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!

What has surprised you most about canvassing?

How natural the process really is! I'm an introvert by nature, so the thought of talking to strangers makes me very uncomfortable. It's amazing to realize how much people really want you to just listen to what they have to say (versus talk), and I can handle that!

 Friends Laura and Anjali make quite the canvassing team! 

Friends Laura and Anjali make quite the canvassing team! 

Do you like to recruit a friend or relative to sign up to canvass with you or do you prefer to be paired with a stranger to add to the fun?

I love canvassing with my buddy, Laura Ritchie, but am always open to welcoming a newcomer. I canvassed for the first time with Laura and her aunt, and they were instrumental in me becoming a regular.

How many times have you canvassed with FLIP NC?

Three and counting!

Have a funny story or touching moment to share?

I work in a very professional environment and live in somewhat of a bubble, really. Canvassing has allowed me to see the hardships of so many people in terms of finances, healthcare, etc. I recently met a mother through canvassing who could not afford proper dental care for her daughter, and that just hits home.

What's your top canvassing tip?

Be friendly and assertive. Let them talk. Layer in questions from your script as you see fit. If they seem quiet and reserved, ask them probing questions – it's surprising to see how they may open up to you! 

What is really motivating you to get involved? Obviously, you want to FLIP NC, but tell us a bit about the "why."

This has nothing to do with politics anymore. It's about social justice. Right versus wrong. What I'm seeing and hearing today is just awful. I have the time and resources to help, so it just feels like it's my duty to do my part in improving things for our kids and future generations. I'd love to be a part of a state that represents and promotes fairness and equality.

How are you feeling about the 2018 election? Optimistic?

Honestly, I'm not sure. I love everything that FLIP NC and similar organizations are doing, and I completely agree that efforts should be focused on voter turnout because that is what will ultimately lead to change. We can't change people, so I’m just going to do my part and cross my fingers that things will work out. 

Other than politics, what’s a passion of yours?

Music! I try not to be glued to my "old" music, but keeping up with the new stuff is hard...

Who do you admire in politics?

Obama, of course. He exudes humanity and kindness. 

What would you say to someone who is feeling totally dejected by our current state of politics? And how do you stay in the fight?

There are enough of us to rally. Talk to like-minded folks, look into the various ways to volunteer, and see what fits with your schedule. Your efforts will make a difference, and it will make you feel better.

Tell us about a political moment that inspired you, whether it was a personal conversation, a speech given by a president, or a recent "blue wave" moment. 

For me, it's really the morning we learned that Trump won. I won't forget that feeling of dejection. The fear of moving backwards, the lack of a role model that I was hoping Hillary Clinton would've been for my daughter. After dejection, though, comes inspiration and dedication. I'm so thankful to the organizers of FLIP NC for their tireless and selfless efforts.