On the REM tour this fall, the state PIRGs (Public Interest Research Groups) are enlisting the help of thousands of fans in the fight to protect our environment and to improve the quality of our democracy. The PIRGs are network of state-based, citizen funded organizations advocating for the public interest, working to address real problems, pushing for tough reforms and solutions, and getting concrete results. They uncover threats to public health and well-being and fight to end them using the time-tested tools of investigative research, media exposés, grassroots organizing, advocacy, and litigation. There are state PIRGs in 27 states, along with 75 campus chapters, and over 100 advocates in state capitals and Washington, D.C., promoting policies that improve our democracy, protect public health, save the environment, and protect consumers in the marketplace. To find out more about PIRGs’ campaigns or to join, check out www.pirg.org.

You can find out more about the PIRG campus chapters at www.studentpirgs.org.

So far, over 2,000 concertgoers have signed postcards supporting PIRG campaigns and many have signed up as PIRG members, including:

State Environmental Campaigns: including protecting the Sierra Nevada
National Forest in California, promoting renewable energy in Washington
state, preserving open space in North Carolina, protecting Georgia’s waterways
from toxic pollution, and fighting power plant pollution in the Midwest.

The strength of a democracy is measured by the participation of its citizens,
but less than half of eligible young people between the ages of 18 and 24
voted in 2000. This fall, the PIRGs will launch a New Voters Project, a
significant campaign to register 18-24 year olds to vote in targeted states.

Air Pollution:
Pollution from coal-fired power plants is causing a public
health crisis in the United States with asthma attacks on the rise, premature
deaths numbering in the tens of thousands every year, and global warming
threatening the future of our planet.  The PIRGs are working to stop the
Bush administration from weakening the Clean Air Act under their so-called
“Clear Skies— initiative. The administration’s plan would allow twice
as much smog pollution and three times as much mercury from power plants
over the next decade.  Write a letter to your member of Congress at www.cleanairnow.org