As a few people know, I was around for the earliest Oregon Bus Project meetings and was very active with the Bus through the first election cycle. I can't believe that it's already been four years. Four years, countless good deeds done, many young people engaged, and dozens of successful events later, they are coming into the new election cycle strong.
The Bus Project is kicking off the election year right: politics on the first full weekend of the New Year, with the Engage Oregon Conference, January 6-8 in Welches. That’s right, even better than a hit and run (wait in line to get in, wait in bar line, listen to a speech, schmooze a little and then go home when the free drink tickets run out) gathering we’re all so used to, they are setting aside an entire weekend to discuss the ballot initiatives that may appear on the 2006 ballot, having in-depth policy workshops (yes, that means more in depth than the five minutes waiting in line at the bar at your average political event), and holding political training sessions. They also have the best Oregon has to offer in terms of speakers, and a few more folks like a personal favorite of mine, Andrei Cherny (the youngest White House speech writer ever), and Jim Hightower. See the current list.
Most people who know me, and even some who I only know virtually (that means you, Kaza), know that I favor rowdy and fun. Damn right, I do. That’s certainly not what political activism is all about (sorry Chubby, it’s not). But there’s a time and a place for that. Right now, if we’re not already, it’s time to get down to the work of changing our little world. It’s on the ballot next year where we can see some real changes in Oregon. Who knows, maybe some rowdy can be tied into it, after the work is done for the day, of course (and I promise not to assault anyone at the Conference but I can’t say that I won’t joke about it).
Start your political year off right and be there!