The Maryland Public Interest Research Group (MaryPIRG) is a left-of-center state-based activist organization that was established in 1974. 1 It is a member of the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs) under the U.S. Public Interest Research Group.
MaryPIRG deals with general left-of-center issues like college costs and environmentalist issues.iv
MaryPIRG was recently involved with fundraising and activism for the Open Textbook Grant program that passed by the U.S Congress in 2018. 2 This program awards millions of dollars in grants that encourage and expand the use of textbooks by helping students reduce the costs of obtaining them. It was renewed for two additional years since its passing and $6 million in new grants will be distributed in the 2020 Fiscal Year. 3
MaryPIRG also supported the Zero Waste Plan, a strategy that claims to “eliminate waste disposal in landfills owned by the state of Maryland by the year 2040.” However, Emily Scarr, the state director of the MaryPIRG, had a disagreement with the plan when it came to burning trash for energy as she believed it was “problematic.” 4
Emily Scarr is the State Director of Maryland PIRG. She is responsible for directing strategy, communications, organizational development, legislative advocacy and research for the organization. She further sits on the steering committees for Marylanders for Open Government the Maryland Pesticide Action Network. Scarr also sits on the executive committees of various groups such as the Maryland Fair Elections Coalition, the Maryland Tobacco-Free Kids Coalition, and the Maryland Campaign to Keep Antibiotics Working. She was recently involved with public financing in Baltimore City, Howard Country, Montgomery County, Prince George’s County; the Family and Firefighter Protection Act, an environmentalist proposal to ban certain chemical flame retardants;5 and the Maryland Keep Antibiotics Effective Act, an environmentalist proposal restricting antibiotics use. 6
- “Maryland Public Interest Research Group.” Manta.com. Accessed April 25, 2020. https://www.manta.com/c/mm33vq6/maryland-public-interest-research-group#details.
- “Frequently Asked Questions.” Maryland PIRG Students. Last modified March 22, 2019. https://marylandpirgstudents.org/frequently-asked-questions/
- “Open Textbook Pilot Grant Program.” SPARC. Last modified February 5, 2019. https://sparcopen.org/our-work/open-textbook-pilot/.
- “The Policy Tracker: Energy and Environment: March 2015.” Ballotpedia. Accessed April 25, 2020. https://ballotpedia.org/The_Policy_Tracker:_Energy_and_Environment:_March_2015.
- “Statement: Family and Firefighter Protection Act Becomes Law.” Maryland PIRG, May 7, 2020. https://marylandpirg.org/news/mdp/statement-family-and-firefighter-protection-act-becomes-law.
- “Emily Scarr.” Maryland PIRG | Standing Up To Powerful Interests. Accessed July 4, 2020. https://marylandpirg.org/staff/mdp/emily-scarr.