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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