NYPIRG 50th Anniversary Celebration

NYPIRG is 50 years old! We celebrated 50 years of public interest victories on Friday, October 13, 2023 from 6 to 9 PM at City Winery in Manhattan.

Dear Friends,

NYPIRG is 50 years old! That’s an incredible testament to the dedication, hard work, and luck that allowed us to meet the half-century mark. It is quite a milestone – which we marked with the October 13, 2023 NYPIRG 50th Anniversary Celebration. The event was a rousing success, and we all had a wonderful time honoring NYPIRG’s decades of tireless work for the public interest and reconnecting with friends and colleagues from years past.

Who would have guessed in 1973 that the vision of a group of college students would be so impactful for so long? In 50 years, NYPIRG advanced public policy change, educated millions of New Yorkers, offered services that have saved consumers big bucks, and churned out thousands of activists – both on campus and off.

The five years between our 45th and 50th anniversaries saw monumental shifts in the political landscape, and an increase in the urgency of our work. The national scene can be fairly described as chaotic and threatening to many of the issues that we all hold dear.

Thankfully, NYPIRG is part of a movement for positive change – and with our 50th Anniversary Celebration, we recognized key leaders in the movement to protect the public interest and highlight the success that we’ve had in developing activists.

  • First, there’s Camille Rivera. Camille first came to NYPIRG as a college student. For those who know her, she’s a terrific advocate and is tremendously energetic. As a student, she was elected chairperson of NYPIRG’s board of directors, was later hired on staff, left to get involved in the labor movement, and is now a powerful political activist working out of her own firm, New Deal Strategies.
  • Second, there’s Martin Brennan. Martin started with NYPIRG as a canvasser, and his impressive intellect, political smarts, and work ethic contributed to him running our New York City canvassing operation and becoming the lead organizer in our campaigns to stop the burning of garbage in New York City. He now is the state director for U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
  • Not all of our honorees were NYPIRG alums. State Senator Liz Krueger is one of the public interest’s strongest allies in Albany, and she is leading the charge in that house to advance an aggressive climate agenda while championing good governance in Albany.
  • The Community Service Society has worked to promote economic opportunity and fought for an equitable city and state since 1843. Its long-time president and CEO, David R. Jones, has been one of New York’s most important players on those issues and more.
  • Jane Fonda needs no introduction. For decades, she’s been fighting for Indigenous peoples' rights, economic justice, LGBTQ rights, protesting the War, gender equality, and more – all while she continues to lead the charge on the climate emergency.

These individuals are the “change makers” that New York, the nation, and the world need, and it is an honor to work with them.

Lastly, I want to thank you – current and former students and staff, friends, colleagues, and supporters – for your commitment to our mission. I look forward to the work ahead.

Blair Horner
NYPIRG Executive Director

Honorees – Recipients of NYPIRG Changemaker Awards

Jane Fonda

Author & Activist
Jane Fonda

Camille Rivera

New Deal Strategies
Camille Rivera

Martin Brennan

State Director
U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer
Martin Brennan

Senator Liz Krueger

New York State Senate
Liz Krueger

David R. Jones

President & Chief Executive Officer
Community Service Society of New York
David R. Jones

Host Committee

Will Araujo
Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund
Melinda Baglio
Rhonda Bambrick
Sabrica Barnett
Liz Barrett & Doug Forand
Joseph Belluck
Geoff Boehm
Diana Breen
Amy Chester
Jaqi Cohen
Samara Daly
Judith Enck
John Gilroy
Eric Goldstein
Jill Goodman & Arthur Malkin
Pete Grannis
Jay Halfon
Jay Hershenson
Nicole Hosten-Haas
Joel Kelsey
Chris Klaehn
Helen Klein Ross
Rachel Leon*
Pamela Lippe
Jocelyn McGuinness-Hickey & Eric Wild
Catherine McVay Hughes
Chris Meyer* & Susan Stamler*
Michael O'Loughlin
Neysa Pranger
Mike Pratt
Joe Rappaport
Neal Rosenstein
Gene Russianoff & Pauline Toole
Pete Sikora
Lauren Schuster
Larry Shapiro
Evan Stavisky
Joseph Stelling
Michelle Stern
Rebecca Weber*
*Event Co-Chairs
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NYPIRG survey indicates N.Y. students need more assistance with healthcare  (The Daily Orange, February 20, 2024)
Cuomo is back in court to protect his $5 million book deal  (WAMC, February 19, 2024)
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Climate activists, elected officials call for inclusion of HEAT Act in state budget  (Hudson Valley 360, February 17, 2024)
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Mid-Hudson lawmakers, climate activists push for cap on utility bills  (Daily Freeman, February 15, 2024)
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NYS commission plans to vote on new redistricting maps on Thursday  (Newsday, February 13, 2024)
World Cancer Day and New York's failure  (WAMC, February 14, 2024)
NYS Republicans concerned about zero-emission school bus deadlines  (My Twin Tiers, February 12, 2024)
New York’s largest landfill wants to expand, but questions remain over the state’s waste future  (WXXI, February 9, 2024)
NYPIRG Report on Small Claims Court in Albany  (Hudson Mohawk Magazine, February 8, 2024)
A win in Albany Small Claims Court doesn't mean a payday, report finds  (Albany Times-Union, February 6, 2024)
New York's environment gets a legislative hearing  (WAMC, February 5, 2024)
Governor Hochul’s budget plans for democracy In NY  (WAMC, January 29, 2024)
News Archive
News Release: Youth, Faith & Environmental Groups Join with Legislators to Call for “Make Polluters Pay” Bill Requiring Big Oil to Fund Climate Crisis Costs to be Included in Senate and Assembly One-House Budgets Also: Check out NYPIRG's New Video Illustrating the Need to Make Corporate Polluters Pay
Video Release: Make Polluters Pay!
NEWS RELEASE: NYPIRG Releases “Small Claims, Small Changes: A Survey of Albany Small Claims Court 45 Years Later”
A NYPIRG report documenting a survey of litigants who participated in cases in the City of Albany Small Claims Court in 2021 shows the challenges facing consumers using the system.
NEWS RELEASE: NYPIRG Reacts to Governor Hochul's Budget Plan

Over 300 Business, Civic, Environmental, and Youth Groups Call on Governor Hochul to Modernize State Returnable Container Law (“Bottle Bill”)

Groups Urge Inclusion in the State Budget Due to Need for Enhanced Enforcement and Immediate Action to Increase Current Redeemed Beverage Container “Handling Fee”

NYPIRG Statement on the Passing of Sidney Wolfe, MD, Founder of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group
Today, a coalition of elected officials, youth leaders, and community organizations led by NYPIRG called on Governor Hochul to include the Climate Change Superfund Act in her upcoming budget. The Climate Superfund assesses the largest oil companies for the state's mounting climate-related expenses and does so in a way that protects the public from increased costs.
RELEASE: Another Storm, More Costs to NY Taxpayers: Will Governor Hochul Make Big Oil Pay? A coalition of groups today called on Governor Hochul to make the oil companies pick up the tab for the costs of NY's climate damages after another deadly storm that caused widespread damage to New York State.
NYPIRG and a coalition of environmental organizations and local elected officials today released a review of the climate costs facing New York City and called on Governor Hochul to make the biggest oil companies – not local taxpayers – pay to cover climate damages
NYPIRG Celebrated Its Five Decades of Victories and College Student Empowerment
Author and Activist Jane Fonda, Community Service Society’s David Jones, State Senator Liz Krueger, U.S. Sen. Schumer’s State Director Martin Brennan, and New Deal Strategies’ Camille Rivera Received NYPIRG's “changemaker” Awards
Climate Superfund News Conferences: Taxpayer Tally of Climate Costs Since 8/2022 is $2.7 Billion
NYPIRG Statement on the Death of Ryan Thoresen Carson
The biblical rains that are devastating parts of the state are fresh evidence that the costs of adapting New York's infrastructure to the world climate’s "new abnormal" will be staggering. Legislation -- approved by the Senate (S.2129A) -- would require the largest oil companies to help pick up the tab and do it in a manner that will stop them from passing the costs on to consumers. Read NYPIRG's statement on downstate's devastating floods.
Advocates and Business call on Governor Hochul and DEC to release grant funds to struggling Bottle Redemption Businesses
Thousands Join March to End Fossil Fuels, Demand Biden Declare Climate Emergency & Phase Out Plan
NYers face hundreds of millions of dollars in climate costs while big oil racks up huge profits, nearly three-quarters of a trillion dollars over past 30 months
NYPIRG 50th Anniversary, Celebrating Five Decades of Victories and College Student Empowerment, Will Be Held on October 13th in NYC – Author and Activist Jane Fonda, Community Service Society's David Jones, State Senator Liz Krueger, U.S. Sen. Schumer's State Director Martin Brennan, and New Deal Strategies' Camille Rivera to Receive NYPIRG's "Changemaker" Awards
New York’s “New Normal” Not Normal at All: Frequent Climate Disasters, Staggering Costs — Governor Hochul Leaves New Yorkers on the Financial Hook for Billions of Dollars in Climate Damages and Extreme Weather Emergency Preparedness While Letting Big Oil off the Hook
NYPIRG Has Updated Its 2023 Legislative Session Review, Including the New York State Assembly Actions
Reports & Features Archive