Bus News: Uncategorized

The Bus’s Endorsements for Local Office


Anybody who’s taken a ride on the Bus knows we don’t make our decisions lightly. Our endorsements are the product of hundreds of hours of thoughtful conversations (loud arguments) between volunteers and are supported by countless hours of rigorous research (rigorous drinking).

Local offices are the parts of American democracy closest to us. The ones we can touch, and feel, and smell. They’re where the real business gets done. They matter, dammit. And that’s why we put in the work.

But it’s all worth it, because the Bus makes the right choices. And ME OH MY 2014 will be a doozy. We know these choices may be controversial. But if you can’t stand on principle in this world, where can you stand? In line, with the rest of the sheeple? NO THANK YOU.

Without further ado, here are the Bus Project’s endorsements for local offices:

We find the tasteful yellow hues soothing.


What is this, an office for GYMNASTS? A workspace from the third dream level of Inception? #CAREFULDONTFALL

Simple. Elegant. Nice use of green stuff. I’ll take it!

Parliament Interior
We agree that the bear is kinda overkill, but you can’t be a purist in politics.

Dude! Look at the shiny vents! AND THE HARDWOOD. OH BABY THE HARDWOOD.

But our favorite is definitely this one:


C’mon. Where else will you have this much fun doin’ good? We’ve got epic Trick or Votes to plan, a Millennial Voter Guide to design, the TENTH summer of PolitiCorps to kick off. PLUS – we’re gonna knock on ten hundred zillion doors to support GLBT equality, marijuana reform & legalization, and the Driver’s Card referendum. So, um Git. On. Da. BUS. Or, donate.

*April Fools! Some of these offices aren’t even in Oregon… DUH!

We’re gettin’ the Bus back together!

Bus Family Reunion Arrested Development

Do you love the Bus? Were you on the Bus before it was cool? Did you help start the darn thing? Well it’s time to bring all the aunties and uncles and cousins together.

We’re having a family reunion, y’all!! We warned you 2014 was going to be big, and now it’s time to get to work! Here’s what’s in store:

When & Where: Tuesday, March 25th from 5:30 – 8:00pm (program starts at 6) at Hatch on 2510 NE Sandy Blvd.

What: We’re talking about our 2014 work and the exciting changes in store for us. Drinks and snacks first. Afterwards, flex your brain power to conjure up brilliant ways to best inspire and engage Millennials this year… AND give a fond farewell to toast and roast our old Bus as it enters retirement!

Who: Come meet the great people who help make us the Bus – volunteers, alums, donors, partners… and of course, YOU!

Why: As Oregon’s needs change, so must our work. It’s your chance to set the new course for the future of your favorite programs like Trick or Vote and Bus Trips!

As always, come thirsty and come hungry (for change). Get ready for extra hugs, love and awkward family photos. Don’t forget – we’ll pour one out for a parting elder whose legend will live on in the dreams of children for time immemorial.

We’ll see you there, OK?

Can’t make it? Make a donation to keep us moving forward.

Interns? Meh. Springterns? Yes!

We’re on the lookout for some awesome interns to help our Spring programs bloom in full force! We’ve got a whole darn smorgasbord of open spots. If you’re interested in a gig, see if any of these sound like you!

Admissions: We are all about finding talent and connecting it to meaningful work! The Bus runs one of the nation’s most competitive summer fellowships, PolitiCorps. To stay competitive we work on this program year-round and are now in the process of revamping our admissions processes. If you are a good planner, expert with logistics and able to manage multiple projects, then PolitiCorps needs you! This position will require comfort navigating college sites, organizing applicant data, familiarity with Bus data systems (we’ll train you, no worries) and some phone time.

Events & FundraisingEver dreamed of being a club promoter? Or just like to throw ragers? Then we want you! We’re gonna party like it’s 2014… which means all the time. We need someone who is a total people person, a graceful yet speedy juggler of everything, and unafraid to ask for what you want. You’ll learn how to schmooze, hustle and raise those dollar bills in big, big stacks.

Finance & Development: If you’re into money and numbers, come learn the basics of non-profit work behind the scenes. As an organized guru, you’ll work with our development team to keep our finance boat afloat. You’ll get trade secrets of fundraising and schooled in the sexy legal lingo. Our dream interns are driven to bring in the dough, discreet and responsible with sensitive information – and understand that love is in the details.

Outreach: You love meeting new people and bringing diverse communities together. We’re looking for the ultimate “people person” to join our team to get folks interested, organize our supporters, and keep the wheels on this machine properly rolling. You’ll get exposure to some of the greatest minds in politics, nonprofit leadership and business. On top of it all, you’ll hammer out event details, develop new organizing strategies, and keep our Outreach and Voter Engagement Coordinator in line.

Social Media & Outreach: We need help getting the word out! We want the Bus to be the place where young people go to get involved and lately it’s felt more like a secret society. If you move about social media sites with ease, enjoy connecting with new people and love going to events, then this has your name ALL OVER IT! As a social media and outreach intern you will be responsible for giving a facelift to our current social media sites, getting folks interested, organizing our supporters and capturing our work for the world to know about.

Web Design: Our sites need some mad love! You found this so chances are good you’ve seen em – you agree? Then we need you! We want our web pages to reflect our fun spirit and capture in the words of our youth leaders what we do and what we are really about. As a web design intern you will use your creative genius to capture the ideas of our team and combine them with your tech savvy to create gifs, memes, short videos and whatever else makes sense.

To apply, get in touch with our Program Director at janet.soto@busproject.org!

Keep Oregon Legit With The Democracy Cup

Are you looking for a way to BE THE CHANGE in your local community? Are you all about ACTION? Do you want to inspire the mini, high school versions of your intelligent and badass selves? Do you like to WIN? Then Democracy Cup wants you. We’re on the lookout for college students to lead civic engagement competitions in Oregon high schools in your area. Are you up to the challenge? Read on, reader!

dcup oregon image

Responsibilities and Expectations:

  • Communicate with schools throughout Oregon to run interactive civic education workshops geared towards high school juniors and seniors
  • Recruit, train, support and collaborate with volunteers, interns and student teams in those schools to register voters in local communities
  • Coordinate outreach and build relationships with local organizations and groups to garner support for Democracy Cup
  • Track data of critical workshop and voter registration components and meet goals
  • Take charge in creating civic education lesson plans to continue in classrooms with students and volunteer teams through the semester


  • College students and recent graduates with backgrounds in education, political science and related fields strongly encouraged to apply
  • Previous volunteer and/or community engagement experience preferred
  • Familiarity working with teens and high school students
  • Strong oral communication skills and comfort with public speaking
  • Commitment to public service, civic education and belief in young people’s involvement in the public sector
  • Culturally competent/aware of social and racial justice issues and possess a willingness to talk and learn about them
  • Strong relationship-building skills (Do babies and grandmas love you??)
  • Must have access to a car
  • Ability to commit, on average, 20 hours/week, March – May

Benefits & Compensation:

  • Fellows will be provided a stipend of $1,500 each from March – May for their work, in addition to a bonus following completion of goals
  • Fellows are eligible for course credit, pending the fulfillment of requirements determined by their respective colleges and universities
  • Fellows’ professional development, support and resources will be provided by Bus staff

To apply, complete the survey (link below) and send a resume to minh@busfoundation.org with “Full Name: Democracy Cup Fellow” in the subject line. Feel free to email with any questions as well!

PhonePhesting and Bus Trippin’ with Tara

Alright, here’s how this goes. October 15th, 2013 is a big day for the Bus. Not only because it is the last day to REGISTER TO VOTE before the November 5th election (hint: do it if you haven’t), but it’s also the first day for Tara Sulzen, the Bus Project’s new Executive Director.

Tara, bada** that she is, will be kicking off her new role Bus-style with a phonephest and Bus Trip day, and she’s hell-bent on having you there with her.  Let us explain. 

Right now, the Gresham Barlow School District is looking to pass their first school bond in 13 years, and they need some help. Besides building much-needed classroom space and filling it up with cutting edge technology, books that have both the front AND back covers, and  AMAZING students (um…PolitiCorps class of 2020 *cough cough*), this school bond will create jobs and also keep kids safe.

You know that nothing moves the needle on critical local issues more than boots-on-the-ground direct-action democracy. We want to make that kind of positive impact for the students out in Gresham-Barlow. And we want to spend those couple of hours with you, working hard and having fun. Get on the bus!

Detail Time.


When: October 24th, 5 – 8 pm

Where: Bus Central at 333 SE 2nd Ave, Portland, OR

What/Why: PhonePhest time! Bring your smoothest phone voice and sweetest smile to talk to voters and help get the Gresham Barlow School District some cash-money to fix up their schools. Join us.


When: November 2nd, 10-3pm

Where: Bus Central

What/Why:  We are taking our Bus out to Gresham for some democracy-style action as we talk with voters, remind them to vooooote, and make sure they know what this bond can do for generations to come. Click here to sign up right now.

I know what you’re thinking: I can’t choose! I want to come to both events! Well, you can! Just hit Ebony up with an email and let her know you’re getting on the Bus with us.

**Never been to a PhonePhest or Bus Trip before? No worries! We’ll feed you and train you, and you’ll even get to hang out with our BRAND NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR.


Happy NVRD!

We know you’ve been waiting for it all year. Congratulations, you patient sweethearts. It’s finally here.Today is National Voter Registration Day. America’s favorite coast-to-coast celebration of voter registration, democracy, and wonderfulness.Obviously you’re wondering how you should celebrate. Should you throw a bunch of miniature red, white, & blue disco balls on the nearest Douglas Fir? Should you light some candles and roast a bunch of quail/tofurquail?

I mean, you can if you want. But probably better to:

  1. Register to vote. On National Voter Registration Day last year, over 300,000 people registered to vote on a single day. This year, you can be one of them. If you haven’t registered, or moved recently, get on it & register, yo.
  2. Help other people register.
Bus Voter Reg Warriors

Amazing Bus Project Voter Registration Volunteer Warriors

Regardless of how you go this extra mile this National Voter Registration Day, make sure to post about this beloved, time-honored holiday on the Twitters & the Facebooks, with hashtag #CelebrateNVRD.

Ok, go get your democracy on. Much love.

Big News at the Bus!

Tara Sulzen

Meet Tara Sulzen, our new Executive Director!

It is our great pleasure to introduce Tara Sulzen as the next Executive Director of the Oregon Bus Project.

As we approach such an important election cycle here in Oregon, the leadership of the Bus Project couldn’t be more important. After an exhaustive national search, we are confident that we couldn’t have found a better fit than Tara. She brings with her a compelling vision for the Bus, a passion for engaging volunteers and young leaders, as well as a deep understanding of the project’s tradition of hands-on democracy.

Like many of us, Tara got her political start with the Bus Project, and has been a dedicated organizer ever since. Tara has shown incredible leadership in her roles at 1000 Friends of Oregon and the Urban Sustainability Accelerator at Portland State University, and has been a strong voice for her generation in Oregon politics.

Tara will officially be taking the reins as Executive Director on October 15th, and we will invite everyone to come and meet (and grill) Tara. We’d like to warn you in advance that she will be asking all our supporters, young and old, to sign up to volunteer and share your insights in return.

We recommend that you beat her to the punch! Click here to become a bus driver today and support the Bus with a monthly donation. You can also click here to volunteer!

Thank you for your ongoing support, and for helping lead the Bus into its next exciting chapter.

21 Reasons 2013 is Awesome (and other numbers to love)

Recently we got together with some Bus Drivers, PolitiCorps alum, and generally awesome movers-n-shakers to celebrate the end of an another amazing PolitiCorps summer. And while we’re so sad that the time flew by, we feel pretty stoked about the delectable democracy that they brewed up, including:

  • Registering 2,245 voters.
  • Calling 25,285 voters and knocking on 15,425 doors to help the Gresham Barlow School Bond Campaign.
  • Collecting 767 community surveys to help the Portland Urban League prioritize their constituents’ needs – and then contacting 400 organizations to get donations for the Urban League’s fundraising raffle.
  • Gathering 11,699 signatures for Oregon United for Marriage to put marriage equality on the ballot in 2014.

In case you weren’t able to make it to our PolitiCorps 2013  Graduation, watch this video to hear what these twenty one amazing PolitiCorps Fellows had to say about what they did with their summer vacation. (Um, which wasn’t really vacation because they worked more than 240 hours. BUT. It was crazy fun.)

If you think you might want to join in the democracy fun as a 2014 PolitiCorps Fellow, make sure to watch for our 2014 call for applications. Or, you can help support great programs like PolitiCorps by becoming a Bus Driver today.


Can you hear us now?

What about now? Now?


Right now—like, literally right now—legislators are talking amongst themselves about a huge game-changing public safety bill called HB 3194. The bill already received a hearing and the sausage-making has commenced.

If HB 3194 were to pass unchanged, it would:

  • Flatline prison growth over the next decade and avoid $600 million in new prison expenses;
  • Some of those savings would be re-invested into under-resourced parts of our public safety sector: community-based victim services, community corrections, drug courts, addiction and mental health treatment, and re-entry programs.

So, you know, pretty common sense stuff if you’re a lover of safety, savings, and justice. And let’s be real, who among us isn’t?

But as with actual sausage-making, the figurative sausage-making of the legislature ain’t pretty and it’s totally possible someone could lose a finger. You see, opponents are speaking out and they’re pressuring our policy makers to water down key parts of the bill.

This is where you come in. We need to make sure that the good people in our legislature aren’t just hearing from opponents; they need to hear from the supporters as well.

There’s two ways you can make sure they hear you now and help the bill get a good reception (get it? Because cell phones?) in the legislature.

Option 1: Come to Phone Phest Next Tuesday

Next Tuesday, Partnership for Safety & Justice and the Bus will be calling voters all over Oregon and encouraging them to have a phone date with their legislator. It’s a few hours of telephonic awesomeness plus good eats and great folks.

  • When: April 30th, food at 5 PM, calls from 5:30 – 8:00
  • Where: Bus Central, 333 SE 2nd Ave, Portland

Click hear to RSVP so we know how much food to make.

Option 2: Make Yourself Heard

Can’t make the Phone Phest? No worries, friend. Just take 5 minutes today and call your legislator to let them know you support HB 3194. Even if your rep or senator is generally supportive, it still helps to hear friendly supporters cheering them on.

Click hear to find your legislators.

Click hear to learn more about the issues.

Now seeking movers, shakers, et al.

For a Jolly Good Fellowship


Do you know someone looking to ignite a career organizing for the environment, running political campaigns, fighting for equal rights and social justice, or launching their own nonprofit?

Then they should totally apply for PolitiCorps Summer 2013, the ninth edition of our signature summer bootcamp for aspiring public interest leaders.

The PolitiCorps Class of 2013 is filling up fast, but the search for 24 of the most inspiring young leaders isn’t over yet. And we need your help.

Can you help us identify the most creative, driven, entrepreneurial, passionate young folks in Oregon? We know you know them. In fact, many of you are them.

That’s why we need you to nominate these people. Like, today. (The deadline for applications is rolling, but the sooner someone applies, the better).

Who’s right for PolitiCorps? Well, for starters nominees should be college seniors or recent graduates and they should be ready to bust serious tail for the entire summer. Beyond that, Fellows come in all stripes. They come from every state in the union, some who grew up with a clipboard in their hand and others who are still getting their campaign legs under them.

Sound like someone you know? We thought so. So go ahead and nominate those fine folks here and then let them know that you’ve nominated them. And we’ll take it from there.

Wanna apply for PolitiCorps yourself? Skip the whole nomination process and get started on your application today. Click here to apply.