How is it possible?

America is the richest country the world has ever seen. And yet dissatisfaction is rising and life expectancy is dropping. Is this just inequality? Or could it be that, in the name of producing and consuming more “stuff,” we’ve lost sight, as a society, of what really matters — including health, wellbeing and a clean environment? 

We’re hiring staff to spotlight real problems and find new solutions. How can we make more stuff reusable, repairable and recyclable, instead of single-use and designed for obsolescence. Get decision makers to choose conservation and renewable energy over fossil fuels. Build political power behind clean air and water over short-term profits and lower costs. Shift economic incentives to grow food that nurtures us as well as the land, with fewer pesticides, antibiotics and other quick fixes.

Leise Jones | TPIN
Lucas Gutterman, Director of PIRG's Designed to Last Campaign, calls on Google to extend the life of expiring Chromebooks

Is a job with PIRG right for you?

Here are 10 ways to know for sure.

1. You think America’s problems are less about equality and justice, and more about threats to our health, environment and wellbeing.

2. You want to make sure powerful special interests, who too often dominate our politics, don’t stand in the way of the progress we need to make.

3. You believe that too much attention is being paid to the quantity of stuff America produces and consumes, and not enough to the quality of our lives. You want to work on problems like stopping the overuse of antibiotics in agribusiness, which is giving rise to superbugs and perhaps the next pandemic; tackling America’s obsession with single-use, throwaway items that create mountains of plastic pollution that can persist for hundreds of years; building a future where our health care system costs less and improves health more.

Advocates gathered outside a Wendy's to release a scorecard grading corporate policies to stop the overuse of antibiotics.
Robert Banez | TPIN
Abe Scarr, state director for Illinois PIRG, and other PIRG advocates call on Wendy’s to step up in the fight against antibiotic resistance.

4. You’re ready to work with anyone, Democrat, Republican or independent, who agrees with our positions and supports sensible solutions. You can see yourself partnering with decision-makers from across the political spectrum: U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa (a conservative Republican) on Right to Repair; the anti-tax National Taxpayers Union on wasteful and harmful government spending; or former U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (a moderate Republican from Tennessee) on surprise medical bills.

5. You care more about winning concrete progress on the issues than about taking an “intersectional” approach — meaning, you don’t insist that people agree with you on every issue before you’ll work with them on one issue.

6. You’re ready to organize, and to spend lots of time doing it. You know that going out and winning hearts and minds, one by one, on these issues is hard work, and you’re up for the challenge. You’re ready to pound the pavement, get the word out through the media, build coalitions of community and corporate leaders, and lobby decision-makers.

CBS News
PIRG President Faye Park warns consumers about the dangers of asbestos in make-up being sold to children.

7. You believe in the power of state- and local-level progress. Instead of getting discouraged about gridlock or inaction in Congress, you recognize the potential in a range of other pathways to change. You’re strategic — you know that a victory in one community, state, courtroom or industry often leads to victory in another, and another, and another.

8. You want to serve the public and take pride in the fact that your work is funded by small individual contributions, rather than a few wealthy donors. You take the responsibility of being careful (one might say cheap) with donors’ money seriously, especially when it comes to your own spending and salary.

Young woman talks with man about her organization's issues and man signs up to become a member
Johnathan Comer | TPIN
Canvassers with PIRG help recruit the members and raise the small donor contributions that fund our work.

9. You’re passionate about making change, with all the hard work and long hours that entails. And you hold your work to a high standard — given the choice between an easy victory that gets rolled back next election and a hard victory that withstands changes in the political climate, you’ll take the hard one every time.

10. You can absorb training and then, as the saying goes, take the ball and run with it. You hold yourself accountable to your goals and you don’t have to be told to do what it takes to achieve them. And you’re willing to put in the time and effort required to gain more of a say in what your team does and how it’s done.

Ready to apply? View our available positions.

Learn more about our network

PIRG and its state affiliates are part of The Public Interest Network, which operates and supports organizations committed to a shared vision of a better world and a strategic approach to social change. We work to address problems our society can’t afford to ignore — defending the quality of the Earth’s air and water, preserving a livable climate, transforming our transportation and energy systems, assuring a safe and abundant food system, and protecting consumers in the marketplace.

Throughout The Public Interest Network, we believe that a clear vision, commonsense ideas, a fact-driven case for action, and the power of bringing people together are the necessary ingredients to any successful effort to solve society’s problems. Things you should know about our network when you apply.