On Friday, U.S. PIRG Federal Program Director Mike Russo testified in front of President Barack Obama's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology on the overuse of antibiotics on factory farms. Check out the video here.
Our NetworkThe Public Interest Network includes the state Public Interest Research Groups, U.S. PIRG, state environmental groups in 29 states, Environment America, Environmental Action, Toxics Action Center, Pesticide Watch, Green Century Funds, Green Corps, National Environmental Law Center, Frontier Group, Community Voters Project, Accelerate Change.
Together, the groups of The Public Interest Network employ a full arsenal of time-tested strategies for change, including organizing, advocacy, research and policy analysis, litigation and socially responsible investing.
Each group pursues its own strategy and agenda, with its own base of support. Yet all members of the network share a firm commitment to a model for success — one that emphasizes building stable, powerful organizations, embracing a tough-minded culture of accountability, and organizing to win measurable results. These results include hundreds of laws, policies and other changes that have protected consumers, preserved the environment, and otherwise made corporations and government more responsive to the public interest.
Over the years, our network has also recruited and trained thousands of people. Many have moved up to become leaders of our own network. Others have moved on to replenish and renew the ranks of the rest of the public interest community. In either case, these activists, organizers, advocates and leaders — what some have called our “activist pipeline” – and the work ethic, strategic approach and commitment to change they embody, are ultimately our most enduring and influential legacy.
Environment California has been working with the Fund for the Public Interest's San Diego office to protect the Pacific Ocean from plastic pollution by banning single-use plastic bags. Together, they delivered more than 10,000 petitions last Wednesday to the Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins' district office.
Jacob Zhender, canvass director in the Fund's San Diego office, ran the meeting with Assembly Speaker Atkins' District Director Denise Price.
Also in the meeting were: Jason Hinsley assistant director in the San Diego canvass office, field managers Jacob Leffler, Hannah Lingle-Veale, Leila Benedyk, and Alyssa Canoff, Matthew O'Malley with San Diego Coastkeeper, Michael Torti with the San Diego chapter of Surfrider, and Zach Plopper with WildCoast.
Thanks in large part to Legislative Director Dan Jacobson, Oceans Advocate Nathan Weaver and the Fund's canvass, we've gained incredible momentum in the campaign to ban single-use plastic bags in California -- with more than 100 cities and counties with local bans to date. Now, we're urging Gov. Jerry Brown to ban plastic bags state-wide.
OSPIRG has been working with a coalition of groups to drive the "Oregon Right to Know" campaign to get a GMO labeling initiative on the ballot this fall. On July 2, about 50 people from the coalition came together to deliver the more than 155,600 petition signatures we helped collect in just six weeks to qualify the measure.
Last year, big agribusinesses, such as Monsanto, spent over $20 million to block GMO labels at the ballot in Washington State. But OSPIRG and their coalition are ready to take on Big Ag. So far, Fund for the Public Interest offices in Oregon have joined forced with OSPIRG and talked to more than 34,000 Oregonians about the initiative and our right to know what's in our food.