Grassroots Campaigns, Inc.
by Patton, Tue May 10, 2005 at 07:09:27 PM EDT
I worked for GCI for a while during last year's election, and then again for a period late this winter. I've gone on to do other things--but I can't recommend them highly enough, for certain people. Essentially, if you work for GCI you will get on-the-ground experience executing electoral and issue campaigns right away, and you'll get a chance to succeed or fail based entirely on how hard you work, regardless of whether or not your uncle was deputy-vice-under-assistant to Senator so-and-so.
A new, unique kind of political contracting firm was founded by veteran progressive activists. CEO Doug Phelps ran USPIRG for years, and the company's principles have serious bonafides in grassroots field camaigns all over the country.
-Running an innovative city-by-city grassroots membership/hard-money fundraising drive for the DNC. It was a strange amalgam of field and fundraising programs, it was based largely on PIRG's membership model (previously used only for issue advocacy, almost never for electoral campaigns), and it was wildly successful. There was ultimately a national staff of a couple thousand paid canvassers who brought the DNC $20 million, mostly from new grassroots-level donors who the party wasn't reaching online.
-Staffing, planning, and executing MoveOn PAC's Leave No Voter Behind campaign. We wired up 10,000 precincts with precinct leaders and volunteers and tracked and turned-out hundreds of thousands of unlikely voters. The MoveOn field organizers worked 100+ hours per week, slept on MoveOn members' couches and never ate anything that didn't fit in our hands. It was--of course--fantastic.
There was some other stuff here and there, as well.
GCI is headquartered out of Boston, but they're definitely a national company, with field offices in most major cities. Oh, and they're hiring now and for the midterms. It's a great company to work for, given that:
- You are geographically mobile.
- You have no kids.
- You like burritos, but not sleep.
Essentially, if you think of putting 100 hours in a week as a positive and not a negative, you could enjoy working for them. And if that sentence didn't sound ridiculous--you might want to give them a call. They aren't a perfect employer, but they are a really good opportunity for the right people--especially if you're looking for your first paid campaign job.