History

CONNPIRG has a 45-year history of advocating for students, the environment and consumers. Here are just a few of CONNPIRG’s
past accomplishments:

  • (2019) Helped pass a statewide plastic grocery bag ban that will go until effect in 2021.
  • (2019) Convinced UConn Storrs and the town of Mansfield, CT to ban plastic bags.
  • (2018) helped Register over 2,000 students to vote in the midterm Elections and increased student turnout by 90% at the UConn Storrs student heavy polling location.
  • (2018) Organized CT Go Green rally in Hartford that called on the state to include more renewable energy in their Comprehensive Strategy Plan.
  • (2018) Convinced Dunkin’ Donuts to phase out their use of foam cups by 2020 in a regional campaign with MASSPIRG Students.
  • (2018) Helped to secure 5 million dollars in federal funding in the FY18 budget for the Open Textbooks Pilot Program by lobbying in DC and organizing phonebanks to representative from CT. We secured funding for the program again for FY19.
  • (2017) Collected over 5,000 petitions in support of transitioning CT college campuses to 100% Renewable Energy
  • (2017) Declared UConn Connecticut’s first Bee Friendly Campus in an effort to Save the Bees
  • (2016) Helped register over 2,500 students to vote in the Presidential Election and saw an increase of over 20% at the UConn Storrs polling location over the 2012 Election.
  • (2015) Helped convince McDonald’s and Subway to commit to serving meat raised without antibiotics – a major step towards stopping antibiotic resistance and protecting public health.
  • (2015) Our federal advocate worked with three senators to introduce the College Textbook Affordability Act which would expand the use of open textbooks in order to achieve savings for students.
  • (2012) Helped close to 5,000 student register to vote or update their voter registration status
  • (2012) Worked with Congressman Courtney to pass a bill through congress keeping student loan interest rates from doubling
  • (2012) Helped pass two laws that will make it easier to register to vote – same day voter registration and online voter registration
  • (2011) Collected over 3,000 student petitions calling on UConn to go Zero Waste
  • (2010) Helped pass a new law called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to lower health care costs for families including young adults by allowing them to stay on their parents’ coverage until age 26.
  • (2010) Helped to pass the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act, which among other things, adds $36 billion into the Pell grant program. ConnPIRG Student Chapters and Student PIRG lobbying and organizing over the past several years was critical to the passage of this historic law.
  • (2010) Students in Connecticut joined together with thousands of students on campuses across the country through our annual Hunger Cleanup each April to raise money and volunteer in a day of service in their communities. This year, in addition to service events and food drives, ConnPIRG students raised over $20,000 to help local shelters and service agencies keep operating as well as donated funds to relief projects in Haiti.
  • (2009) Helped pass strong legislation called, the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act that will end some of the worst abuses of the credit card industry, including some which are often targeted at college students.
  • (2009) Student PIRG and ConnPIRG student activists mobilized their peers and helped persuade Congress to include an additional $2.5 billion down-payment for high-speed rail in their appropriations bill, more than doubling President Obama’s original recommendation.
  • (2009) Help to launch the Resolve Conference, where 250 students from across the country were joined by activists, advocates and organizers for a weekend of education and training to create anti-poverty campaigns in their communities.
  • (2008) Helped with passing the Higher Education Opportunity Act. The  law contains several important policy changes, including an increase in the maximum authorized level of the Pell Grant to $9,000.
  • (2008) ConnPIRG students helped get an Affordable Textbooks provision included in the federal Higher Education Opportunity Act. The provision helps lower the cost of textbooks for millions of students by requiring publishers to disclose textbook pricing and revision information to faculty and requiring publishers to offer textbooks and supplemental materials “unbundled.”
  • (2008) Joined PIRG students across the country to help register 118,000 young voters and contact 440,000 voters to turn them out to the polls through the nationwide New Voters Project campaign
  • (2007) Joined the nationwide Student PIRGs’ What’s Your Plan? Campaign which talked to the presidential candidates over 100 times on the campaign trail, to ask them about their plans for global warming and higher education.
  • (2007) Helped pass the College Cost Reduction and Access Act, the largest increase in federal student aid in 20 years. The law also made dramatic cuts in interest rates for student loans.
  • (2006) ConnPIRG helps win new law requiring that publishers disclose textbook prices to faculty
  • (2006) Student PIRGs’ New Voters Project helps register 75,000 young voters and makes 94,000 get-out-the-vote contacts to get youth across the country out to the polls
  • (2005) Joined PIRG students across the country to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars in response to Hurricane Katrina and send hundreds of volunteers to the Gulf Coast to help with rebuilding efforts
  • (2004) ConnPIRG helps win new law to require cleaner cars be sold in Connecticut
  • (2004) The Student PIRGs’ New Voters Project helps register 524,000 young voters across the country and works to turn them out to the polls
  • (2002) Statewide coalition including ConnPIRG wins cleanup of state’s dirtiest power plants
  • (2002) U.S. PIRG helps win critical Senate vote blocking drilling in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
  • (2002) U.S. PIRG efforts are instrumental in defeat of dirty energy bill
  • (2000) President Clinton announces PIRG-sponsored plan to protect 60 million acres of national forests
  • (1998) Helped pass law requiring colleges to distribute voter registration forms to students
  • (1995) Helped deliver 1.2 million petition signatures to Congress, helping stop rollback of environmental laws
  • (1990) ConnPIRG helps win law creating funding to clean up Long Island Sound
  • (1982) Passed the country’s first new car “Lemon Law” which has saved Connecticut Consumers more than $60 Million since
  • (1979) ConnPIRG helps win Connecticut Bottle Bill

Read more about our recent accomplishments here.