Fired Up? Ready to Flip? You Bet.

If Sunday night’s Turn Up, Turn Out: A Launch Party for 2018 was any indication, the blue wave is coming to North Carolina in 2018, and it’s going to be a big one!

  Clockwise from top: NC Supreme Court candidate  Anita Earls  (center) is greeted by a raucous round of applause to kick off the event; (L-R) FLIP NC's  Andrea Cash  and  Amy Cox  with keynote speaker  Kathryn Sorenson  and  Peter Dougherty . Sorenson shared her experience managing (and winning!) a Virginia House of Delegates campaign last year and got folks pumped to start knocking on doors in NC. "Canvassing is having a meaningful conversation with a fellow human being about what they care about for their future," she said; We're obsessed with these event posters designed by the brilliant  Sally Scruggs  of    88creativestudio ..

Clockwise from top: NC Supreme Court candidate Anita Earls (center) is greeted by a raucous round of applause to kick off the event; (L-R) FLIP NC's Andrea Cash and Amy Cox with keynote speaker Kathryn Sorenson and Peter Dougherty. Sorenson shared her experience managing (and winning!) a Virginia House of Delegates campaign last year and got folks pumped to start knocking on doors in NC. "Canvassing is having a meaningful conversation with a fellow human being about what they care about for their future," she said; We're obsessed with these event posters designed by the brilliant Sally Scruggs of 88creativestudio..

Along with our partner organizations – Our Shot NCNow or Never NCStronger NCProtect Our Vote NCNeighbors on CallDurham for Organizing ActionAim Higher NowIndivisible NC 36IndivisiblesNC, NC Progressive Citizens, Together We Will NC, and Protecting Progress in Durham – we welcomed guest speaker Kathryn Sorenson (a longtime Virginia campaign manager who just flipped a House of Delegates seat in November), introduced the many candidates and elected officials in attendance, and rolled out the 2018 strategy for electoral action. Spoiler alert: It’s all about engaging with voters early and often. We don’t need to change anyone’s mind. We just need Democrats and left-leaning Independents to show up to the polls in droves. Remember, only 4 of the 120 NC House seats need to flip for Democrats to break the Republican supermajority and restore the governor's veto.

The event – held at Motorco in Durham – was something of a matchmaking experience. We wanted our guests (some 350 of them!) to walk away with a clear next step – a grassroots group they want to join, a local campaign they’d like to volunteer for, a flippable district they want to adopt, or a voter engagement effort (such as a canvass) they’d like to spearhead.

  FLIP NC volunteer  Taylor Schmidt  (center) laughs with  Kimberly Reynolds  of the NC Democratic Party and  John Verdejo  of the Democratic National Committee;  Dan Baum , FLIP NC's  Rachel Lichte , and  LeVon Barnes  of the Durham Progressive Caucus catch up - Lichte and Barnes first met last year on a FLIP NC canvass; The crew from Now Or Never NC - (L-R)  Paul Curtis ,  Jai Kumar ,  Jonah Garson ,  Zeke Creech . Paul and Jonah won the award for traveling the farthest - from NYC - to be at the event; Look at that crowd! If you'd told us a year ago that we would pack Motorco, we would have taken your beer and told you to go home and sober up.

FLIP NC volunteer Taylor Schmidt (center) laughs with Kimberly Reynolds of the NC Democratic Party and John Verdejo of the Democratic National Committee; Dan Baum, FLIP NC's Rachel Lichte, and LeVon Barnes of the Durham Progressive Caucus catch up - Lichte and Barnes first met last year on a FLIP NC canvass; The crew from Now Or Never NC - (L-R) Paul CurtisJai KumarJonah GarsonZeke Creech. Paul and Jonah won the award for traveling the farthest - from NYC - to be at the event; Look at that crowd! If you'd told us a year ago that we would pack Motorco, we would have taken your beer and told you to go home and sober up.

We challenged everyone in attendance to commit to completing ONE voter action in the next month – a canvass or a phone bank.

We could easily have had 1,000 people at this event if space allowed. The waiting list was something to behold. The interest level speaks volumes about both the frustration and the hopefulness progressives are feeling at this moment – and the energy we need to harness going into this 2018 blue-moon election!

If you missed the event, search the hashtag – #turnupturnoutnc – on social media to see the buzz this launch party created. And check our Facebook page in the coming days for plenty more event photos!