That’s a wrap!

We did it! The Oregon legislature wrapped up last week, and we are so proud of the work we’ve all done together!

Here’s some of what we did, at a glance:

After a decade of hard work, we successfully lowered Oregon’s voter pre-registration age to 16 by passing Senate Bill 802! Now when 16-year-olds get their license at the DMV, they’ll be automatically pre-registered to vote! Nearly 20,000 16-year-olds go the the DMV every year, so this is going to make a HUGE difference. BIG UPS to our fierce sponsors, Senators Taylor, Steiner Hayward, and Boquist, and Representatives Lininger and Malstrom.

We worked with our friends at the Oregon Student Association to pass House Bill 3408, protecting Oregon’s best-in-the-nation voter registration rules and ensuring that we can continue to do the important work we do to register thousands of voters every year.

     

We also supported efforts to do a lot of other great things, like extending health coverage to all Oregon kids, requiring student loan transparency, and creating standards for statewide ethnic studies curriculum for our schools. All of these bills will make Oregon a better place for all of us, and we are excited they passed.

All told, we closely monitored 15 elections-related bills, testified or submitted testimony on 12 different bills, and had 400+ people email or call their legislator about their priorities and nearly 100 people come lobby in person on bills in Salem. IT MADE A HELLUVA difference. 

There were other important bills that we supported that unfortunately didn’t pass, and we are disappointed the legislature didn’t take action. BUT, DAMN IF WE DIDN’T TRY OUR HARDEST. 

We know that paying for postage for all ballots will increase turnout and make voting even easier for all Oregonians, that‘s why we supported Senate Bill 683. Unfortunately, we’ve got a ton of work to do to ensure legislators understand what we hear when we’re knocking on doors. Although it didn’t pass, we wanna give a shout out to Senator Devlin and his staff for their help on this bill! 

Thousands of Oregonians across our state are struggling to keep a roof over their heads as they juggle the burdens of increasing rents, low wages, and student debt. Many more are faced with no-cause evictions, leaving them with nowhere to go. House Bill 2004 would have helped fix that, but the big special interest groups representing landlords and developers just wouldn’t back down, and the bill died in the Senate. We’re very disappointed and we’re committed to fighting for these protections in the interim. 

And finally, Oregon failed to pass House Bill 2927,  the National Popular Vote bill. Out of 45 elections, a President has been elected that lost the popular vote a whopping 5 times. The bill would have changed that so that the President would be elected by a true vote of the people. We’re committed to trying again in the future to help make sure on person equals one vote in the Presidential election. We’ve been fighting for this bill for multiple sessions, and we’re more committed than ever to making sure your voice is heard in Salem on this critical issue.

As always, thank you so much for supporting the Bus and for riding along with us on this wild journey! We couldn’t do it without our amazing and wonderful staff, our dream team of volunteers, Ben the volunteer Bus driver, and all of y’all.

We had a ton of successes this legislative session and we are so proud of all the yellow Bus buttons we saw every day in the Capitol. Thanks for making this work so much fun and rewarding. We can’t do it without ya.

All of us over at Team Bus can’t wait to keep fighting so every eligible voter can cast their ballot free from restrictions and barriers.

P.S.

We see the crazy, banana-pants requests made by the guy in the White House. Don’t worry though–we’re monitoring it. Best way to stop him is to register friends and family to vote by visiting beregistered.org.   

P.P.S.

If you want to help us continue to fight for democracy, you can chip in $5 a month here! 

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