We’re on instagram.(ig: oregonbusproject)
Just one more way for you to keep in touch with all of the happenings of the Bus Project. In the last two week, we’ve posted photos of our voter registration drives, our recent Brewhaha! on affordable housing, our visit to Congressman Earl Blumenauer’s office, and the PolitiCorps visit to Radio Tierra in Hood River.
GET YR VOTE ON.
Support New Motor Voter this September.
The Secretary of State is hosting four public hearings on New Motor Voter across Oregon, and the Bus Project is going to be turning out our enthusiastic supporters of voting rights at every hearing.
There’s a hearing on September 3rd in North Portland, and three other hearings throughout September in Medford (Sept 1), Pendleton (Sept 9) and Eugene (Sept 24). Can we count on you to be there?
We’re Still Looking For Help for
National Voter Registration Day.
Last week, none other than President Barack Obama invited you to participate in America’s New Favorite Holiday, National Voter Registration Day. We’re excited to announce that our Portland-based headquarters for volunteers and afterparty will be located at the Community Cycling Center’s Office and Warehouse space on 1805 NE 2nd Avenue. We’ll be staging volunteer shifts out of the space all afternoon, and throwing down a very special NVRD afterparty starting at 7:00pm. In the meantime, save the date, RSVP on facebook and let us know how you want to help. We are in specific need of interns and volunteers with an interest in data entry, graphic design, and fundraising/development.
Get in touch if you want to help! We’re happy to help set up internships, college credit and community service hours.
We’re busy as ever, and it’s a great time to get on the Bus! Hope to see you soon.
National Voter Registration Day is quickly coming upon us, and we’re so excited. We’re looking for a couple more folks to join our team.
NVRD: DEVELOPMENT INTERN
- Conducts outreach to businesses, organizations, and partners to expand the brand and reach of National Voter Registration Day
- Manages and tracks food/drink/materials donations to ensure swift operations for day-of event
- Contacts local businesses for prizes, gift certificates, and other fun awards we can give away during NVRD to our wonderful volunteers
- Processes donation paperwork / tax deductable receipts
- Great opportunity for: individuals pursuing careers in nonprofit development, event planning, organizing, fundraising
NVRD: COMMUNICATIONS INTERN
- Develops infographics, memes, internet-driven content for facebook, twitter, instagram to remind individuals to register to vote and participate in our NVRD festivities
- Writes press releases, conducts media and community partner outreach
- Designs materials for extended outreach
- Schedules social media content to be posted in the weeks leading up to and the day of event
- Conducts outreach to local celebrities, personalities to help extend the day-long support of NVRD
- Great opportunity for individuals pursuing careers in social media, communications, public relations, graphic design
NVRD: ORGANIZING INTERN
- Coordinates voter registration drives at libraries, community centers, local businesses across City of Portland and State of Oregon
- Confirms addresses/locations/contact people for each participating venue, ensures they receive materials and have volunteers as necessary.
- Conducts outreach to new venues interested in participating with the Bus Project on National Voter Registration Day
- Develops system to track number of cards and pledges collected from volunteers across state.
- Great opportunity for individuals pursuing careers in community organizing, political organizing, event management/planning
Each of these positions are unpaid and five-ten hours a week, depending on applicant’s capacity; we’re happy to work with your respective institutions to help with community service hours/high school/college credit/letters of recommendation.
We’re looking for bright, upbeat, hardworking and fun-loving volunteers interested in helping ensure that we register as many eligible voters across the state of Oregon on September 22nd as possible. Students, women, people of color, people with disabilities, and members of the LGBTQ communities encouraged to apply.
Please send a brief paragraph detailing your interest in working with the Bus Project to Aaron Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.
50 years ago today.
On August 6, 1965, President Johnson signed into law the Voting Rights Act. After years of demonstrations and social unrest, the countless activists willing to risk their lives for their right as American citizens to the ballot were victorious. This landmark legislation explicitly eliminated numerous racist and classist obstructions to democracy, voter empowerment and civic engagement. With the stroke of a pen, poll taxes and literacy tests would no longer hold back millions of Americans from exercising their right to vote.
Unfortunately, in the 2013 Supreme Court case Shelby County v. Holder, the Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act and asked Congress to step in and fix it. It was a huge blow to the decades of protection offered by the legislation, and equal access to the ballot remains threatened across the country. The New York Times recently profiled covert efforts to decimate many key details of the Voting Rights Act over the past five decades.
As an organization that has registered nearly 100,000 Oregonians to vote, won legislative victories for online voter registration and pre-registration for 17-year olds and recently helped pass New Motor Voter, the Bus Project remains committed to encouraging local and national officials to continue to expand access to the ballot.
In honor of the anniversary, the Center for American Progress is hosting a webinar today featuring our Executive Director, Nikki Fisher, along with representatives from NAACP and the Advancement Project and a student voting rights activist from North Carolina A&T.
Thursday, August 6th, 2015, 12:30 PST
WATCH ONLINE via computer, tablet or smartphone HERE
LISTEN IN WITH A PHONE Dial-in number: +1 (224) 501-3412; Access Code 186-622-757
Can’t make the webinar, but want to do your part to ensure that every eligible Oregonian will have a chance to cast a ballot next fall? National Voter Registration Day is right around the corner, and you know it’ll be a blast. You don’t have to take our word for it; President Barack Obama is expected to give a shout-out to our National Voter Registration Day holiday during his remarks at 11am.
The Bus Project is working with our community partners to build grassroots power in support of local and statewide solutions to our affordability crisis.
“The Rent is Too Damn High” will feature speakers Jes Larson from the Welcome Home Coalition, an organization advocating for new local revenue solutions to meet our housing demands; Vivian Satterfield from OPAL Oregon whose organization remains on the frontlines of the local environmental and social justice movements; and Orange Splot LLC’s very own Eli Spevak who works from the private sector to provide affordable and sustainable housing.
The Brewhaha will be held at 6pm this Tuesday, August 11th at the Green Dragon Pub, located at 928 SE 9th Avenue in Portland.
The Oregon New Motor Voter Coalition seeks a New Motor Voter Coalition Coordinator to ensure a successful, inclusive, and broadly empowering first election cycle of Oregon’s landmark New Motor Voter law. Oregon expects to add upwards of 300,000 new voters to the rolls in 2016 following passage of America’s first fully modernized voter registration law, and the coalition behind the law’s construction and passage is seeking an experienced organizer and advocate to work with coalition partners, elected and appointed officials, and voter mobilization organizations to ensure a smooth and successful implementation process of Oregon’s New Motor Voter law, as well as highly leveraged education and mobilization of newly added New Motor Voters in the 2016 election.
The right applicant will be capable of managing diverse coalitions, navigating the policy advocacy and implementation landscape, planning and executing voter registration and get out the vote drives, running controlled experiments, and fundraising for ambitious projects.
For more, check out the full job description, posted below.
If You’re Interested: Submit a cover letter, resume, and three references to email@example.com by August 14th.
Women, people of color, people with disabilities, and members of the LGBTQ community are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.
SAVE THE DATE.
National Voter Registration Day is Sept 22.
Check out the Bus Project’s statement from this morning’s press conference with Congressman Earl Blumenauer. From New Motor Voter to Fresh Start Oregon and beyond, we’ve been working hard in Salem this session to win some important victories, and it’s great to see the rest of the country take notice.
July 20, 2015
FRESH START GOES NATIONAL: BUS PROJECT STATEMENT ON REPRESENTATIVE EARL BLUMENAUER’S SUPPORT OF MARIJUANA EXPUNGEMENT
Good Morning. My name is Aaron Brown, and I’m the Outreach Coordinator of the Oregon Bus Project. We are a nonpartisan organization working to empower and inspire the next generation of Oregon’s leaders through engagement with hands-on democracy, voter registration, leadership development and issue advocacy.
The Bus Project is proud to have launched the Fresh Start Oregon campaign this spring and to be sharing the stage today with the elected officials and community leaders who have stepped forward to support this important cause. Last year, we were honored to celebrate the overwhelming passage of Measure 91 to regulate, legalize and tax marijuana after working on the issue and discussing it with young voters last fall. However, we knew that despite our important victory in November, we hadn’t finished our work to ensure that our preexisting prohibition on marijuana wouldn’t continue to impact everyday Oregonians.
We were concerned that Black Oregonians in Multnomah and Lane Counties were more than three times more likely to be arrested for marijuana charges than White Oregonians despite ample evidence suggesting equal levels of use. Given our current economic climate, many Oregonians are already struggling to find reliable housing, employment, or funding for education, all of which are important prerequisites for our economic stability. That Housing, Employment and Education funding and access could be withheld from Oregonians attempting to get their lives back on track after a petty, nonviolent marijuana charge highlights exactly how our existing drug laws are not making our society any safer, are not making our communities healthier, and are in fact harming lives, families and communities across the state.
The Bus Project worked with community leaders to collect over 1800 signatures from Oregonians across the state in support of this campaign. We sent over 300 messages to our legislators in Salem and helped share the stories of Oregonians and their families who feel the impact of these laws every day, and we’re thrilled to see that both House Bill 3400 and Senate Bill 844 received bipartisan support. We applaud the leadership of Congressman Earl Blumenauer to encourage the rest of the country to follow Oregon’s groundbreaking example and work to ensure that petty marijuana crimes don’t continue to ruin countless Americans’ lives.
Outreach Coordinator, Oregon Bus Project
TL;DR – Not to brag or anything, but between the historic, first-of-its-kind victories for New Motor Voter and Fresh Start Oregon, the Bus Project had a pretty solid showing in Salem this year. And we got some big plans for 2016.
SESSION CONFESSIONS ARE BACK.
It’s that time of year again. Having officially put down the gavel and called “Sine Die,” (a Latin phrase that loosely translates to “Let’s Get the Heck out of Salem,”) the Oregon Legislature wrapped up for the summer. Turns out, the Bus Project had a couple substantial victories this year.
New Motor Voter: A historic victory to ensure a ballot in the hand of every eligible Oregonian.
We brought the fun to Salem early this session. House Bill 2177, an initiative to empower everyday Oregonians by making it easier for eligible citizens to get a ballot first pitched by the Bus Project five years ago, sailed through both chambers and arrived at the Governor’s Desk in early March. In an era in which states across the country are suppressing access to the ballot through onerous Voter ID laws and poll taxes, the Bus Project played an integral role in helping Oregon lead the nation and became the first state in the country to produce such sweeping legislation for voter enfranchisement. This landmark victory garnered national attention, landing Oregon on the editorial page of The Washington Post, The Rachel Maddow Show, DeRay McKesson’s twitter, and an op-ed in The Oregonian co-written by the Bus Project and Rock the Vote. New Motor Voter recently drew more attention when Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton included voter registration reform in a June stump speech, giving a particular shout out to Oregon’s recent victory. Thanks to New Motor Voter, Oregon will register more than 300,000 citizens to vote. It also has significant ramifications for our work moving forward; while we will continue to do significant voter registration drives among young Oregonians, it also allows us to spend more time educating voters about the ballot and the issues that matter to an increasingly diverse, youthful electorate. This is the future. The Bus Project is going to be pushing the implementation forward.
Fresh Start Oregon: Marijuana is legal now, and petty pot charges will cease to impact 50,000 Oregonian’s lives.
Despite the passage of Measure 91, many Oregonians were still saddled with the unsavory remnants of marijuana prohibition. For years, petty marijuana records prevented many Oregonians and their families from obtaining reliable employment, housing, and funding for education, all of which are necessary prerequisites for economic stability. These needlessly strict laws were also disproportionately enforced on disenfranchised communities; ACLU noted that in Multnomah County, Black Oregonians were three times more likely than White Oregonians to be arrested for marijuana despite equal rates of usage.
The Bus Project worked with Representative Lew Frederick, Representative Ann Lininger and Senator Ginny Burdick to secure the bipartisan passage of both House Bill 3400 and Senate Bill 844 as part of our Fresh Start Oregon campaign. These bills reduced a litany of petty marijuana felony convictions to misdemeanors, expungeable after three years (and only one year for Oregonians under 21). Our petition, signed by over 1800 Oregonians, represent a historic and important next step to ensure that Oregon’s new marijuana laws address past injustices and allow Oregonians and their families previously impacted by the War on Drugs to establish economic stability and opportunity. Our work was covered in Willamette Week, The Oregonian, Oregon Public Radio and KATU News even filmed one of our phone banks. Representative Ann Lininger credited the Bus for “helping [legislators] understand why it’s important to give people who have had a marijuana offense a fresh start.”
Yesterday, the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation announced in an article in Fusion Media that they believe the Fresh Start Oregon campaign is going to impact around 50,000 Oregonians. That’s a lot of second chances at housing, jobs, and education.
Nice work, team.
Other Highlights from a Productive Session:
In addition to these two major legislative victories that the Bus Project spearheaded, we were a part of a handful of coalitions that worked to make Oregon a better place to live this Legislative Session.
- The Bus Project wrote a letter of support for House Bill 2002, championed by our pals at the Center for Intercultural Organizing, to prohibit profiling by law enforcement agencies. It passed with overwhelming bipartisan support.
- We testified in Salem on behalf of House Bill 2662, the Pay it Forward pilot project to provide a new funding mechanism for secondary education. The bill died in committee, but the Bus Project is excited to continue to engage in future initiatives to address the student debt crisis faced by young Oregonians.
- The Bus Project is a member of the Oregon Alliance for Gun Safety, which helped pass Senate Bill 941, which mandated universal background checks for gun purchases.
- We wrote a letter in support of Common Cause Oregon’s Senate Joint Resolution 5 to institute campaign finance reform, which unfortunately didn’t make it to a vote.
- We are partnering with a host of organizations to talk to legislators in Salem about the direction and need to continue to push for urgent action on climate. As young Oregonians, we’re the ones that will most acutely feel the impacts of inaction. We have plenty of work ahead to prepare our region for a low-carbon future.
- The Bus Project was a part of the Outdoor School For All Coalition pushing to fully fund Outdoor School through Senate Bill 439. It passed almost unanimously.
- We’re also paying close attention to Senator Dembrow and Representative Hoyle’s bill Senate Bill 572. The State of Oregon would pay for postage for all ballots mailed. Although it didn’t move this session, we think this is a great concept that will remove an additional barrier to the ballot box among the hundreds of thousands of new Oregonians registered to vote through New Motor Voter.
As we announced this month, The Bus Project is excited to welcome Nikki Fisher to the family. Today marks her official start date as our new Executive Director of the organization. We’re kicking off her tenure with a Welcome Party for our beloved volunteers, supporters, and fans of the Bus Project to meet Nikki this upcoming Tuesday, July 14 at Cup & Bar.
Nikki’s unique blend of hard political campaign experience, ballot measure organizing, issue advocacy and engagement, and deep commitment to Oregon will help the Bus Project meet the needs of the New Motor Voters and the bold new progressive landscape Oregon is embarking upon. The Bus will build on Oregon’s new progressive era to pass social justice policies and develop a new generation of diverse leaders and candidates.
Nikki joins the Bus after serving as Senator Sara Gelser’s Chief of Staff in the historic 2015 legislative session and her Campaign Manager in the 2014 election. Before her foray into candidate politics, she ran the Eugene Office for Oregon United For Marriage, and spent four years running field and advocacy with the ACLU of Florida.
The Bus Project is fresh off of an exciting legislative session, in which we championed historic, first-of-its-kind victories for voting rights and criminal justice reform. It’s a great time to Get On The Bus; come down to Cup & Bar, meet Nikki and come learn about what the Bus Project will be tackling this upcoming election cycle.
This event is free and open to the public. RSVP on facebook so we can plan appropriately.
Can’t make it next week? We’ll miss ya! But you can still donate today and show your support for our recent legislative victories, our new Director, our inspiring class of PolitiCorps students or our exciting plans for 2016. Thanks for your help!
See you next Tuesday,
– Amy, Aaron, Nikki, and the rest of Team Bus