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!
What has surprised you most about canvassing?
Its effectiveness! In the May primary, among our target voters in Wake County, the people we had canvassed in NC House District 36 voted at more than twice the rate as those we hadn’t reached yet. I knew canvassing worked, but wow. That’s a powerful statistic.
What's your top canvassing tip?
Launch right in. Immediately explain who you are and what you’re doing in the neighborhood, and make it clear that you aren’t asking for a ton of time. People start to get antsy when they think you’re asking for money or you’re about to initiate a 30-minute conversation that they will have trouble getting out of. Also, cut your losses quickly if you need to. If someone says they are expecting company in 10 minutes and are about to burn dinner, quickly say, “OK! Good luck with your dinner party! And don’t forget to vote for Dems and against the constitutional amendments on Nov. 6. Have a nice day!”
What is really motivating you to get involved? Obviously, you want to FLIP NC, but tell us a bit about the "why."
Doing something just feels better than doing nothing. I can’t sit idly by while one party grabs power via middle-of-the-night legislative sessions and secures wins by gerrymandering. It’s one thing to lose some elections; it’s quite another to lose them because the other side is cheating. I often think of Alice Walker’s quote: “Activism is my rent for living on the planet.” I’m happy to pay it.
How are you feeling about the 2018 election? Optimistic?
I am feeling optimistic, but in this climate, 40 days feels like a lifetime. So much can happen between now and November. Look at what happened the last 10 or so days of the 2016 election! We forget news stories – even the most salacious ones – within hours. So we have to behave as though we’re 20 points behind in every district. There’s so much at stake. It’s been said time and again, but it really is the most consequential election of our lifetime.
Other than politics, what are some passions of yours?
Playing tennis, singing in a local cover band, and volunteering with nonprofits like Book Harvest and Habitat for Humanity of Orange County.
Who do you admire in politics?
Right now, I can’t get enough of Beto O’Rourke or his authenticity. So refreshing to hear someone speak who has bold ideas, a genuine desire to lead, and respect for the people of his state.
The Rev. Dr. William Barber, while not a politician, is a leader for NC and the nation. It’s bizarre how radical it seems these days to stand up for the poor, and he’s out in front, leading that movement.
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.
The recent Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez victory. Did you see her campaign video? She got right to the heart of what voters care about. It gave me chills. She was outspent, but her team knocked on a ton of doors, and that made the difference! It gives me hope. I even bought her lipstick.
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?
If I ever find myself ready to quit, I fantasize about the night of Nov. 6. I don’t take it for granted, but I certainly hope that we will be feeling elated on that night and enjoying some celebratory drinks (at our election night party at Ponysaurus!). All of the volunteer hours will have been worth it! It feels great to be part of this, even if a lot of our initial energy stemmed from despair, frustration, and fear following the 2016 election. When you need motivation, look to someone like Rep. John Lewis. He never stops making “good trouble.” You knock him down, and he gets right back up. That’s what we have to do. Along the way, you’ll make great friends and learn a lot about elections!