Meet the fellows!

Meet the 2017 PolitiCorps Fellows!

Hey Friend,

For the past 13 years, the Bus Project has brought in young folks from all around the nation to participate in our annual summer fellowship, PolitiCorps. PolitiCorps is an intensive 10-week program where fellows learn the ins-and-outs of political organizing. Some of the sharpest minds in Oregon donate their time to teach fellows skills in fundraising, campaign planning, campaign management, nonprofit management, working in both the National and State Capitol, and tons more.

Fellows also do some of democracy’s hardest and most important work–which is having thousands upon thousands of meaningful one-on-one conversations with voters. These fellows are talented, determined, and passionate. We appreciate the heck outta ’em and we are honored to introduce them to you. So, without further ado, meet the 2017 PolitiCorps Cohort!


Abby Boulton was born and raised in Portland and is super excited to be back for the summer. Arising senior at the University of Vermont, she is a double major in Art History and Sociology. After working for Planned Parenthood, Abby gained a much deeper appreciation of advocacy and is looking forward to continuing her involvement through PolitiCorps. She is deeply passionate about issues of representation, education, and equality. You could probably find her reading the news, practicing yoga, or out and about around Portland.

Adilene Valencia is a student at Portland State University working towards a BS in Community Development. She grew up across the river in Vancouver, WA but her heart has always loved Portland. She moved to neighboring Gresham and has fallen even more in love with the city and its people. In high school she spent her time in student government, then at MHCC she was the director of community affairs where she got her first taste of organizing and absolutely loved it! She has two adorable poodle pups at home, and spends most of her free time out in the parks, Cafe Delirium, or grabbing a bite to eat with friends.
 Collin Haahr was born in Portland and was raised by two proud “St. Johns” residents in the Northwest section of the city. He is a recent graduate of the University of Portland, and after spending countless hours studying and working, with a few dedicated to fun, he is ready to finally cause the action he wishes to see in politics. His main passions are Environmental Policy, Public Schooling, and Civil Rights, subjects he has vocally and publicly supported his entire life. When he’s not reading political commentary on The Atlantic or Politico, he’s most likely watching sports, always proudly routing for his Northwest Teams, as well as sometimes across the pond proudly supporting Everton FC.
Helen Eldred was born and raised in Corvallis, Oregon and is currently a rising sophomore at Mount Holyoke College where she is a Politics major with an intended minor in Journalism. In 2014, she interned for Sara Gelser’s successful campaign for Oregon State Senate. She is interested in transferring her academic pursuits into practical solutions to real world problems. In her spare time she loves to read, listen to music, go on hikes, have dinner parties, and there is nothing that gets her going more than a good panel discussion.
Huell White is a Portland State University graduate originally from Southern New Mexico. He moved to Portland in 2012 to study Russian at PSU. Huell has lived, studied and interned in Europe, Russia and Central Asia, which subsequently shaped his worldview. A lifelong obsession with politics has led him to hop on the Bus, and hopes that PolitiCorps will lead him to fulfill his dream of working in public service.
Janiel Santos is originally from Nevada and moved to Oregon as a child where she grew up in Tualatin. Acurrent student at the University of Oregon, Janiel is pursuing a degree in Family-Human Services, with aminor in Ethnic Studies. Janiel is passionate about women and reproductive rights, racial justice and empowering Latinx youth. Janiel’s dream is to pursue a graduate degree in Administration and Policy, and hopefully work with Latinx youth in the future.
Kaia Johnson Born and raised in Northwest Washington, Kaia grew up barefoot wandering through the San Juan Islands, finding her voice not only in social work, but as a writer and artist. Kaia is almost a Washington State University alumni, finishing up her last semester this fall, getting her undergraduate degree in Journalism after completing her minor in Comparative Ethnic Studies. Passionate on just about every topic, she is quick to add not only her views and thoughts, but probably at least one joke per conversation. She’s incredibly excited for what this summer can achieve.
Kathy Bond is a current Economics and Political Science major at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. Kathy first became interested in politics after working on a campaign for a district representative in Las Vegas, Nevada. To Kathy, politics is about creating positive change within your community, and Kathy continues to be passionate for community engagement by volunteering for the Oregon Food Bank and after-school programs in middle schools across Portland. Kathy loves to make bad puns, play card games, and pet cute dogs.
Nathaniel Torry-Schrag, a native Oregonian who grew up in small towns west of Portland, is currently enrolled in the Portland State University Urban Honors College. A student of Political Science, Nathaniel stays engaged with academics, clubs, local campaigns, and more. If he isn’t on the Washington Post’s website, you can find him reading, eating, tweeting, and all that other good stuff millennials do. His biggest passions are politics (duh), music, and travel. Nathaniel is excited for the opportunity to work with an incredible non-profit like The Bus Project, and looks forward to bringing his dedication to local and ethical politics to the fellowship.
Olivia Hasencamp Hailing from Los Angeles, California, Olivia is majoring in Dance Studies at Reed College. She has been involved in organizing on campus as well as in the greater Portland area. She has acurrent focus on racial justice, LGBTQ+ justice, gender equality, and educating youth, with an interest in the ways that different bodies of knowledge–like dancing and cooking!–can be used and valued as sites of teaching and learning in the classroom. Although Olivia likes being busy, her favorite pastimes are having dance parties, reading, hanging out with friends, and drinking a large glass of milk.
And they’re graduating soon!
We wish they could stay at the Bus Project forever, but all good things must come to an end. Save the date for PolitiCorps graduation. Tuesday, August 22nd at 6:30pm. Stay tuned for the details and location!
One last thing–these fellows work hard every day to develop their skills and meet their goals. An average stipend for each fellow is $1700. If just 15 people donated $10 a month we would be able to add another fellow next summer. Please consider chipping in here!
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Make Oregon’s criminal justice system more accountable

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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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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