In 1979 Jim Hightower of Texas Observer served on the steering committee of the Institute for Policy Studies initiated Conference on Alternative State and Local Public Policies. 
Campaign for America's Future
Back to Basics conference
A Back to Basics conference on the future of the American Left, was held in Chicago October 9-11, 1998. Speakers included: Sen. Paul Wellstone, Rep. Bernie Sanders, Rep. Cynthia McKinney, Barbara Dudley, Quentin Young and Jim Hightower. The conference was sponsored by Sponsored by In These Times.
Endorsed Marcy Winograd
In 2006 Jim Hightower a National Radio Commentator was a National and State endorser of Marcy Winograd of the Los Angeles Progressive Democrats of America in her unsuccessful primary bid for the Democratic Party nomination 26th Congressional District in California
Progressives for Obama
In 2009 Jim Hightower was listed as a member of the Advisory Board of Wellstone Action, a Minnesota based organization based on the political legacy of that state’s late ‘progressive” Senator Paul Wellstone.
- Wellstone Action and Wellstone Action Fund combine to form a national center for training and leadership development for the progressive movement. Founded in January 2003, Wellstone Action's mission is to honor the legacy of Paul and Sheila Wellstone by continuing their work through training, educating, mobilizing and organizing a vast network of progressive individuals and organizations.
Hightower is a board member of the Public Citizen Foundation.