Celebrating the Life of Donald K. Ross on September 23, 2022

Since the sad news about the passing of Donald Ross, NYPIRG's first executive director, we have witnessed – along with an outpouring of grief – a deluge of fond reminiscences. This is unsurprising when you consider the almost incalculable number of people who Donald inspired over his lifetime of hard, visionary work for the public interest, and the incredible, lasting impact that his work has had on so many. Because of this, NYPIRG – along with Donald’s family, friends, and colleagues – organized an event celebrating his amazing life.

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Events & Activities

When: 10:30 AM
Where: Astor Place in Manhattan

2022 Pokey & Schleppie Awards

The NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign and TransitCenter rolled out the red carpet to release our report on the slowest bus and most unreliable bus lines in New York City!

And the "winners" are:

When: 11 AM
Where: City Hall in Lower Manhattan

NYPIRG rallied to demand that Mayor Adams fully implements and enforces New York City's landmark Local Law 97!

Energy use in buildings is responsible for about 70% of the City's climate pollution. Local Law 97 is the world's most important municipal-level climate/jobs law. But not if Mayor Adams guts or weakens it by opening up giant loopholes or delaying penalties, which would make the law toothless. Together with our coalition partners, we pointed out that the recent heat wave underscores that the City must take on the climate crisis, especially as the federal and state governments fail to do so.

When: 12 PM
Where: City Hall in Lower Manhattan

NYPIRG's Straphangers Campaign – along with students, elected officials, and other transit advocates – celebrated Mayor Adams, MTA, and DOT's plans for 20 miles of new bus lanes and busways this year!

Bus lanes and busways speed up commute times, are critical transit improvements for communities underserved by the subway system, and can be installed quickly and affordably compared to subway expansions. They must be installed during warm weather months, so the season is upon us.

As the event unfolded, large paper renderings of 21st Street in Astoria, Queens and Fordham Road and Gun Hill Road in the Bronx were rolled out and painted red to re-envision the streets with bus lanes and busways rather than congested with passenger cars. The painters were also joined by City Councilmember Gale Brewer and City Councilmember Sandy Nurse.

When: 2 PM
Where: Virtual


We are facing an existential threat posed by a rapidly heating planet. The climate changes resulting from the burning of fossil fuels could cost New Yorkers tens of billions of dollars in damages caused by more powerful storms, more intense and frequent heat waves, and an increase in pollution.

For decades, the fossil fuel industry championed climate change denial and opposed regulations to curtail global warming. It is now time for them to pay for the damage that they knowingly caused!

NYPIRG joined a news conference in support of the state's Climate Change Superfund Act, which would assess fees on the fossil fuel extractors and oil refiners that caused climate change based on their companies’ individual percentage share of total carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere.

Let's hold corporate polluters accountable!
When: 11:30 AM
Where: The Capitol in Albany

Happy 40th birthday to New York's Bottle Bill!

NYPIRG was joined by other advocates and elected officials for a recycling birthday party in support of Assemblymember Steve Englebright and Senator Rachel May’s “Bigger Better Bottle Bill" (A.10184/S.9164), which was introduced 40 years after passage of the first Bottle Bill. The event celebrated the success of the landmark recycling law, and emphasized the need to modernize the law for 40 more years of success.

When: 11 AM
Where: Jim DiNapoli Park in Albany

Climate activists from all across New York State poured into the capital to tell our governor and Legislature that New York State must be a national and global leader in the fight to combat the devastating effects of climate change.

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Watchdog groups seek 'reset' with new ethics commission  (Spectrum News, September 26, 2022)
Say no to the Manchin Plan  (WAMC, September 26, 2022)
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Ethics and corruption allegations fly in race for New York governor  (Spectrum News, September 20, 2022)
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New ethics agency is off to a sputtering start  (WAMC, September 19, 2022)
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*UPDATE: NYPIRG will be working with Donald Ross’ family and friends to organize an event celebrating his life. We are planning on the event occurring sometime in the early fall.
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