JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER
img

NYRA Freedom Volume 5, Issue 10

Written by NYRA Mar 29, 2011

NYRA Freedom

ISSN 1933-5229

Volume 5, Issue 10

October 10, 2005

Contents:

Introduction
NYRA Hiring Interns
NYRA’s Executive Director to Speak at Drug Policy Conference
NYRA Seeks Grants
Call for Donations
Staff Changes
Chapter News:
–NYRA Berkeley Elects Officers, Calls for Donations
–Chapter Meeting Summary
–NYRA-NYC Calls for Donations
News From the Web
Conclusion

Introduction

NYRA has had another good month. We are continuing to expand at a pace that is slow, but constant and steady. If this continues, it will not be long before we are a far more effective organization, truly ready to begin chipping away at ageism in America. NYRA continues to grow at the regional and local level; new chapters are springing up everywhere. NYRA’s National Office now has an actual, physical office, and will soon begin hiring interns. NYRA has caught the attention of other non profit organizations, and our Executive Director has been invited to speak at a prestigious conference.

NYRA Hiring Interns

For many years, NYRA did not have an office. The organization was run almost entirely from the homes and computers of its members. This changed when The Center for Voting and Democracy provided NYRA with an office in Takoma Park Maryland, a suburb of Washington D.C. NYRA has also begun paying its Executive Director to work on youth rights full time.

NYRA is looking to hire both a communications intern, and a youth legal research intern. Both positions are unpaid. The communications intern will help write and send press releases, write and solicit op-eds for youth rights related news stories, and generally help with all of NYRA’s activities in regard to the media. The Communications Intern must have strong oral and written communication skills. A journalism or public relations major is helpful but not required. The youth legal research intern will research laws that are pertinent to youth rights, and translate them in to plain English for the youth rights network.

Interns in both positions must have an interest in promoting youth rights, and expanding civil liberties for young people. If you live in the DC area and you are interested in either position, please email FAlex Koroknay-Palicz.

NYRA’s Executive Director to Speak at Drug Policy Conference

Next month, Alex Koroknay-Palicz will travel to Long Beach California, to speak at a conference organized by the Drug Policy Alliance. Alex will speak about youth rights, and probably lead a panel discussion about the drinking age. A few weeks ago, Alex was contacted by Ethan Nadelman, the director of the Drug Policy Alliance, and invited to the conference. NYRA did not have enough money to send Alex to the conference, so Common Sense for Drug Policy agreed to pay his way. NYRA would like to extend a heart felt thank you to Common Sense for Drug Policy.

This conference will bring together many organizations in the drug policy reform movement, and it will be a great place for NYRA to make connections. NYRA is confident that Alex will effectively present our message, network, and find many new allies in the fight to lower the drinking age.

NYRA Seeks Grants

Since its founding, NYRA has survived almost entirely on small donations from individuals. While every bit counts, NYRA can not continue in this manner if it is ever to become the large, viable organization we hope it will be. That is why some months ago the board voted to pay Alex Koroknay-Palicz to work for NYRA, spending much of his time seeking grant money.

Since then, Alex has applied to the Resist Foundation and Community Change. . Resist is a foundation that gives small grants to groups that do not have access to traditional sources of funding. NYRA applied for a three thousand dollar grant from Resist. Community Change is a group focusing on low income and minority issues. We applied for a twenty five thousand dollar grant from Community Change, through a program of theirs dealing with voter turnout and civic participation. Alex also intends to apply for a grant from the Herb Block Foundation. All this activity reflects NYRA’s desperate need for funding. It is important that NYRA continues to receive significant donations from its members, so that we can get by until we start to get large grants.

Call for Donations

Some time ago, NYRA board member Keith Mandell announced he would purchase a $50 gift card to whichever NYRA member donated the most money by October 21st. Since then NYRA members have contributed over $600. While we are grateful for this amount of money, NYRA can not continue to operate at this rate. It is not clear when we will start to get significant grant money, and it is really important that everyone give whatever they can. Please mail cash or checks to the National Youth Rights Association 6930 Carroll Avenue, Suite 610, Takoma Park, Maryland 20912 USA.

Staff Changes

Rio Bauce is now the Regional Captain for the west. If you have questions about chapter formation in the western part of the country, please email Rio. Tina Philips has been hired as NYRA’s “California Outreach Coordinator.” If you have questions about outreach in the state of California, please email Tina.

Chapter News

NYRA-Berkeley

NYRA’s Berkeley Chapter continues to function as one of NYRA’s most active chapters. Recently, the chapter elected officers. Zach Hobesh was elected President, Pam Tatz was elected Vice President, Joia DeVita was elected Secretary, Chris Howell was elected Treasurer, and Rio Bauce was elected Chairman. NYRA-Berkeley is looking for $200 in donations to fund an upcoming campaign. If you can contribute something, please go here: http://www.youthrights.org/forums/showthread.php?t=5193

NYRA-Vermont

NYRA’s Vermont chapter remains a vital part of the organization. Cecila Dekorne has set up an active branch of NYRA-Vermont at Burlington high school. The BHS chapter is currently fighting the school’s unfair lunch policy. There is also an active chapter at South Burlington High School. The SBHS chapter is writing letters to legislators and letters to the editor in support of NYRA-Vermont’s positions. There are four additional chapters still forming on college campuses in Vermont.

The chapter is still fighting its campaign to lower the drinking age. They are compiling a list of people willing to testify in favor of lowering the minimum legal drinking age in Vermont. In addition, the chapter is trying to get a lawmaker to introduce voting age legislation.

Chapter Meeting Summary

One of NYRA’s top priorities is chapter formation. Through the creation of chapters, NYRA can expand its membership and get a lot more done. On September 18th, NYRA held its first chapter meeting. Chapter leaders and officials from the National office met to discuss what the various chapters have been doing, and where they need help. The meeting was a resounding success, and similar meetings will be held frequently from now on.

Some chapters had serious difficulties, and others reported remarkable success, but one got the overall impression that chapters are doing well, and that NYRA is gaining momentum. Among the chapters represented were NYRA-Dallas High School, NYRA-Paterson, NYRA-Orange County, NYRA-Vermont, NYRA-Gainesville, NYRA-SSDS of Essex and Union, NYRA-Berkeley, NYRA-Myrtle Beach, NYRA-Flagstaff, NYRA-Albany, NYRA-Fulton County, NYRA-Asheville, and the Brooklyn wing of NYRA-NYC. If future chapter meetings are as productive and well attended as this one, communication between chapters and the national office will be much better, and it will be much easier for us to fight for youth rights in a coordinated way.

NYRA-NYC Calls for Donations

NYRA-NYC is seeking three hundred dollars in donations to begin a large scale recruiting drive. Once NYRA-NYC has more members, they will be better equipped to lobby for Councilwoman Brewer’s voting age bill. If you have some money you are willing to donate, please go here: http://www.youthrights.org/forums/showthread.php?t=5055

News From the Web

Strict NC Curfew Survives Vote
http://forums.youthrights.org/showthread.php?t=5174

MADD enters 25th year with change on its mind
http://forums.youthrights.org/showthread.php?t=5174

Differing Views: Should the Legal Drinking Age Be Lowered?
http://www.freelancenews.com/lifestyles/contentview.asp?c=168203&siteID=33

Judge: School Pledge Is Unconstitutional
http://forums.youthrights.org/showthread.php?t=4959

Eleven Children Found Caged in Ohio Home
http://forums.youthrights.org/showthread.php?t=4942

Conclusion

These past weeks have been ones of subtle success. NYRA is continuing to expand and gather its resources. Now when we fight age based oppression, we will be that much stronger. But we are not there yet, not by anyone’s reckoning. We must continue to grow– to seek funding and members- to carry our message to the silent masses. Everyone needs to do their part to ensure the rights of young people in this country. If you can, give your time or your money. It is desperately needed.

img

OUR BLOG

img

Avi Hein – 20th Anniversary Reflection

Growing up outside of Washington, DC, politics is life. But, as a 15 year old, volunteering isn’t the same as voting. It was the second half...

BY Avi Hein
img

Alex Jonlin – 20th Anniversary Reflection

As a ten-year-old kid in Seattle, I was already interested in politics. My friends and I marched around the playground protesting the Iraq War, and I...

BY Alex Jonlin
img

Scott Davidson – 20th Anniversary Reflection

Former board member (2003-2007) and president, Scott Davidson reflects on his time with NYRA and the people he got to know during his time being active...

BY Scott Davidson
img

Jackie Ferro – 20th Anniversary Reflection

I first got involved with NYRA in 2009, when I was in 8th grade. I had formed a small coalition with some fellow middle schoolers called...

BY Jackie Ferro
img

NYRA-Fairfax Secures Voting Age Endorsements

Thanks to the efforts of the newly formed Fairfax County NYRA chapter, the Fairfax County Democratic Party and grassroots organizations Virginia Democracy Forward and Virginia Civic...

BY Brian Conner
img

NYRA Mourns Passing of John Taylor Gatto

Renowned critic of compulsory schooling, John Taylor Gatto passed away this week at the age of 82.  A teacher for 30 years, he achieved notoriety after...

BY Alex Koroknay-Palicz
img

Stefan Muller – 20th Anniversary Reflection

I joined NYRA in 2003 after reading about it in a news article about the voting age. This wasn’t my first introduction to youth rights—I’ve believed...

BY Stefan Muller
img

NYRA Launches New Website!

After months of hard work by NYRA's team of volunteers, we are pleased to finally unveil our brand new look! With a new logo, a new...

BY NYRA
img

Bill introduced in U.S. House to lower the voting age to sixteen

Last week, U.S. Representative Grace Meng (D-NY) introduced a resolution proposing an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would lower the voting age to sixteen throughout...

BY NYRA
View More
img

Support the New YouthRights.org!

NYRA's current website was redesigned in 2011 and while it looked great for the time, it is now dated in both style and function. The current...

BY NYRA
img

Portland Student Rights Union joins NYRA to address Student Rights

Members of Portland Student Rights Union - A NYRA Chapter We originally started the Portland Student Rights Union (SRU) in October 2017 to protest the administration...

BY Portland Student Rights Union
img

Scott Davidson – 20th Anniversary Reflection

Former board member (2003-2007) and president, Scott Davidson reflects on his time with NYRA and the people he got to know during his time being active...

BY Scott Davidson
img

Schwarzenegger v Gamers – Help Us Fight Back

Arnold is trying to take away your games. Don't let him. California passed a law that would ban the sale of all "violent" video games to...

BY Alex Koroknay-Palicz
img

Activists in Massachusetts Make Progress in Lowering the Voting Age

In Massachusetts, two best friends made headway in the push to lower the voting age. Aaron Nelson and Max Carr passed articles in their hometowns of...

BY NYRA
img

Over 70 people testify in favor of lowering the voting age in Washington D.C.

On Wednesday, NYRA members attended a public hearing before the Washington, D.C. City Council to support the Youth Vote Amendment Act of 2018. If passed, this...

BY NYRA
img

Alex Jonlin – 20th Anniversary Reflection

As a ten-year-old kid in Seattle, I was already interested in politics. My friends and I marched around the playground protesting the Iraq War, and I...

BY Alex Jonlin
img

Speaking out against curfew laws in Fort Worth, TX

NYRA Chapter leader Bryce Hall spoke out against extending the juvenile curfew law in his home town of Fort Worth, Texas last Tuesday. He and other...

BY NYRA
img

Time Flies When You’re Having Fun, And Drags When You’re Young

When I talk to people about lowering the voting age to 16 or lowering the drinking age to 18 they often say “Why the rush? Two...

BY Alex Koroknay-Palicz
View More