Meet Cash: Organizing Community from Costa Mesa to the Midwest

I’m Cassius “Cash” Rutherford, and I coordinate dealer outreach while supporting our overall EV communications program here at REACH Strategies. It’s been a fast and furious march towards EV adoption since I joined the team in Fall 2021!

A resident of Costa Mesa in Orange County (aka ‘the OC’), I have a deep passion for applying my skills in public relations and community engagement to achieve public policy objectives. I earned my B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Irvine, along with a visual arts certification from Idyllwild Arts Academy. A SoCal native, I grew up in the small mountain town of Idyllwild before moving to live around fellow humans instead of pine trees.

Outside of work, I am a loving father and co-parent for our son Hudson, America’s youngest EV driver. He was born on December 3rd, changing my life forever, and our birthdays are just 11 days apart! Another recent blessing has been to once again live near my brother and father who have made their home here in the OC. After some time in the Bay Area’s frigid conditions, my mother is coming around, too, and soon I think the lot of us will be within a few zip codes of one another. Looking out the window at my Avocado saplings and the corner’s cute coffee shops cloaked in a warm ocean breeze, it’s hard to imagine a better place for our family.

Often I can be found dragging family, friends, acquaintances – just about anyone – out to political organizing events on weekends and evenings. I remain passionately involved in local politics serving as a City Parks, Arts and Community Services Commissioner while organizing grassroots activism as Chair of the Costa Mesa Democratic Club. I further follow my heart as a volunteer lead with People for Housing Orange County (aka OC YIMBY), advocating for solutions to California’s housing crisis through the growing pro-housing movement. I am driven by the belief that the next generation deserves an economic future in our state and a fair shot at the California Dream.

Pondering the world we will leave for future generations, there is a saying that rings loud in my mind these days. The late Congressman John Lewis, before his passing, wrote: “Democracy is not a state. It is an act.” And so we must be active participants in the system of power structures that govern our lives, not just through the work of our day jobs, but persistent in our personal time too. Our hopes and aspirations for the future depend on us daring and dreaming enough to act, rather than falling into complacency about the society we inherited.

Looking ahead with the dedicated team here REACH Strategies, I believe our mission is of such a spirit; to plant trees in whose shade we may never sit.

This photo is with my mother, Mallory, and brother, Noah. Our Mom is a passionate climate and sustainability advocate who raised us with the same attitude!