Accomplishments

Arizona PIRG has a 20 year history of advocating for students, the environment and consumers.

Here are just a few of Arizona PIRG’s recent accomplishments:

New Voters Project: It’s time to make politicians pay attention to us.  The best way to get them to pay attention to young people and the issues we care about is to show up to the polls, so this year Arizona PIRG Students joined a nationwide voter registration and get out the vote effort.  We helped over 31,820 students register to vote and had 170,000 conversations with students in the days leading up to Election Day to remind them to turn out to the polls.

Making Textbooks More Affordable: Everyone knows that textbooks costs are out of control—the average student spends $900 per year!  We're promoting cost-saving solutions on campus while also tackling publishers' stranglehold on the market to change prices for good.  We're educating students, faculty and bookstores and raising awareness through research and media attention.  This year Arizona PIRG Students joined PIRG students across the country to hold 23 educational events and gather surveys from more than 3,600 students.  We were also able to educate more than 700 faculty members about low cost options and make it easier for students to shop around.

Making Higher Education More Affordable: In February, the U.S. House passed H.R. 1, a federal budget for 2011, which included a $5.7 billion cut to the Pell Grant program. If passed, that budget cut would have resulted in a $845 per person decrease in financial aid to the most needy recipients and have a chilling effect on the number of college students who can graduate and get into the workforce - at a time when our economy is just recovering.  Arizona PIRG Students and Student PIRG volunteers across the country generated thousands of calls and petitions to their Senators urging them to stop the cuts and helped to make sure they did not become law. 

Protecting Consumers: The marketplace can be daunting even for the most educated consumer.  To help students avoid rip-offs and unsafe products and have the information to make educated choices, we're creating a set of guides for students.  This semester, we released the Young Persons Guide to Health Care and a Guide to Controlling Your Information on Facebook.

Hunger and Homelessness: With the global recession, more and more people are struggling to meet their basic needs.  This year, we held a week-long series of education and service events on hundreds of college campuses to make sure that these problems stay on the forefront of people's minds.  This spring, Arizona PIRG students and students across the country held the annual Hunger Cleanup, raising more than $45,000 to fight hunger in their communities.

Sustainable U: Right now, global warming pollution is altering our climate in ways that will cause more heat-related deaths, more unhealthy air days, the spread of infectious disease, and many other negative impacts to our environment.  But instead of encouraging the Obama Administration to solve these problems, polluters and their allies in Congress pushed for a series of proposals to block the Clean Air Act from doing its job.  Teaming up with other student organizations around the country, Arizona PIRG volunteers convinced lawmakers to stop these rollbacks.

No Drills, No Spills: After the Gulf oil spill disaster, we joined a national coalition of groups to call for an end to new offshore drilling and a renewed commitment to breaking our country's dependence on oil. More than 400,000 Americans signed petitions and made calls to the Obama administration calling for a ban on new offshore drilling. And despite heavy pressure from big oil and gas companies, we won. On December 1st the Obama Administration announced that it will protect the coasts of the continental United States from new drilling through 2017.