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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A NY push to cut down on single-use plastics just fizzled out. Why? And what happens now?  (The Poughkeepsie Journal, June 11, 2024)
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Opponents of Hochul’s Move to Halt Congestion Pricing May Go to Court  (The New York Times, June 11, 2024)
NY bill to make big polluters pay for emissions passes legislature  (Adirondack Explorer, June 10, 2024)
New York Legislature Passes Climate Change Superfund Act  (ENR, June 10, 2024)
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NYPIRG on passage of the Climate Superfund Act  (The Sanctuary for Independent Media, June 10, 2024)
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NY Gov. Hochul 'Must Sign' Climate Change Superfund Act  (Common Dreams, June 8, 2024)
New York state lawmakers prepare to leave Albany for the year as session winds down  (WAMC, June 7, 2024)
Albany session ends with dash to finish legislation  (ABC News 10, June 7, 2024)
Does Gov. Hochul, a Buffalo Native, Really Get New York City?  (The New York Times, June 6, 2024)
Hochul pauses congestion pricing as other environmental bills flounder  (WRVO, June 5, 2024)
Public interest group pushes for ‘modernization’ changes to New York State’s bottle bill  (WBNG News 12, June 5, 2024)
Four Ways that NY Gov. Hochul’s Cancelation of Congestion Pricing is Bad for America  (Streetsblog, June 5, 2024)
Environmental measures stall as legislative window nears end  (Albany Times-Union, June 4, 2024)
Advocates call on NYS to 'modernize' Bottle Bill; double the refund and expand what can be recycled  (ABC News 7 Buffalo, June 3, 2024)
News Archive
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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.
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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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Reports & Features Archive