Young people won this election

Over the years, we’ve help make Oregon the #1 easiest state to vote in, brought our state’s voter registration rate to over 93%, and expanded who is eligible to register. 

We’re seeing this payoff in a big way – nationally, eligible voters ages 18 – 29 cast their ballot at the second-highest rate in nearly 30 years – with 27% of the electorate voting. 

In Oregon? Even higher. 

An astounding 40% of young people ages 18 to 29 participated in this last election in Oregon – a significant indicator of the importance of investing in an electoral infrastructure that supports robust and inclusive civic engagement of young people.

We showed up by doing voter registration drives in high schools, endorsing values aligned candidates and ballot measures, and doing get out the vote efforts like phone banking, text banking, and door knocking to ensure our communities knew what was on the ballot this November. 

Next Up Action Fund invested in contacting and sharing relevant voting information with young people across the Portland metro region. 

In total, we called over 70,771 young people with information on endorsed candidates and Portland Charter Reform measure, sent 141,412 texts, knocked over 10,000 doors, hosted 22 canvasses, and hired 13 Election Organizers to help make all this happen.

So what was our impact?

  • Young people in Portland won Portland Charter Reform (measure 26 – 228): This is a major win for young people because it will allow for more voice and choice in elections, and geographic representation. We helped make this possible by hosting 22 canvasses, knocking on 10,904 doors, sending 141,412 texts, and making 53,576 calls.
  • We helped elect Annessa Hartman, for HD 40, and Catherine McMullen for County Clerk. We made 17,195 calls to help make this possible.

We are so grateful for all your support as it’s fueled the foundation of getting out the youth vote. 


Devin Ruiz

Welcome Zave and Carolina: 2022 Storytelling Interns


We’re excited to welcome and introduce two Storytelling Interns who have joined team next up for the next couple of months: Zave and Carolina.

They will support online content creation, storytelling and story collection from our base members, and donor appreciation during our end-of-year fundraising campaigns. Meet each of them below.

carolina ruiz

Carolina Ruiz

Carolina Ruíz (she/her/ella) studies Hispanic Studies at Lewis & Clark College. This internship drew her in particularly because of Next Up’s mission to empower youth to build political power. She is excited to start working with Next Up and hopes to learn about fundraising and storytelling through an equitable/transformational lens. In her free time, she dances to bachata and salsa and hopes to travel all over the world to learn more about these genres and their diverse styles.

zave payne

Zave Payne

Zave (they/he) is a queer Black activist and organizer. Born in Detroit and raised in rural Northwestern Ohio, they moved to Portland in 2021 to attend Reed College. At Reed, Zave is currently a sophomore majoring in Political Science. They have been an active youth leader in their community since middle school, organizing walkouts, protests, and rallies for gun reform, climate change awareness, and social justice issues with OHYCJ (Ohio Youth for Climate Justice) and the organization he co-founded in 2020, RENEW (Rise. Empower. Nurture. Educate. Wake Up!). They are committed to empowering the voices of fellow BIPOC peers as well as encouraging civic participation among youth, and are thrilled to continue to do so at Next Up!

Next Up Launches First Internal Participatory Budgeting Process

Next Up amplifies the voice and leadership of diverse young people to achieve a more just and equitable Oregon. Our interconnected strategies of youth leadership development and organizing, civic engagement, and issue advocacy are aimed at making Oregon a place where young people have decision-making power – and that also means within our own organization. 

As an organization that is for young people, by young people, we understand the importance of having young people fully lead and have ownership, agency, and responsibility over our work. We believe that participatory budgeting (PB) will help us accomplish that values-aligned, deeper form of youth leadership.

Participatory budgeting is a democratic process in which community members decide how to spend part of a public budget. It gives people real power over real money. According to the Participatory Budgeting Project, “PB started in Porto Alegre, Brazil, in 1989, as an anti-poverty measure that helped reduce child mortality by nearly 20%. Since then PB has spread to over 7,000 cities around the world, and has been used to decide budgets from states, counties, cities, housing authorities, schools, and other institutions.”

In 2021, we committed to learning more about the participatory budgeting process, and how we could bring it to our organization to live out our values of democratic decision-making, justice, and youth leadership. We were fortunate to be chosen to join the Participatory Budgeting Project’s inaugural ‘PB for Organizations’ cohort, where we engaged in a collaborative learning environment with organizations across the country to discuss how we could implement best practices for an equitable PB process at our organization.

We’re delighted that Next Up has launched our first internal participatory budgeting process this year.

Our vision for the communities we organize is that youth have full autonomy, self-determination, and agency to make the changes they want and need. By using the PB process, Next Up’s budget priorities will better reflect our communities served, not just for a singular year, but every year following that. PB will also help build engagement and ownership with our base of young people; which is an excellent opportunity to engage members of all parts of the organization, including our staff, board, occasional volunteers, and cohort members.

2022 General Election Endorsements

We are thrilled to officially announce our slate of candidates who have earned Next Up Action Fund’s endorsement for Oregon’s November 8th, 2022 general election.

We want to elect leaders that come from our communities, share our values, and will fight for young people in Oregon. The people elected to local offices make crucial decisions that affect our daily lives, including determining budgets, funding, and plans for transportation, access to healthcare, affordable housing, climate change, policing, immigration, and so much more. Your vote matters to ensure we are electing local leaders who will fight for us in office.


Tina Kotek


Jamie Mcleod Skinner, 5th Congressional District

State Legislature

Wlnsvey Campos, Senate District 18
Jackie Leung, House District 19
Nathan Sosa, House District 30
Janelle Bynum, House District 39
Annessa Hartman, House District 40
Mark Gamba, House District 41
Travis Nelson, House District 44
Khanh Pham, House District 46
Andrea Valderrama, House District 47
Hoa Nguyen, House District 48
Ricki Ruiz, House District 50

Municipal Level

Juan Carlos Gonzalez, Metro Council District 4


Simone Rede, Portland City Auditor
Jo Ann Hardesty, Portland City Council Position 3


Rebecca Stavenjord, Milwaukie City Council, Position 4


Olivia Alcaire, Hillsboro City Councilor, Ward 3

Clackamas County

Catherine McMullen, Clackamas County Clerk
Libra Forde, Clackamas County Commissioner 2

Ballot Measures

Vote YES on Measures 111, 112, 113, Portland’s 26 – 228, Multnomah County 26 – 231 & 26 – 232.

Update your voter registration

Take some time to update your voter registration to make sure you are ready to vote in this upcoming election! Oregonians (that are 16 years old or older and U.S. citizens) can register to vote online here. The deadline to register or update your registration for the November general is October 18th, 2022. 

About our endorsement process

Each election, we convene an endorsement committee made up of youth cohort members, staff, and board members – with a focus on Black and brown youth – who have decision-making power. This year, the endorsement committee is a paid, full-year commitment to grant more continuity between our primary endorsements and general election endorsements. It is crucial that the community we serve are the ones that get to make these decisions. After a thoughtful process, the Endorsement Committee made recommendations to Next Up Action Fund’s board, who voted to approve their recommendations. 

Summer Wrap Up 2022

Just like that, summer has come to an end. 

As the leaves turn, and the rain greets us – we want to take a moment to reflect on all of the wonderful memories we made this summer.

From intentional community building in Clackamas County with awesome summer base building fellows, a sweet celebration of over 20 years of youth power, and launching our very first internal participatory budgeting process, Next Up had a packed and joyful summer.

Heading into the fall we’ll continue building youth power through our electoral organizing, youth leadership, and civic engagement opportunities.

We hope to see you at a virtual phone bank, in person canvassupdating your voter reg and casting your ballot in the November election, or participating in our storytelling internship.

Youth Leadership & Organizing

Sweet Dreams: Celebrating 20 Years

In August, Next Up & Next Up Action Fund celebrated our 20th birthday party, Sweet Dreams, bringing together community members, youth cohort participants, and organizational partners. 

Together, we raised over $14,000 which goes towards our work to support, develop and mobilize young people for a more just and equitable Oregon. We’re also grateful to our community who helped raise over $600 through our raffle, which is went towards two local groups: Fires Igniting the Spirit and Spirited Justice.

Meet Charlie!

After completing a 1-year internship at Next Up for his social work program, Charlie DuCharme officially joined us to support our work through development and operations! Charlie (he/him) is a young queer activist from Seattle who is committed to understanding systems of oppression that have impacted and harmed marginalized communities.

Summer Fellows

We hired three amazing Clackamas Fellows this Summer – Sitara, Sashank, and Ben. Through this internship, the Clackamas Fellows did critical work to intentionally build relationships and recruit young people in Clackamas county to join our cohorts, events, and issue advocacy efforts.

Civic Engagement

Turning out the Youth Vote & Electing Values-Aligned Candidates

As Next Up Action Fund, we hired 6 paid Election Interns, who made 54,237 calls getting out the vote to young people ages 18-29 in the primary election. The Election Interns were a highly engaged and enthusiastic group of young people who were excited to talk to voters about the candidates. 

We endorsed a broad slate of candidates. Of our Tier 1 candidates, Jo Ann Hardesty, Wlnsvey Campos, Annessa Hartman, and Libra Forde secured the nomination to move forward to the 2022 general election. Check out our primary election wrap-up for more!

Participatory Budgeting Process Launches

Civic engagement is an expansive opportunity to engage young people in building power, leadership, and opportunity beyond elections. Knowing this, we launched our first internal participatory budgeting (pb) process to ensure that we were equitably sharing resources and decision-making power around our internal budgeting process with the young people we work with. PB is about sharing real power, over real money.

We kicked it off in July with an awesome youth steering committee comprised of 11 members who were members of our board, internships, and current and previous cohorts – where they formed the values, rules, and process for our internal PB process.

Issue Advocacy

Portland Charter Review 

Since the Fall of 2021, we have been working closely with the Coalition of Communities of Color to deliver on hosting 3+ educational workshops around the Portland charter review process and engaging youth throughout this sustained effort.

In August, we challenged the city on the Charter ballot measure language to make it more accessible and understandable to voters, and we won! Now we are working towards supporting the Portland United for Change campaign and encourage a YES vote on measure 26 – 228, which will be on the November ballot!

2022 Legislative Session Wrap Up

In the 2022 legislative session, Next Up Action Fund co-led the Transforming Justice Coalition and the push to pass Online Voter Registration Modernization. We are thankful to our coalition partners and community for getting these bills over the finish line in less than a month! 

Sweet Dreams: Celebrating 20 Years

Last weekend, Next Up & Next Up Action Fund celebrated our 20th birthday party, Sweet Dreams, bringing together community members, youth cohort participants, and organizational partners. For those who joined us, it was such a great time celebrating with you (even on a 100-degree day)! 

Together, we raised over $14,000 which goes towards our work to support, develop and mobilize young people for a more just and equitable Oregon. We’re also grateful to our community who helped raise over $600 through our raffle, which is going towards two local groups: Fires Igniting the Spirit and Spirited Justice.

Big shout-outs to the wonderful vendors, creators, and makers that made Sweet Dreams awesome: 

Thank you also to all the local businesses that donated to heat up our raffle:

The Filling Station Pet Supplies, Rooted PDX, Birds and Bees Nursery, Jazmin tattoos, Bethany Morgan tattoos, Kachka, the Kalat House, Tenth House Beauty, The Fuzzy Peach, Give Good Brow, Fat Straw, Good Coffee, & Farina Bakery 

Check out our new beautiful Next Up tote bags and mugs (with the above design) and support our work with your purchase!

This event was presented by Seeding Justice, Northwest Health Foundation, and the Urban League of Portlandthank you so much for your support!

And a big thank you to all our sponsors: Brink Communications, Espousal Strategies, Praxis Political, Self Enhancement Inc, Coalition of Communities of Color, Stand for Children, Multnomah County Commissioner Sharon Meieran, Multnomah County Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson, Multnomah County Commissioner Susheela Jayapal and Washington County Commissioner Pam Treece!

With your help, we’re dreaming of a different future

As we mark our 20th anniversary, we are reaching out to community members who share our vision for bold youth organizing. Our goal is to raise at least $1,000/month, helping us expand our cohort programs, civic engagement and advocacy work at a critical time.

Plus, this week is the Alliance for Youth’s monthly donor competition, where we can unlock bonus grants to fund our work by reaching out donors like you, and increasing grassroots support. 

Will you start a monthly donation, and help us dream big for the future of youth organizing?

As a bonus, by starting a donation of $5/month or more, we’ll send you a Next Up bandana and enter you into a raffle for a We are the Present & Future mug!

Thank you for being in it with us,
Elona J Wilson

Executive Director, Next Up & Next Up Action Fund

Primary Election Wrap Up 2022

With your ongoing support, we’ve been busy fighting for values-aligned candidates and boosting voter turnout in Oregon’s primary elections! Voting is a critical way for young people to be civically engaged, and we know that it’s not only a truly impactful way for young people to have a say in issues that affect our everyday lives, but that it is a key way to begin introducing young people to other forms of organizing and engagement as well. The primary elections are now over (phew), and we’re taking some time to reflect on how it went.

Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve adapted to doing virtual get out the vote (gotv) efforts for the past two years. For the 2022 primary, we reached out to 18-29 year olds that are located in Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas county.

GOTV by the numbers: 

  • Our endorsement committee of board members, youth cohort members and volunteers endorsed a broad slate of candidates who come from our communities and will fight for Oregon youth.
  • With the help of 6 paid Election Interns, we made 54,237 calls getting out the vote to young people ages 18-29. The Election Interns were a highly engaged and enthusiastic group of young people who were excited to talk to voters about the candidates. Several interns made their own fact sheets about the candidates to be able to answer more voter questions.
  • Election Interns’ calls elevated our Tier 1 candidates: Jo Ann Hardesty, AJ McCreary, Wlnsvey Campos, Brian Decker, Annessa Hartman and Libra Forde. Jo Ann Hardesty, Wlnsvey Campos, Annessa Hartman, and Libra Forde secured the nomination to move forward to the 2022 general election.

We know have some huge opportunities coming up in the 2022 November election. We’ll be working to reach out to young voters ages 18 – 29 to help elect progressive candidates be elected, as well as pass critical ballot measures focusing things like the Portland charter review commission proposal.

We truly appreciate your trust and partnership in making this work happen, as led by young people.

Take care,

Devin Ruiz, she/her
Movement Building Director

Welcome Charlie to Next Up

Joining us as of June 2022 is Charlie Ducharme, who will be helping our team as the new Development and Operations Coordinator. In this position he will prioritize grounding his work in equity and social justice – fostering a sense of belonging and collective power. You can get to know a bit more about Charlie below.

charlie ducharme

Charlie Ducharme

Development and Operations Coordinator

Charlie (he/him) is a young queer activist from Seattle, WA who is committed to understanding systems of oppression that have impacted and harmed marginalized communities. Before entering the nonprofit sector, Charlie’s experience consisted of being a youth organizer in multiple spaces, voicing gender equality and diversity. In the fall of 2021, Charlie became involved in Next Up as a BSW intern where he worked on restoration of voting rights, voter registration, and fundraising. After graduating with a Bachelors of Social Work and Minor in Gender & Women’s studies, Charlie is pleased to return to Next Up as the Development and Operations Coordinator. In this position, he will prioritize grounding his work in equity and social justice – fostering a sense of belonging and collective power. Outside of work, you can find Charlie hiking, taking photos, or spending quality time with loved ones (especially his two golden retrievers, Tommy and Ralph).

2022 Legislative Wrap Up

Dear Friend,

It’s time for the 2022 legislative wrap-up. Even though the legislative session lasted only a month, and was definitely a whirlwind, we were able to champion and pass bills rooted in racial, economic, and youth justice.

Now that the legislative session has concluded, here are some of the achievements that we are celebrating with our community, coalition, and organizational partners: 

Online Voter Registration Modernization (HB 4133) – Currently, Oregonians without an Oregon-issued driver’s license must register to vote with a paper form due to a lack of signature on file with the DMV. An expanded online voter registration system (OVR+) allows for registrants to upload an image of their signature and register online with the last four digits of their social security number. With an OVR+ system, more Oregonians will be able to conveniently register to vote and update their registrations.

Fair Shot for All Platform – We’re proud to be a Fair Shot For All coalition partner. Our work as a coalition is centered on ideas and input from those both historically and currently bearing the burden of unjust systems. In 2022, Fair Shot for All focused on Universal Legal Representation, Transforming Justice, and Farmworker Overtime. We were able to support the passage of all these critical policies, and served on the steering committee for Transforming Justice.

Community Engagement

809 people sent emails to their lawmakers through our click to tool

3 legislative advocacy events were hosted – including a Restoration of Voting Rights briefing, and letter writing to AIC’s

2 statewide bills that we led the coalition for passed – Transforming Justice (SB 1510) and Online Voter Registration Modernization (ovr+)

We’re so thankful to the countless people who showed up by emailing their legislators, giving verbal or written testimony, texting friends to get involved or simply sharing our social media graphics to support our work this session. 

Thank you for your continued support and advocacy to see out our vision of young people boldly leading the state forward, an inclusive and accessible democracy, and strong and resilient communities.

With gratitude,
Isabela Villarreal, Policy and Communications Manager