We are so excited to jump into the 2023 Legislative Session! Read about our priorities below.
Democracy Done Right
We are stoked to be leading on three priorities: Statewide Democracy Voucher program for Legislative races, Updating Online Voter Registration (5208) to make it more accessible, and a Constitutional Amendment to allow 16 and 17 year old voting!
Also look out for:
- Automatic Voter Registration (SB 5112), a bill we backed last year and that is making some movement right off the bat! It had a hearing last week in the policy committee and passed out of committee.
- Even Year Elections, a bill we’re keeping an eye out for this one to return to the state house after passing it in King County this Fall!
- Cost Free College: We’re working with Communities For our Colleges to get a bill that would make community and technical colleges cost free for all!
- Free School Meals for K-12 students (HB 1238/SB 5339) No student should go hungry at school, and no kid should be in debt for food, which is why we’re supporting OSPI’s push to make all school meals free for all students!
Tax the Rich, Fund the People
- Guaranteed Basic Income Pilot Program (HB 1045), which we were proud to support last year is back with a pilot program! This program would give people experiencing poverty a monthly cash payment that’s enough to cover fair market rent in their county, because no one should struggle to stay housed.
- Wealth Tax (SB 5486 /HB 1473) Our state has the most regressive tax structure in the entire United States. This bill includes people with more than a quarter of a billion dollars in a modest wealth tax will also be coming up soon this session! (A gentle reminder that if you were trying to save up $250,000,000 and saved $100 a day it would take 6,850 years to reach a quarter billion dollars. We’re still talking about an astronomical amount of money.)
Let Youth Thrive
Look out next month to find out what our Winterns want to advocate for under our Let Youth Thrive bucket! They set the agenda here!
Check out the document below for more details.
Legislative Priorities 2023
Show some love for our amazing fall interns: Salina, John, and Bailey! We’re so excited by their ideas for making lasting, meaningful political change in Washington!
Hello, my name is Salina (she/her) and I am a student at North Seattle College studying psychology. I chose to intern with the Bus this fall to assist in amplifying the voices of young people within our communities in politics and civil engagement. I am excited to expand my knowledge and carry the skills I learn here both professionally and personally. In my free time I enjoy writing, binge watching shows and spending time with loved ones.
Hi, I am John Paul Purugganan (he/they) 🙂 I am a 4th year Political Science and Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies Student at the University of Washington. My passions include fashion and skincare, social justice, and personal growth.
My name is E. Bailey Medilo (they/he) and I am a college student, community organizer, and general nuisance local to the South End and International District neighborhoods of Seattle, WA. I am incredibly passionate about fiction writing, political campaigns, and restorative justice. I enjoy reading, cartoons, and graphic design.
The Youth Endorsement Leadership League has their endorsements for the general election! Keep an eye out for these endorsed candidates and ballot issues across WA!
Things to know about Ballot Measures: There are a few charter amendments and a few Propositions/Initiatives on the ballot across Washington that are really important to pay attention to, because they will change the way we vote, the representation we get, or raise the bar for minimum wage.
- In King County:
- Everyone in King County can vote YES for Charter Amendment 1 to move certain county elections to even years. Why? Voter turnout among young people and communities of color are significantly higher in even years than odd years. Our elected officials should be elected when the most people are turning out so that we can have a more representative democracy.
- In Tukwila, voters can support raising the wage to a livable one! With the rising cost of living in King County as a whole— and as we enter another recession— it’s more important than ever that we support workers in our community with living wage jobs! Vote Yes on Initiative 1!
- In Seattle, voters can bring Rank Choice Voting to Seattle Elections! We’re excited for RCV and have been working at the Legislative level to bring it back to Washington. Right now Seattle is one of 3 jurisdictions working on it right now. But the ballot question is a doozy so let me break it down. There are two options on the table and two questions to answer. The first question asks “Should either of these measures be enacted into law?”, aka should we change our elections? We say, YES! The second question is “Regardless of whether you voted yes or no above, if one of these measures is enacted, which one should it be?”, to which we emphatically support voting for 1B aka RCV. Again, that’s YES on question 1, and 1B for question 2 and you gotta vote for both parts to bring RCV to Seattle!
- Clark County can vote to bring RCV to Southwest Washington in a much simpler fashion! There’s a number of charter amendments proposed that would affect elections and governance in Clark County. The first one on the ballot is Proposed Charter Amendment 10 Concerning Ranked Choice Voting. An Approved vote is all you need to get RCV.
- San Juan County will also be able to get RCV by voting Approve on Charter Amendment Proposition 3! It is also one of several charter amendments proposed in San Juan County.
||Rep Pos. 1
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||Rep Pos. 1
||Rep Pos. 1
||Julia G. Reed
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||Debra Jean Entenman
|COUNTY COMMISSIONER DISTRICT NO. 5
||Commissioner District 5
All of these candidates were endorsed because when the YELL team (a group of 10 young participants) read their questionnaires and learned about the issues facing communities across Washington and the work candidates wanted to do to address them, they were impressed.
Read more about some of the reasons YELL was excited about some of the candidates below, by YELL participant Saba Mir:
26 State Senator Emily Randall
- YELL loved her for many reasons but especially because she’s a Queer Latina, passionate about healthcare access; she talks about intersectionality in depth, supports all voting reforms we’re excited about, and connects housing to jobs.
- “Protecting and expanding voting rights is essential. The past few years we’ve done great work in eliminating barriers to voting, including automatically restoring voting rights to formerly incarcerated folks was a huge win for our democracy. I will support policies that restore this fundamental right and support policies that make voting even more accessible.”
30 State Representative Pos. 2 Kristine Reeves
- YELL was excited about Reeves’ past legislative experience in passing paid family medical leave policies, and her commitment to support affordable child care.
30 State Senator Claire Wilson
- YELL is excited about Wilson’s commitment to fight against corporate tax loopholes, and her focus on educational equity.
34 State Representative Pos. 1 Leah Griffin
- YELL was incredibly impressed with Griffin’s extensive legislative experience in reforming how survivors of sexual violence interact with the criminal legal system because of the ways in which these systems have failed survivors in the past.
- YELL was excited about Griffin’s commitment to youth political participation, and her extensive experience working with youth.
36 State Senator Noel Frame
- YELL was excited to hear about Frame’s passion for improving the existing tax code, and her interest in student debt forgiveness.
- Representative Frame has been a strong advocate for young people and economic justice in the House and we’re excited to see her continue this work in the Senate.
36 State Representative Pos. 1 Julia G. Reed
- YELL was impressed by Reed’s commitment to investing in education of all levels to ensure mental health support and to make students aware of pathways to employment post-graduation.
37 State Representative Pos. 2 Emijah Smith
- YELL was impressed with Smith’s tangible commitment to anti-racism and centering marginalized voices. Her team is made up of diverse community members with intersectional experiences with marginalization.
- YELL was excited to hear about her campaign’s focus on voter registration as a form of racial justice, and her interest in extending voting rights regardless of immigration status.
43 State Representative Pos. 2 Frank Chopp
- YELL was impressed with the way Chopp’s experiences being a first generation college student from a low-income background inform his commitment to free higher education for low-income students, and his commitment to equity in educational systems.
46 State Representative Pos. 2 Darya Farivar
- YELL was excited to endorse a candidate with so much experience with disability rights and public policy.
- YELL was also impressed with Farivar’s commitment to youth empowerment, and her legislative experience at the intersection of the criminal legal system, substance use, mental illness, and homelessness.
47 State Representative Pos. 2 Shukri Olow
- YELL was so excited to hear from Shukri and was really impressed by the work she’s done already and the perspective she’ll bring to Olympia.
- “Our youth have such a vital perspective on our most pressing issues – on climate, on transit, and on education, they are some of the most immediate stakeholders. For BIPOC and Indigenous youth, in particular, our legislators need to hear their voices, and act in their interests.”
Prosecuting Attorney Leesa Manion
- “I know we have a lot of work to do to create a criminal justice system that serves all our communities. It starts with elevating diverse perspectives and by fostering compassion and grace in the face of difference. Systemic change requires communication and collaboration.”
- YELL is excited to endorse the most experienced candidate and one that will not only move the needle forward on Criminal Justice Reform, but also would be the first Woman of Color to hold the position!
Spokane Commissioner District 5 Maggie Yates
- YELL enjoyed hearing about Maggie’s commitments to centering equity in climate justice efforts, and was excited about her educational and work experience with law and public policy.
- By electing Maggie Yates, we have the opportunity to replace incumbent Al French and shift the decades-long Republican control of the Spokane County Commission.
Our Youth Endorsement Leadership League has made their first round picks!
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Election season is in full swing, and we have our first round of endorsements from our Youth Endorsement Leadership League, and you heard it here first.
- 26th LD State Senator: Emily Randall
- 30th LD State Representative Pos. 2: Carey Anderson
- 34th LD State Representative Pos. 1: Leah Griffin
- 36th LD State Senator: Noel Frame & 36th State Representative Pos. 1: Julia G. Reed
- 37th LD State Representative Pos. 2: Emijah Smith
- 43th LD State Representative Pos. 2: Frank Chopp
- 46th LD State Representative Pos. 2: Darya Farivar
- 47th LD State Representative Pos. 2: Shukri Olow
- King County Prosecuting Attorney: Leesa Manion
- Spokane County Commissioner District 5: Maggie Yates
- Clark County:
- YES for Ranked Choice Voting
- King County
- YES for Even Year Elections
- YES for Social Housing Initiative 135
Get involved today!
Eliza (she/they) is from Walla Walla, in Eastern Washington! They currently attend the public Utrecht University in the Netherlands as an international bachelors student. She has found great interest in the differences in policy and activism in the US versus Europe. In the US, she puts energy towards police abolition work, as well as climate activism, queer activism, and more. In Europe, they are very active in Free Palestine solidarity work, as well as Extinction Rebellion, and local anarchist groups. They are over the moon to learn more about Washington campaigns with the talented fellow class this summer. You can find Eliza doing yoga, reading, running, and playing chess. They are also a black belt in Shotokan karate >:( so watch out!
Noah (he/him) grew up in Auburn and studied psychology at Western Washington University. He currently is involved in grassroots organizing efforts with Filipino youth, as well as in various mutual aid projects. Noah dreams of a genuinely democratic Philippines that is freed from US imperialism, feudalism, and bureaucrat capitalism and organizes to see that change happen. He is looking forward to working with other young folks looking to create genuine change and is hoping to pick up new skills to bring back to his organizing spaces. In his free time, Noah likes to read books, watch films, and discuss politics. His love language is getting food and/or boba with his friends.
Hi all, my name is Lizzy (she/they). I’m a recent WWU graduate with a degree in political science. In my free time I enjoy reading, hiking, and creating art. This summer I’m looking forward to learning how to campaign with others that share my desire to make the world a better, more equitable place.
Anna Corinne Huffman (she/her/hers) I recently graduated from Western Washington University with a major in Political Science and a minor in Communication Studies. I truly love getting young people involved in politics in exciting and creative ways! This summer, I hope to learn about organizing in a new context while getting to know the other fellows. Outside of school and work, I enjoy reading all types of books, cooking random new recipes, and blasting my music, often Taylor Swift, full volume!!
hi! I’m Charlie, I’m a genderqueer gardener and undergraduate student designing an interdisciplinary major called Love and Chaos at Fairhaven College at Western Washington. I love clouds and the color blue. I’m interning with the Bus this summer to learn more about how our electoral system work and how young people can build a sustainable and just political future. recently I’ve been working on a project where I interview young people about love and if anyone would like to be interview please feel welcome to reach out! ig: @alittlecloudboy
image description: Charlie is a white transmasc person with square glasses and short hair. They are wearing a green sweatshirt and sitting with their cat Ferb, who is in the middle of a yawn.
I’m Sophia Hernandez and I use she/her pronouns! I am about to enter my second year at the University of Washington – Seattle Campus while majoring in Education, Communities, and Organizations (E.C.O.) and minoring in Public Policy. I am so excited to be apart of the Washington Bus 2022 Summer Fellowship because I have the opportunity to learn about the campaigning process alongside very inspirational and committed people from Washington. I hope to use this experience as an opportunity to get involved in organizing and learn how to advocate for the issues I care about most. In my free time, I love painting, listening to music, and going on picnics with friends and family. <3 Fun Fact: My sun sign is Leo, moon sign is in Sagittarius, and my rising is in Virgo! 🙂
Hi! My name is Sophie and my pronouns are she/her. I like to write poetry, play soccer, go on hikes, make jewelry, and hang out with friends and family. I am passionate about philosophy, mythology/literature, Astronomy, and social justice issues, particularly climate change and institutionalized racism. I want to go into legislation and/or grassroots activism. 🙂
Camden (he/they): I recently graduated from Big Picture High School. BP is a school that has real world hands on learning through internships, at BP I lead the restorative justice team who worked on implementing RJ in schools, interned at Colectiva an immigration law firm and co-facilitated the black student union and unidos. I will be attending UW- Seattle as an upcoming freshman hoping to major in social work and minor in labor studies. I’m excited to learn about organizing techniques in non-school setting, being surrounded with likeminded individuals and looking through a race/class narrative and intersectional lens when tackling systematic issues. In my free time I like to hang out with my cat, go to punk shows, watch free movies thanks to my part-time job at amc and attempt to get through my super long to read list
Hello everyone! My name is May, I go by she/her pronouns, and I am currently a pre-law undergraduate student at the University of Washington. I am double-majoring in Law & Justice and Accounting, and I this summer I hope to learn innovative ways to expand civic engagement amongst marginalized youth. As an advocate for the Democracy Vouchers Program, I am excited to educate myself and others on the benefits of campaign finance reform. In my free time, I love to cook ( subscribe to my mom’s cooking channel, Vietnamese Home Cooking ;D ), play the drums, and read poetry. I am a huge foodie, so exploring cute cafes, exotic restaurants, and tasty food joins is how I relieve stress. I look forward to learning all that I can from this fellowship, and am excited to see my cohort grow alongside me!
Hello my name is Adan Jr. Mendoza my pronouns are (he/him). I’m a student at CWU studying economics & political science. One thing I’m curious and want to learn more about is poetry. In my free time I enjoy hanging out with friends, longboarding, fishing and playing Madden. One fun fact about me is that I still die laughing while watching home alone two.
My name is Mia Sugui (she/her)! I will be starting my third year at the University of Washington Seattle in the fall studying law, societies, and justice. I would also love to go to law school after graduating to possibly become a public defender or attorney. I’m excited to develop my social justice organizing skills while working with some amazing people and learning more about the campaigns that address important issues. Outside of school and work, I love trying new food spots, watching tv shows/movies, and spending time with friends and family.
Kaku Cosmos (She/her) attends the University of Washington as an undergraduate double majoring in Psychology and Political Science with a minor in French. She is a summer fellowship intern at the Bus with experience organizing and campaigning with various nonprofit organizations. She has campaigned with organizations on voting, healthcare bills, juvenile justice and housing options. She is excited to be working with an amazing group of people this summer. In her free time, Kaku enjoys singing, hiking, going to the beach, and reading. A fun fact about Kaku is that she played basketball her whole life and she also began programming in high school
We are so excited to welcome our 10 YELLers for the 2022 elections! Keep scrolling to get to know these incredible young people and what they’re most excited about this election season!
Ameera (she/her): I’m excited to gain more knowledge on the legislative process and to collaborate with others.
Angee (she/they): I’m excited to learn about candidates who are committed to social justice and support their campaigns and get local elections on the radar of young people!
Arlette (she/they): I am most excited to get to work alongside candidates that are willing to hold the line for more equitable communities in WA and are willing to co-govern with us!
Chetan (he/him): I am most excited to elect actual progressive candidates in office!
Clara (she/her): I’m psyched to spread the word about candidates whose work I really believe in!
Jackie (she/her): I’m most excited to canvass for the candidates we endorse.
Jean (she/her): I am excited to be able to work with other YELLers to go along this journey!
Jehan (she/her): Very excited to learn and engage in the legislative process!
Jeremey (he/him): I am most excited about the physical campaigning aspect, and going door to door, or doing face to face campaigns.
Saba (she/her): I have been so inspired by my peers on the endorsement team in our work thus far, so I am incredibly excited to keep learning from and with them as we continue.