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"PIRG" redirects here. For the Albanian municipality, see Pirg.
U.S. PIRG
Logo of U.S. PIRG
Motto Standing up to powerful interests
Formation 1971
Type Advocacy organization
Website uspirg.org

In the United States, Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs) are non-profit organizations that employ grassroots organizing, direct advocacy, investigative journalism, and litigation to affect public policy.[1]

History[edit]

The PIRGs emerged in the early 1970s on U.S. college campuses. The PIRG model was proposed in the book Action for a Change by Ralph Nader and Donald Ross. Ross helped students across the country set up the first PIRG chapters, then became the director of the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) in 1973.[2][3]

The Minnesota Public Interest Research Group (MPIRG) was the first state PIRG to incorporate, on February 17, 1971.[4] It was followed by Oregon (OSPIRG) and Massachusetts (MASSPIRG). Among other early accomplishments, the PIRGs were responsible for much of the Container Container Deposit Legislation in the United States, also known as "bottle bills."

There are now state PIRGs in nearly 30 states. Most states are affiliated with USPIRG, but MPIRG and NYPIRG are not in order to remain grassroots organizations. In addition, the state organizations sponsor a national lobbying office in Washington, D.C. Collectively, the national federation of state PIRGs is known as U.S. PIRG. The PIRGs employ nearly 400 full-time staff, including organizers, attorneys, and policy analysts.[5]

Issues[edit]

At the national level, the PIRGs are running campaigns around the following issues:[6]

Creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau[edit]

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was founded as a result of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which came about as a result of the late-2000s recession and the economic meltdown. Its goal is to protect consumers as well as to reform the financial sector. U.S. PIRG's role in passing the bill was applauded as one of 2010's top ten lobbying victories.[7]

Promoting Civic Engagement[edit]

The New Voters Project is the PIRGs' project to help register young voters and turn them out to the polls. Since 1984 the project has helped to register more than 1.7 million young people to vote.[8]

State Affiliates[edit]

The following is a list of the state PIRGs:[9]

Other Public Interest Groups[edit]

The PIRGs are members of a larger network of non-profit organizations called the Public Interest Network, a coalition of independent groups that fosters new and existing organizations that work to make corporations and government more responsive to the public interest.[10] The PIRGs have also helped to launch a number of other independent public interest non-profits, including Green Corps,[11] the Toxics Action Center, Environment America, and the National Environmental Law Center.

PIRGs in Canada[edit]

Canadian PIRGs are unaffiliated with U.S.-based PIRGs and are, for the most part, based around college campuses.[12] They also operate on a different model; for example, Canadian PIRGs have a very different political agenda and employ a consensus decision making model.[13] Six Canadian provinces are home to PIRGs:

British Columbia:

°Kwantlen Public Interest Research Group (KPIRG)

°Prince George Public Interest Research Group (PGPIRG)

°Simon Fraser Public Interest Research Group (SFPIRG)

°Vancouver Island Public Interest Research Group (VIPIRG)

Alberta:

°Alberta Public Interest Research Group (APIRG)

°Lethbrige Public Interest Research Group (LPIRG)

Saskatchewan:

°Regina Public Interest Research Group (RPIRG)

Ontario:

°Laurier Students' Public Interest Research Group (LSPIRG Laurier)

°Ontario Public Interest Research Group Brock (OPIRG-Brock is Your Brock)

°Ontario Public Interest Research Group-Carleton (OPIRG-Carleton)

°Ontario Public Interest Research Group-Guelph (OPIRG Guelph)

°Ontario Public Interest Research Group Kingston (OPIRG Kingston)

°Ontario Public Interest Research Group McMaster (OPIRG McMaster)

°Ontario Public Interest Research Group Ottawa (QPIRG Ottawa)

°Ontario Public Interest Research Group Peterborough (OPIRG Peterborough)

°Ontario Public Interest Research Group Toronto (OPIRG ToronTo)

°Ontario Public Interest Research Group Windsor (OPIRG Windsor)

°Ontario Public Interest Research Group York (OPIRG York)

°Waterloo Public Interest Research Group (WPIRG)

°Ontario Public Interest Research Group / Groupe de Recherche et d'Intérêt Public de l'Ontario (OPIRG/GRIPO)

Quebec:

°Quebec Public Interest Research Group (QPIRG) / Groupe de Recherche d'Intérêt Public (GRIP)

°Quebec Public Interest Research Group Concordia / Groupe de Recherche d'Intérêt Public de Concordia (QPIRG Concordia, GRIP Concordia)

°Quebec Public Interest Research Group at McGill / Groupe de Recherche d'Intérêt Public à l'Université McGill (QPIRG-McGill, GRIP-McGill)

°Groupe de Recherche d'Intérêt Public de l'UQAM (GRIP UQAM)

Nova Scotia:

°Nova Scotia Public Interest Research Group (NSPIRG).

Canadian PIRG chapters are independent of each other, despite efforts toward collaboration.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "U.S. PIRG: About Us". Retrieved October 8, 2012. 
  2. ^ Nader, Ralph; Donald Ross (1972). Action for a Change: A Student's Manual for Public Interest Organizing. New York: Grossman Publishers. ISBN 0-670-10319-5. 
  3. ^ "Public Interest Projects: History". Retrieved 25 May 2012. 
  4. ^ "About MPIRG". Minnesota Public Interest Research Group. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  5. ^ "U.S. PIRG: About Us". Retrieved October 8, 2012. 
  6. ^ "U.S. PIRG: Issues". Retrieved October 10, 2012. 
  7. ^ "The Hill: Top 10 Lobbying Victories of 2010". Retrieved October 8, 2012. 
  8. ^ "New Voters Project: History". Retrieved October 8, 2012. 
  9. ^ "U.S. PIRG: Find Your State". Retrieved October 9, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Public Interest Network". 2012. Retrieved October 9, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Green Corps: History and Mission". 2012. Retrieved October 11, 2012. 
  12. ^ "Canadian PIRGs". Retrieved October 8, 2012. 
  13. ^ "About OPIRG York". 2012. Retrieved October 11, 2012. 
  14. ^ "Canadian PIRGs". 2012. Retrieved April 30, 2012. 

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_Interest_Research_Group — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.

370 news items

 
KAWC
Mon, 11 Aug 2014 14:49:14 -0700

Arizona Edition - The Arizona Public Interest Research Group touts itself as an independent voice for consumers. Its slogan is Standing Up to Powerful Interests. Standing up and saying anything these days, whether personally or through an organization ...

New York Times

New York Times
Mon, 01 Sep 2014 19:28:02 -0700

Last week, Bill Mahoney, a researcher for the New York Public Interest Research Group, examined about 1,200 messages posted on Twitter that expressed a position about the candidates for governor; only 12 of them, or 1 percent, said something in support ...

NY1

NY1
Tue, 19 Aug 2014 19:37:30 -0700

... Sally Robinson and the legislative director of the New York Public Interest Research Group Blair Horner joined Inside City Hall to discuss a November ballot proposal that would take some power to redraw district lines out of the hands of state ...

Winnipeg Free Press

University of Pittsburgh The Pitt News
Tue, 02 Sep 2014 20:45:00 -0700

A report this year by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund found that students spend, on average, $1,200 per year on textbooks and school supplies — this equates to just more than 7 percent of the in-state tuition rate for Pitt students.
 
Barre Montpelier Times Argus
Tue, 02 Sep 2014 00:18:45 -0700

Other Vermont groups organizing the trip to the march include Rising Tide Vermont — whose stated mission is to take “direct action to confront the root causes of climate change” — the Vermont Public Interest Research Group, the Sierra Club of Vermont ...
 
Brooklyn Heights Blog (blog)
Mon, 01 Sep 2014 19:29:59 -0700

She is running against Pete Sikora, a union official who has worked with reform groups, including the New York Public Interest Research Group. Both candidates have endorsements they can be proud of, but Ms. Simon is well known for her dedicated work ...
 
New York Daily News (blog)
Mon, 01 Sep 2014 03:30:00 -0700

Blair Horner, of the New York Public Interest Research Group, called it “an interesting idea scotchtaped onto a completely dysfunctional agency.” “Hope springs eternal, but Albany's had such a lousy record of enforcement with both ethics and campaign ...
 
Politico
Tue, 02 Sep 2014 07:03:45 -0700

In addition to that, a new group raising funds for the measure, “Vote Yes on Measure 92: We have the right to know what's in our food,” garnered $75,967, and the Oregon State Public Interest Research Group raised $229,872 in support of the measure.
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