Next Up amplifies the voice and leadership of diverse young people to achieve a more just and equitable Oregon.
This is our 501(c)3 branch.
Next Up Action Fund engages the next generation of Oregon’s leaders to build political power and fight for a more just and equitable Oregon.
This is our 501(c)4 branch.
What We Do
Achieve Systems Change
Dismantling the structural barriers that our generation is facing
We have played an instrumental role in expanding voting rights in Oregon by helping pass groundbreaking legislation like Automatic Voter Registration, voter pre-registration for 16 and 17-year-olds, online voter registration and most recently, paid postage.
Develop Bold Leaders
Shifting power and broadening the leadership pipeline
Since our founding in 2001, our leadership development programs have created a generation of young people that are leading the charge on building a more accessible, equitable and innovative democracy. Our many programs all focus on creating tangible opportunities for young people to become leaders in politics – explore our programs tab to learn more!
Mobilize Young Voters
Amplifying young people’s voices in politics
Every year we register and turn out thousands of young voters, and we were one of the first organizations in the country to do so. Besides our GOTV efforts, one of key programs, Democracy Bowl, uses peer to peer registration to do civic education and get thousands of young people pre-registered and registered to vote every year.
2020-2025 STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK
Over the course of the last year and a half, our staff, Next Up Board of Directors, Next Up Action Fund Board of Directors and key volunteers have engaged in deep and reflective conversations around equity realignment and dismantling white supremacy culture in our organization. Next Up is working diligently to advance justice in and through our organization. We are committed to the challenging and imperfect process of continuous learning (and unlearning) that will be necessary to realize our vision of a more equitable Oregon, and the strategic framework you are reading right now is reflective of this process. This 2020-2025 Strategic Framework is one way we are setting the tone now and into the future, as a way to guard against the disruption of staff and leadership transitions, shifting priorities, and changing political landscapes.
Our Vision, Values & Theory of Change
Next Up, we envision an Oregon where young people boldly lead the state forward, our democracy is inclusive and accessible, and our communities are strong and resilient.
Youth Focused and Youth Led: Young people have the right to participate in decision-making about the world in which we live and the future we will inherit. We are dedicated to centering and uplifting youth voices, and creating supportive spaces for young people to advocate for ourselves and our generations.
Inclusive Democracy: A vibrant society depends on active participation and representation that reflects the communities we live in. We believe that the more people are engaged in our political system and excited about making change, the more our state will thrive.
Collaboration and Innovation: New solutions are needed to solve historic, persistent problems. We can push the boundaries of what is plausible or acceptable when we work together. By being responsive, flexible, and committed to building long-lasting relationships, we strengthen the fabric of our communities and continue pushing Oregon forward.
Justice for All: We commit to the ongoing work it takes to be an anti-racist organization, and to fight for racial, gender, economic, climate, disability, LGBTQ+ and other forms of social justice. To fight with integrity requires that we be accountable to the communities facing oppression. We engage in mutual mentorship, and models of collaborative, anti-racist, and feminist leadership.
Authenticity and Joy: We seek to transform our systems so that they reflect our communities, ensure dignity, and allow us all to be our true, authentic selves. When we can bring joy to political and community engagement, there is more opportunity to bring young people into the process.
Theory of Change
If we amplify young people’s voices toward collective action, shift power, broaden the leadership pipeline, and address the structural barriers that our generations are navigating, we’ll build a more inclusive movement for a just democracy. By enabling and amplifying the voice of current and formerly incarcerated youth, people and color, and other marginalized communities, we begin to undo historical and current systems of oppression in behaviors, policies and systems. We begin to create tangible systems change for not only those specific groups of people but for all communities.
How We Came To Be
Previously known as The Bus Project, we got started in 2002 by a bunch of young leaders in a bar. They didn’t like the way politics was going and they decided to turn things around. So they bought a Bus & started getting volunteers on it, to make real political change and empower a whole new generation in democracy. They took the Bus around the state, helped some great people win elections, got thousands of regular people involved and just kept going.
But as generations change, so does The Bus Project. The Bus Project has taught us that young people can be trusted with power – not as “future leaders,” but as leaders today.
We have worked over the last 18 years to bolster opportunities for youth political pathways and involvement. We want to continue to support the next generation of Oregon’s leaders to build political power and fight for a more just and equitable state, but are no longer centered around the bus, which means a name change. We’re Next Up and we want you to join us.