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.

You’ll want to watch this video.


Last Monday, in front of a warm, packed crowd at The Waypost, the Bus Project and Oregon Climate kicked off our joint campaign to work for progressive climate policy here in the state of Oregon. After a gracious introduction by Representative Lew Frederick, Oregon Climate’s Executive Director Camila Thorndike spoke and debuted the new video explaining the fee-and-dividend model of placing appropriate pricing on carbon pollution. A full recap of the event is available in a story published by Oregon Business. The video is available here: please share it widely with your friends!

image1Oregon enjoys a long history as an innovative, trailblazin’ champion for pragmatic environmental politics; from our Urban Growth Boundary to our illustrious history with recycling, we’ve always stepped up to the challenge to lead the country in finding ways to protect our surroundings. Now, it’s our generation’s turn to stand up and write the next chapter of Oregon’s groundbreaking story as a leader in protecting our planet by putting a price on carbon.

To learn more and to help write that aforementioned next chapter, check out Oregon Climate’s Volunteer page, or sign up to get involved with the Bus Project. We’ll get you plugged in.

Can we count on you to SHARE the video with your friends?

What’s this #newmotorvoter thing all about?



As superfans of democracy and ardent supporters of any effort to get a ballot in the hand of every eligible Oregonian, we’ve been busy the last few years.

We’ve been working to expand democracy across this fine state for many a year (see: seventeen year old pre registration in 2007, Online Registration in 2009, and our work to adopt the National Voter Registration Act Compliance Council in 2011), and we’ve been working on bringing this Voter Modernization effort to Oregon for over three years.

This past Monday, the Bus Project and our volunteers provided testimony about the ways that this bill will help remove further barriers to voting.

The House Committee on Rules heard from Uma, a rockstar high school volunteer who ran a registration drive at Westview High School; they heard from Kappy, affiliated with the League of Women Voters who declared “I’ve been voting for seventy years, and I recommend it;” and Iris, a single mother who has found herself often moving homes and wanted to be sure she’d always have a ballot to cast for an upcoming election.

Check out the press coverage about this bill from the Washington Post and The Oregonian. Do us a favor and tweet/facebook your support for the bill using the hashtag #newmotorvoter, sharing our blog post, and signing our petition to legislators know you support the bill.

Convinced that #newmotorvoter is a good idea? Awesome! Click here and sign our petition to make sure legislators hear from Oregonians across the state that it’s time to pass this legislation to put a ballot in the hands of every eligible Oregonian.

One Wild Crazy Month Ahead! Can We Count on your Help?



Susan B Anthony, Brewhaha!, and More: Summer Lovin’ On the Bus


Didja see all the photos from our Washington County Door Knock for Safe Roads Last Weekend? Bus Trips are Back, yo!)

BREWHAHA! Asks: Is It Easy Being Green? TUESDAY August 5

Join the Bus Project and the Portland Mercury for an informal discussion about an issue that’ll be on on the Oregon Ballot this November: The legalization of Marijuana. We’ll bring a bunch of folks together who have unique perspectives on how, if passed, the bill to legalize marijuana in Oregon could impact our economy, our incarceration rate, and our communities.We’ll be meeting at 5:30 on TUESDAY, AUGUST 5th at the Green Dragon (928 SE 9th, Portland)
and we’ll have a brief panel discussion and questions from the crowd; our panel features:

Brian Budz, New Vansterdam
Liz Kaufman, New Approach Oregon
Becky Straus, ACLU of Oregon
Panel Moderated by Dirk Vanderhart, News Reporter at the Portland Mercury.

As always, Bus Drivers (monthly donors! become one?) get a drink on the house! Click HERE to RSVP on facebook; invite some friends!

Door Knock for the Oregon Safe Roads Campaign August 16-17

The Bus Project teamed with Basic Rights Oregon, Latino Network and Causa this past weekend and knocked over 1000 Doors for the Oregon Safe Roads Campaign.

We need your help to knock on TWICE that many doors the weekend of August 16-17. Be sure to email Outreach Coordinator Aaron by clicking HERE to RSVP your spot, and look for the facebook event soon!

Unfamiliar with the Safe Roads campaign? Check out their websiteHERE, *like* them on facebook HERE, and follow them on twitter at@oregonsaferoads (and follow along with the newfangled hashtag at #YesOnSafeRoads). Be sure to check out the Causa’s “100 Days, 100 Stories” Series, which features the story of the Bus Project’s very own Rita Ombaka.


The Bus Project has been lucky to bring on Democracy Organizing Fellow Elise Brown for a few months this summer, and she’s planning a Voter Action Day to register voters on the 94th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment (that’s the one about letting women to vote). Join Elise and a gaggle of men and women dressed as Rosie the Riveter in Downtown Portland on Saturday, August 23to help register voters (men and women alike!). Contact Elise HERE to let her know that you’re ready to brandish a red bandana, a blue jean shirt and rock some serious suffrage feminism in helping her register 500 voters this summer. Susan B. Anthony would be SO proud.


National Voter Registration Day is September 23rd. Trick or Vote is October 31st.

Clear your calendars. It’ll be a blast, and you won’t wanna miss out.


The Bus Project has registered over 2000 people to vote since you last received an email from us, and we’re well on our way to register 10,000 voters before the October 13 deadline. What are you doing with your summer?

I wrote this in the last blog post, but it all definitely applies: The Bus is all about building a movement that engages and empowers young people to participate in politics. Whether you want to help register voters, make some phone calls, become a data-entry wizard, help with some bloggin’, or simply participate in weekly push up competitions (I always lose them…), Send me an email and we’ll put your skills to use for democracy!

Here’s your GIF for the day. This is what Democracy Feels Like!


See you on a Bus Trip in the Near Future!


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.