On Tuesday, Oct. 21, Environment America hit their goal of 200,000 public comments in favor of restoring Clean Water Act protections to all America's streams.
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.
Student PIRG campus organizers are working to lower the cost of textbooks for students. This week, student leaders are reaching out to classmates for stories about being #textbookbroke, while offering an opportunity to win a $2,500 textbook scholarship.
As a recent Student PIRG email outlined, "We're partnering with the Michelson Twenty Million Minds Foundation to further build the movement to bring an affordable college education to all of those who strive for it."
The contest ends Oct. 28.
Textbook prices have risen over three times the rate of inflation in the past decade, costing students an average of $1,200 each year. Publishing companies are raking in huge profits while engaging in bad practices that drive up costs: issuing new editions that make used books hard to find, bundling textbooks with unnecessary CDs and pass-codes, and more. They get away with it because students don't have a choice -- we've got to buy the book they're selling, even if the price is outrageous.
On Tuesday, Oct. 21, Environment America released its latest clean water report, "Waterways Restored," a report detailing how the Clean Water Act has helped bring 15 American rivers, lakes and bays back to life.
In 1969, Ohio's Cuyahoga River was so polluted with oil, sludge and trash that it caught fire. Today, people canoe and kayak there. In the '60s, Maine's Androscoggin River was thick with toxic foam. Today, brook and rainbow trout run in its waters. These and other successes are due to the power of the Clean Water Act and the use made of it by government officials and ordinary citizens alike. As the law turns 42, the report is designed to spread the good news about what the Clean Water Act has done for our rivers, lakes and bays -- and why it's time to restore its protection to our streams and wetlands, a safeguard shredded by polluters' lawsuits and lobbying.
Environment America campaign organizers earned some impressive coverage in the media -- from News 12 picking up Sarah Vitti's event in New York to a Boston Globe photographer snapping shots at Kimberly Williams' event along the Boston Harbor.
The report was written by the Frontier Group team of Jeff Inglis, Tom Van Heeke, Gideon Weissman and Lindsey Hallock, and John Rumpler from Environment America Research & Policy Center.