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
Albany dithers while the planet simmers  (WAMC, July 15, 2024)
New York State's $100M program to publicly finance campaigns prompts emergency fix  (Newsday, July 6, 2024)
Environmental groups call on New York legislators to return to Albany for special climate session  (WSKG, July 5, 2024)
Brooklyn Recycling Center Redeems 1 Million Bottles Per Month  (Inside Edition, July 5, 2024)
The public gets a glimpse of lobbying in New York  (WAMC, July 1, 2024)
Examining the impact of public financing in primaries for New York Legislature  (Spectrum News, July 1, 2024)
Ethics commission report shows record highs in lobbying spending  (WENY, June 28, 2024)
Stop Danskammer Coalition says application withdrawal win for public health  (Mid-Hudson News, June 26, 2024)
State lobbying hit record numbers in 2023  (ABC News 10, June 25, 2024)
NYS lobbyists spent record $360M to try to influence government, report says  (Newsday, June 25, 2024)
New Yorkers go to the polls – some of them anyway  (WAMC, June 24, 2023)
Fake Signatures and ‘Good-Faith Letters’ Fuel a Lucrative Campaign Haul  (The New York Times, June 24, 2024)
Environmental Advocates Push for Bill to Hold Big Oil Responsible  (Fingerlakes 1, June 22, 2024)
Foes of Danskammer Power Plant question site's long term use after bid to operate full-time dropped  (The Daily Freeman, June 22, 2024)
Making Democracy Work: Civic education, first hand, at Students Inside Albany conference  (TBR Newsmedia, June 21, 2024)
Bill aims to hold oil companies responsible for emissions  (WSYR, June 21, 224)
Bill aims to hold oil companies responsible for emissions  (CNY, June 21, 2024)
New York feels the heat  (WAMC, June 17, 2024)
New York State Lawmakers Once Again Fail to Pass Meaningful Climate Legislation  (Hellgate, June 12, 2024)
NYC congestion pricing delay may face legal challenge. Why the comptroller calls Gov. Hochul's move "a disastrously wrong turn."  (CBS, June 12, 2024)
News Archive
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VICTORY! On Monday, June 17, a six-year fight for clean air and public health came to an end when Danskammer Energy withdrew its application to build a new fracked gas plant on the Hudson River in Newburgh, NY.
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NY State Assembly Passes Historic Climate Superfund Bill to Make Polluters Pay for Climate Damages
NYPIRG's Statement on Governor Hochul's Delay of Congestion Pricing
A coalition supporting improvements to the state’s Bottle Deposit Law today released a listing of over 1,000 local charities that benefit from the law. The coalition argued that these charities offer services for those in need and that modernization of the forty-year-old law would enhance the charities’ services.
A coalition supporting improving the state’s Bottle Deposit Law today released a review of recent redemption center closures. The review, conducted by redemption centers, identified 97 businesses that have closed or appear to be closed. Another 54 redemption centers had disconnected phones and no obvious social media presence. The coalition argued that many of these closures are the direct result of New York's 15 year "freeze" of the handling fee that redemption centers rely on for revenues.
NYPIRG Reacts to Speaker Heastie's Comments on Climate Change Superfund Act
A coalition of civic groups today called on the New York State Board of Elections to review the state’s polling locations to see if colleges have on-campus polls as required under the law. The letter is in reaction to the results of a survey conducted by NYPIRG. NYPIRG analyzed 199 colleges (217 campuses, some colleges have multiple campuses) in New York State, of which 147 have dorms located on their premises. This review of the locations of polling places for college students living on-campus identifies a wide gap between those campuses that have dorms and the number that have polling places.
A statewide coalition representing hundreds of community, environmental, labor, and religious groups today applauded state Senate approval of the Climate Change Superfund Act, which requires Big Oil to cover New York's climate damages – not taxpayers. The groups urged swift action in the state Assembly. The majority of Assemblymembers are sponsors of the legislation.
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Environmental, community, and business groups representing 300 New York organizations today held a press conference to urge state lawmakers to include the "Bigger, Better, Bottle Bill" (S.237B/A6353A) as a "must do" priority for the end of session
NYPIRG Statement on Start of Congestion Pricing
NYPIRG reacted to elements of the final state budget, highlighting the "good," the "bad," and the "ugly."
Release: County & Local Elected Officials Join 180+ Organizations to Urge Governor Hochul & Assembly Speaker Heastie to End $265M of Fossil Fuel Subsidies in the Final NYS Budget
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Reports & Features Archive