Non-profit

Texas Public Interest Research Group (TEXPIRG)

Website:

texpirg.org

Location:

AUSTIN, TX

Tax ID:

74-2990805

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(4)

Budget (2018):

Revenue: $107,488
Expenses: $116,018
Assets: $181,176

Formation:

1972

Type:

Left-of-center activist organization

Director:

Bay Scoggin

The Texas Public Interest Research Group (TexPIRG) is a state-based offshoot of the national U.S. Public Interest Research Group (US-PIRG) that lobbies and influences public policy in support of left-of-center causes. The PIRG model was devised by left-wing activist and 2000 Green Party Presidential candidate Ralph Nader in 1970 [1] and the Texas affiliate was founded in 1972. [2]

Though it presents itself as a neutral, “commonsense” entity, [3] TexPIRG as well as the national PIRG umbrella organization share left-wing activist priorities, including weakening voting integrity requirements, climate change, public transportation, health care regulation, and net neutrality. [4]

TexPIRG attempts to influence public policy through grassroots organizing, litigation, and media campaigns. [5] TexPIRG is also a member of the Public Interest Network, [6] which gathers organizations together to “work together on common progressive causes.” [7]

Founding and History

TexPIRG was founded in 1972 [8] as a member of the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups, which itself was founded in 1970 [9] and inspired by left-wing activist Ralph Nader. [10] PIRGs originated as college campus organizations that grew into state lobbying groups in Minnesota, Oregon, and New York, eventually expanding to 47 states, including Texas. [11] The state affiliates and federal umbrella organizations of PIRG are closely aligned, sharing nearly identical activist priorities and even the same website structure and copy. [12] The national organization, U.S. PIRG, coordinates among its 47 state affiliates to maximize the impact of its liberal advocacy efforts. [13]

Since 2017, TexPIRG has been led by Bay Scoggin, a Democratic Pary political activist and former field organizer for Organizing for America, [14] a national Democratic campaign apparatus now known as Organizing for Action (OFA) that focuses on left-of-center issues such as climate change, comprehensive immigration reform, preserving Obamacare, LGBT issues, abortion, and progressive economics. [15]

Activism

TexPIRG  focuses almost exclusively on left-of-center priorities like weakening voting integrity requirements, combatting climate change, expanding public transportation, increasing government health care regulation, and enacting “net neutrality.” [16]

TexPIRG is a member of Democracy Movement, [17] a collection of activist organizations based in Cambridge, Massachusetts that focuses on loosening laws relating to voting. [18]  Other members of Democracy Movement include left-of-center organizations like the ACLU, NAACP, and the League of Women Voters. [19] The top priorities of Democracy Movement including ending voter identification requirements, restricting the ability of states to keep up-to-date voter registration lists, expanding the franchise to felons, and expanding mail-in voting. [20] Democracy Movement also supports statehood for the District of Columbia. [21]

Environmentalist activism is another top concern of TexPIRG, which advocates “immediately and dramatically reducing fossil fuel emissions” before our society does “irrevocable damage to the planet in the coming decades.” [22] TexPIRG advocates ending the use of conventional energy and replacing it with energy produced from solar panels, wind farms, and batteries. [23] In line with these goals, TexPIRG focuses on further urbanization by increasing adoption of public transportation through use of more electric busses [24] and the creation of a subway system in Austin, Texas. [25] TexPIRG opposes highway expansion projects. [26]

TexPIRG has also taken an extreme restrictionist stance on the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly two years after the pandemic started as most states, including Texas, had lifted Covid-19 associated restrictions and as vaccines were freely and widely available, TexPIRG still advocated for six-foot social distancing and forming quarantine “pods” in order to limit social interactions to a minimal group of people. [27]

References

  1. Mark Hemingway. “Barack’s PIRG Past.” National Review. September 16, 2008. Accessed July 19, 2017. http://www.nationalreview.com/article/225685/baracks-pirg-past-mark-hemingway. ^
  2. Siff, Ted. “50 years later, TexPIRG is still going strong.” TexPIRG. February 2, 2022. Accessed February 4, 2022. http://texpirgorg.live.pubintnet-dev.org/blogs/blog/txp/50-years-later-texpirg-still-going-strong ^
  3. “About Us.” TexPIRG. Accessed April 4, 2022. https://texpirg.org/feature/txp/about-us ^
  4. “Stop Highway Boondoggles.” TexPIRG. Accessed April 4, 2022. https://texpirg.org/feature/txp/stop-highway-boondoggles ^
  5. “About Us.” TexPIRG. Accessed April 4, 2022. https://texpirg.org/feature/txp/about-us ^
  6. “About Us.” TexPIRG. Accessed April 4, 2022. https://texpirg.org/feature/txp/about-us ^
  7. Trevor LaFauci. “Before Bernie: How Ralph Nader Created a System to Exploit Young, Idealistic Progressives.” The Peoples View Blog. May 24, 2016. Accessed July 19, 2017. http://www.thepeoplesview.net/main/2016/5/24/naders-failure-how-the-public-interest-network-exploits-young-idealistic-progressives. ^
  8. Siff, Ted. “50 years later, TexPIRG is still going strong.” TexPIRG. February 2, 2022. Accessed February 4, 2022. http://texpirgorg.live.pubintnet-dev.org/blogs/blog/txp/50-years-later-texpirg-still-going-strong ^
  9. “About Us.” TexPIRG. Accessed April 4, 2022. https://texpirg.org/feature/txp/about-us ^
  10. Mark Hemingway. “Barack’s PIRG Past.” National Review. September 16, 2008. Accessed July 19, 2017. http://www.nationalreview.com/article/225685/baracks-pirg-past-mark-hemingway. ^
  11. “About Us.” US-PIRG. Accessed April 4, 2022. https://uspirg.org/feature/usp/about-us ^
  12. “About Us.” TexPIRG. Accessed April 4, 2022. https://texpirg.org/feature/txp/about-us ^
  13. “About Us.” US-PIRG. Accessed April 4, 2022. https://uspirg.org/feature/usp/about-us ^
  14. “Bay Scoggin.” LinkedIn. Accessed April 4, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/bay-scoggin-59a6a9138/ ^
  15. “Organizing for Action.” Influence Watch. Accessed April 4, 2022. https://www.influencewatch.org/non-profit/organizing-for-action/ ^
  16. “Stop Highway Boondoggles.” TexPIRG. Accessed April 4, 2022. https://texpirg.org/feature/txp/stop-highway-boondoggles ^
  17. “The Democracy Movement in Texas.” DemocracyMovement.Us. Accessed April 4, 2022. https://www.democracymovement.us/states/texas/ ^
  18.  “DemocracyMovement.Us.” Facebook. Accessed April 4, 2022. https://www.facebook.com/DemMovementUS/about/?ref=page_internal ^
  19. [1] “The Democracy Movement in Texas.” DemocracyMovement.Us. Accessed April 4, 2022. https://www.democracymovement.us/states/texas/ ^
  20. [1] “Solution.” DemocracyMovement.Us. Accessed April 4, 2022. https://www.democracymovement.us/solutions/ ^
  21. “Stand Up for D.C. Statehood.” DemocracyMovement.Us. Accessed April 4, 2022. https://www.democracymovement.us/urgent-action-3/ ^
  22. Colonnese, Aaron. “Global climate report underlines urgency of reducing emissions.” TexPIRG. August 31, 2021. Accessed April 4, 2022. http://texpirgorg.live.pubintnet-dev.org/blogs/blog/usp/global-climate-report-underlines-urgency-reducing-emissions ^
  23. “Climate Solutions.” TexPIRG. Accessed April 4, 2022. https://texpirg.org/feature/txp/climate-solutions?_ga=2.142933494.27181992.1649082205-1937785232.1649082205 ^
  24. “Electric Busses Texas.” TexPIRG. Accessed April 4, 2022. https://texpirg.org/feature/txp/electric-buses-texas ^
  25. “Vote Yes on Priop A.” TexPIRG. Accessed 4, 2022. https://texpirg.org/feature/txp/vote-yes-prop ^
  26. “Stop Highway Boondoggles.” TexPIRG. Accessed April 4, 2022. https://texpirg.org/feature/txp/stop-highway-boondoggles ^
  27. Brown, Isabel. “Another Winter During Covid-19: How to Stay Safe and Sound.” TexPIRG. January 13, 2022. Accessed April 4, 2022. http://texpirgorg.live.pubintnet-dev.org/feature/usp/another-winter-during-covid-19-how-stay-safe-and-sound ^
  See an error? Let us know!

Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: June - May
  • Tax Exemption Received: March 1, 2003

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2018 Jun Form 990EZ $107,488 $116,018 $181,176 $317,944 $0 $0 $0 $0
    2017 Jun Form 990EZ $71,349 $87,064 $123,063 $251,301 $0 $0 $0 $0
    2015 Jun Form 990EZ $51,900 $64,333 $65,134 $1,408,949 $0 $0 $0 $0
    2014 Jun Form 990EZ $94,798 $96,265 $65,199 $128,582 $0 $0 $0 $0
    2013 Jun Form 990EZ $67,946 $85,062 $74,976 $136,892 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2012 Jun Form 990EZ $85,552 $89,980 $59,406 $104,206 $0 $0 $0 $0
    2011 Jun Form 990EZ $62,414 $90,735 $55,482 $96,896 $0 $0 $0 $0

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Texas Public Interest Research Group (TEXPIRG)

    815 BRAZOS ST STE 600
    AUSTIN, TX 78701-2515