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Public Citizen
Type Nonprofit organization
Founded 1971 by Ralph Nader in the US
Headquarters Washington D.C.
Staff Robert Weissman, President
Robert C. Fellmeth, Foundation Chair)
Jason Adkins, Inc. Chair
Joan Claybrook, emeritus President
Area served Nationwide (US)
Focus Consumer advocacy
Method Research, lobbying, litigation and appeals, media attention, direct-appeal campaigns

Public Citizen is a non-partisan, politically left-of-center, non-profit public interest advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C., with a branch in Austin, Texas. Public Citizen was founded by Ralph Nader in 1971,[1] but in the aftermath of the 2000 presidential election[2] it sought to publicly dissociate itself from Mr. Nader.


Lobbying Efforts

Public Citizen advocates for the public interest before all three branches of the United States federal government. Its six divisions include: Auto Safety; Congress Watch; Energy; Global Trade Watch; the Health Research Group; and Public Citizen Litigation Group, a nationally prominent public interest law firm founded by Alan Morrison and known for its Supreme Court and appellate practice.[3]

Broadly speaking, Public Citizen favors robust corporate accountability and strong government regulation, particularly in the areas of transport,[4] healthcare,[5] and nuclear power,[6]. The organizations priorities range from campaign finance reform to drug and auto safety and financial reform. The unifying theme is an effort to curb the impact of corporate power on American democracy.

Public Citizen's pro-regulatory stance has been criticized by business groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.[7], as well as by free-market non-profit institutes such as the Cato Institute, among others.


Public Citizen is funded by dues and contributions from its members and supporters, foundation grants, and publication sales;[8] it does not accept government or corporate funds.[9]

See also


External links

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