Follow Me on Twitter
Find us on Facebook
You are here: Home Blog Hella Bus Blog

Hella Bus Blog

Your place for all things Buslandia!

#Toby

Posted by Natalie Carroll at Jul 28, 2015 12:04 PM |

Natalie Brand, K5 News' chief political reporter, came to interview our very own Toby Crittenden this morning.

Toby is a master narrator- he told The Bus' story seamlessly. His hair also looked great (#TeamSaveIt).

Brand seemed interested in voter apathy and ways in which local organizations, such as The Bus, work to engage people. Brand asked, "Why is voter turnout lower in the tech community?" to which Toby responded, "I wish I could say that young people are a big, monolithic block, but they aren't... If I moved across the country, I would be aware of what's happening day to day, but it wouldn't necessarily catch my heartstrings."

Toby believes that the more time you spend in a city, the more likely you are to develop a keen awareness and passion for what's happening around you. The tech community tends to be in-and-out, and it's understandable that young people are likely to have strong roots and interests elsewhere. However, Toby argues that as tech community grows and solidifies, if in 10-20 years we are still asking that question, then we will have a huge problem.

On the efficacy of reaching out to young people, Toby explained The Youth Agenda's four core issues are purely representative of young folks' concerns and passions. Part of The Youth Agenda's goals, beyond engaging young voters, is to make sure politicians know which issues young people care about as a means of enhancing their credibility.

When questioned about voter demographics and target populations, Toby explained that we ask ourselves, "where are the most young people, and where are the most people of color? We strongly believe in racial justice, and we try to target folks who are least likely to have access to information." The Bus' places a substantial focus on Districts 2 and 3, for example.

In relation to The Bus' youth engagement, Toby relayed some of the super fun and cool things we do. He described Candidate survivor as a "...way to flip the Town Hall [paradigm] and take candidates out of their comfort zones... to ask real policy questions while creating an immediate feedback loop (i.e. text to vote)."

Kudos Toby, on a job well done!


Plymouth Housing: A Landing Site for the Homeless

Posted by Allen Wang at Jul 17, 2015 02:22 PM |

Last Saturday, we had the opportunity to visit Plymouth Housing Group, an organization that serves some of the most disadvantaged homeless adults in Seattle. During this visit, we learned about the organization’s unique approach towards tackling homelessness.

Plymouth operates under a “housing first” philosophy, which focuses first on bringing people off the streets and into stable and permanent homes. This means that individuals who often have no other options for housing – drug addicts, the chronically ill, and the disabled – can find a home at Plymouth. By lowering the barriers to housing, and accepting those who are struggling the most, Plymouth acknowledges the challenges that come with homelessness and aims to tackle the issue at its core.

What struck me the most was the extent to which Plymouth went to try to make their tenants feel at home. As part of our visit, we helped make welcome posters and calendars for new residents, to provide a more welcoming and comfortable touch to their new homes. The idea is that by prolonging their stay, tenants will have greater opportunities to seek the supportive services that they need and build towards a better and more stable life.

So far, the hard work seems to have paid off. According to Winona Caruthers, the Community Engagement & Housing Stability Coordinator, nearly 98% of tenants remain with Plymouth after one year. Today, Plymouth is serving more than 1000 formerly-homeless people in its facilities.

However, there is still much work to be done. The problem of homelessness remains rampant in Seattle, with nearly 4000 people still living on the streets – a 20% increase from 2014. At Plymouth, waitlists extend through several years, and have even closed. This poses many questions: Are we taking the right approach? Are we tackling homelessness at its source? What is the source? The city and non-profits certainly have a complex problem to address. Whatever the answer may be, volunteering at Plymouth has shown me the value of incorporating kindness and humanity into this solution.


Who Let the Cats Out (Not Kitty Hall)

Posted by Natalie Carroll at Jul 10, 2015 02:55 PM |

Today Seattle City Hall told the world that local shelter cats would be chilling for the public to enjoy. "Come," they said. "There will be cats," they said.

But really, we show up to City "Kitty" Hall today, expecting to find an abundance of fluffy ferocity left and right, and instead we find an ultra-exclusive tent housing no more than three kittens at a time. Not to mention the longest line in history (for City Hall, obviously).

The kitten to people ratio was probably 1:70. It's like asking a group of 100 strangers to split two jelly beans amongst themselves. Like, they can't.

We demand more cats in the wake of false advertising. Do you know how many stairs it takes to climb up there? And for what? Heartbreak?! Meow.


Youth Homelessness Training @ New Horizons

Posted by Natalie Carroll at Jul 03, 2015 11:20 AM |

On the night of July 1st, I attended Ropes, a homeless youth training program run by New Horizons’ staff, Joseph Seia and Tristan Herman.  The training was both intensive and interactive. At first, we were asked to name the various causes and characteristics (both stereotypes and realities) associated with youth homelessness. Then, we were taught to analyze ways in which volunteers can appropriately support these populations to minimize power differentials and transactional relationships. We participated in a role playing exercise, in which we were given identification cards of respective homeless youths, and asked to achieve a set of goals (i.e. SSI, transitional housing, a bed for the night, medical care, etc.) from service organizations played by other training attendees.

I played the character of 25 year-old Sage, an African-American transgendered female, who had recently escaped the confines of an abusive relationship, and had no financial backing. In our role play, Sage was denied SSI from DHHS because her illiteracy prevented her from filling out the right forms, denied transitional housing because of her anxiety during her housing interview, and was sent to jail for not being able to pay two tickets for jaywalking (is that even a real crime?).

Throughout the exercise, the police did little to help Sage and the other youth—rather, they were stifling.  Right before the exercise was over, Sage received a change card, detailing a hate crime incident that left her in the hospital. She could not afford to pay the $1200 medical bill, and she was sent to jail. Again.

The exercise was difficult for everyone involved—service organizers were torn between wanting to do what was humane (denying no one) versus what they were told to do (stick to bureaucratic routines, rules, etc.). The exercise helped me to realize how readily the homeless are dehumanized or victimized by not only the public, but by government and law enforcement officials as well. Playing the role of Sage was especiallydifficult given her gender identity—in almost every scenario, she had a significantly harder time achieving her goals than did cissgender youths participating in the same exercise.

Joseph stated, “how you receive [trans youths] at the door [of any organization] will determine whether or not they continue to come back,” highlighting the importance of LGBTQ education in his work. As hate crimes increase on the streets, the world becomes infinitely more cruel towards LGBTQ homeless youth. Violence aside, Joseph and Tristan explained how internalized oppression is one of the most lasting and dangerous effects of youth homelessness. Tristan argued that one of the biggest obstacles New Horizons faces is “young folks’ really lowself worth… this unshakable sense of inferiority.” Internalized oppression drastically increases drug and alcohol abuse on the streets, as well, making it even harder to reach out for support.

This training was super helpful (thanks Josephand Tristan!) and informative. I’d strongly recommend attending—you won’t be the same person when you leave.

 


Pride Weekend 2015

Posted by Natalie Carroll at Jul 01, 2015 10:32 AM |

This weekend, we attended our first Seattle Pride. On Friday, we attended the TransPride festival on Capitol Hill, and on Sunday, we attended the larger parade in the city's center.

The Bus has been attending TransPride for two years, and the festival itself has existed for three. It is organized by the Gender Justice League and depends on donations from a number of  organizations, such as the Social Justice Fund Northwest (SJFN) and the Greater Seattle Business Association (GSBA).

Karter Booher, The Bus' Fellowship Coordinator, stated that TransPride 2015 seemed to be about twice as large as it was the previous year, highlighting the festival's substantial growth.

The Bus had four fellows involved in TransPride this year, whose primary responsibility was to register voters and engage people in The Bus' youth agenda (police accountability, youth employment, housing accessibility, specifically) in regards to issues within and around Seattle's trans community. Namely, there has been a recent increase in trans related hate crimes and violence, the necessity for protection against discrimination in the workplace, and the need for safe and affordable housing. This past year, Seattle had the third-highest rate of LGBTQ-related hate crimes in the United States.

Karter believes that education around these issues is crucial to lessening tensions. Theo Savini, a 2015 fellow, stated that The Bus' involvement at TransPride is crucial because it urges people to vote and organize in spite of being made to feel invisible or silenced.

In attending Seattle's Pride Parade on Sunday, the Bus teamed up with Equal Rights Washington in marching. The march was nearly two miles long, and endless lines of supporters filed along sidewalks. At the end of the parade, we saw the rainbow flag hanging atop the Space Needle, evidencing Seattle's (and America's) recent legislative and judicial success and fight for social justice. We've undoubtedly come a long way, and  the fact that #LoveWon this weekend is no small feat. However, there is still so much progress to be made, and as young folks, we're lucky to have both a hand and a say in where we go from here.


#Des(s)ertedOnTheHill

Posted by Natalie Carroll at Jun 26, 2015 03:55 PM |

We spent our day at The Bus running about Capitol Hill (aka "The Hill," "Trapitol Trill, but never EVER CapHill), interviewing locals about their favorite neighborhood dessert spots.

The Hill was adorned in rainbow, in celebration of Pride this past weekend. 'Safe Place' signs were attached to windows and doors, and crosswalks were freshly painted rainbow. Locals were not only excited about the recent Pride festivities, but also about the ways in which each dessert cafe/shop/hub incorporated the theme into its decor and food items.

Seeing as we had already been lucky enough to eat bumbleberry pie at High 5 Pie just two days prior, we decided to go back and talk to Adaam King ("'King' like royalty") one of the the cafe's baristas. Adaam told us that he's worked at High 5 for over three years, and that his favorite pie is the peanut butter and jelly cream pie. He explained that the pies are made exclusively of butter crust, and only from local ingredients (fresh from WA, OR, and ID). When we asked Adaam what makes the coffee so fantastic, he responded "Me." No arguing here! High5 also specializes in the sweet or savory pie fries, or what we affectionately refer to as "the munchkins of the pie world." If you want to be cool like Adaam, you can enjoy the savory fries with a side of sour cream.

Upon arriving in Cal Anderson park, we met Joyce B., a mother, who recommended D'Ambrosio Gelato. In her opinion, D'Ambrosio has some of the best gelato in all of Seattle. Her favorite flavor is salted caramel fig, and her five-year-old daughter is crazy about the avocado flavor. #SophisticatedTaste. Sam Warren, a Seattle native, loves Dilettante's wide selection of cakes, and we later found out that the cafe services a complete chocolate martini bar.

Another local, named Nicole, recommended the chocolate eclair at Cafe Petti Rosso, which we then decided to try for ourselves. Really, REALLY wasn't bad. So basically, if you have your heart set on running into us (anyone?), chances are you can find us chilling here.

We were drawn to Marcus Garthe, a cyrwheeler (please, look it up, it's fascinating and magical). He told us that the best dessert is located in Belltown (not The Hill, but closeish?). La Vita e Belle has some of the best homemade canolis and tiramisu in the city, and as Marcus explained, "great Italian desserts are super hard to find."

While watching Marcus, we were also drawn to a rainbow-haired woman named Colleen Langdon, and her adorable dog, Maggie. Colleen works for the Social Outreach Seattle (SOSea), and as a security guard in The Hill. As a key initiator of both the pride-painted crosswalks and The Hill's Safe Place movement, Colleen lent an interesting perspective on LBGQT hate crimes, and told us that she is excited for the upcoming Seattle Pride Parade. On a lighter note, Colleen raved about Molly Moons (which we actually have not tried yet, despite tons of recommendations). She
also men
tioned Cupcake Royale, which we decided to visit next.

Cupcake Royale is a princess's paradise. We spent ten minutes deliberating on which cupcakes to get, and finally decided on "The USA" (previously "The Gay" -thanks SCOTUS!) and a mini chocolate cupcake. Both were incredible. Seriously, better than Magnolia in NYC. They had all kinds of cool flavors, like Blueberry Lavender Honeycomb, Raspberry Pavlova, and Blackberry Brown Butter. Cupcake Royale also has really good ice cream, but sadly, we were already sugar crashing by the time we walked in.

Basically, we fell in love with Cupcake Royale, High 5 and Pie, and Cafe Petti Rosso. Thanks for the food baby, Seattle. We hope everyone had a great Pride weekend!


IntroDUKEtions

Posted by Natalie Carroll at Jun 26, 2015 11:45 AM |

Hi everyone!

We are Allen and Natalie, and we come to The Bus this summer as DukeEngage interns. We are super excited to begin our work with The Bus and to experience all that it has to offer.

We are eager to begin working on and learning about issues of accessibility and equity resources, green and urban development, and anti-oppression mechanisms within the Seattle community. Together, we've had experience in marketing, branding, research, and developmental analysis. We hope to both augment these skills during our time with The Bus, and to learn more about Seattle's political processes, policy needs, and youth agenda.

We will be working with Sonny, The Bus' engagement coordinator, and blogging every week about various Bus happenings. If you see us out and about with The Bus at various events, please be sure to say hello and tell us where to grab our next meal!

BIOS:

Natalie hails from Duke University as a Public Policy Major. Natalie can often be found drinking the wrong coffee from the wrong places, helplessly navigating this majestic novelty of a city, or freestyle rapping at the expense of others. Natalie is looking forward to engaging and mobilizing the citizens of Seattle, and learning as much as possible about anti-oppression, human rights, and urban and green development. She is eager to get started in the field and will be blogging weekly about various Bus happenings.

 


 

Allen is a rising senior at Duke University, and is majoring in Biology. He comes from a small town in New York called Corning, and enjoys spending time outdoors, whether it is by running, playing soccer, or hiking. When he is not outside, you can find him catching up on sports or watching cooking shows. He is excited to be working as an intern with the Bus, and be a part of this movement of empowering the youth of Seattle in tackling issues important to their communities.


Why's Pre-K Such a Big Deal?

Posted by emilio@washingtonbus.org at Oct 29, 2014 01:29 PM |

This blog post was written by Tatum McConnel, sophomore at the Seattle Academy and Communications Coordinator with the 2014 Fall Internship.

A battle has raged on between Seattle lawmakers and Seattle unions, AFT Washington and SEIU Local 925, for months now - so what’s it all about? Preschool. Might not be what you were expecting. By November 4th, voters will have to decide between two options on the ballot that both have to do with the child care industry. Here’s the thing, only one can get passed.

prop 1a.jpg

Prop 1A, backed by AFT Washington and SEIU 925, aims to improve working conditions by raising wages and creating a new training institute for child-care workers, while also limiting costs of pre-K to 10% of a family's income.


Prop 1B, proposed by City Council and the Mayor, wants to take a first step towards creating a universal Pre-K by subsidizing Pre-K costs for families earning up to 300% of the federal poverty line.

They say the devil's in the detail, so what's the catch?

Currently, the main issue is that no one has any idea how much Prop 1A will cost. Prop 1B aims to serve 2,000 3- to 4-year olds through a $58 million property tax levy over 4 years, but Prop 1A estimates have huge ranges! The Prop 1A campaign says it will cost about $3 million. The Prop 1B campaign says Prop 1A could cost $100 million. That’s a pretty big difference.

So how can there be such a huge difference between the two budgets?? The problem is that no one can really know how much Prop 1A will cost, because no one knows how the wording will be interpreted in court. There’s no way to know if pieces of the measure will be viewed as mandatory or aspirational. (For an in-depth look into the financials of Prop 1A check out Publicola's recent article on the subject.)

So why is preschool so important?

Read More…


Seattle Sports 2k14

Posted by emilio@washingtonbus.org at Oct 29, 2014 01:05 PM |

Hella Beautiful Tribute To Seattle Sports (source)

This blog post was written by Elijah Newman, a sophomore at the Puget Sound Community School and  Communications Coordinator for the 2014 Fall Internship.

Seattle has long been deprived of consistent winning in professional sports. As the Mariners were playoff contenders this year for the first time in thirteen years (one game!) and the Seahawks got their first Superbowl Championship since joining the NFL in 1976, I thought it would be interesting to dive into a bit of Seattle’s sports history.

Since the year 2000 professional sports titles have been relatively scarce in Seattle. Sure, we’ve had some great teams here and there, but is it enough to justify the massive amount of public spending that goes into these modern-day gladiator games?

Read More…


Buses. Are. Amazing.

Posted by emilio@washingtonbus.org at Oct 29, 2014 12:44 PM |

This blog post was written by Tatum McConnel, sophomore at the Seattle Academy and Communications Coordinator with the 2014 Fall Internship.

Buses may seem like an eyesore and a drain on the economy to someone who doesn’t understand their importance, but for those who use them or understand their value, it’s easy to see how much they mean. Buses get people to work. They get people to school. They create independence for seniors and disabled people. They reduce traffic. Buses are hugely important to having a healthy and productive city.

At my first phone bank to fund Seattle’s metro I heard someone say, “The bus is one of the only places that people are together on a daily basis regardless of class, race, and gender.” That idea really means a lot to me. It shows how Metro in Seattle is much more than just a bunch of buses. It’s a force that brings together almost every kind of person that lives and travels in our city.

The awesome #10 Seattle bus goin' up Pike towards 15th ave.

In the world today there are often very strict barriers between race, class, and gender. These issues are slowly improving but they’re far from over. On the bus everyone sits together or stands if it's rush hour. Everyone who takes the bus spends a few minutes of their day in the company of a greatly diverse group of people. There may not be a lot of communication or dialogue but everyone’s still there and together in the same space.

Just being in the same space as others and seeing diverse groups together can help change the way people think about others. I think that just by taking the bus people can become more accepting and understanding of others around them. It may be a small change but even on a very small level this acceptance is critical.

So how should you support this amazingly important cause? By voting yes on Seattle Transportation Prop. 1 on November 4th!

Seattle Transportation Prop. 1 will fund the buses and make them run more smoothly and efficiently. With this measure the bus will be able to reach more people and will better serve our city. Gettin' people where they need to go. Bringin' the city together. All good things when it comes to the Seattle buses. And as always, don’t forget to

.


8 Facts You Didn't Know About Voting in Washington State

Posted by emilio@washingtonbus.org at Oct 27, 2014 01:52 PM |
Filed under:

This blog post was written by Leila Reynolds, sophomore at the UW and Volunteer Coordinator with the 2014 Fall Internship.

Voting! You turn 18 and BAM! Everyone you know is doing it. In this case, I think we'll all agree that a little peer pressure is a good thing. You vote, but how much do you know about it? Here are a few quick facts to get you started.

1. Women didn't have the vote in Washington State until 1910.
And that was progressive! Here's to 104 years of gals with ballots. Being the 5th state to o grant those rights, the rest of the country didn't catch up until 1920.  Women nearly had the vote in 1854, but the movement was overturned by one vote. Sometimes one vote can make all the difference.
2. The first Washington State voters pamphlet was published in 1914.
Nowadays, the pamphlet is distributed to 3,000,000 households for voting in the General elections. Here's to 100 years of non-spam, informative mail!
3. Before 1971, the voting age was 21.
In 1971, the Constitution was amended for the 26th time and the voting age was changed to 18 across our fair country. Why you ask? The Vietnam War. People were getting a little riled up about the fact that you could be put in the army at 18, but you couldn't use your civil liberties to make your voice heard in politics.
4. The average age of an off-year, primary voter in Washington is 62.
Do you remember what you were doing in July and August of 2013? I know your grandparents do. So remember as you cast your ballot this November - there's an election, every year, two or three times per year. (And yes, each one is important definitely counts.)
5. Washington State is one of two states to be completely vote by mail.
Since 2012 there are absolutely 0 polling locations in the Evergreen State. Ballots are sent out about two and a half weeks before the election. Voters have until the first Tuesday in November (#ElectionDay #Nov4th2014) to either mail their ballots in, or find their nearest ballot dropbox.
6. Voters are increasingly identifying as Independent.
This really depends on whom you ask, and at what time, since people tend to identify differently closer to election time and in off years. However, in an Elway Foundation study looking at a 20 year average, almost 40% of voters identified as independent.
7. In 2012, Washington State had the highest voter turnout in the nation.
Issues such as Referendum 74 (legalization of same sex marriage) and Marijuana Legalization, plus the fact that it was a presidential election year, drew a record number of voters to the polls.
8. In 2013, voter turnout was the weakest in a decade.
This was despite ballots being mailed out to every voter, making it more convenient to vote by mail. Let's all forget this happened and make 2014 so much better.
Let's make 2014 another record year. You should have received your ballot by now. If you haven't, contact your county elections department ASAP for a replacement. You can find that information here.

Otherwise, pull that ballot out from under all those magazines on your kitchen table, whip out a blue or black pen, get busy filling in what may seem like a multitude of little circles, stick a stamp on that baby, and march out to your mailbox to exercise your civil liberties (and your legs).

Go. I said go. Yes now. Or at least by November 4th. Happy Voting, y'all.

Columbus Day or Indigenous People’s Day?

Posted by emilio@washingtonbus.org at Oct 12, 2014 04:30 PM |

This blog post was written by Tatum McConnel, sophomore at the Seattle Academy and Communications Coordinator with the 2014 Fall Internship.

On October 6th Seattle lawmakers passed a resolution unanimously to change the name of Columbus Day to Indigenous People’s Day. But why should it be changed? Couldn’t another holiday just be created instead?

In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue. He set forth on the Pinta, the Nino, and the Santa Maria to discover the new world, trade with the natives, and bridge the gap between Europe and the Americas; is what traditional history would like for you to believe.

The truth is that there is a LOT more to the story.

Read More…


Everyone Gets A Job!

Posted by emilio@washingtonbus.org at Oct 08, 2014 03:30 PM |

This blog post was written by Elijah Newman, a 15 year-old sophomore at the Puget Sound Community School and Communications Coordinator with the 2014 Fall Internship!

The national unemployment rate is below 6% for the first time since President Obama took office in the Summer of 2008! AND There were 248,000 jobs added nationwide in September which is about 70,000 more jobs than were added in August.


This guy was probably one of the lucky job getters. (Source)

Progress, progress, progress.
Not only is low joblessness big news right now, but control of the senate is at stake with the mid-term elections coming up. I don't know about you, but I think that the low joblessness rate will have a giant impact on who is elected in the future.

 

Another great and interesting statistic is that unemployment rates have been dropping at about 33% each year since 2012 relative to the year before it. If this pattern persists by this time next year the unemployment rate will be around 5%!
I can't wait for what the future holds!

Four reasons why you should come to #TransitTuesday

Posted by emilio@washingtonbus.org at Oct 06, 2014 09:20 PM |

This blog post was written by Tatum McConnell

  1. Voters haven't had the opportunity to expand the bus system in 8 years (that's like 40 Vote-Bot years.) Getting more buses will make them more effective and useable.

  2. Less traffic. Even if you drive your car everywhere voting for Prop. 1 will help you out. The more people on buses, the less cars there are on the streets, and who likes traffic?

  3. Volunteering with the Washington Bus is the best ever! We have home made delicious food, fun games, and a room full of passionate Vote-Bot Enthusiasts.

If these all seem like pretty great reasons to support the Prop. 1 and Volunteer at a #TransitTuesday, then you are in for a treat, because we have two more Prop. 1 phone banks,  October 7th, and one on October 14th.

RSVP and come join in on the fun! (No prior experience necessary.)

Go HAWKS!

 

 


Beat the Heat!

Posted by emilio@washingtonbus.org at Aug 12, 2014 03:55 PM |

This blog post was written by Jasmine Karpelman , 2014 Bus Fellow and Event Coordinator for the Washington Environmental Council (WEC), a council dedicated to engaging communities in building movements and educating them regarding environmental issues that directly affect them. You can find out more about the Washington Bus Fellowship at busfellows.org!

Now, I know what y'all in the greater Seattle area are thinking: Seattle Pride, Capitol Hill Block Party, Dragon Fest, Bite of Seattle, and all of the other wonderful Seattle festivals and events have come to an end for the summer. This means you will have to wait a whole year before you get to enjoy another season of fun summer events.

Fear not! The Washington Bus fellows of 2014, Fuse, and the Sierra Club have been working closely with the Washington Environmental Council to plan a fun family event in East King County.

"Beat the Heat", an environmental event full of free snacks and local music will take place on Sunday, August 17th at 4PM in the Downtown Bellevue Park. That means this coming Sunday you can bring all of your family and friends down to Bellevue and celebrate your community along with a local ice cream truck - because who doesn't love ice cream?!

Our Beat the Heat event will feature a local band "Table for Three", a local spoken word performer, and a photo booth. Come out to Bellevue next Sunday (the 17th) and join us - not only will you have a blast with about 500 other folks from the area, but you'll also be able to support the Washington Environmental Council and build awareness for climate action.

You can learn more and RSVP online at our Facebook event for Beat the Heat. We're excited to see you there!

Edited by Angela Tang

Filed under: ,
Document Actions