here), we can pair you with someone who is experienced. And you will get the hang of it in no time. Plus, we offer training right before every canvass. Get a head start by reading through these tips ...