Introducing the Bustice League!

Introducing the Bustice League!

This week’s Hella Bus Blog Thirsty Thursday blog post comin’ at ya! #knowledgeresponsibly

We’ve got big news coming out of Buslandia, a place where dreams come true. Do you dream of 100% youth voter turnout? Do you want to befriend other rad civically engaged young people? Do you wish you could be a real-life superhero? Whatever your dream is, we’re proud to announce The Bustice League™, our brand spankin’ new volunteer program created with the stuff that dreams are made of.

Members of the Bustice League are the super-volunteers that help our voter registration and campaign work succeed. Super-volunteers commit to a certain number of volunteer hours per month. The opportunities are varied and endless–you could register voters at Bumbershoot, testify at city council, create a zine, or help out around the office. Joining the Bustice League gets you access to #firstdibs at music festival volunteer shifts, bus swag, an opportunity to build up your organizing skills, and of course, a once in a lifetime chance to change the world.

The Bustice League is an extension of our leadership development programs, our seasonal internship and summer fellowship. The Bustice League is open to people of all ages and experience levels. Have you already completed our fellowship program and want to get back on the Bus? Join the Bustice League! Did you just find out about us at Seattle Pride and want to learn more about volunteering? Join the Bustice League! We’ll have fun and meaningful ways for everyone to join.

As staff members, we commit to investing in you and your growth as a young political organizer with a passion for justice. We’ll also plan regular social events (happy hour, anyone?) for Bustice League members.
If you like what you’ve read so far and want to become a defender of democracy, an advocate for justice, and a mighty political organizer, you should join the Bustice League! Come to our official launch party at the Washington Bus office in Pioneer Square on July 6 from 6-8 pm. We’ll bring the snacks, and you can bring your friends. Deal? Check out the Facebook event here and don’t forget to RSVP! If you can’t come to the launch party, but want to learn more about joining the Bustice League, shoot me an e-mail at sophia@washingtonbus.org.

This blog post was written by Sophia Hoffacker, the Bus’s own Field Coordinator.

Say Her Name.

Say Her Name.

On Sunday Charleena Lyles was shot and killed by Seattle Police in her home after calling to report a burglary. It is a devastating loss for her family, children, and the community.

Original photo: http://www.thestranger.com/slog/2017/06/19/25225266/charleena-lyles-victim-of-spd-shooting-remembered-as-life-of-the-party

Institutional, systemic racism, under-resourcing of mental health services, and insufficient training in implicit bias, crisis intervention, and de-escalation tactics all contribute to tragedies like this. We need to work together to challenge and change our systems and undo institutional oppression to stop losing lives of people of color and other oppressed communities.

Although the shooting is under investigation by SPD’s Force Investigation Team, history has shown justice is so rarely served for victims of police violence. In Washington State especially, due to wording in existing statutes it is nearly impossible to convict a police officer for a fatal use of force because the prosecution has to prove malicious intent. Even if an officer is confirmed to have committed a wrongful killing, it is extremely hard to prove evil intent. This year, the Washington Bus Education Fund will be partnering with De-Escalate Washington through our Fellowship to change the legal language on this statute so victims of fatal police shootings can get the justice they deserve. The group’s Initiative 940 will also create statewide standards for de-escalation and crisis intervention training for officers.

Looking for ways to support Charleena?

Donate online here to the GoFundMe page created to support her family, including her 4 children.

Looking for ways to get engaged further?

Attend the BlackLivesMatter March for Justice tonight at 6pm at Westlake Park.

Attend the Trans Pride March: Black Lives Matter contingent tomorrow at 5pm at the Capitol Hill Light Rail Station.

Sign up to volunteer with the Bus to fight for justice alongside our Fellows with De-Escalate Washington and Washington Won’t Discriminate.

Keep up with the conversation on social media #CharleenaLyles #SayHerName #BlackLivesMatter

An open letter to the 2017 Fellowship Class

An open letter to the 2017 Fellowship Class

Enjoy this week’s Hella Bus Blog Thirsty Thursday blog post! #knowledgeresponsibly

 

Dear 2017 Fellows,

Alisha graduating from her 2013 Fellowship Class

It’s been a long season of outreach and planning in preparation for your arrivals and I could not be happier to finally meet you all. In 2013, I was a fellow and it was one of the most transformative times in my life. After the Fellowship I decided I loved the Bus so much I would try my hardest to stick around for as long as I could, and now here I am 4 years later living my dream and it’s because the Bus invested in my growth as a leader. I am excited to be a contributor to the growth you will experience this summer.

It’s okay to be nervous. I remember my first day sitting in our old Bus office not really knowing what was in store for me this summer but it was the best summer ever. I met one of my best friends through the Fellowship and got a very unique (and fun!) perspective on local politics.

Alisha’s summer as Fellowship Organizer!

 

The Fellowship is a lot of work, but it’s extremely rewarding. You will become best friends with your clipboard and 4 years later you will probably find a bus sticker or two hiding out in your room. When you do, you will be reminded of that time you kicked ass in the field at the block parties, helped meet campaign goals, and maybe that person you tried to give that sticker to and they ignored you (because that will happen). Which leads me to say this:

2017 Fellowship Inauguration

 

 

Canvassing is hard. It was the hardest part for me as an introvert and if canvassing is hard for you it is okay. I’ve been at the Bus in different capacities since I’ve graduated from the Fellowship and I’ve come a long way when it comes to how I feel about field and it is because of the support I had at the Bus. Cinthia and I are here to support you when times get rough and when people get rude. One thing that helps me in the field as someone who has been doing this for a while is just remembering that the probability of me seeing someone I’ve canvassed again is very slim unless they come to more Bus stuff (and in that case YAY!). Bless and release those who are not ready to have the conversations you want to have with them and know that you might have been that person’s first contact in a field that has been historically exclusive to a lot of folks. 

Lastly, you will go through a lot this summers. Feelings of happiness, feelings of tiredness but please know that you are Bus family and family takes care of each other. I got your back and I know I can speak for the rest of Fellowship Team and Bus staff that no matter what you experience this summer, you will be supported and you will be better in the end.

Let’s go change the world and thank you for trusting me to guide you.

<3 Alisha

This blog post was written by Alisha Agard, the Bus’s Fellowship Coordinator.

Bus Bash: 10-year Anniversary Concert!

Bus Bash: 10-year Anniversary Concert!

This year is our 10-year anniversary and you know what that means – time to CELEBRATE!

If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the past decade, it’s how to throw a rockin’ party. We couldn’t celebrate our 10th year with any old regular event.. that’s why this year’s Bus Bash is a concert! Featuring performances by SISTERS, Beverly Crusher, and Nolan Garrett.

All tickets come with dinner and 21+ drinks provided by Pendleton Whisky and Georgetown Brewing. VIP tickets include exclusive event perks, early entry and VIP reception, and automatic entry into our raffle drawing! Co-Host tickets include 2 VIP tickets and a free Bus t-shirt!

Raffle prizes include a Golden Ticket to the The Crocodile (1 free show per month for a whole year!), Argosy Cruises harbor cruise, tickets to Jazz Alley, the Wing Luke Museum, and Comedy Underground, Fran’s Chocolate tour and tasting, and gift certificates to Tom Douglas and Hothouse spa, among others.

Thank you to our sponsors NWP Consulting, Summit Strategy, Advocate Accounting LLC, Moxie Media, Katherine Bobman, and Cerillion N4 Partners; and our Co-Hosts Wendy Graff and Darryl Price, Stephen Aubert, Joann and Matt Grimm, Collin Jergens, Felipe Rodríguez-Flores, Vanesa Gutierrez, Morgan Beach, Alison Mondi, Sonny Nguyen, Chris Lampin, Aaron Robertson, and Estevan Munoz-Howard!

When

Friday, August 11, 2017 from 7pm-11pm

Contact

Interested in joining us a sponsor? Email Crystal Reed at crystal@washingtonbus.org.

Busquatch 2017!

Busquatch 2017!

Welcome to the first installation of the Hella Bus Blog’s Thirsty Thursday blog post! #knowledgeresponsibly

 

Memorial day weekend the Bus was out in force at the one, the only, SASQUATCH! In addition to watching some incredible music and getting gnarly tank top tans, we talked to thousands of young people about the importance of civic engagement and registered voters in the sun! Check out some highlights below.

 

Bus squad rolled deep with 5 staff members, 3 interns, and 8 rockstar volunteers (shoutout to former Bus staffer Sonny and the Service Board folks who combined forces with us for the ultimate #SQUADGOALS)! We registered 85 voters and collected 301 Pledge to Vote cards in just 3 short (jk, like the longest) days, and had great conversations with young people from around the state. Meeting young people where they are works – we got 154 new volunteer sign-ups from people who are stoked to take their civic engagement to the next level and hop on the Bus with us!!

Not to mention Vote Bot was on AT LEAST 50 people’s snapchat stories…

Stories from the ‘Squatch…

Making connections.

“I was registering someone to vote and later found out that she went to Evergreen College. We chatted a bit about a situation happening on campus where students of color are experiencing racism and we talked about the importance of campus organizing which was awesome. I tried to connect her with a former fellow on campus so hopefully they link up!” – Alisha, Fellowship Coordinator

Music magic. 

“Chance the Rapper has literally changed my life. I am completely obsessed with his wholesome, woke, whimsical style and I am a better person now that I listen to him. I wrangled everyone in our group to run down to the mosh pit after the Shins’ set and wait for Chance to come on for almost 2 hours. And it was worth it. I smiled, I danced, I sang along, I screamed, I ugly cried (multiple times) and I am so happy that I got the opportunity to see Chance live!!!” – Sophia, Field Coordinator

All the good feelings.

“Sasquatch was such a great opportunity for staff, interns, and volunteers to connect with young people from around Washington State. We are activating young people and creating opportunities for conversations around issues that impact young people!” – Lily, Field & Outreach Coordinator

Expanding our reach.

“It was incredible that the Bus had the opportunity to register individuals from across the state and not just the Seattle area. Because of our location, it can be incredibly hard to find voters outside of western Washington, and so Sasquatch was a great way for us to build a statewide presence and not just a regional one.” – Sean, Field Organizer

Changing the narrative.

“I tried to register a guy to vote and when I asked if he wanted to register he said he “didn’t want to be a part of the establishment.” We had a super real conversation about the fact that people in power don’t want young people to vote and that by saying he doesn’t want to register because he doesn’t want to be a part of the establishment had the opposite effect of what he intended. By not registering, he was doing what “the establishment” wanted which is a lack of involvement to protect the status quo. I talked with him about the Bus’ work and why we think it’s important for young people to vote to take back our democracy. He didn’t register with me that day, but he promised he would consider it and we fist bumped and went about our day. I really appreciated how real he was with me and how he took the time to hear what I had to say and I could tell by talking to him I had opened his mind a bit more than it was before.” – Alisha, Fellowship Coordinator

Every year at Sasquatch is fulfilling, exhausting, and a total blast. We so appreciate being able to be involved in the music and arts community to make sure young people know about the Bus!

And now, for a dance break…