On The Ground Staff

Hitesh Bussie
Canvass Director
Sacramento, CA

After graduating from Masters in Health Care Administration in 2010 and working as a Dentist in India, Hitesh was looking for work opportunities in the healthcare field that would let him be an asset to the community.  2010 was a hugely important year for him as in addition to graduating, he also received political asylum in the U.S. for being gay. Years of persecution made him want to be the voice of the people who can’t speak up for themselves and this guided his way to work for Grassroots Campaigns campaigning for marriage equality in the state of California.  Since then, this job has amazed him every single second not only in terms of helping the unheard but also in being a part of a team of people who have fire and passion in them to bring progressive change to society for a better and more peaceful world! Today, he looks back and he feels proud to be a part of this organization that enabled him to be the voice for not only queer community but also abused women, millions of immigrants fighting for their dignity and respect, poor and hungry children hoping to get even one meal of the day and our needy environment that is facing unprecedented challenges everyday!


Joe Berrigan
Canvass Director
St. Louis, MO

“During my freshman year of college at Holy Cross, I participated in a first year program built around a central question: “… how, then, shall we live?” For a long time I struggled to understand the general passivity, especially among young people, towards major political and social issues. I’ve come to realize that it’s not because people don’t care, but because they see them as independent from their own lives. In reality, the opposite is true. Every action that we take, even inaction, works to shape the world thatwe live in. Everyone plays a part in defining the political and social realities of our time; whether we do so passively or actively, it becomes our responsibility. In 2010, I had just returned home from class when someone covered in stickers reading, “League of Conservation Voters,” knocked on my door. The next day, I called to schedule an interview to do that same job, and shortly thereafter joined Grassroots Campaigns to support the LCV’s endorsement of Robin Carnahan for U.S.Senate. I stayed on to help open the Kansas City office, working as a Field Manager and then Assistant Director on campaigns for Save the Children and the ACLU, before moving to Saint Louis to open a new office, that by the end of the summer, will more than double the ACLU’s membership in Eastern Missouri. How, then, shall I live? As an activist.”


Gabi Seplovich
Canvass Director
Los Angeles, CA

Throughout her college career Gabi focused on social justice issues.  She finished college with a wealth of knowledge and a yearning desire to apply that textbook-knowledge to the real world and use it to change the circumstances of oppressed and disenfranchised people the world over.  Soon after graduating Gabi joined the Equality California campaign working to help win equal rights for all Californians by building support to repeal Prop 8.  Through her work on the ground Gabi saw first hand just how effective talking to people one-on-one can be in the ability of a group to raise awareness and build support.  Since starting with Grassroots Campaigns Gabi has had the opportunity to talk to thousands of people about the most important issues of our time.  She’s also expanded the reach of her activism by working on the Campus Recruitment team to hire college student activists from around the country to join our campaigns.  Gabi currently runs our Los Angeles office.


David Wicik
Canvass Director
Minneapolis, MN

Hailing from the great midwestern metropolis of Chicago, David was never one to go along with the crowd.  Developing deep misgivings about the course of modern American society from a young age, David kept his nose buried in books as a child, ultimately seeking a temporary refuge at Vassar, a Hogwarts-like bastion of liberal thought in the Hudson Valley.  While at Vassar, David learned to think more broadly about the world and its many inhabitants and studied narrative and its reflexive relationship with thought and culture.  Leaving school in 2010 with a head full of steam, but little direction, David held a variety of odd jobs and internships before walking into a Grassroots Campaigns field office in 2011, thinking that instead of busing tables, his summer would be better spent raising funds for Planned Parenthood in its effort to staunch the tide of states unconstitutionally stripping Title X funding from critically needed public health facilities.  In just a year, David has worked on four campaigns with GCI, serving as canvasser, field manager, recruiter and director; he launched our Minneapolis office in May of this year and his team there is currently aiding the ACLU’s efforts to prevent voter suppression and is looking forward to victory in November.

Mac Smith
Canvass Director
Boston, MA

“I had studied politics in school but there still always seemed to be a vagueness about it. However, one thing I learned in class my senior year of college was that there are four fundamental steps to political participation. 1. You hear about an event. 2. You talk to others about the event. 3. You finalize your opinion about the event and what it means. 4. You do something about it. I got started canvassing to repeal the Arizona immigration law. As I’m standing there in the streets of New York City I found it very hard to believe I could affect something 2500 miles away. But, lo and behold, the law was overturned and we won. And I couldn’t help but feel partially responsible for that.

With all of the noise that comes out of the TV, internet, radio and newspapers telling us how to think, people are less and less likely to go out and make that step between steps three and four and do something about an issue they care about. Before there were all of these forms of media there was just what we do: people talking to people about things that matter. This is democracy at its finest and its most basic, and it’s the only real way to go out and affect positive change. That’s why I canvass.”