Sustainable Cities

It is estimated that by 2050, more than 70 percent of the world's population will be living in a city. It's time for America's largest cities to adopt a sustainable and responsible vision for the future. 

Building the Cities of Tomorrow

Imagine cities that are healthy places to live, where our resources are used responsibly, where the environment is protected, and where citizens are actively engaged in their communities.

MASSPIRG Education Fund is working to build these cities of tomorrow.

It's estimated that by 2050, more than 70 percent of the world’s population is estimated to be living in a city. More and more Americans are looking to cities to meet their needs in a way that’s sustainable, equitable and beneficial to the world. As more of us live and work in urban areas, we have the opportunity to make them leaders in sustainable development.

We envision cities:

  • With 21st century transportation options. For decades, cities have focused on moving cars, not people. It’s time to focus on getting people where they need to go by giving them more and better options to get around. These options include expanded public transit, better biking alternatives, walkable neighborhoods and high-performance intercity trains.
  • Powered by 100% clean and renewable energy. As the threat of climate change continues to grow, the best way to fight it is to keep fossil fuels in the ground and transition to 100% renewable energy. By encouraging big box stores to switch to solar power, promoting residential solar options, increasing the number of charging stations for electric vehicles, and raising energy efficiency standards for commercial and residential buildings we can easily meet this goal.
  • Where food systems are healthy, sustainable and locally-sourced. We all eat. But the choices we make with our food can help or hurt our communities and our environment. By sourcing food that is raised sustainably, responsibly and low in carbon, we can boost our local economies, move away from factory farming, and create healthier communities.
  • With clean water and responsible waste management. Communities across the country face risks from polluted water systems and waste. Aging pipes, sewage overflows and toxins that travel from roads to our water supply can harm our health and the environment. We need policymakers to make sure everyone has access to healthy water by creating strong policies to repair aging infrastructure and addressing toxins in our water supply. We can also make sure our waste is disposed of responsibly and reduce our waste whenever possible. 
  • Where citizens are involved in their government and their community. When we are active and engaged in our communities, we can push for more sustainable policies and hold elected leaders accountable. To ensure all citizens have the opportunity to participate in their community, cities should make voting as easy as possible, champion open access to government data and level the playing field for small donors.  

 

Issue updates

News Release | MASSPIRG | Democracy

Press Statement on Governor Baker’s Veto of Early Voting Appropriation

From our earliest civics classes, we learn that when a bill becomes a law it must be enacted and enforced. This is a basic tenet of government, but it has been compromised by Governor Charlie Baker’s cut to the early voting budget. 

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Food

US SENATE PASSES SHAM GMO FOOD LABELING BILL

On July 7, 2016, the U.S. Senate voted 63-30 to pass an industry backed, GMO labeling bill, S. 764, that makes a mockery of consumers’ right to know. The bill must be approved by the U.S. House and the President before becoming law.

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News Release | MASSPIRG Education Fund | Antibiotics

Activists Celebrate National Fried Chicken Day by Calling on KFC to Save Antibiotics

On National Fried Chicken Day, volunteers and staff with MASSPIRG and U.S. PIRG, network of state affiliates, held thirty events in front of KFCs across the country to call on the Colonel of fried chicken to switch to serving chicken raised without routine antibiotics. 

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Democracy

Massachusetts Election Modernization Coalition Statement on Early Voting Costs

In response to a Politico Massachusetts article, released yesterday, titled Cities and towns fret over costs of early voting,” the Massachusetts Election Modernization Coalition has released a statement clarifying our position.

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Food

Taco Bell Moves Away From Chicken Raised on Medically Important Antibiotics

Taco Bell just announced that it will no longer serve chicken raised on medically important antibiotics in U.S. locations starting in 2017. The announcement comes amid widespread consumer demand and concern from the medical community over the overuse of antibiotics on livestock and poultry. Taco Bell’s announcement will put significant market pressure on the meat industry to stop overusing antibiotics and should set an example for its sister brands KFC and Pizza Hut to follow. 

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News Release | MASSPIRG

NEW REPORT: MA Receives "A" in Annual Report on Transparency of Government Spending


Massachusetts receives an “A” when it comes to online government spending transparency, according to “Following the Money 2016: How the 50 States Rate in Providing Online Access to Government Spending Data,” the seventh annual report of its kind by MASSPIRG Education Fund.

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Media Hit | Democracy

Remove voter barrier, establish automatic registration

The Feb. 10th deadline to register to vote in the Massachusetts state primary has passed, leaving many eligible voters, once again, out of the democratic process.

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Media Hit | Public Health, Food

Will Yum! Brands Commit to Better Antibiotic Stewardship Policies?

"Despite these successes, we need to re-double our efforts to counter new threats from superbugs that increasingly diminish the effectiveness of antibiotics. We will continue to ramp up our consumer awareness and advocacy campaigns to ensure that the superbugs don't win."

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News Release | MASSPIRG Education Fund | Food

Consumers Call on KFC to Help Save Antibiotics and Protect Public Health

Today staff and volunteers of the Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group Education Fund (MASSPIRG) held an event at a KFC restaurant in Dorchester to announce a campaign calling on KFC to stop selling chicken produced with the routine use of antibiotics. The event in Boston was part of a national campaign launch initiated with a delivery of a letter to KFC, signed by over 82 public interest groups representing millions of consumers that urge the company to commit to a strong antibiotics policy. 

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Report | MASSPIRG Education Fund | Higher Ed

Fixing the Broken Textbook Market

Textbooks costs have skyrocketed over the past 10 years, becoming one of the largest out-of-pocket expense for students. A new report by MASSPIRG Education fund and MASSPIRG Students looks at a new affordable alternative: open-source textbooks.

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Report | MASSPIRG EDUCATION FUND | Consumer Protection

Credit Cards, Consumer Complaints

Massachusetts consumers file more complaints about Capital One  than any other credit card company, according to a report released today by MASSPIRG Education Fund.  Complaints included billing errors, id theft and fraud, and credit reporting among others.  

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Report | MASSPIRG Education Fund and Frontier Group | Transportation

Transportation in Transition

Americans’ transportation habits have changed. The average American drives 7.6 percent fewer miles today than when per-capita driving peaked in 2004.

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Report | MASSPIRG EDUCATION FUND | Consumer Protection

Trouble in Toyland 2013

In our 28th annual toy safety report, we look at toxic toys, choke hazards, very strong magnets, and excessively loud toys. Parents and caregivers should read the report to avoid common hazards when shopping for toys.

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Report | MASSPIRG EDUCATION FUND | Consumer Protection

Big Credit Bureaus, Big Mistakes: The CFPB’s Consumer Complaint Database Gets Real Results for Victims of Credit Reporting Errors

New report finds that the most complained-about credit reporting agency in Massachusetts is Experian.

The report used data collected by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s public Consumer Complaints Database, which was created to help consumers resolve problems with their credit reports. The report compared complaints against the three nationwide credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion), commonly referred to as credit bureaus, who were together responsible for 96% of all complaints about credit reporting.

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Blog Post | Transportation

PIRG's Phineas Baxandall to speak at the Harvard Kennedy School | Kirstie Pecci

“Transportation and the New Generation: Is the Driving Boom Over?" 

Wed, Nov 20 4:30-6:00pm Taubman 401 (HKS)

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Blog Post | Budget, Financial Reform, Tax

You're Invited to "We're not Broke" | Deirdre Cummings

MASSPIRG Invites you to a special screening of the new movie We're Not Broke
Thursday, Oct. 18  -  6:30 PM - Harvard Kennedy School
Wiener Auditorium
, Ground Floor of the Taubman Building, 79 JFK Street, Cambridge

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