As 2008 draws to a close, the dedicated activists in NYRA’s New York City chapter are working hard to finish the year and start out 2009
with a bang for youth rights. Several major projects are in the works,
including some ambitious plans for the near future that could generate
a great deal of attention, funds and action for the cause.
The chapter plans to use video to help organize action on a major
student rights issue at Stuyvesant High School, one of the most
competitive high schools in the country. The New York City school
system prohibits students from bringing electronics, including cell
phones, to school, and in an attempt to enforce this policy Stuyvesant
is installing metal detectors to catch students with cell phones. The
metal detectors will be installed in late January. NYRA-NYC plans to
interview students outside the school about their views, using the
video to mobilize student action at Stuyvesant and throughout the NYC
In addition to student rights issues, the chapter is progressing on
other fronts as well. NYRA-NYC president Ana Hevesi is in the early
stages of planning another public debate among experts about the legal
drinking age, similar to the one held recently at Manhattanville
College, collaborating with Manhattanville College president Richard
Berman. Plans are to hold the debate, to feature prominent experts in
the field, on a college campus in New York City this coming spring.
The chapter plans to focus recruiting efforts on city campuses in the
months before the debate and to lobby area colleges to sign the
Amethyst Initiative, Choose Responsibility’s statement of support for
a public debate on the drinking age.
NYRA’s activists in New York City are generating a flurry of youth
rights activity, working with young people, youth organizations and
NYRA partners to bring about real change for youth. With the
determination and passion for the cause demonstrated by NYRA-NYC,
there is no doubt that they will succeed.