America’s Next Top Candidates

Listen, we’re not mad at Jules Bailey for pulling out of Portland’s only youth-focused candidate forum. We’re just disappointed. It’s disappointing when somebody running for office decides that young voters are a lower priority than taking the night off. We agree with him that the Blazers are awesome (we will all be watching the game after our forum ends), but we’re bummed when any candidate writes off the young voters who form the backbone of our progressive city.

In the over ten years that the Bus has done mayoral candidate forums, the next mayor has always been onstage. Of course it’s wacky. Portland is wacky. The next mayor will have to deal with far stranger stuff than a talent show or haiku debate. But these wacky things serve a real purpose – politicians can change their positions on policy, but it’s harder for them to change their humanity, which is what candidates reveal when they step outside of their comfort zone.

​And their humanity is what voters, especially young voters, long to connect with. ​

We honestly doubt Portlanders want to vote for a candidate who can’t laugh at themselves.

It’s true Nathan Howard is our C4 Board Chair, who is also Ted Wheeler’s deputy campaign manager. We have board members supporting all the major candidates for mayor. None of those board members are or were involved in any of our decision-making about the mayor’s race or this forum. We don’t want any particular candidate to be elected mayor; we want young voters to be treated with respect. Which is why we put on this forum – to show where the candidates stand on issues that matter to young voters.


To avoid any appearance of being​ bias​ed​, we worked directly with Jules Bailey’s staff on program questions and run of program.

Our candidate forum begins at 6 and ends at 8 (probably about 15 minutes after tip-off). We hope folks who come to the forum will join us after to watch their Blazers finish off the Clippers & head to the second round. One thing we’re learning from the Blazers this year, you can make it to the second round if you show up and play hard.
We’ve seen some people using a negative hashtags about Jules Bailey. We are not encouraging this. We are, however, encouraging our members and folks attending to use #ANTC16 to discuss the candidate forum.  Because, at the end of the day this is about making sure the youth voice is heard tonight, not any one candidate.
When: Tonight. Doors at 5:30 Show starts at 6.
Where: McMenamins Mission Theater, 1624 NW Glisan Street, Portland, Oregon 97209
Tickets available at the door. 
This year’s America’s Next Top Candidate features candidates for Secretary of State: Brad Avakian, Richard Devlin, and Val Hoyle and five candidates for Mayor of Portland: David Schor, Jessie Sponberg, Sarah Iannarone, Bim, Sean Davis, and Ted Wheeler will all be attending.
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Apply for PolitiCorps Today!

We are still accepting applications for PolitiCorps– our political organizing and leadership development fellowship over the summer.

ABOUT US: The Oregon Bus Project is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working to build a more accessible democracy that more accurately reflects and engages the millennial generation. Our goal is to bring young people into the political process through civic engagement, leadership development, and issue advocacy. The Bus Project has registered, educated, and turned out tens of thousands of young voters. The Bus Project has also passed forward-thinking policies that make elections more accessible and make tangible change on issues that impact young people. We’re working to change our state for the better, and we need you to make that happen.

ABOUT THE PROGRAM: Our summer fellowship, PolitiCorps, is focused on training young people to be effective and inclusive community leaders and organizers through daily classroom sessions and on-the-ground fieldwork. Fellows lead and participate in daily classroom sessions designed to give them skills and tools necessary to make positive change in their community. We pair the classroom trainings with serious fieldwork so that fellows can make a tangible impact on their community by utilizing the skills they learn in the classroom.

PolitiCorps has been around since 2005 and we have graduated over 250 fellows that have gone on to be campaign managers, lobbyists, and executive directors. It is a 10-week bootcamp where fellows get to learn the ins and outs of grassroots organizing. Some favorite trainings from previous summers include lobbying & testifying, cultural competency, privilege and oppression, creating your own campaign plan, fundraising, and event planning. Along with these trainings, fellows are given the opportunity to create and manage their own campaign plan with a team of their peers in Portland.

We provide rent, food, and travel stipends. Stipends are need-based and vary depending on if you have your own place to live or if you need home-stay for the 10 weeks you are here.

* Gain valuable leadership skills through a mix of classroom sessions and hands-on fieldwork
* Participate in local and state-level grassroots campaigns
* Recruit and train volunteers to advocate for progressive issues in the Portland area
* Build a strong community of friends and allies that you will work with in the future
* Explore your strengths and weaknesses as a leader
* Grow personally and intentionally through intentional feedback from your supervisor and fellow interns, classroom trainings, and self-reflection

TO APPLY: visit The program starts June 13th and runs until August 19th, so hurry on over! PS, we’re looking for enthusiastic, passionate people– no experience necessary! Get in touch with with questions.

We welcome applications from all and strongly encourage women, people of color, people with disabilities, immigrants, refugees, and members of the LGBTQ community to apply.

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Nathan Howard actually did it.

Our team is fierce.
Our team is committed.
Our team is dedicated.

We take challenges very seriously.

Thanks for your support. Many of you stepped up and gave during our competition and we love you. We appreciate you. And we are so thankful for your generous financial support and love.

Your support helps us BIG time. We are a small Bus, but with your support you help us be mighty. 🚌


PS Killian Czuba hooooked it up at Forbidden School of Body Art! <3

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America’s Next Top Candidate

The Bus Project and Know Your City present AMERICA’S NEXT TOP CANDIDATE: an election year showcase that reveals a more interesting side of the local leaders who are competing for your vote.

Join us for an entertaining night full of whacky contests and displays of talent, and sometimes lack of talent. We’ll even (occasionally) discuss relevant stuff, like reducing barriers to voting, institutional racism, and access to a quality education.

We’re also holding a “Straw Poll” at the event – each attendee will get a straw during entry and will choose their preferred candidate by dropping a straw in the respective bucket. The winner of both races will be announced at the end of the event.

This year’s America’s Next Top Candidate features the candidates for Secretary of State Candidates and six candidates running for Mayor of Portland.

The deets:

Friday, April 29th.

Doors open at 5:30. Show starts at 6.

McMenamins Mission Theater, 1624 NW Glisan Street, Portland, Oregon.

You can get your tickets here.



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The immigrant community in Oregon is under attack. AGAIN.



The immigrant community in Oregon is under attack. Again.

After anti-immigrant forces won in 2014 on Measure 88 (driver’s cards), they now feel they have the momentum to pass even more hateful policies to make the lives of many Oregonians even more difficult.  These groups have filed several statewide ballot measures that Oregonians could potentially vote on this November. These malicious measures do three things:

1.     Require E-Verify: Some proposals would require every business in Oregon to run every current and future employee through the flawed E-Verify program, or risk losing their business license.

2.     English-Only: Another measure would make English the official language of Oregon. All government information and documents (including those at schools) could only be published in English. No government job could require applicants to be competent in a language other than English.

3.     Restricting Voting Rights: A final measure would cancel every Oregonian’s voter registration until they could re-prove to the county clerk they were citizens in Oregon.

A coalition of local organizations – including the Bus Project– have come together to defeat these measures, and will do everything we can to protect our most vulnerable in this state. To succeed in 2016, we will need your help. It starts by making a pledge, and sharing with your friends and family that you will not sign any ballot proposal that attacks immigrants.

As these hateful anti immigrant forces build for the election, they will be asking members of the community to sign petitions in order for  the measure to qualify for the ballot. So stand with us, as we stand up to these racist and anti-immigrant groups.

We believe that Oregonians do not want these divisive policies to be the law in our great state, so we will continue to build to defeat them, and will keep you informed as we do.

In Solidarity,

The Bus Project

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A really important story this election cycle.

Native Vote should surge in ‘16

This article first appeared in the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation Newsletter.

Deadline to register to vote in Oregon Primary is April 26 (You can register to vote here.)

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By Jane Hill, CTUIR Legislative Program Manager

Access to voting in Oregon is better than ever this year thanks to the new Motor Voter Law. It makes Oregon the first state in the nation to implement automatic voter registration and has already resulted in over 25,000 newly registered voters as of April 1.

“What you are doing in Oregon is really innovative. If we believe in democracy then we have to take away barriers and make it easier to meet our civic obligation to vote,” said National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) Executive Director Jacqueline Pata. “I hope this becomes the law in other states.”

If you are not registered and want to vote in the May Primary, you must register by April 26 at or with a voter registration card.

But, over time, the Motor Voter Law will continue to capture eligible voters when they go to a DMV office to obtain or renew a license or state ID card. A few weeks after their DMV visit, they will get a card in the mail with a pre-paid return envelope from the State Elections Office.  The card offers three options: Do nothing and be registered to vote as a nonaffiliated voter, return the card and choose a political party or use the card to opt-out and decline to register to vote.

Once registered, each voter will automatically receive a ballot and instructions in the mail before the election. CTUIR members, employees and anyone who lives in the area can drop off their ballot at the Official Ballot Drop Box at the Nixyaawii Governance Center or mail it in.  Each ballot is secret and your choices cannot be matched to your name.

“If you care about educating our children and how to tackle the problems we face then you need to make sure Indian dollars are protected and vote – especially in national elections,” said Pata.


There are many examples across the U.S. where the path to victory was paved through Indian Country.  U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-North Dakota) was elected in 2012 by a 1 percent margin and credits her success to Native Americans.

NCAI Director Pata said, “She has worked closely with Tribes and understands the importance of our nation-to-nation relationship.” Today, Heitkamp is a member of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.

In 2006, U. S. Senator Jon Tester (D-Montana) won his election by less than 4,000 votes. He communicated regularly with Tribal nations across the state and over 17,000 ballots were cast on Indian reservations.  

CTUIR Treasurer Rosenda Shippentower  said this year’s vote is critical for Indian Country.

“This year’s presidential election is important in many ways but what is paramount to me is the next president may appoint three new Supreme Court Justices. Three of the Justices are getting up in age and could be stepping down from the bench during the new president’s term,” said Shippentower. “The Supreme Court and its decisions regarding Indian Law have an enormous effect and impact all of Indian Country.”  



While vote-by-mail makes voting easy in Oregon, Tribes across the country are embroiled in legal battles to fend off restrictive policies that limit their right to cast a vote.

According to Indian Country Today, Tribes in 17 states have documented electoral problems or are in the middle of litigation to assert their rights.

Many states employ laws that disenfranchise Native Americans. Some Tribes don’t require official identification or don’t have addresses on their ID so when tribal members go to vote, their IDs are deemed insufficient. In 2014, more than 500 Navajo voters were made inactive because their records lacked street addresses.

“Indians are fighting for their rights across the country so we have a big role to play here. My generation can take this year’s election by storm if we all vote,” said Lennox Lewis, CTUIR Youth Council Chairman. “We need to stand tall and make ourselves heard.”

NCAI coordinates and this year Pata says they want to target young voters.

“Our population is growing and the biggest demographic is 18-24 year olds,” Pata said.  “Those are first-time voters. It’s so important that we concentrate on getting first time voters to be lifetime voters.”

Lewis will be one of those first time voters.

“I’m 17 and I just registered online so that I can vote for the first time in November,” said Lewis. “I’ll turn 18 this summer and I get to have a voice in the presidential election.”

The Primary election in Oregon will take place May 17.  .  If you want to cast a vote for Sen. Bernie Sanders or Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton you must be registered as a Democrat. If you want to choose between the Republican candidates, including Sen. Ted Cruz, Governor John Kasich or Donald Trump, you must be registered as a Republican.  

If you are registered with a party you will be able to vote in the primary to select candidates for partisan races including President, U.S. Senator (Wyden’s seat), U.S. Congress (Walden’s seat), Governor, Secretary of State, State Treasurer, Attorney General and state legislative races.

If you are not registered with a party you will receive a May ballot that will be limited to the following,  depending on where you live:  Athena-Weston School Bond, Echo School Bond, Circuit Court Judge, Umatilla County Commissioner, Milton-Freewater City Council, Pendleton City Council and Umatilla County Fire District Director.

17 year olds may register now. If their 18th birthday comes before May 16 they will receive a ballot to vote in the May Primary.  If their birthday comes after May 16 but before Nov. 8 they will get a ballot to vote in the November General Election.

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34,410 reasons to <3 the Oregon Bus.


That is the amount of additional voters that have been added to the voter rolls under Oregon Motor Voter.

For folks not geeking out on wonky data, and super stoked about democracy, and our immpreeeesssive legislative (first of it’s kind) victory– we have only been under the new automatic voter registration system since January 1st. This. is. BIG. 

Read more about our exciting program from Secretary of State Atkins here:

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Who is going to be the next Portland Mayor?

We are excited to partner with Know Your City for an upcoming candidate forum on April 29th.


We hope you will join us. To buy tickets: GO here. 

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We are only 4 new monthly donors away from getting 100 new monthly donors.

Nathan Howard is going to get a BUS TATTOO if it happens.

Join us. 

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Meet Nathan Howard.

He’s our fearless C4 Board Chair for the Bus Project.

Every year, we do a monthly membership competition with all of our sister affiliates. We have sister Buses in Washington, Montana, Colorado, Arizona, Miami, Chicago, Ohio, and San Antonio. There are a few prizes. And roughly $1500 is at stake.

Nathan stepped up. He said if we get 50 new donors– he’d shave a Bus into the side of his head. Luckily, our donors stepped up. They showed up. When it mattered the most.

With just a few days left for the competition, we need 31 more monthly donors to help the 2nd goal of 100 new donors and Nathan will get a BUS TATTOO somewhere on his body.

Help us make this a reality.

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