That’s a wrap!

We did it! The Oregon legislature wrapped up last week, and we are so proud of the work we’ve all done together!

Here’s some of what we did, at a glance:

After a decade of hard work, we successfully lowered Oregon’s voter pre-registration age to 16 by passing Senate Bill 802! Now when 16-year-olds get their license at the DMV, they’ll be automatically pre-registered to vote! Nearly 20,000 16-year-olds go the the DMV every year, so this is going to make a HUGE difference. BIG UPS to our fierce sponsors, Senators Taylor, Steiner Hayward, and Boquist, and Representatives Lininger and Malstrom.

We worked with our friends at the Oregon Student Association to pass House Bill 3408, protecting Oregon’s best-in-the-nation voter registration rules and ensuring that we can continue to do the important work we do to register thousands of voters every year.


We also supported efforts to do a lot of other great things, like extending health coverage to all Oregon kids, requiring student loan transparency, and creating standards for statewide ethnic studies curriculum for our schools. All of these bills will make Oregon a better place for all of us, and we are excited they passed.

All told, we closely monitored 15 elections-related bills, testified or submitted testimony on 12 different bills, and had 400+ people email or call their legislator about their priorities and nearly 100 people come lobby in person on bills in Salem. IT MADE A HELLUVA difference. 

There were other important bills that we supported that unfortunately didn’t pass, and we are disappointed the legislature didn’t take action. BUT, DAMN IF WE DIDN’T TRY OUR HARDEST. 

We know that paying for postage for all ballots will increase turnout and make voting even easier for all Oregonians, that‘s why we supported Senate Bill 683. Unfortunately, we’ve got a ton of work to do to ensure legislators understand what we hear when we’re knocking on doors. Although it didn’t pass, we wanna give a shout out to Senator Devlin and his staff for their help on this bill! 

Thousands of Oregonians across our state are struggling to keep a roof over their heads as they juggle the burdens of increasing rents, low wages, and student debt. Many more are faced with no-cause evictions, leaving them with nowhere to go. House Bill 2004 would have helped fix that, but the big special interest groups representing landlords and developers just wouldn’t back down, and the bill died in the Senate. We’re very disappointed and we’re committed to fighting for these protections in the interim. 

And finally, Oregon failed to pass House Bill 2927,  the National Popular Vote bill. Out of 45 elections, a President has been elected that lost the popular vote a whopping 5 times. The bill would have changed that so that the President would be elected by a true vote of the people. We’re committed to trying again in the future to help make sure on person equals one vote in the Presidential election. We’ve been fighting for this bill for multiple sessions, and we’re more committed than ever to making sure your voice is heard in Salem on this critical issue.

As always, thank you so much for supporting the Bus and for riding along with us on this wild journey! We couldn’t do it without our amazing and wonderful staff, our dream team of volunteers, Ben the volunteer Bus driver, and all of y’all.

We had a ton of successes this legislative session and we are so proud of all the yellow Bus buttons we saw every day in the Capitol. Thanks for making this work so much fun and rewarding. We can’t do it without ya.

All of us over at Team Bus can’t wait to keep fighting so every eligible voter can cast their ballot free from restrictions and barriers.


We see the crazy, banana-pants requests made by the guy in the White House. Don’t worry though–we’re monitoring it. Best way to stop him is to register friends and family to vote by visiting   


If you want to help us continue to fight for democracy, you can chip in $5 a month here! 

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We are hiring!!!!

What we hope for: We’re looking for a committed, resourceful individual who believes in the power of young people to create change and is passionate about mobilizing young people to register to vote, participate in elections, and tackle the most pressing issues facing our generation (i.e., economic justice, climate justice, criminal justice, housing justice). The Program Organizer is a core member of our team, and will be leading the largest component of our 2017/2018​ young voter registration.

Our ideal candidate takes initiative, is highly organized, builds relationships easily, and has experience working with diverse and underrepresented communities. You’d be a good fit if you’ve got the energy to register voters while rollerskating, the determination to hit ambitious goals, and the commitment to support young leaders in learning to do this work. We also look for people who have a positive outlook and contagious personality. You, yes, you should throw your hat in the ring if you’re excited by this challenge and are ready to work hard. This position offers tremendous opportunities for leadership, innovation, and professional development on a very supportive team that takes the work seriously, but not ourselves.

About us: ​We’re an innovative nonprofit organization that mobilizes young people to move Oregon forward through civic engagement, leadership development and advocacy work. We register and turn out thousands of young voters every year by working on issues like election reform, and economic, climate and housing justice, all while training hundreds of young leaders to create change.

The Ideal Program Organizer will:

❖ Lead the execution of large-scale, volunteer-driven voter registration drives and turnout programs targeting young voters in Oregon including all aspects of voter registration, phone banks, canvasses, voter guide distribution, etc.

❖ Work in close partnership with the Leadership Development Coordinator to meet the goals of the Bus; In particular, supporting all aspects of our leadership program including goal-setting, recruitment, management and plugging volunteers into leadership opportunities.

❖ Maintain a regular presence at private college campuses,​high schools, ​community events and festivals.

❖ Manage a small team of temporary organizers and organizing fellows to assist with the execution of a large-scale voter registration in Summer/Fall 201​7​.

❖ Manage tasks such as data entry, financial management, voter registration entry, taking voter registration cards to the county clerks office and help staff with other small projects as necessary.

❖ Lead all grassroots lobbying activities in Salem, and engage interns and volunteers in Oregon’s legislative session.

❖ Manage National Voter Registration Day and Trick or Vote.

❖ Manage and oversee Brewhahas, Education Forums and other events.

❖ Draft email correspondence, blog posts, and Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram posts.

❖ Work with coalition partners to collaborate on programs and campaigns as needed.

❖ Maintain a deep ​commitment to the Bus Project mission and to advancing the organization’s goals and objectives.

❖ Emanate enthusiasm for voter registration, voter turnout, and election access.

❖ Have incredible organizational skills. Seriously.

❖ Take initiative to lead and self-improve, and work efficiently and effectively under tight deadlines.

❖ Communicate a passion for tackling the issues facing our generation, especially economic justice and racial justice.

❖ Build relationships easily, especially with young people, and commitment to developing young leaders.

❖ Attend Monthly Bus Project Board meetings, while assisting a variety of Board of Directors Committees.

❖ Have enthusiasm for, experience with, and ability to work within diverse and underrepresented communities.

❖ Have a high energy personality and enthusiasm for engaging thousands of young voters face-to-face.

❖ Demonstrate success in thoroughly managing multiple projects with many moving parts to produce great results.

❖ Be relentless in reaching goals.

❖ Have a work style that is flexible, respectful and collaborative, and the ability to maintain a supportive, empowering work culture.

❖ Have a positive, solutions-oriented attitude & enthusiasm for designing and implementing new initiatives.

❖ Be willing to work nontraditional hours on a regular basis & campaign hours during election season.

Preferred, but not required:

❖ Fluency in Spanish.

❖ Some experience working with voter registration or campaigns.

❖ Understanding of VAN or willingness to get trained and learn VAN and NGP.

Please note: We care more about your ability to get the job done than whether you have formal or informal experience. We encourage you to submit your application if this job excites you!

Position Details: This is a full-time position based out of Portland’s office reporting to the Executive Director. We provides a comprehensive benefits package, including medical and dental coverage (with 100% of the premium covered by the employer), paid sick and vacation time, and lots of pizza during election times. Salary range ​begin at $31,000-$34,000,​ ​but is ​commensurate with experience.

Deadline: Applications will be accepted until a diverse and qualified pool of candidates has been identified. Ideal deadline for hire is no later than July 30th.

Application Guidelines/Contact:
Please send your cover letter and resume to and in the subject line put Program Organizer.

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Don’t forget. It’s important.

You have until tomorrow.

At 8pm.

To make sure your voice is heard.

Get those ballots in.

Don’t know where to drop it off? Go here:

It’s too late to mail your ballot in so you gotttttta drop those babies off.

Make ’em count.

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The Bus Project + The Alliance for Youth Action


We’re excited to share that The Bus Project is joining organizations from across the country to launch The Alliance for Youth Action—a movement of young people, by young people, for all people.

Local organizing has never been more important, so our network—formerly known as the Bus Federation—is growing to meet the challenge. Bigger, broader, more ambitious—that’s more like it.

Read the announcement from the Alliance here.

The Alliance will seed and support similar youth turnout efforts around the country, drawing on our different expertise and talents, and allowing more locally-focused youth organizing groups to learn from each other and to win even bigger battles. It’ll also focus on changing the national issue debate, with national issue campaigns on voting rights & economic justice (The Bus Project is a part of these campaigns, too!).

As for the Bus, we’re still Oregonian-focused (and our name is still The Bus Project). For the last 15 years, we’ve helped transform politics and democracy in Oregon—and now, we’re incredibly excited to be a part of this unstoppable movement amplifying local organizing work for young people across the country.

Our first joint effort is Youth Organizing Summit, which The Bus is helping to plan, to debrief the 2016 election, build expertise on advocacy and organizing and plan for 2017-18 and beyond.

We’re excited about this next chapter, and hope you are, too!


-The Bus Project Team <3

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#PreRegattheLeg update!


SB 802, Pre- voter registration for 16 year-olds, passes out of the Senate with a 19-10 vote and now heads to the House. Take action right now and let the House now we want pre-voter registration for 16 year olds.

Can you take action right now?

Call your representative *

* Follow up with an email *

* Chip in $5 a month to make sure we can continue to champion voter access *

Thank you to those who sponsored and voted in favor of this critical legislation: 

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Have a felony conviction and want to vote?

Head on over to Multnomah County elections office website and learn about your rights.

Then register to vote at and tell a friend.

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This is not a drill.

This is not a drill.

We need your help. SB 683 and SB 802, our bills that would pre-pay postage on ballots and would allow 16 year olds to pre-register to vote have both been scheduled for a work sessionthis Wednesday at 1 pm!

This is big. This means voter access is starting to move forward this legislative session. But we need your help. Legislators need to hear your support.

Can you take action today? Let your legislators know we need their support on paid postage and pre-voter registration for 16 year olds.

Wanna do more? Chip in $5 a month to make sure we can continue to champion voter access.
We had a super great last Thursday on our bill to allow 16 year olds to pre-register to vote! Our volunteers Maya Seiber, Magwyer Grimes, and Clark Shimeall from Sprague and Corvallis High Schools all provided poignant and compelling testimony in support.
Thank you Maya, Magwyer, and Clark for making your voices heard!
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Data nerds

Over here at Team Bus,

We’re big data nerds. We love the numbers. We love the stats.

If we passed SB802, these are the folks that would be automatically registered to vote. If you break it down by county to county, it’s an interesting look. If you take out the big urban areas: Washington, Clackamas, Multnomah– most of the new registrants would be in rural counties.

County Count
Baker 91
Benton 448
Clackamas 2,538
Clatsop 177
Columbia 271
Coos 244
Crook 148
Curry 101
Deschutes 1,308
Douglas 561
Gilliam 9
Grant 41
Harney 45
Hood River 217
Jackson 1,247
Jefferson 105
Josephine 426
Klamath 326
Lake 52
Lane 1,565
Lincoln 163
Linn 691
Malheur 195
Marion 1,540
Morrow 72
Multnomah 2,105
Polk 460
Sherman 14
Tillamook 126
Umatilla 495
Union 170
Wallowa 50
Wasco 137
Washington 3,030
Wheeler 6
Yamhill 544
None 5
Total 19,723
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King County Washington just did an experiment around pre-paid postage in their February special election. It showed a big increase in participation. In previous special elections turnout was 30% and in Maple Valley it went to 37% and in Shoreline School District it went up to 40%.

Here in Oregon when we talk to some leaders in Salem we hear about how this isn’t an issue. One Senator even took to the floor to mock the bill and say that young people are lazy.

When we knock on doors, we often hear very different stories.

We heard from Charles,  a disabled veteran and first-time voter who didn’t have a stamp and couldn’t drop off his ballot in person. We wish we could knock on every disabled veteran’s door, but we can’t. We know there are many people like Charles whose voices are going unheard who served and protected our right to vote.

For folks currently serving, it’s even worse. Oregon was ranked the 5th worst state for military overseas ballot access and shows that 74% of ballots for this group of people goes unreturned. If you’re in a non-combat zone in the military, you’re required to put a stamp on your ballot.

We heard from first-time parents Bobby and Jenna from Albany who submitted their ballots without postage and got them back because of insufficient funds. This issue impacts first time parents.

 There are countless other stories like these.

We also know this impacts rural Oregonians. A former chair of the Republican Party even said this was an issue that impacted rural Republican Oregonians. He said they have to drive 50, 60, 70 miles to drop off their ballot.

We have heard from disability rights advocates that talk about the barriers people with visual disabilities face because they are required to provide additional postage on their ballot if it’s a heavier ballot.

We heard from new first-time voters who didn’t yet know how to vote, but deeply cared about the elections and the outcomes. We even did polling and found out that 42% of new registrants under Oregon Motor Voter do not have a postage stamp, but many feel that it is their civic duty to vote and understand the importance of elections.

We have heard from working Oregonians who often work multiple jobs and don’t have the privilege to take off during the day to get a book of stamps.

So, when people take to the floor to mock barriers to access or talk about how lazy people are for not finding a stamp, we want them to hear these stories.

We believe the people of Oregon should be free from barriers to the ballot box. We believe Oregonians care about the future of our state and should be allowed the opportunity to cast their ballot and ensure their voice matters regardless of whether they live in rural Oregon, are stationed in North Carolina, have a visual disability, are a disabled veteran, or are a first-time parent or a first-time voter. The voice of every Oregonian matters. And here at the Bus, that’s why we fight.

You can also chip in $5 a month to make sure we can continue to champion voter access.
(PS, our awesome high school volunteers, pictured above, testified on Monday and we’re in the Capitol again tomorrow–come find us!)
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Did you see the news?

We had such a successful hearing on Monday that we’re back in Salem today for a Democracy Day of Action in the Capitol.

We’re meeting with legislators and asking them to support our bill to allow 16-year-olds to pre-register to vote.

Sounds like a no-brainer, right? We think so, but…. We need your help. If you can’t join the 100+ Bus Volunteers  in Salem today, you can still help us lobby our elected officials to vote yes on Senate Bill 802.

Will you please click here to email your Senator and tell them to support our bill?

How cool would it be if Oregon passed 16-year-old pre-registration exactly 10 years after we allowed 17-year-olds to pre-register to vote? We had almost unanimous support on this legislation and we’re hoping to get there again with your help.


Almost 20,000 16-year-olds get their drivers licenses every year in Oregon. Lets make sure they get registered. Like we’ve been saying for the past 10 years–voter registration is the biggest impediment to voting and we’re fighting to remove those barriers. 10 states and the District of Columbia all have prereg for 16-year-olds. It really bums us out that Florida is better on this issue then Oregon. Let’s fix this! Take action.

Couldn’t make it to Salem but want to help? Donate $10 bucks for lunch for a participant on our lobby day. Follow #preregattheleg to watch our democracy lobby day in action.

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