Consider us the Good News Bears

Volunteers are the heart & soul of the Bus, but these are the people who are at Bus Central every day. Come hang out with us!

photo 3Tara Sulzen, Captain Planner
(Executive Director)

Tara is a democracy Jill of All Trades. She’s been an organizer, an advocate, a fundraiser, a mentor, and a holder of a fancy Masters in Urban and Regional Planning degree from Portland State. What can’t she do? (Answer: crafts.) Since getting on the Bus as a PolitiCorps Fellow way back in 2007, she’s organized the Candidates Gone Wild debate, the Rebooting Democracy conference, and the Bus Trips mass canvass program, and most recently served as the Vice-Chair of the Bus Foundation Board. Betwixt her Bus gigs, Tara helped American cities get smarter and greener as a Program Administrator for Portland State’s Urban Sustainability Accelerator (otherwise known as USA, chanting ensues), and protected farmland from getting paved the heck over as Outreach Director for 1000 Friends of Oregon. Don’t be fooled by her singsongy voice and friendly demeanor, either. She will cut you. In line. If she’s really in a hurry.

photo 5Jack Mesplay, Lord of the Finance Dance
(Finance and Operations Manager)

Fresh off a seven year stint at the Village Free School, Jack’s taking over the reigns of the Bus’s finances and he’s doing it with vigor. (Apparently spending nearly a decade helping to run a school where the kids vote on the rules instills top-notch organizational skills.) Jack’s spreadsheet kung fu skills will keep the Bus running on time and under-budget, hopefully with enough time to work in a game or two of Settlers of Catan now and then.

Janet SotoJanet Soto, Molder of Minds
(Program Director)

Born in Mexico, Janet grew up as part of a seasonal migrant working family traveling to and from Ohio and Mexico. After graduating from the Ohio State University, she absolutely rocked it the last two years as a Teach for America teacher in South Texas where she picked up a keen knack for molding the minds of future leaders (not to mention wicked color-coding & office-supply-organizing skills). A PolitiCorps alum herself, she leads the PolitiCorps charge, continuing her success in the classroom to launch a whole new generation of future Bus rockstars.

photo 2Minh Ha, Members and Mentors Minion
(Development and Organizing Associate)

A PolitiCorps alum and frequenter of the Bus Project offices, Minh has done it all and adds another level of passion to the Bus Project team. She has social justice, communications, organizing and fundraising experience on campaigns and with non-profits. In Massachusetts, she worked for progressive rock stars like Elizabeth Warren and Carl Sciortino. In her home state of Colorado, she got her start with our affiliate, the ‘cool kids’ over at New Era. Here in Oregon, she runs our high school outreach program, Democracy Cup, and curses the existence of databases.