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Get on top of Oregon policy.
Elections are fun and all, but the real important stuff happens after: using democracy to help regular people. When the Oregon Legislature is in session, the Bus rolls to the Capitol to push issues that make Oregon stronger for the next generation.
We’re workin’ hard to build a democracy that is accessible to every one of its citizens, supports equality among its people and is bold enough to think ahead & build a tomorrow that is better than today.
What’s Up This Year
Since 2006, the Bus’s top priorities have been set in part by a democratic vote of our peeps at Rebooting Democracy and in part by the Bus Political Committee (a wicked smart crew of Board members, volunteers & staff).
The Bus Priorities of 2012
Voter Registration Modernization: Bringing Oregon’s voter registration system into the 21st century, making government more efficient and simplifying the way Oregon citizens register to vote. It brings new people into democracy (especially young people, people of color & low-income people) and saves the state money. In the next five years, we can get Oregon to a place where every citizen gets a ballot and can turn it in with no barriers. And we’re gonna make it happen together.
Tuition Equity: One of the smartest pieces of economic policy that also happens to be the right moral thing to do: offering in-state tuition to long-time Oregon students who graduated from Oregon high schools, have been accepted to Oregon colleges and are working toward citizenship, but who didn’t receive documentation when their parents brought them to America. It keeps top talent in Oregon, will help us compete in the new economy and is just plain fair.
Protecting & Supporting the Right to Vote: We believe democracy should be as accessible to regular people as we can possibly make it. We’re working to expand the amount of time people can be registered to vote before elections and to find new ways to bring democracy to all people. At the same time, we’re making sure nobody makes it harder to register to vote or to get your ballot turned in.
The Bus also lends a hand (or a hubcap, or whatever) to other issues. We help connect our volunteers to the issues they care about and advocate alongside our partners.
If you wanna get an idea in front of the Bus Political Committee, hit up Henry at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Victories of Yore
In a bewilderingly divided Legislature (Half GOP/Half Dem House & close to that in the Senate), Bus peeps got Public Assistance Agency Voter Registration passed with huge bipartisan majorities, including unanimous support in the House. It’ll make sure that Oregon citizens get an opportunity to register to vote when they apply for Food Stamps, Oregon Health Plan or a bundle of other programs.
In an epic & awesome coalition, we also went strong-like-bull on Tuition Equity and got it passed through the Senate for the first time in a decade.
Bus volunteers and advocates were part of a coalition that helped pass The Job Applicant Fairness Act, which protects job applicants from being denied work based on their credit history. It especially helps young people, low-income people and people of color in Oregon.
Alongside our Student Vote Coalition partners, the Oregon Student Association and OSPIRG, Bus volunteers and advocates won passage of 2 voter access bills:
- Online voter registration: Creating a way for Oregon citizens with Drivers Licenses, ID cards and Learners Permits to register to vote online
- High school voter registration: Putting voter registration materials in high schools all over Oregon
On both of these bills, high school and college-aged Bus volunteers gave rockstar testimony before powerful committees and played a big role in making them law.
In the Bus’s very first year hangin’ around the Legislature, Bus volunteers and advocates helped pass a bill that let 17-year-olds register to vote (so they can just vote when they turn 18).