Illinois Public Interest Research Group (Illinois PIRG) is a non-profit organization that is part of the state PIRG organizations. It works on a variety of political activities, including childhood obesity, reducing the interest on student loans, and closing tax loopholes.[1][2]

In the United States, Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs) are non-profit organizations that employ grassroots organizing, direct advocacy, investigative journalism, and litigation to affect public policy.[3]


Illinois PIRG was founded in 1987, and has offices in Chicago, Springfield, IL, and a national lobbying office in Washington, D.C. called US PIRG.[4]

The PIRGs emerged in the early 1970s on U.S. college campuses. The PIRG model was proposed in the book Action for a Change by Ralph Nader and Donald Ross.[5] Among other early accomplishments, the PIRGs were responsible for much of the Container Container Deposit Legislation in the United States, also known as "bottle bills."[6][7]

Notable members and alumni

Phil Radford, environmental leader
Phil Radford, environmental leader

Affiliate organizations


  1. ^ "Illinois Public Interest Research Group". Retrieved August 25, 2013.
  2. ^ "House Approves Lower Rate on Student Loans". Retrieved August 25, 2013.
  3. ^ "U.S. PIRG: About Us". Retrieved October 8, 2012.
  4. ^ "In the Matter of Third Periodic Review of the Commission's Rules and Policies Affecting the Conversion To Digital Television, Comments of Illinois PIRG"". Benton Foundation. Retrieved 2013-08-23.
  5. ^ Nader, Ralph; Donald Ross (1972). Action for a Change: A Student's Manual for Public Interest Organizing. New York: Grossman Publishers.
  6. ^ "PIRG Backs "Bottle Bill"". Boston College. Retrieved 2013-08-23.
  7. ^ "Bottle Bill Beverage Containers Recycling Program"". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved 2013-08-23.
  8. ^ "Phillip D. Radford, Greenpeace, Executive Director". Fund for the Public Interest. Archived from the original on 2013-06-01. Retrieved 2013-07-19.