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Abe Scarr
Illinois PIRG State Director

Author: Abe Scarr

Illinois PIRG State Director

(312) 544-4433 ext. 228

Started on staff: 2002
B.A., Haverford College

Abe Scarr is the director of Illinois PIRG. He is a lead advocate in the Capitol and in the media for stronger consumer protections, utility accountability, and good government. In 2017, Abe led a coalition to pass legislation to implement automatic voter registration in Illinois, winning unanimous support in the Illinois General Assembly for the bill. In 2019, he co-authored "Tragedy of Errors," a report documenting decades of mismanagement in the Peoples Gas pipe replacement program, and has built a large coalition to end wasteful gas utility spending. Before moving to Illinois in 2014, Abe worked as the state director for ConnPIRG, where he helped pass a landmark solid waste and recycling law. He also serves as a board member for the Consumer Federation of America. Abe lives in Chicago, where he enjoys biking, cooking and tending his garden. 

Government transparency checks corruption, promotes fiscal responsibility and allows for greater, more meaningful participation in our democratic system.

Illinois has a well earned reputation for political corruption. In fact, former independent Chicago Alderman and University of Illinois Chicago Professor Dick Simpson recently published a book, Corrupt Illinois, documenting the history of public "corruption, cronyism, and criminality" in Illinois.

But our past does not have to define our future. Illinois has made a number of reforms to increase government transparency and accountability and can still, of course, do more. In the last legislative session, Illinois PIRG worked with good government partners and Attorney General Lisa Madigan to beat back one attempt to weaken the state's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) - but unfortunately, a seperate bill weekening FOIA passed over Governor Quinn's veto.

This legislative session, we are working with an even broader coalition to pass legislation increasing government transparency and accountability, and to stop bills that would move Illinois in the wrong direction. We've put together an agenda, which includes bills relating to civic education, FOIA, the Open Meetings Act, and citizen privacy.

You can read it here

Abe Scarr
Illinois PIRG State Director

Author: Abe Scarr

Illinois PIRG State Director

(312) 544-4433 ext. 228

Started on staff: 2002
B.A., Haverford College

Abe Scarr is the director of Illinois PIRG. He is a lead advocate in the Capitol and in the media for stronger consumer protections, utility accountability, and good government. In 2017, Abe led a coalition to pass legislation to implement automatic voter registration in Illinois, winning unanimous support in the Illinois General Assembly for the bill. In 2019, he co-authored "Tragedy of Errors," a report documenting decades of mismanagement in the Peoples Gas pipe replacement program, and has built a large coalition to end wasteful gas utility spending. Before moving to Illinois in 2014, Abe worked as the state director for ConnPIRG, where he helped pass a landmark solid waste and recycling law. He also serves as a board member for the Consumer Federation of America. Abe lives in Chicago, where he enjoys biking, cooking and tending his garden.