Mission & History
To inspire community involvement in the political process, and to advocate—by way of telephone canvassing and fundraising, door-to-door canvassing, get out the vote drives, letter-writing campaigns, and patch-thru calls to elected officials—for progressive values, environmental responsibility, government accountability, consumers' rights, and human rights.
Hudson Bay was the first company to implement direct person-to-person communication on a large scale to affect political change across a broad array of issues. All canvass and similar operations have built their business models on the basic Hudson Bay framework. As founders, we have remained entrepreneurial and innovative in order to be the best at what we do.
We based our early model of canvassing on the precinct style of campaigning that was so effective for the Richard J. Daley political organization, which kept him in office as mayor of Chicago for over 20 years. It was also used by activists supporting reform candidate William Singer, who defeated the Daley machine in his district and was elected alderman in 1968. It was one of these activists that founded the Hudson Bay Company.
Several years ago Hudson Bay entered the electoral arena to help focus community sentiments and needs into governmental offices. Our first effort was with Michael Dukakis, whose campaign was having problems gleaning grassroots political and financial support. We worked with the campaign to overlay demographic information and were able to turn around and net money for the campaign while garnering political support through hundreds of smaller contributions at the grassroots level. Since that first campaign effort, we have added a steady stream of progressive candidates at various levels of government, including, among others, Paul Wellstone for U.S. Senate, Nancy Farmer for U.S. Senate, Denise O'Brien for Iowa Department of Agriculture, Dennis Kucinich for President, Alan Grayson for Congress, and Al Franken for Senate. It was a natural progression to begin applying grassroots efforts to all types of electoral activity. Working with the Organic Consumers Association, we assisted in winning initiatives in four California agricultural counties that ban growing genetically modified crops until the health effects are fully known.
Paul Hill and Don Wolcott, the current directors of the Hudson Bay Company, a network of progressive organizations and campaigns, have grown with the changing face of progressive politics and applied the technologies used to win campaigns.