Welcome Our New Executive Director!

Dear Bus Project Supporters,

Team Bus has worked hard over the past several months to conduct an equitable, broad, and intensive search to find the next person to lead our organization. We searched far and wide, and are excited to announce that we have found our next Executive Director, right here in our own backyard!

Samantha Gladu is a passionate advocate for addressing power inequities by building representative and progressive leadership. She got her start in Oregon politics after completing New Leadership Oregon and subsequently interning on Governor Kate Brown’s 2012 campaign for Secretary of State. She has since worked on statewide and legislative district campaigns, and as Chief of Staff to two Oregon legislators in both the House and Senate.

Samantha comes to the Bus with an incredible wealth of experience in nonprofit management and fundraising from her years of board service with the Northwest Abortion Access Fund (formerly the Network for Reproductive Options & CAIR Project), NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon, New Leaders Council Portland, and the Oregon Women’s Campaign School. She has built a serious policy portfolio through her work in the Oregon Legislature and with national abortion rights advocates. Most importantly, Samantha brings a passion for equitable change, leadership development, youth-powered democracy, and organizing to her new role at the Bus Project.

When Samantha isn’t fighting to make the Oregon she wants to see, she is playing bass in her feminist punk bands. Her favorite outfit is her “ABORTION” dress, and she loves spending time with her partner Zach and dog Pierre.

Samantha will be hitting the ground running very soon, and looks forward to connecting with you to talk about all of the ways we can work together this year.

Welcome, Samantha!


Lizzy Atwood Wills
C4 Board Chair
Bus Project Board of Directors

P.S. Want to know the best way to help us welcome Samantha? Donate to the Bus in her honor!

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Let’s get to work

2017 was a big year for all of us, full of twists and turns, bumps along the road, green lights and scenic views. The Bus drove democracy a few more miles forward, and with the winding road behind us, we are looking forward to the next year. There is a lot of work to do, and we need everyone to put on their driving gloves and take a turn at the steering wheel, it’s time to roll up those sleeves and get to work.

(Okay, no more puns, we promise)…

For the Bus, 2018 will be an exciting year filled with new ways to engage in the fight for a better democracy. We’re focusing our efforts on continuing to drive democracy forward to ensure all Oregonians have access to the ballot without barriers, and that our communities are centered during elections.

I think we can all agree that our democracy has been knocked out of balance by the influx of big money in elections. We need a system in which everyone participates, every vote is counted, and everyone’s voice is heard. The Small Donor Elections program lets candidates win with the support of everyday Oregonians, not large campaign contributors. When we empower more people to have a say in our elections and allow candidates to run free of big money, politicians will have a chance to listen to ordinary people—working families and young people and students, people historically passed over when our candidates have to raise big money to be competitive. Under this program, candidates can run a competitive campaign while spending more time talking with more ordinary Oregonians, and can better understand and represent us in office. Take the pledge to support Small Donor Elections program now!

Oregon has taken great strides in modernizing our elections system. Starting with Vote by Mail in the late 90s, and continuing with Online Registration and Automatic Voter Registration in the past decade, our state has been a leader in making voting more efficient and streamlined. The next logical step as we continue to innovate and improve our elections systems is to pay for return postage for ballots. A ballot that’s mailed has to be return-addressed, stamped, and dropped in the mail at least five to six days before the election to make it to the county elections office before 8pm on Election Day. Providing a postage-paid return envelope streamlines the process and makes voting more efficient and straightforward. That’s why The Bus Project supports providing pre-paid postage on Oregon Ballots, and you should too!

Moving forward is great, but only if we are continuing to protect the progress we have already made. The Bus Project remains dedicated to protecting access to democracy through Automatic Voter Registration, and working with the Secretary of State to ensure rules enacted for elections aim to protect our communities.

In addition to our two big legislative priorities we are also working in coalition to support Clean Energy Jobs. Oregon is on the cusp of passing a bold law to cap and price climate pollution — the Clean Energy Jobs bill. Proceeds, collected from the state’s largest polluters, will pay to put Oregonians to work in your community by making clean power like solar available to more people, upgrading homes and businesses to use less energy and save people money, building affordable housing near transit and investing in more transportation options. The Bus Project is dedicated to advocating for the environment, because as young people we want to make sure the air is clean to breath for our generation, and the generations that come next!

Thanks for being on Team Bus! We are looking forward to a great year of driving democracy forward.

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Changing the Rules of the Game

It’s easy to read the news and feel as if wealthy donors can write big checks, and politicians will listen. Meanwhile, regular folks like you and me are left paying the price when those policies don’t address the real problems we face every day.

But does it have to be like this? We don’t think so.

We can tip the balance in Oregon, and make it so our elected officials are less dependent on donors with deep pockets, and spend more time talking to their community.

By creating a Small Donor Elections program, we can change the rules of the game.

We can remove barriers and make sure candidates that share our values are able to run for office, not just well-connected folks that are out of touch with our communities. We can empower our neighbors to have a voice, and to influence real decisions in Salem.

Click here to learn more and sign up for updates!

When money is no longer a barrier to running for office, we can elect more regular people from all walks of life. And when we change who’s at the decision-making table, we can create better outcomes for our state.

It’s that simple – click here to learn more.



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2017, by the numbers

Can you believe 2017 is almost over? I know I can’t. It’s been a big year for the Bus Project, and I wanted to share some of my favorite highlights before the year ends. Here’s our year, by the numbers:

You’ve done so much to help us reach our goals this year. Thank you for being on the Bus, and helping keep us rolling all year long.

Happy New Year!

Team Bus

P.S. To make a year-end contribution to help fuel us in 2018, too, click here.

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We’re in the Give!Guide!

This year The Bus Project is participating in Willamette Week’s Give!Guide! It’s a fun and easy way to give back to organizations you care about, while getting some cool incentives back. To make things a little more interesting, our board member, Dan Torres, has agreed to get a Vote Bot Tattoo if we can raise $10,000 from November 1st through December 31st. Help us make that dream a reality, by donating to Give!Guide today!

If you give at least $10, you get access to the Chinook Book app. If you give $1,000 you will get a hand-delivered bag of gifts! And when you make a gift on a Big Give Day, you will be entered into a raffle for even more cool prizes, like a dream Salt and Straw and ping pong party with you and 59 of your closest friends at Pips and Bounce.

You get cool prizes, and you help keep The Bus rolling, what could be better? Make sure to check out The Bus Project page, throw a few dollarz our way, and don’t miss out on this amazing win-WIN situation.

XOXO Team Bus

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Transitions at The Bus Project


I’m writing today with some bittersweet news. Our incredible Executive Director, Nikki Fisher, is leaving her position with the Bus to take on a new challenge. The board is excited to support Nikki’s transition and to begin our search for the Bus Project’s next fearless leader.

Since Nikki joined the staff in 2015, the Bus has done some pretty great things. We helped implement automatic voter registration and saw over 400,000 Oregonians get added to the voter rolls – including nearly 100,000 people who voted for the first time in 2016. We literally revolutionized the way voter registration is done in this country. We graduated 37 PolitiCorps fellows and found job placements for a ton of them. We were even on the front cover of the Nation magazine! We passed some other important voting reforms, too: voter pre-registration for 16-year-olds and a bill that added more drop boxes to college campuses.

More than anything, we are grateful for the leaders Nikki has helped build. At the Bus Project, we take young leaders, provide opportunities for growth and success, and encourage them long-term to help build progressive structures to win, to build, and succeed. We are proud of the work Nikki has done and we are proud to have her in the Bus family.

During the transition, Courtney Graham, who has worked with the Bus for the last year as our lobbyist and fearless leader in Salem, will be our Interim Director. We also have awesome staff: Amy, our Leadership Director, has been around for three cycles of fellows and has been a huge asset to our team. Gnora, our Policy and Advocacy Director, has been with the Bus since September and is already rocking it. Jack is our super savvy and trusted accountant, and has been a longtime member of the Bus family. And we have our brilliant fellow Joseph with us from Mozambique until December.

Myself and the board are ready to support this transition, and we have already started planning for an extensive and inclusive search for a new Executive Director (stay tuned for a job description).

​The Bus Project, with Courtney’s interim leadership, will continue to drive our policy priorities, legislative agenda, and vision and strategy forward.​ We are so excited for the future of the organization. We wouldn’t be here without Nikki’s hard work and leadership, and we hope you will join us in thanking her for her years of service. ​

Your c(3) board chair,


Sam Chapman

P.S.We hope to see you at Jingle Bus this year! We are going to celebrate Nikki’s years of work and are excited to wrap up the year with a bunch of our amazing friends and generous donors.


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Now Accepting Applications for Fall Interns!

Apply today to intern with the Bus Project!

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 fall program is focused on training young people to be effective and inclusive community leaders and organizers through weekly classroom sessions and on-the-ground fieldwork. Interns lead and participate in weekly 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 interns can make a tangible impact on their community by utilizing the skills they learn in the classroom.

WHAT TO EXPECT: Gain valuable leadership skills through a mix of classroom sessions and hands-on fieldwork. Participate in local and state-level grassroots campaigns. 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.

Inters are required to be with the Bus Project 8 hours a week. 2 of these hours will be spent in classroom trainings from Bus Project staff as well as experts in the community. The other 6 hours will be spent working in the field on voter registration, collecting pledge-to-vote cards, and research.

TO APPLY: access the application by clicking here! The program starts the week of October 16th, so hurry on over! PS, we’re looking for enthusiastic, passionate people– no experience necessary! Get in touch with Amy@busproject.org 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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National Voter Registration Day!

Did you know that last year millions of Americans didn’t vote because they missed a registration deadline, or didn’t know how to register? Many Oregonians are not aware that you can register when you’re 17, and need to update your registration when you move, or change your name.

Democracy is built from the ground up and key decisions that affect our communities, our kids, taxes and the investments they support are determined locally, so #BeVocalVoteLocal. In this political climate it’s important to use your voice, and vote!

The Bus Project will be celebrating National Voter Registration Day today and we’re so stoked.

Check if you are up to date with your current voter registration, or register for the first time at beregistered.org

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A message from your Senators.

Senator Ron Wyden provides a great message to everyone at the Bus Project who has volunteered and registered folks. 

Senator Merkley provides a powerful message about the importance of voting. 

We are proud to celebrate National Voter Registration Day and have the support of our two US Senators.

Today is a special day for us at the Bus. It’s a national holiday. A day were we get to remind folks about the importance of voting. It’s a day were Republicans, Democrats, Working Family Party, Independent Party of Oregon can all come together and agree: It’s time to register folks!

Take a moment and ask your friends and family members if they’re registered and use the easy link at beregistered.org to check your status.

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Join us!

2017 has already been a landmark year for criminal justice reform in our state! Thousands of you reached out to elected officials and helped pass laws to end law enforcement profiling, reduce unreasonably harsh penalties for simple drug possession, slow the expansion of our prison population, and make our grand jury system more transparent and accountable. We thank each of you for getting involved.

It is a new day and a new political landscape! We’re building momentum and are far from done. Today, we are excited to announce that we are partnering with the ACLU of Oregon for their launch of the They Report to You Campaign, a cutting-edge campaign to make our criminal justice system more accountable to everyday people. Our PolitiCorps fellows have already knocked over 14,000 doors for this campaign over the summer and we’re excited to share this with you! Join us on Sunday, August 27th in Beaverton to help kick off the campaign!

There is more to accountability than building and filling prisons. Accountability includes reflecting our values through increasing access to education, mental health treatment, re-entry support, and ensuring equal treatment. It means not only holding people convicted of crimes accountable, but also holding district attorneys and law enforcement accountable. It means holding ourselves accountable too, so that we educate ourselves about candidates running for positions like district attorney and vote for the one who best reflects our values.

Join the ACLU for lunch and learn how you can get involved with They Report to You. Afterwards, we will hit the streets on our first volunteer canvass for district attorney accountability. Sign up today!

The basics
What: They Report to You Campaign launch for the ACLU
When: Sunday, August 27th
Where: Beaverton Public Library Green (12375 SW 5th St, Beaverton, OR 97005)
Time: 12-3pm
Lunch and a training are both provided before hitting the doors!
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