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NYRA Freedom Volume 12, Issue 1

Written by Bill Bystricky Jan 23, 2012

Contents

NYRA Action Teams Rebooted
McIntosh Returns
Lowering Hawaii’s Voting Age
California’s New NYRA Chapter
Last Month’s Mission – Successful!
This Month’s Mission: Stop the Gulags
Get Lerner’s Book On Us
DoSomething.org Wants to Fund YOU!
Calendar
Blog
News
NYRA in the News
Other News


NYRA Action Teams Rebooted

For some time, NYRA’s website has offered people the chance to join our Blog Team, our Letter-Writing Team, our Fundraising Team, our Recruiting Team, our Research Team, or our Video Team. For the last several months, however, these teams have been quiet, due partly to tech issues. Bill Bystricky, NYRA’s new Campaign Director, is now rebooting them one-by-one.

Earlier this week, the Letter-Writing Team officially launched a letter-writing campaign against behavior modification camps (AKA gulag schools). A Senate bill that would curb the worst abuses is currently stalled in committee, so NYRA activists bombarded members of that committee with emails to release the bill for a floor vote.

We wanted a listserve so Team members could share ideas, but with over 800 people already signed up, our server couldn’t handle it! So for those Letter Writing Team members who also want to help shape our future campaigns, ask questions, seek feedback on drafts, etc., we opened a Facebook group, and for those who don’t like Facebook, we’ve brought back the classic NYRA Forum Letter-Writers thread

If you haven’t joined an Action Team yet, it’s not too late. Sign up today.


McIntosh Returns

Sarah McIntosh dazzled us last summer as NYRA’s Youth Rights Fellow, so we’ve hired her back as NYRA’s first ever Outreach Director. She played an integral role in planning the 2011 Annual Meeting and in running NYRA’s chapter network. She will now continue her excellent chapter development work while building partnerships, recruiting new members, and developing new materials. She will work with Bill Bystricky and NYRA’s chapter leaders to plan and execute community-based policy and awareness campaigns.


Lowering Hawaii’s Voting Age

Our newest chapter, NYRA-Hawaii, is working to lower Hawaii’s voting age. Such a feat requires an amendment to the state constitution, but chapter leader Chace Shigemasa is ready for the challenge.

Step one: getting the state legislature to re-introduce a 2004 bill to lower the voting age to 16. Shigemasa will need support from NYRA activists in the coming months to push that bill through committee. Once passed, the people of Hawaii will vote on this amendment.

NYRA members in Hawaii, e-mail Chace Shigemasa at c.shigemasa@live.com to join NYRA-Hawaii.


California’s New NYRA Chapter

We have a new chapter in Northern California now working with NYRA’s national office to strategize voting age and curfew action campaigns in the San Francisco Bay Area. To join NYRA Bay Area, e-mail Spencer Dembner at robesdesaixtare@hotmail.com or friend NYRA Bay Area’s Facebook page.


Last Month’s Mission – Successful!

Last month we asked you to raise funds for NYRA, and once again, you did it. People sent us a portion of their income. People collected contributions from others. Thousands of dollars are now pouring in!

We don’t yet have the funding that the enemies of youth enjoy, but thanks to you, NYRA heads into 2012 ready and able to fight back.

To all who accepted last month’s mission: thank you.


This Month’s Mission: Stop the Gulags

If you are on NYRA’s Letter-Writing Team, you probably did this already, so kick back and enjoy some rest.

For everyone else: your mission this month is to support the Letter-Writing Team’s current campaign for senate bill S. 1667, the Stop Child Abuse in Residential Programs for Teens Act of 2011. This overdue legislation would end the cruelest abuses of the behavior modification industry. At the moment, however, this bill is stalled in committee. Senators in the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions need to know this bill is important to their constituents and to the American people.

The Issue:
Behavior modification camps (AKA gulag schools) lure frustrated parents into sending their children to “treatment centers” where the youth are often tortured, sometimes to the point of death. S. 1667 would require badly needed reforms such as guaranteeing the youth access to a telephone and banning programs from denying youth water, food, or medical care. More details.

Contact:
Below are the Senators on the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. If you live in one of these Senators’ states, it is vital your Senator hear from you today. After writing to your own Senator, please write to the other Senators on this Committee.

Send a polite but clear message urging them to support S. 1667 and give the full Senate a chance to vote on it.

Here is the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (Senator’s state is in parentheses). Click name for email form:

Tom Harkin (IA)
Barbara A. Mikulski (MD)
Jeff Bingaman (NM)
Patty Murray (WA)
Bernard Sanders (VT)
Robert P. Casey, Jr. (PA)
Kay R. Hagan (NC)
Jeff Merkley (OR)
Al Franken (MN)
Michael F. Bennet (CO)
Sheldon Whitehouse (RI)
Richard Blumenthal (CT)
Michael B. Enzi (WY)
Lamar Alexander (TN)
Richard Burr (NC)
Johnny Isakson (GA)
Rand Paul (KY)
Orrin G. Hatch (UT)
John McCain (AZ)
Pat Roberts (KS)
Lisa Murkowski (AK)
Mark Kirk (IL)


Get Lerner’s Book On Us

Andrew Lerner “has plain-spoken commonsense, backed by a thoughtful array of statistics, on his side…. Spirited and grounded, Lerner’s condemnation of the institutional nature of youth discrimination and plea for fairness is, quite simply, right on.”

That was Kirkus Reviews’ take on Lerner’s new book “Thank You For Being Young.” But somehow Kirkus Reviews missed the best part: you can get the e-book free.


DoSomething.org Wants to Fund YOU!

Dosomething.org is offering grants to five finalists, 25 and younger, who are working for change in their communities. Active NYRA members are encouraged to apply. The deadline: March 1st.


Calendar

February 6 – Informal NYRA Chat
8 pm – Midnight Eastern
In the New NYRA chatroom
Or with an IRC client, go here: irc.geekshed.net:6667 room: #nyra

February 16 – #16toVote on the 16th
All Day – Tweet about the voting age and include the hashtag #16toVote
Follow NYRA on Twitter.

February 20 – February Chapters Meeting
8 pm – Midnight
In the New NYRA chatroom
Chapter Leaders and Intents, check in with our staff and update us on your progress since the last meeting.

February 21 – Informal NYRA Chat
8 pm – Midnight Eastern
In the New NYRA chatroom
Or with an IRC client, go here: irc.geekshed.net:6667 room: #nyra

March 5 – Informal Chapter Chat
8 pm – Midnight Eastern
In the New NYRA chatroom
Or with an IRC client, go here: irc.geekshed.net:6667 room: #nyra


Blog

Continuing King’s Legacy

16tovote on the 16th – January 2012


News


NYRA in the News

Bill lowers age to run for city offices in Kentucky


Other News

Indiana Mom Forces Son to Wear ‘I Lie, I Steal’ Sign

The New Orleans Curfew: Keeping Young Blacks Away From Tourists

Middle-Aged Brains Are Already Past Their Prime

Mlive.com readers overwhelmingly say to lower the drinking age

Spanking teaches kids all the wrong lessons

Teens Who Butt Heads With Mom Better At Resisting Peer Pressure

Keeping Students From the Polls

From Finland, an Intriguing School-Reform Model

 

NYRA survives because you tithe.

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