TexPIRG fall update

Voter registration, advocating for lower healthcare costs, and more

Clean air

staff | TPIN
Happy holidays from the team at TexPIRG!
Ted Siff

Co-founder of TexPIRG, Board Member of TexPIRG Education Fund

As the year winds down, we wanted to give you a quick update on TexPIRG’s work this fall. From registering voters, to educating Texans about new clean energy tax credits, to building support for medical cost transparency, we’ve been busy.

We registered Texas students to vote

TexPIRG volunteers register students at UT Austin to votePhoto by Staff | TPIN

TexPIRG Students has been hard at work registering voters at the UT Austin campus this fall. Our student volunteers registered 222 students to vote and are gearing up for more this spring.

We alerted parents to dangerous toys

Congressman Lloyd Doggett joins TexPIRG for the release of our annual “Trouble in Toyland” reportPhoto by Staff | TPIN

TexPIRG Education Fund released the 38th edition of our Trouble in Toyland report, which looked at safety concerns with “smart toys” – toys with microphones, cameras, connectivity, location trackers, poor security and more. In addition to smart toys,this year’s report looked at several low-tech threats, including water beads, button batteries and recalled and counterfeit toys for sale. This week, Target, Walmart and Amazon announced they are suspending sales of water beads amid safety concerns for children.

We advocated for healthcare price transparency

PIRG's Patricia Kelmar testifying before Congress

TexPIRG’s Patricia Kelmar testifying before Congress about high health costsPhoto by TPIN | Public Domain

The House approved the Lower Costs, More Transparency Act this month. The bill increases hospital price transparency and requires site-neutral payments so patients get the same treatment for the same price regardless of the setting. Ahead of the vote, TexPIRG and the Texas Employers for Affordable Health Care sent letters to the Texas Congressional delegation in support of the bill.

We pushed for quieter, green energy lawn equipment

TexPIRG Comms. Manager Kian Zozobrado following a news conference calling for electric lawn equipment.Photo by Staff | TPIN

In October, TexPIRG Education Fund released Lawn Care Goes Electric, a new report which documented how polluting and noisy gasoline-powered lawn and garden equipment are and how going electric could do a lot more than make our yards look better. We were joined by Austin City Councilman Ryan Alter, a representative from outdoor power equipment manufacturer Stihl, and Samuel Crowson, co-founder of Tarrytown Turf at an Austin press conference.

We educated on incentives for clean energy initiatives in schools

Photo by Staff | TPIN

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act provide historic levels of funding for clean energy initiatives, including for schools TexPIRG invited two education professionals and two Department of Energy employees to discuss incentives and support available for schools looking to invest in green energy initiatives on their campuses. Watch the webinar here.

We spoke out against highway boondoggles

Interstate 10 through downtown El PasoPhoto by Eric Enders | CC-BY-SA-2.0

The eighth edition of our Highway Boondoggles report featured for the first time the proposed expansion of 1-10 through El Paso. The proposed $750 million project would potentially require the demolition of up to 30 residential and commercial buildings while potentially worsening congestion instead of alleviating it. We worked with El Paso County Commissioner David Stout to release the report, securing coverage on El Paso’s Fox affiliate.

Happy Holidays!


Ted Siff

Co-founder of TexPIRG, Board Member of TexPIRG Education Fund