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About Us

Corporations have their lobbyists in Washington, D.C. The people need advocates too.

Public Citizen serves as the people’s voice in the nation’s capital. Since our founding in 1971, we have delved into an array of areas, but our work on each issue shares an overarching goal: To ensure that all citizens are represented in the halls of power.

For four decades, we have proudly championed citizen interests before Congress, the executive branch agencies and the courts. We have successfully challenged the abusive practices of the pharmaceutical, nuclear and automobile industries, and many others. We are leading the charge against undemocratic trade agreements that advance the interests of mega-corporations at the expense of citizens worldwide.

As the federal government wrestles with critical issues – fallout from the global economic crisis, health care reform, climate change and so much more – Public Citizen is needed now more than ever. We are the countervailing force to corporate power. We fight on behalf of all Americans – to make sure your government works for you.

We have five policy groups: our Congress Watch division, the Energy Program, Global Trade Watch, the Health Research Group and our Litigation Group. Learn more about them here.

Public Citizen is a nonprofit organization that does not participate in partisan political activities or endorse any candidates for elected office. We accept no government or corporate money – we rely solely on foundation grants, publication sales and support from our 300,000 members. Please support our valuable work.

Public Citizen has two offices in Washington, D.C., and one in Austin, Texas. Explore the rest of this section of our website to learn more about our accomplishments, review career opportunities, and download annual reports.

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

Copyright © 2014 Public Citizen. Some rights reserved. Non-commercial use of text and images in which Public Citizen holds the copyright is permitted, with attribution, under the terms and conditions of a Creative Commons License. This Web site is shared by Public Citizen Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation. Learn More about the distinction between these two components of Public Citizen.


Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation

 

Together, two separate corporate entities called Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation, Inc., form Public Citizen. Both entities are part of the same overall organization, and this Web site refers to the two organizations collectively as Public Citizen.

Although the work of the two components overlaps, some activities are done by one component and not the other. The primary distinction is with respect to lobbying activity. Public Citizen, Inc., an IRS § 501(c)(4) entity, lobbies Congress to advance Public Citizen’s mission of protecting public health and safety, advancing government transparency, and urging corporate accountability. Public Citizen Foundation, however, is an IRS § 501(c)(3) organization. Accordingly, its ability to engage in lobbying is limited by federal law, but it may receive donations that are tax-deductible by the contributor. Public Citizen Inc. does most of the lobbying activity discussed on the Public Citizen Web site. Public Citizen Foundation performs most of the litigation and education activities discussed on the Web site.

You may make a contribution to Public Citizen, Inc., Public Citizen Foundation, or both. Contributions to both organizations are used to support our public interest work. However, each Public Citizen component will use only the funds contributed directly to it to carry out the activities it conducts as part of Public Citizen’s mission. Only gifts to the Foundation are tax-deductible. Individuals who want to join Public Citizen should make a contribution to Public Citizen, Inc., which will not be tax deductible.

 

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