Definition and meaning of grassroots: Grassroots is a term used to describe the activities of citizens who are politically engaged at the local level and are working to create change in their communities. This type of participation is often referred to as "bottom-up" democracy, because it starts with the people and works its way up to the decision makers. Grassroots organizations are typically non-partisan and can be found in communities large and small, in all fifty states. Grassroots initiatives are often focused on specific issues of importance to the community, such as education reform, economic development, and environmental protection. Grassroots campaigns can involve door-to-door canvassing, petition drives, rallies and demonstrations, as well as engaging with elected officials and local media outlets. Grassroots movements are instrumental in shaping policy, and are essential for a healthy democracy.