NYPIRG Issues Fall 2016
Voting RightsNYPIRG is committed to ensuring that political participation is available and accessible to all eligible New Yorkers. Over the past four decades, NYPIRG’s non-partisan voter mobilization campaign has guarded and fought to expand the rights of voters in New York through community outreach, advocacy, media work, and litigation. Still, New York’s voter registration and voter participation rates are anemic. A U.S. Elections Project analysis showed New York to have among the five worst turnout rates in the nation among eligible voters. New York must take immediate action to address systematic problems that disenfranchise voters and remove barriers that suppress voter turnout.
Energy & the Environment2015 was the hottest year in recorded history, as 2014 was before it. There is no longer a credible debate about climate change — it is the most pressing environmental, public health, economic, and social justice issue facing our planet. Join NYPIRG’s Community Action Network to help New York move toward a clean, renewable energy future — supporting efforts that shift New York away from fossil fuel use and infrastructure and toward wind and other renewables.
Government AccountabilityThe incredible scandals and controversies that have rocked the state Capitol in recent years have provided an opportunity for NYPIRG to research and offer best ethics practices to guide policymakers in their debate over needed reforms. From campaign finance, to ethics regulation, to oversight of the lobbying industry, NYPIRG is at the center of those public debates. To get information on your local New York State legislators — including their outside employment and demographics of the district — check out NYPIRG’s Legislative Profiles.
Consumer ProtectionToo often, consumers get ripped off by unscrupulous businesses or landlords. Sometimes, the cost is too low for consumers to go out and hire a lawyer. In those situations, New York State offers its own “People’s Court,” where consumers can represent themselves and, if they win, can obtain up to a $5,000 award. NYPIRG offers consumers information on how to use the Court, as well as other information to help them shop smart in the marketplace.
Higher Education AffordabilityDramatic cuts in public funding, along with skyrocketing tuition and other costs associated with getting a college degree over the past several years, have threatened access to affordable, quality higher education and contributed to rising student loan debt. NYPIRG offers public education on the costs associated with attending college — both public and independent. In addition, NYPIRG offers policy solutions to help keep college affordable for all who wish to attend.