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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.


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!


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!


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 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 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?

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Buses. Are. Amazing.

Posted by 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 at Oct 27, 2014 01:52 PM |
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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 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.

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Everyone Gets A Job!

Posted by 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 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.)




Beat the Heat!

Posted by 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!

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

Phone Banking is Awesome

Posted by at Aug 12, 2014 03:48 PM |

This blog post was written by Al Reeser, 2014 Bus Fellow and Phone Bank Coordinator for the Youth Voter Engagement Campaign (YVEC), a campaign aimed to engage the new American electorate by registering young voters as well as underrepresented voters. You can find out more about the Washington Bus Fellowship at

Talking on the phone is difficult. From the excited hellos to the tentative goodbyes, I have always struggled to have a casual conversation on the phone. Consequently, I was less than thrilled when I was named as Phone Bank Coordinator for the Youth Voter Engagement Campaign. However, after personally calling over 500 Seattleites over three days to talk about Proposition 1, I have learned something about myself - I love phone banking. Why? Here are my top five reasons why phone banking is awesome for everyone!

1. You know exactly what to say. Having a script at your disposal makes talking to people so much easier. Very little small talk is required and you’re already prepared when people start to press you for more details regarding whatever it is you’re calling about. It’s perfect for people who quiver at the idea of awkward phone silence!

2. You only have one or two talking points. I have a difficult time extending the average phone conversations past ten minutes. Phone banking is awesome because most conversations are short and sweet. With only a couple of asks per conversation, it’s unusual to have more than a couple of conversations that go past ten minutes. These quick turnover rates help keep everyone interested throughout the duration of the phone bank and make goodbyes a lot easier.

3. Free food. Sometimes you need to take a break from all the conversations. What’s the best way to stop talking? Food. What’s the best kind of food? Free food. I don’t think this needs an explanation.

4. It’s entertaining. Sometimes phone banking can be a great source of entertainment. Watching a fellow volunteer work their way out of and/or around a conversation is hilarious! That said, be careful. The hilarity of schadenfreude quickly disappears when you’re on the phone with an avid opponent and your fellow volunteers are having fun at your expense!

5. It’s rewarding. At the end of the day, phone banking is rewarding with or without a victory at the polls. The Bus fellows put ten hours of their time into calling over 17,000 Seattleites to stand up for a proposition we all felt passionate about, but had received strong opposition heading into Election Day. It’s easy to say that working towards a goal that may not be realized, despite your best efforts, is worthless. But I disagree. Actively working to make the world a better place and standing up for what you believe is a victory in and of itself. I believe phone banking, albeit unconventional, is an excellent platform to do just that. So these are my top 5 reasons why phone banking is for everyone. It may not be a popular opinion and Buzzfeed probably won’t view this list as newsworthy, but that’s fine. I believe in the power of phone banks to empower people and movements. Everyone should try phonebanking. Just breathe, believe you can make change, and...

Hello, my name is Al and I’m a fellow with the Washington Bus this summer. Have you heard about…?


Inslee Goes National

Posted by at Aug 12, 2014 02:00 PM |

This blog post was written by Josh Strassman, 2014 Summer Intern and Content Lead at the Bus helping to run the Hella Bus Blog.

Have you ever wondered why Washington, a solidly progressive state, hasn’t done much as a state to combat climate change? Fed up about it? Governor Jay Inslee is too. When Inslee came into office in 2012 one of his top priorities was fighting climate change and making Washington greener.

Governor Inslee looking cool here. (Photo credit: New York Times)

Last year, the Seattle Times published an award-winning investigation into the effects of rising carbon levels on our oceans. It revealed an aspect of climate change which was being ignored in the national news – ocean acidification. Washington State’s huge shellfish industry is now endangered because of the damage done to sea life by increased levels of carbon in the ocean.

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Do you TRUST this Act?

Posted by at Aug 06, 2014 03:27 PM |

Undocumented Californians who were being threatened with deportation have worked hard to make their voices heard  and change is on its way for undocumented immigrants in California. The Trust Act is giving the notorious federal immigration and customs enforcement (ICE)  "Secure Communities" program more than just a face lift. The controversial program which allows ICE officers to work with local law enforcement to obtain fingerprints and identify undocumented immigrants who were formerly charged with crimes. They then use that information to arrest and deport those immigrants. The Trust Act would look to lessen, if not eliminate, this close connection between local law enforcement and ICE.

Washington is also looking to adopt similar immigration laws. Under a new policy in Whatcom County, jail staff will not detain a person because of an ICE detainer or delay release of an inmate because of an ICE detainer.

In a nutshell the TRUST Act's goals are to:

1. Set a standard for local police so they don't detain undocumented immigrants unless they have been convicted for a serious felony such as a violent crime. This would rebuild trust between immigrant communities and law enforcement agents.

2. Create a clear divide between duties of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Local Law Enforcement and  the ICE. Because ICE holds are voluntary, local police are unfairly burdened to enforce federal immigration laws.

3. Safeguard against racial profiling and wrongful detention.

California has seen lots of success with the implementation of the Trust Act. The new law is already showing signs of lowered deportation rates. Counties that reported their numbers to the associated press said they had experienced a 44% drop in the number of deportations.

Still, like everything that is new the Trust Act will need some getting used to. Recently, in California’s Orange County a police officer violated the Trust Act. He arrested 25-year-old Samuel Sixtos-Gomez because of an old warrant for driving without a license. Now, Samuel faces deportation for a crime that is protected under the Trust Act.

Music + Social Justice + Politics = Rad!

Posted by at Aug 05, 2014 01:05 PM |

This blog post was written by Manuel Siguenza, 2014 Bus Fellow and Campaign Manager 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

Music is an important part of my life. I have strong opinions and views on social justice issues, especially those related to immigration and racism. With a background of learning about social justice in academia and organizing movements, I am growing to understand more about social justice and steps that need to be taken towards creating positive change. This raises a couple questions: how does music play a role in social justice? And are there artists that talk about these issues?

Music is a way to build movements, unify people, and is a channel for speaking about the unspoken.

As far as artists and songs go, I have 3 examples of songs that have a political message and/or discuss problems in our world.

The first one comes from an Atlanta rapper by the name of Killer Mike with the track “Don’t Die” off his 2012 album R.A.P. Music. With the help of production from NYC-based "El-P," Mike speaks to the problem of police brutality, especially towards the black community. He adds some satire through the

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