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NYRA Freedom Volume 4, Issue 1

Written by NYRA Mar 29, 2011

NYRA Freedom

ISSN 1933-5229

Volume 4, Issue 1

January 8, 2004

Contents:

Introduction
NYRA Gains 501c3 Status
NYRA Receives Large Loan
Supreme Court Rules For Youth Rights
Stratford Principal Resigns
CYRA Reformed
Koroknay-Palicz to Appear on NPR
Kucinich Supports Lowering the Voting Age
News From the Web
Conclusion

Introduction

The month of December, and the beginning part of January, have been great for NYRA and Youth Rights as a whole. NYRA’s financial future looks more promising than ever, the supreme court recently struck down a ban on minor contributions, and Canadian Youth will soon once again have an organization fighting for their rights. As NYRA members begin the new year, you should raise your heads high with hope and optimism about the year to come. 2004 will be a defining year for youth rights. NYRA will emerge as a large, national player. This is the end of the beginning.

NYRA Gains 501c3 Status

When the need for a higher level of funding first became apparent, NYRA’s first instinct was to apply for 501c3 status, which would make it easier for us to receive grants. If this did not work, we would move to our back up plan, a fund raising concert. Fortunately, NYRA appealed, and just recently, obtained c3 status. This is indeed, the best of both worlds. The road to c3 has been a long one, and it is a great joy to finally have a tax status that allows us to receive tax deductible donations.

NYRA, as you may already know, was first incorporated over five years ago. The 501c3 forms have been the cause of a great deal of anxiety for a number of people. Frustrated at the difficulty of this task, Alex Koroknay-Palicz decided in July that he would fill out the forms himself. In November, we received a disappointing response from the IRS, which lead to the Executive committee’s decision to apply for c4 status. However, the IRS said that they had not received any documents from us, and were about to close our file. Alex had put the wrong address on the envelope. Fortunately, a woman from the IRS was kind enough to let us appeal for c3 again, without running the risk of losing c4. Sure enough, due to the tremendous work of Alex Koroknay-Palicz and Johnathan McClure, our c3 status was final approved.

This is truly great news, it means NYRA will probably receive thousands of dollars in grants. If anyone has experience writing grant applications please contact NYRA.

NYRA Receives Large Loan

Not long ago, NYRA members were posed with a $55,000 dollar question. $55,000 dollars was the amount of money that was needed for the benefit concert that is to pay for a full time office and staff. Recently, Margo and Bob Koroknay-Palicz have provided a generous answer to that question through a $50,000 dollar loan.

Due to their generosity, NYRA will now be able to remain a viable organization, through the work of two full time employees with a proper office. If the fund raiser is a success, NYRA will be able to function on a much higher level, doing the kind of things that in the past were barely imaginable.

Supreme Court Rules for Youth Rights

The US Supreme Court dealt politically active youth a great victory by striking down the congressional ban on political contributions by people under 18. Using no uncertain terms the Supreme Court stated the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act “which forbids individuals ’17 years old or younger’ to make contributions to candidates and political parties violates the First Amendment rights of minors.”

The majority opinion, written by Chief Justice Request, applied a “heightened scrutiny” standard to the issue and found the Government did not make a strong enough case to withstand that level of scrutiny. The Supreme Court overturned this unconstitutional infringement of the rights of youth by a vote of 9-0. Justice Thomas concurred separately, saying “there is not an iota of evidence supporting the Government’s asserted interests.”

NYRA is overjoyed to see this victory for youth rights affirmed by the highest court in the land. The Court even cited Tinker vs. Des Moines, proving that decision is not dead but is still very relevant. The full 300 page decision can be read here: “http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/03pdf/02-1674.pdf” The relevant parts are on page 148 and 149 of the .pdf.

Stratford Principal Resigns

Former Stratford High principal and notorious enemy of Youth Rights, George McCrackin, resigned from his job as principal last week. McCrackin had been under relentless pressure ever since he ordered the police to conduct an armed drug raid, and failed to find any drugs. Dedicated people like NYRA member/SSDP board member Dan Goldman traveled to South Carolina to rally support against McCrackin. This is a great symbolic victory, as McCrackin had become “public enemy number one” to many people in the Youth Rights movement and beyond.

CYRA Reformed

NYRA is the foremost organization working for Youth Rights in the United States, but what about Canada? A couple years ago the answer to that question would have been “CYRA, the Canadian Youth Rights Organization.” Unfortunately, that organization became defunct, and the Youth Rights movement in Canada came to an end.

More recently, however, Stacey Penthor has pledged to revive CYRA. She is currently looking for a web site, and has found a board of directors and a Vice President. Stacey is a promising individual, and this is a great thing for young people in Canada. If you think you can help, Please email Stacey Penthor: menulis1@hotmail.com.

Koroknay-Palicz to Appear on NPR

NYRA President and Executive Director Alex Koroknay-Palicz is scheduled to appear on Wisconsin Public Radio this coming Tuesday to discuss the voting age. Alex is always an insightful and articulate defender of Youth Rights, and all NYRA members are encouraged to tune in between 7-8 AM eastern. You can listen online at www.wpr.org

Kucinich Supports Lower Voting Age

Children’s Press Line, caught some of the democratic presidential candidates after a debate. CPL’s reporters asked the candidates a couple of vital questions concerning America’s Youth. Perhaps most importantly, the candidates were asked what they thought of lowering the voting age. When asked for his opinion on the issue of the voting age, Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich had this to say: “It’s time to introduce legislation into the Congress for that. It’s a good idea.” This is a major victory for Youth Rights. A well known congressman and presidential candidate supports lowering the voting age. Perhaps equally exciting, the other candidates asked, were not overtly hostile to the idea. While NYRA cannot and does not support any political candidate, Congressman Kucinich is clearly in favor of lowering the voting age, our primary goal. The full story can be read here: http://www.cplmedia.org/story.php?story=1050

News From the Web

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/news/archive/2004/01/05/national1804EST0681.DTL – Principal at drug-raid high school in S.C. resigns

http://www.cnn.com/2003/SHOWBIZ/Music/12/12/people.aaron.carter.ap/index.html – Aaron Carter Seeks Emancipation

http://www.news.scotsman.com/politics.cfm?id=1345622003 – Blair Floats the Idea of Giving 16 Year Olds the Right to vote

http://www.wbbm780.com/asp/ViewMoreDetails.asp?ID=31267 – Chicago High School to Require All Students to Get Drug Tested

http://www.jsonline.com/news/state/nov03/184863.asp – Assembly OKs Parental Access to Library Records

http://www.jsonline.com/news/wauk/nov03/183108.asp – School Suspends Teen For Rap Lyric

Conclusion

While the past month or so has been more than promising, we must not forget that there are still a few difficult days ahead. We got a loan, and we got our c3, but we are still a couple thousand dollars short of our fund raising goal. Every NYRA member needs to make a new years resolution to help make NYRA a success. By donating a few bucks or hours, by making sure the concert is a success, or whatever else needs to be done to ensure that NYRA continues to be a viable organization that makes real progress in the arena of Youth Rights.

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