Bus News: Volunteer Opportunities

Looking for your fix of high-speed, hands-on democracy? Read on to take in all the ways you can help us transform Oregon for the better.

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.


This Week: Help Make Voting Awesome…er


What if you could pre-register to vote when you turn 16 and make that first breathtaking trip to the DMV? What if every time you moved within the state you didn’t also need to move your registration because it was attached to you and not your house, which can’t even vote?

If this sounds like the kind of state you wanna live in—and, frankly, you’re a little bummed to learn that it doesn’t already work like this—you can help make it happen.

Over the next two weeks the Oregon House is taking a good long look at a slate of bills meant to make voting in Oregon more free, fair and accessible. And we want—nay, we need—you to be right in the heart of the action.

Read on for a quick intro to the policies and a couple ways you can help.

The Bills

  1. HB 2988, 16 Year-Old Pre-Registration: 20,000 16 year-olds get their driver’s licenses at the DMV every year. This bill would allow them all to pre-register to vote in the same trip (just like 17-year-olds already do).
  2. HB 3175, Improving College Voter Registration: Offers students more opportunities and information to register to vote at all public colleges and universities.
  3. HB 2017, Online Voter Reg. Update: Allows currently registered Oregon voters without a driver’s license to update their voter registration online using their Social Security number.
  4. HB 2198, Portable Voter Registration: Keeps your voter registration up-to-date when you move, so you get your ballot at your new address without needing to fill out a new voter registration.

For more details, head over to our Makin’ Laws page.

How You Can Help: Attend a Hearing

Wednesday, March 13, 3 PM: The House Rules Committee will be taking a look at bills #1-3 from above. This is a big day for getting young people even more engaged with politics in our state.

Wednesday, March 20, 3 PM: The House Rules Committee is back at it, this time looking at the Portable Voter Registration bill. Because who has two thumbs and wants to re-register every time they move? Probably no one (just guessing).

We want to fill the hearing room on both of these dates with your beautiful faces and infectious love for democracy. Click here to save your seat in a carpool from Portland on the 13th. And click here to save your seat on the 20th.

How You Can Help: Call your Representative

Can’t make it down to Salem for the day? Give your legislator a phone call or write them a letter. Legislators love hearing from their constituents. Click here to find your legislator.

Together we can make Oregon a state with convenient, secure, hassle-free voter registration. Because when more people do democracy, democracy does more for all of us.

P.S. Can’t do either of the above but want to help fuel the work? Click here to become a Bus Driver and totally make our day.

99%? Awesome. But let’s talk about the 80%.

Side of flu with your burger?


Did you drag yourself to your job this winter with a scorching fever, a scratchy throat and a taste like something might have snuck into your lung for a nap and expired?

If you did, you’re not alone. In fact, you’re with 80% of low-wage earners who don’t get to take a day off without missing a day of pay.These people, who tend to be younger and low-income, end up spreading illnesses far faster than if they stayed home.

Sound gross and unfair? Well, Portland, there is a cure for what ails ya and it goes by the name of Earned Sick Days.

Under this perfect prescription of a policy, all job-holding, hard-working people would earn paid sick days while they worked to the tune of 1 hour for every 30 hours worked. Side effects include a warming sensating of justice served. [Cue video of people golfing and dancing at weddings.]

What You Can Do

1. Make a phone call: Hop on that soapbox of yours and make three simple but very important phone calls right now to the people debating this issue. No policy expertise required; just a desire to speak up and be part of history.  It’ll take you less than 10 minutes. Call:

  • Mayor Charlie Hales: (503) 823-4120
  • Commissioner Nick Fish: (503) 823-3589
  • Commissioner Dan Saltzman: (503) 823-4151

What to say: “Hi, my name is (your name) and I live in Portland. I’m calling to express my support for a citywide paid sick time policy. Thanks for the work you’re doing around this policy. We’re excited to have earned sick days here in Portlland. Thank you!” See? Simple.

Feel free to share a personal story about a time when you needed sick time and what it meant for you to have it—or not have it.

Once you’ve called, brag about it on our Facebook page.

2. Get Yourself to City Hall: Once you’ve made your phone calls, you can help pack City Hall for the public hearing next Thursday, March 7th at 3PM.

We’d love to see your healthy faces there.