- Consulting firm that supports leftist organizations, campaigns, candidates, and parties
Founded in 2003 by a small group of veteran activists, Grassroots Campaigns (GC) is an independent consulting firm that seeks to “create meaningful change in the world” by supporting progressive organizations, candidates, campaigns, and parties. Using face-to-face outreach as its principal modus operandi, GC aims to “rally average Americans behind important issues like civil liberties, environmental protection, LGBT equality, poverty and social justice.”
From its earliest days, GC quickly established itself as a prominent force in the progressive movement, running expansive field operations for the Democratic National Committee and MoveOn PAC during the 2004 election season. In October of that year, GC and MoveOn.org together recruited nearly 50,000 volunteers to identify and mobilize Democratic voters in 17 highly contested swing states. After Election Day, GC helped launch a nationwide project called Operation Democracy, whose aim was to organize grassroots activists dedicated to ending Republican control of Congress.
Building upon those efforts, GC’s Call for Change campaign in 2006 utilized massive volunteer phone banks to contact and mobilize infrequent Democratic voters in more than 50 congressional districts. These efforts helped the Democratic Party win majorities in both the Senate and the House of Representatives.
In the aftermath of the 2006 mid-term elections, GC focused its efforts on “grow[ing] the influence, membership, and capacity of the leading organizations of the progressive movement.” Most notably, it worked in collaboration with the American Civil Liberties Union, the Democratic National Committee, Environmental Action, and Save the Children.
In 2008, GC advocated for “pro-environment” candidates who were running for office on behalf of the League of Conservation Voters. GC also recruited more than 90,000 volunteers to work on the presidential campaign of Barack Obama and the congressional bids of other Democrats in battleground states. These volunteers helped organize 7,480 pro-Democrat house parties, made 2.14 million voter-mobilization phone calls, and registered some 230,000 new voters in 13 states.
In 2009, GC turned its attention toward people in conservative states with its “Repower America” initiative promoting renewable energy as an alternative to fossil fuels. And in places like Indiana, Maine, and Missouri, the organization mobilized residents to sign letters and give videotape testimonials pushing Congress to “take action on global warming.”
In 2010, GC continued to advance its environmental agendas by partnering with the League of Conservation Voters in Missouri and VoteVets in Pennsylvania. The VoteVets campaign featured GC volunteers knocking on thousands of doors in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Scranton, to talk with people about “the importance of voting for candidates who supported veteran rights and pro-environmental legislation.”
Over the years, GC has also run numerous ballot, legislative, corporate, fundraising, and petition-gathering campaigns; recruited over 2.5 million supporters for a variety of state and national groups; held many conferences designed to make college students more politically active; and trained thousands of professional organizers and campaign staffers.
In addition to the organizations named above, other past and present partner groups of GC include Amnesty International, the Nature Conservancy, Oxfam America, the Sierra Club, and the Southern Poverty Law Center.