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Proposition 1 Fails: The Repercussions

Posted by Emilio Garza at Apr 25, 2014 02:59 PM |

This comic about Proposition 1 was created by new Bus intern and content lead of the Hella Bus Blog, Sophie Reingold.

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Posted by Emilio Garza at Apr 22, 2014 11:34 AM |
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Hey Buslandians! There are 2 things we love here at the bus: elections and buses. And right now, it's that special time when those two things converge. Behold, today's special election!

First of all, get your ballot in. There are drop boxes all over the county or you can drop it in a mailbox or at the post office before last pick up, TODAY, April 22nd. There's only one thing on the ballot, so filling it out is as easy as, well, riding Metro. Make sure to get your ballot in by tomorrow and vote YES on Proposition 1!

And secondly, thanks to everyone who came out to our final phone bank to help us get out the vote! We talked to over 1600 King County voters last night to remind them to send in their ballots. And we looked lovely doing it!


So guys, today's election day! Truthfully, there's not much left to say about our eternal love for buses or Metro. It's up to you now: send in your ballot, vote yes on Proposition 1, and remind other people to do the same so that our busses are saved for King Countyites and Buslandians everywhere.

Don't Miss The Bus

Posted by Devin Glaser at Apr 21, 2014 04:27 PM |
Filed under: , ,

The Bus waits for no one.  Frequent bus riders know how it feels to show up late to your bus stop. If you're a minute late, it'll leave without you.

Ballots are the same way.

Don't let the bus pass you by!  Your ballot is due Tuesday, April 22nd.  If King County's Proposition 1 doesn't pass, you may never see that metaphorical bus again.  (Not to mention all these real buses that will actually disappear.)


Already sent in your ballot!  Good for you!  There's more you can do.  You can track your ballots progress online here.


Want to do more to save King County Metro? Come to our final phone bank Monday evening at the Bus HQ!

Meet our newest intern, Sophie!

Posted by Emilio Garza at Apr 17, 2014 04:29 PM |

This blog post was written by our newest Bus Intern and Seattle Academy senior, Sophie Reingold. This is her first post as the new content lead of the Hella Bus blog! Get to know her below!

My name is Sophie Reingold and I am currently a senior at Seattle Academy. I live in Bellevue and in my spare time I enjoy playing soccer and tennis, jamming out to music (especially Kid Cudi or Beyonce), baking goodies, and playing with my dog, Kevin.

I absolutely love making art – especially comics and cartoons! I have been drawing for as long as I can remember. My closet is full of (if not bursting with) notebooks, napkins, and scraps of paper covered in these doodles. Drawing is incredibly important to me. It is the way I express myself, tell stories, and compile memories.

A "hand" drawn example of Sophie's style.

I also have a passion for travel. I have been lucky enough to have gone on several school trips to Costa Rica, India, and most recently, Alaska during my high school career. I love immersing myself in a completely different culture, trying new things, and meeting amazing new people. One of my favorite memories is of watching a Puja ceremony from a canoe on the Ganges River – which was definitely one of the most amazing things I have ever done!

I decided to intern at The Washington Bus because I believe in the work they do. I love the idea of an organization run by young people, for young people with the intent of improving the political process for all people. As an 18-year-old concerned about the well-being of my home state, I believe getting youth involved in politics early is important. I also think the Washington Bus houses employees who are devoted and passionate and seem to be both the busiest and the most chill people I have ever met. Working with them is inspiring.

At The Washington Bus I will be helping to reinvigorate the Hella Bus Blog. I will be reaching out to potential bloggers, doing research, and writing and posting my artwork on the site. My goal is to help make the Hella Bus Blog exciting, lively, and informative. I am jazzed to be contributing to an organization (and a blog) that is run by such enthusiastic, talented, and driven individuals!

The Hella Bus reign of Sophie and Alien Squidman has officially begun!

Parliament Returns to Save Metro!

Posted by Emilio Garza at Apr 07, 2014 04:55 PM |

Parliament: the Save Metro Ballot Party is only two days away! Click here to grab your tickets now!

Parliament returns for a second straight year! This time, we're going all in to SAVE KING COUNTY METRO! As usual, Parliament features awesome local bands fused with activism. Details below:

Who: The Bus + Move King County Now + Chop Suey + You + Your Rad Friends of All-Ages!
The annual event that fuses local music with activism; this year, we're hoping to Save Metro!
Chop Suey - 1325 E Madison St, Seattle, WA 98122 (two blocks north of the Bus office on Madison in Capitol Hill).
When: Wednesday, April 9th. Doors at 7:30.

How: Bring yourself and as many friends as possible because this show is FREE and ALL AGES!

Invite your friends and RSVP on Facebook! If you have any questions about the event or the details email emilio[at]washingtonbus[dot]org. See you there!

Chop Suey is ADA accessible. Call for more info: (206) 324-8005

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~PERFORMING ARTISTS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dex Amora

Dex AmoraA 20 year old emcee from Seattle by way of Minneapolis, Dex's latest project "HerbPenSoul" has been getting coverage on hip-hop blogs around the country. His sound has been described as confident, smooth lyricism over soulful, jazzy production.


The Hoot Hoots

The Hoot HootsLocal self-described "Fuzzy Power Pop" band The Hoot Hoots' latest EP "Feel the Cosmos" was named Seattle Metropolitan Magazine's album of the month, with single "Go For a Walk" being named as song of the day by KEXP.



Move King County Now
The Stranger
Seattle Transit Riders Union
Save Metro at UW
Downtown Seattle Association
Cascade Bicycle Club
Fuse Washington

We're All Students at the Electoral College

Posted by Emilio Garza at Mar 31, 2014 02:18 PM |

This Blog post was written by Bus Intern and Hella Bus Content Lead Isabella Fuentes!

This week, seniors across the nation are receiving their university decision letters and choosing their future colleges. I think this means that it’s time to talk about another very important college: the electoral college.

Where they party almost as hard as this guy.

The electoral college was created way back in 1787 by our founding fathers, intended to be the best method for choosing our presidents. They shot down the idea of Congress electing the president (not enough separation between branches of government) and direct popular vote (because then the South would have to figure out what to do about slaves), and ultimately settled on a system where a handful of electors choose the president for the country a few months after the popular election takes place.

Nowadays, however, some flaws in the system are pretty apparent.

  1. Only a few states actually matter. Because most states electoral college votes are winner-take-all (50% + 1 vote gets you 100% of electoral college), only the  swing states really matter on election day. Historically blue (sound familiar, Washington?) or red states don’t get much time, money, or attention from the candidates - while swing states like Ohio and Florida are inundated with endless campaign propaganda.
  2. Faithless electors. This is admittedly rare, but not unheard of. Electors “pledge” to vote for the candidate who won the popular vote in their state, but aren’t legally bound to honor that pledge. This means that some sneaky electors have voted for another candidate than the one who won their state, going directly against voters’ mandate.
  3. 1876, 1888, 2000. Because of the way electoral math works out, a candidate who did not win a plurality of popular votes has been elected President three times in our history. Yikes! Popular interest and electoral vote aren’t always one and the same.

On that note, I have two pieces of news. First: the electoral college isn't going away anytime soon. Second: this doesn’t mean we can't have a popular vote.

The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, an agreement between states that is currently being debated across the nation, would utilize the electoral college system to create what is effectively a popular vote. Since the Constitution permits states to decide the method of appointing and pledging their electors, states who join this compact pledge their electors to whoever wins the national popular vote. If enough states do this - however many it takes to get to 270 votes, or a majority of the 538 needed to win – then whoever won the November popular election would be guaranteed an electoral victory as well, meaning we would effectively have a direct popular vote.

Progress of national popular vote bills by state. Credit:

In recent news, New York just became the 11th state to join the interstate compact since 2007. This means that 165 electoral votes, or 61% of the votes needed to achieve a direct popular vote, have been pledged to support the popular vote winner. That’s no surprise, since over 70% of Americans support a popular vote.

There’s not much Washingtonians can do now - our state has already joined the compact and passed the bill! However, keep a look out for this issue nationwide. If this passes, candidates will have to win everyone’s vote, and Washington voters will finally get the love we deserve!

Earth Day Green-A-Thon!

Posted by Alex Miller at Mar 26, 2014 01:56 PM |
Earth. You may have heard of it. This ol' rock in the cosmos of ours is in need of some serious love and attention. Hence, Earth Day, a day to recommit to taking care of this here planet of ours (although I might side with the philosophy of this noble biker pictured to the left). There are many great ways to celebrate Earth Day, but perhaps none better than participating in the Earth Day Green-A-Thon hosted by Got Green. Got Green leads truly awesome and effective organizing efforts around income inequality through campaigns rooted in racial and environmental justice. The Green-A-Thon is wonderful because it promotes environmental awareness, builds new leadership in our community, and supports a truly badass organization.

Want to get involved? Of course you do! Check out the blurb below to find out what is the what:


/ Saturday, April 26, 2014.

We want to invite you to celebrate Earth Day with us – Southeast Seattle style. Earth Day is a great chance to reconnect to one other and our planet by educating, celebrating and working together for environmental justice.
GREEN-A-THON is a high visibility volunteer outreach event to increase knowledge of and access to energy efficiency and environmental justice in Southeast Seattle neighborhoods.
Green-A-Thon 2012 sparked 350 face-to-face conversations with residents of Rainier Beach and Skyway. Volunteers distributed 1,800 free CFL light bulbs and delivered an educational booklet about how families in Southeast Seattle can save money while helping stop climate change.

In 2014 Got Green is bringing that same vision of equity, savings and opportunity back to Southeast Seattle!

Participating in the Green-A-Thon shows you support families in Southeast Seattle. This year we're raising our goal to lift up more voices and new leadership in our communities!

Want to distribute free green products in your neighborhood and get involved with Got Green?
WHAT: Snacks, training, doorknocking, celebration
WHEN: Saturday, April 26 ~ 9-2pm
WHERE: Emerald City Bible Fellowship
TO REGISTER: or call Tammy at (206)290-5136

Deadlines, Metro, and Voter Registration

Posted by Emilio Garza at Mar 24, 2014 11:49 AM |

Live in King County? Want to help save Metro? Have you moved or changed your name since the last election?

If you answered "YES!" to all three questions then just know that today, March 24th, is the deadline to register to vote or update your voter registration via mail or online. Don't have a form? No worries, we've got you covered. is the best, fastest, and easiest way to make sure you have your voice heard for the April 22nd special election to save Metro. Remember, you only have to be 18 years old on or before election day to register.

Not near your favorite local non-profit to fill out a form? Internet down on the day this post went up? Really just like to do things in-person?

If you can't make today's deadline and you're a new voter in Washington, you can still go to register to vote in-person at either the King County Admin Building downtown (Room 440 is the Voter Registration Annex) or the full King County Elections Office in Renton until Monday, April 14th.

Want to get involved? Check out our events page above for all things Metro, attend Parliament on April 9th at Chop Suey, and/or sign-up below to be a Save Metro volunteer with the (WA) Bus. Questions? Email emilio[at]!

Meet the Office Vol. 1: Sexting Etiquette With Jean Godden

Posted by Emilio Garza at Mar 21, 2014 01:46 PM |

This blog post was written by Bus Intern and Hella Bus Content Lead Isabella Fuentes. This is the first post in our series of "Meet the Office" articles on all of the crazy things we've collected in our office over the years.

Seattle City Councilwoman Jean Godden is looking out for you. Never mind any of the campaign slogans, platitudes about how she’ll improve the city, none of that. You know that, deep down, she truly cares about you, because she doesn’t want you to sext drunk.

This sign's sage wisdom dates back to Godden's talent act from July 28, 2011, during the second biannual Washington Bus Candidate Survivor. In case you haven’t heard, Candidate Survivor combines a hard-hitting interrogation, a serious political forum, and a Japanese game show to create one of the most innovative, smartest, and most fun events in Seattle politics.

As badass Bus Program Director and Candidate Survivor 2011 attendee Alex Miller explained, this sign is a perfect example of the humanizing power of Candidate Survivor. It’s not about tightly crafted PR soundbites or quippy slogans, it’s about how the politicians we elect are actually people too. They rap really badly (Tim Burgess). They skinny dip in Lake Washington (Peter Steinbrueck). They juggle (Mike McGinn). And yes, they give sexting advice. Politicians: they’re just like us!

This gem of a sign graces our office walls because, as Miller put it, it’s something that “needs to be preserved unto time immemorial.” The sign is pretty hilarious on its own, but when you put it in context – an 80-year-old elected official giving sexting advice to a bunch of twentysomethings  – it’s side-splitting.

Bey, you funny.

And the drunk sexting tip wasn’t the only thing Jean Godden had for us. She reminded us all to never send head shots, to never send questionable messages to coworkers, and to never feel shy about using some photoshop.

Feel a little better about Seattle politicians? Think Jean Godden should write an advice column? Me too. In the meantime, here's the everlasting glory of those wise words of wisdom:

Buses Are Good For Everyone

Posted by Emilio Garza at Mar 20, 2014 05:05 PM |
Filed under:

This post was written by Lucas Simons, current Washington Bus intern and Move King County Now volunteer. You could say he loves buses.

You may have heard about the upcoming bus cuts that King County Metro is facing. You may also have heard about the measure that the King County Council unanimously approved putting Proposition 1 before the voters in April to prevent these cuts. Prop 1 did not come out of a sudden realization that Metro is bloated and inefficient. Actually, for the past six years King County Metro has been the (or someone's) ideal government entity: cutting service after service, raising fares, and cutting staff pay and benefits just to try and maintain status quo. Furthermore, they have gotten no help from Olympia, where gridlock has continually stymied a transportation package that helps transit. Now, with no other options, they have been forced to ask the voters in King County to save Metro.

Perhaps you are a car owner and you drive your car everywhere you need to go. If that is the case you may think, "Why should I care about buses? I don't use them. I don't want to pay more taxes for buses I don't use." But that line of thinking would be very short-sighted.

Like many services the government provides, such as public safety, the benefits to individuals may not be immediately apparent - but the benefits to the region as a whole are very real. Buses take thousands of cars off the road, lessening traffic for everyone and preventing a lot of auto-related pollution - making the entire transportation system work better for everyone whether they bike, walk, drive or bus.

Traffic and pollution, all in one image.

Besides roads, there are some important social and economic impacts to consider. Obviously, buses benefit the people who ride them by providing a cheaper means of transportation (I mean who wants to pay for a car payment, parking tabs, car insurance, AND gas when you can just take the Bus?). But by maintaining mobility options for those folks it provides more opportunities for everyone, benefits the whole economy, and promotes social justice in our local communities.

So if you take a minute to think about the benefits of public transportation to the community, not just for the people that ride, you quickly realize that we would be shooting ourselves in the foot if we allow these cuts to happen. Nobody wants King County to be more polluted, have worse traffic, or become more economically polarized. We must vote "Yes on Proposition 1" on April 22nd and continue to build our public transportation system.

Good News + Bus Love = Happy Tuesday

Posted by Alex Miller at Mar 18, 2014 05:39 PM |

This post by Bus Fellowship Organizer Karter Booher!

There seems to be a whole lot of bad news out in the world this week.  Well, we’re here to brighten up your day with some great news you may have missed. Also, this picture of an ecstatic Jackie Chan and some pandas.

We’re still over the moon about the REAL Hope act in Washington but there are a few more gems the state legislature passed this session.  There are now some great laws on the books regarding gun control and domestic violence.  TVW’s roundup is a good summary of what passed this session.

Devin told you about President Obama’s appearance on “Between Two Ferns” earlier, word on the street has it that accounted for a 40% bump in traffic to the federal health care website.  That’s a whole lot of young Americans getting access to health insurance.  We couldn’t find just one .gif to express our excitement, so feast your eyes on this list instead.  Oh yeah, go health yourself.

Also Gonzaga is going to the NCAA tournament for the 5,650 time and Emerald City Comicon is coming up?  Washington, you’re doing swell.

Also have we mentioned the 1,504,405* different ways there are to get on the Bus to build on these good vibrations?  First, you should most definitely put the Bus’ party of the spring, Parliament on your calendars.

If you haven’t filled out your Fellowship application yet don’t miss out on the best summer of your life.  Get your application in before our final deadline, April 4th at noonApply here.

Are you a Washington Bus admirer from afar?  Lucky for you we have some pretty rad friends all over the place.  Apply for the Politicorps program in Oregon and let it change your life.  Or maybe you want to spend the summer in the windy city – we have friends there too.  If Rocky Mountain’s majesty is more you’re thing hit up our friends at New Era.

In fact, we just made it internet official with some of our favorite new friends, take a peek.

Oly's Out . . . Now, Let's Save Metro!

Posted by Emilio Garza at Mar 14, 2014 04:27 PM |

This blog post was written by the lovely Dagmawit Kemal (aka Dee!) a Winter intern who's also leading the charge at Garfield High School to help save King County Metro!

A few weeks ago, some of our former and current interns went out to Olympia to advocate for the three priority bills that the Bus was hoping to turn into law. Those include Pre- Registration for 16 and 17 year olds, the Washington Voter Rights Act, as well as extending the voter deadline. Four brave Interns: Meron, Erasmus, Nina, and Isabella all testified for these bills in front of Senator Pam Roach (R-31), head of the Government Operations Committee in Olympia. As intimidating as that might have been, our Interns did a fantastic job stating why these bills would affect them, their peers, and communities across Washington State. Check out their testimonies below!

As of now, all of our bills have "died in committee" with the ending of the legislative session. But that doesn’t mean we didn’t have fun advocating for them this Winter! We had a successful Winternship with over 500 total phone bank volunteer hours, urging constituents to support these bills. Overall, we left over 150 constituent messages with the legislature and made OVER 7,000 CALLS! In addition, we built relationships with each other and filled our bellies up with some good food.

Let's Save Metro!

The Bus is now moving on to a new project: SAVE METRO! As many of you might have heard, Metro is in jeopardy of cutting 17% of it's routes and revising many others, affecting up to 80% of all transit riders. Our job at the Washington Bus is to make sure this does not happen as we are all avid bus users! The Seattle Globalist has a fantastic breakdown of cuts and their effects on Seattle and King County. Personally, if you are like me, and rely on the bus whenever you go out with your friends, you might have to cut your evening short (and let's be real, 11pm is not late enough to kick it). Long story short, there is a special election happening, and we hope that you vote Yes on Prop 1 to save King County Metro (and also provide some much needed funding for roads)! Interested in helping out? Sign-up to volunteer and learn more info below!  Lastly, clear your calendars because (. . . drum roll please . . . ) Parliament: the Save Metro Ballot Party is happening at Chop Suey on April 9th at 8pm!

Have a fantabulous weekend ;) and don't forget to sign-up to volunteer to help the Bus save Metro.

One Turkey Out Of Circulation

Posted by Devin Glaser at Mar 11, 2014 01:18 PM |
Filed under: , , ,

In case you weren't aware, the deadline to sign up for the Affordable Care Act is March 31st.

People lacking coverage (either through their employers, parents, or private market plans) will owe the government either $285 or 1% of their yearly household income, whichever is higher.

Also when they get sick they'll end up owing thousands of dollars to a hospital that provides them with bare bones care.

Still not clear?  Maybe watch Obama and Zach Galifianakis talk about birth certificates and spider bites.

Also, apologies to Obama for the unflattering screen shot.  Dude should get that checked.

Best. Summer. Ever. Apply to be a 2014 Fellow!

Posted by Emilio Garza at Mar 04, 2014 03:10 PM |
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Are you aged 18 to 25? Do you have an abiding love for political engagement? Do you want to make 19 new best friends? Are you looking for something to do this summer? Well, look no further! The Washington Bus Fellowship is the place for you.

The Fellowship is a 10 week long summer social justice, politics, and community building program that will probably change your life. Fellows run some of the most innovative and exciting political campaigns in the state, while learning how to amplify the voice of young people in the political process. An average day for a Fellow might include learning from some of the top political leaders around, working on - and running - amazing political campaigns, or speaking at Capitol Hill Block Party!


This could be you!

If that sounds like something you're interested in (and let's be honest, it probably does!) then you've come to the right place! The next deadline for application is THIS FRIDAY, March 7! You can download applications from the Washington Bus Fellows website. Get them in and get ready to have the best summer of your life!

Can't wait for the Fellowship to start? Count down with us on the official Washington Bus Fellowship Countdown Calendar!

Death to the Death Penalty (for now)!

Posted by Emilio Garza at Feb 28, 2014 04:15 PM |
Filed under:

This blog post was written by Isabella Fuentes, a current Winter Intern at the Washington Bus.

Big news, Washington! A little over two weeks ago, Governor Jay Inslee put a moratorium on executions for as long as he's in office. This represents a change of heart for the head of our state, who previously supported capital punishment.

Inslee, who spent months reviewing the use of the death penalty with everyone from families of victims to prosecutors, cited a few flaws with the system in issuing his moratorium: that it could be applied unequally, took too long, cost too much, and was too final.

This comes hot on the heels of a study out of the UW Sociology department which showed that, in otherwise alike cases, African-Americans were 3 times more likely to be executed than Caucasians.

Inslee isn't the first governor to push back on the death penalty recently. The chief executive of Colorado, John Hickenlooper, recently issued a stay on executions in the Centennial State. Martin O'Malley of Maryland banned the death penalty in his state in June, making Maryland the 18th state to do so. Finally, Oregon's John Kitzhaber adopted a moratorium on capital punishment similar to Washington's way back in 2011.

Governor Jay Inslee looking all gubernatorial and stuff

So what does this all mean for Washington? Well, nobody will be executed here for at least the next three years, or seven if Inslee is reelected. There's a bill in the legislature, sponsored by Representative Reuven Carlyle (D-36) which would ban capital punishment in Washington entirely. And King County prosecutor Daniel Satterberg called for public debate on the issue, meaning an initiative or referendum could be coming your way soon. Stay tuned to Hella Bus as things develop!

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