NYPIRG Critical Issues
Voting RightsNYPIRG is committed to ensuring that political participation is available and accessible to all eligible New Yorkers. Over the past four decades, NYPIRG’s non-partisan voter mobilization campaign has guarded and fought to expand the rights of voters in New York through community outreach, advocacy, media work, and litigation. Still, New York’s voter registration and voter participation rates are anemic. A U.S. Elections Project analysis showed New York to have among the five worst turnout rates in the nation among eligible voters. New York must take immediate action to address systematic problems that disenfranchise voters and remove barriers that suppress voter turnout.
Energy & the EnvironmentThe planet is heating up, and that temperature rise is accelerating. Climate change is the most pressing environmental, public health, economic, and social justice issue facing our planet. Join NYPIRG’s Community Action Network to help New York move toward a clean, renewable energy future — supporting efforts that shift New York away from fossil fuel use and infrastructure and to wind and other renewables.
2020 CensusA complete and accurate census count is critical to the future of New York. The 2020 Census will determine how more than $650 billion in federal funds for public education, public housing, public transit, and more gets distributed annually throughout the country. It will also determine the number of seats each state is allocated in the House of Representatives (and thus, the Electoral College). NYPIRG’s 2020 Census Complete Count Campaign is working to ensure that all New Yorkers get counted in the 2020 Census. Our Get Out the Count efforts are centered around direct community interactions to encourage residents and students to self-respond to the census.
Government AccountabilityThe incredible scandals and controversies that have rocked the state Capitol in recent years have provided an opportunity for NYPIRG to research and offer best ethics practices to guide policymakers in their debate over needed reforms. From campaign finance, to ethics regulation, to oversight of the lobbying industry, NYPIRG is at the center of those public debates. To get information on your local New York State legislators — including their outside employment and demographics of the district — check out NYPIRG’s Legislative Profiles.
Public HealthProtecting the public’s health is a central mission of NYPIRG. From minimizing the risks to products containing toxins, to fighting exposure to tobacco products, to helping patients protect themselves from skyrocketing drug prices, to helping consumers shop smart in the health care marketplace, to advocating for visitors’ access to loved ones in the hospital, and to ensuring accessibility to high quality affordable medical care, NYPIRG has taken on a broad range of topics to protect the public interest.
Consumer ProtectionToo often, consumers get ripped off by unscrupulous businesses or landlords. Sometimes, the cost is too low for consumers to go out and hire a lawyer. In those situations, New York State offers its own “People’s Court,” where consumers can represent themselves and, if they win, can obtain up to a $5,000 award. NYPIRG offers consumers information on how to use the Court, as well as other information to help them shop smart in the marketplace.
Higher Education AffordabilityDramatic cuts in public funding, along with skyrocketing tuition and other costs associated with getting a college degree over the past several years have threatened access to affordable, quality higher education and contributed to rising student loan debt. NYPIRG educates students and the public on the costs associated with attending college — both public and independent. In addition, NYPIRG offers policy solutions to help keep college affordable for all who wish to attend.