NYPIRG 50th Anniversary Celebration
- Commemorative Video & Event Photos
- If you would like to donate or pay for your event order online, please visit nypirg.org/donate (select "NYPIRG's 50th Anniversary" from the "Reason for Gift" drop-down menu).
- To support the Donald K. Ross Future Leaders Program – a unique initiative designed to empower and nurture our next generation of leaders, and honor the legacy of NYPIRG's first executive director – please visit nypirg.org/futureleaders.
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.
NYPIRG Executive Director
Host CommitteeWill Araujo
Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund
Liz Barrett & Doug Forand
Jill Goodman & Arthur Malkin
Helen Klein Ross
Jocelyn McGuinness-Hickey & Eric Wild
Catherine McVay Hughes
Chris Meyer* & Susan Stamler*
Gene Russianoff & Pauline Toole
Rebecca Weber* *Event Co-Chairs
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”