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.
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
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 *
Head on over to Multnomah County elections office website and learn about your rights.
Then register to vote at beregistered.org and tell a friend.
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.
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.
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.
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 pre–reg 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.
We’ve supported the national popular vote bill for nearly every single legislative session it has been introduce.
We’re hoping you step up today and take action to alert your Oregon State Senators and Representatives to support this legislation. We can make a difference.
We think democracy is a great. And Oregon does democracy pretty well… Motor Voter, vote-by-mail, and online voter reg are a few examples of how Oregon has lead the way on voter access.
We also recognize democracy, in order to work at its best, needs a little help, a little attention and support from people like you and me. Even with these innovative voter access policies in place, there are still tons of Oregonians who face barriers to the ballot and there are still places where Oregon can improve.
That’s why this legislative session, we’re continuing to make voter access a priority with bills on:
~ Pre-voter registration for 16 year olds ~
~ Paid Postage on ballots ~
~ In-language tools for minority-language voters ~
~ National Popular Vote ~
You can take action to help ensure democracy is working for all Oregonians by joining us on March 8th for our Democracy Day of Action at the Capitol! Transportation and lunch will be provided.
What: Democracy Day of Action
When: Wednesday March 8th, 9 am – 3:30 pm
Where: Oregon State Capitol. Meet at Bus office (333 SE 2nd Ave) at 7:45 am to ride the bus down to Salem with us!
Can’t join us in Salem but still wanna help out? Democracy can use all kinds of TLC– voter registration in high schools, calling state reps and senators, submitting testimony– Pledge to take action now!
Wanna make a BIG difference but can’t join us for our lobby day? Chip in $10 bucks today and buy one of our high school students a lunch. Chip in $20 bucks a month and you’ve bough lunch, breakfast and a lobby packet. OR make a larger impact and donate $10 bucks a month and make sure we can talk to legislators all year long about how essential democracy is in 2017.
Democracy needs you now more than ever.
-Team Bus <3