Grassroots Campaigns was founded in December of 2003 with the goal of building support for progressive candidates, parties and causes through engaging everyday people in political action. By April of 2004, Grassroots Campaigns had staff in more than 40 cities canvassing on behalf of the Democratic National Committee.
With an emphasis on small-donor fundraising, we helped change how the average person interacted with a political party. With over 2,000 staff members, we were able to sign on thousands of new supporters and raising millions of dollars. More importantly, our work allowed everyday people to see they could impact the political process.
In October of 2004, Grassroots Campaigns joined forces with MoveOn.org in order to identify and activate Democratic voters. During this campaign, we recruited a volunteer force of almost 50,000 people and worked in 17 of the most highly contested swing states. Following the election, we helped launch a nation-wide project called Operation Democracy through which we organized grassroots activists to end Republican control of Congress. Operation Democracy laid the groundwork for the 2006 Call for Change Campaign in which we ran massive volunteer phone banks that turned out infrequent Democratic voters in over 50 congressional districts. Our hard work paid off that November when we successfully took back Congress.
After the 2006 mid-term election, we focused on working with issue-based organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union, Environmental Action, Save the Children, and the Democratic National Committee. We wanted to grow the influence, membership and capacity of the leading organizations of the progressive movement, as well as hold elected officials accountable to campaign promises and keep people engaged in politics year-round. For example, since working with the ACLU in 2007, we have seen their membership nearly double and a significant increase in their ability to protect our constitutional rights.
In 2008, Grassroots Campaigns advocated for pro-environment candidates who were running for office on behalf of the League of Conservation Voters. Closer to the election, Grassroots Campaigns on behalf of MoveOn recruited volunteers to help elect Barack Obama and other Democrats in battleground states. We helped organize 7,480 house parties where volunteers made 2.14 million calls and recruited over 90,000 volunteers for Obama in swing states. Additionally, we registered over 230,000 new voters in 13 battleground states, which helped to win many states and turned North Carolina blue for the first time since Jimmy Carter’s election in 1976.
After the election, we continued our issue-based advocacy, while expanding into new states. For example, we targeted people in conservative states about renewable energy with Repower America. In places like Indiana, Maine, and Missouri, we mobilized people to sign letters and give videotape testimonials to push Congress to take action on global warming.
By 2010, Grassroots Campaigns was advocating year-round on behalf of 10 different organizations. During the midterm election, we partnered with groups like the League of Conservation Voters in Missouri and VoteVets in Pennsylvania. Our VoteVets campaign was the nation’s largest veteran-only campaign in history. By knocking on doors in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Scranton, we were able to talk with thousands of voters about the importance of voting for candidates who supported veteran rights and pro-environmental legislation.
Grassroots Campaigns ran nationwide voter mobilization effort in 2012 to re-elect President Obama and help other Democratic candidates get into office. Most work was done in Colorado and Nevada, with additional projects in Montana, Oregon and Minnesota. We also sent teams of our staff to 10 states to run GOTV efforts for progressive candidates throughout the country.
In 2014, Grassroots Campaigns staff worked on key Senate races in Iowa, Colorado, and Kansas, along with statewide race in Pennsylvania, Colorado, and Nevada –we knocked on more than 200,000 doors in the lead-up to the Election
Through our team of talented directors and staff, we have connected hundreds of thousands of people to political action. Whether it is through registering voters, organizing volunteers, getting out the vote for great candidates, or raising money and increasing membership for the leading progressive organizations, we’re committed to mobilizing the grassroots base of the progressive movement.