MPIRG is a grassroots, student-directed nonprofit that empowers students and engages the community to take action in the public interest.
MPIRG collectively involves over 300 consistent student members throughout the state and over 15,000 community members via the work of our phone and field canvasses. These members help garner support for our statewide campaigns as well as other campus and community initiatives that work for social and environmental justice. MPIRG has had a busy 40 years of work throughout the state, which has led to numerous accomplishments. The organization fought for six years to pass the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Act, which created the nation's sole paddle-only wilderness area in 1978. MPIRG also banned the dumping of low-level radioactive waste in landfills and incinerators in 1990 as well as drafting and passing the Minnesota Pollution Prevention Act to prevent toxic air emissions. In 2006, MPIRG worked with the Better Ballot Campaign to bring Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) to Minneapolis city elections and was passed as a ballot referendum by 65%. Additionally, in the past eleven years, MPIRG has raised more than $120,000 for area women’s shelters and advocacy programs through its annual productions of Eve Ensler's "The Vagina Monologues". In this past election cycle, MPIRG students and staff registered over 16,000 young people to vote and ran a five-day Get Out the Vote campaign focused on youth voters between the ages of 18 and 29. This was the largest youth voter engagement drive in the state and was present on 14 campuses. This work resulted in over 20,000 contacts to young registered voters. Our most recent legislative triumph includes the phasing out of Bisphenol-A (BPA) from children's products in Minnesota, as signed into state law by Governor Pawlenty in May 2009. This campaign further establishes MPIRG’s role as a leader in consumer rights and safety and also as an effective partner in the arena of public health advocacy. Since the beginning of July of 2008, MPIRG’s Community Organizing staff has mobilized nearly 28,000 metro residents in support of the ban on dangerous chemicals in children’s products, a large part of why the bill was finally passed. Following this success, President Obama recently announced his intentions to adopt national clean cars standards that would reduce global warming emissions from vehicles by approximately 30% by 2016. This past legislative session, MPIRG advocated for reduced global warming emissions from vehicles with our nonprofit partners at the Minnesota Environmental Partnership and the Clean Energy Minnesota coalition. In the end, this pressure, along with the work of 13 others states, was credited as the compelling reason the auto industry was willing to compromise on the adoption of a national clean cars standard. By supporting MPIRG, you are investing in tomorrow by helping us to train student leaders who will graduate college with the skills and knowledge to become long-term leaders and decision-makers. The history of former MPIRG’ers who have gone on to prominent advocacy and public leadership roles is strong: former Senate Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller, Senator John Marty, former House Minority Leader Matt Entenza, Jon Pratt, Executive Director of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, Marcia Avner, former Public Policy Director of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, Lea Schuster, former Executive Director of Transit for Livable Communities, Monica Meyer, Executive Director of OutFront Minnesota, Jeff Blodgett, Founding Director of Wellstone Action, and more.