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NYRA Freedom Volume 4, Issue 2

Written by NYRA Mar 29, 2011

NYRA Freedom

ISSN 1933-5229

Volume 4, Issue 2

February 6, 2004

Contents:

Introduction
NYRA Fights Age Discrimination in Campaigns
Indiana Curfew Struck Down
NYRA Makes Use of Meetup.com
Good News About the Voting Age
NYRA on NPR Again
Bush Proposes More Drug Testing
Benefit Concert Canceled
News From the Web
Conclusion

Introduction

A lot has happened since the last issue of “NYRA Freedom.” There is a lot of good news to report. NYRA has announced its intention to fight ageism in campaigns, a fight we can probably win. NYRA has harnessed one of the most useful tools on the Internet to bring people together and fight for Youth Rights. More and more people are taking notice of the voting age and efforts to lower it.

There are however, a few unpleasant things I must write about. President Bush has announced he supports school drug testing, which any Youth Rights activist should vehemently oppose. Even worse, NYRA’s benefit concert will not be happening. This means that contributions from individual members are more important than ever.

NYRA Fights Age Discrimination in Campaigns

In early 2002 the US Congress passed the Bi-Partisan Campaign Reform Act, which made contributions to political parties or candidates by individuals under 18 illegal. On December 10, 2003, the Supreme Court struck down this onerous provision of the Campaign Reform Act. Some candidates for President haven’t gotten the message yet. Despite the fact it is now perfectly legal for individuals under 18 to donate money to political candidates, US Senator John Kerry, US Representative Dennis Kucinich, the Reverend Al Sharpton, and President George Bush all require donors to be over 18.

NYRA intends to make sure these candidates know the law has changed, and that their requirement is age discrimination. We need everyone’s help. Please e-mail George Bush, John Kerry, Al Sharpton, and Dennis Kucinich and tell them to stop discriminating against youth. Point them towards the US Supreme Court decision on the Campaign Reform Act, the relevant pages are 148 and 149. Also, contact Amazon.com and encourage them to do the same. They require individuals giving to Presidential candidates to be over 18 as well. Be sure to forward your e-mails to NYRA. John Edwards, Howard Dean, and Wesley Clark all accept contributions from donors under 18.

Indiana Curfew Struck Down

In 1999, a young man was arrested in Indiana for being outside three minutes after a curfew. His parents sued, and the case eventually made its way to the 7th circuit court of appeals. The court rightfully declared that the curfew was unconstitutional, declaring that it violated young people’s constitutional rights. The law had already been amended to let young people out accompanied by their parents, now it has been declared altogether unconstitutional. This is great news. In most parts of Indiana, young people can no longer be arrested simply because they were outside of their houses after 11 PM.

Even though the court ruled unanimously that this law is indeed unconstitutional, the cities of Indianapolis and Fort Wayne have stubbornly instituted their own curfew laws.

NYRA Makes Use of Meetup.com

Meetup.com is known as a great way for people who share similar interests to get together and meet. Today it is an important tool for political campaigns and organizations such as NYRA. On Monday, February 2 NYRA was approved as a meetup topic, and by Thursday night 16 people have joined. Our meetup is growing fast. If you want to meet other Youth Rights activists and initiate real change, visit www.meetup.com.

Voting Age Progress

Lowering the voting age is one of the Youth Rights movement’s most important goals. Recently, there has been another surge of activity in this arena. In Hawaii, elements of the state student council has been vehemently supporting the bills that would lower the voting age in that state. One bill would lower the voting age to 16, another to 17. Either way, a huge boost for youth rights. It is quite possible that at least one of these bills will pass. http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/sessioncurrent/bills/sb2557_.htm http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/site1/docs/getstatus2.asp?billno=SB2625

In Pennsylvania, a student named Matt Johnson has started work on amending the state constitution. In California an organization known as “The Progressive Club” is working on gathering signatures to get a similar item on the ballot, while members of the California Senate are seriously looking into the issue now and have contacted NYRA for more voting age information.

This is in addition to NYRA’s own voting age campaign in Takoma Park, Maryland. This coming after Alex Koroknay-Palicz’s appearance on NPR serves as proof that people are seriously considering lowering the voting age, and the issue is gaining momentum.

NYRA on NPR Again

On Tuesday, January 13th, NYRA President Alex Koroknay-Palicz appeared on Wisconsin Public Radio to discuss lowering the voting age. The statewide broadcast was a huge success. During the hour long show, many callers, including NYRA member Brandon Perez, expressed their support. Alex had ample time to speak, and made good points. A new member joined shortly after the broadcast, and webpage traffic spiked greatly because of the appearance.

Bush Proposes More Drug Testing

In his recent state of the union speech, President Bush proposed a plan that would allocate $23 million dollars of government funds to schools that wished to implement drug testing. For a long time, compulsory education has extended itself far beyond simply teaching math, reading, and other such things, and has begun to intrude on the personal affairs of students. Drug testing is one extreme example of the schools invading young peoples privacy. In his speech Bush said that drug testing was not meant to punish students, but to help them. This protectionist reasoning shows a complete lack of respect for Youth Rights. This news is particularly disturbing in light of news that members of congress advocate random drug testing in schools.

Benefit Concert Canceled

Unfortunately, NYRA will not be holding the grand fundraiser it had been hoping for in months past. NYRA had hoped to take $50,000, hire a band, sell out Bender Arena at American University, and make a lot of money that would go towards an office and paid staff. Unfortunately, the people at American University were confused about how much such a concert would cost, and failed to mention that most major acts demand a large percentage of the ticket revenue.

While this is a major set back, NYRA still has c3 status and will be able to maintain its status as a viable organization through grant money.

News From the Web

NFL Age Restriction ‘sacked’

Military requests Japan deny alcohol to young troops.

Congressmen Advocate Random Drug Testing of Public School Students

Court: Indiana’s Curfew Law Unconstitutional

African teens split over lower voting age

Welsh MPs urge drop in voting age

Amarillo to consider renewing curfew

Conclusion

January was a tough month. The news about the concert was particularly sad. However, I am confident that if everyone writes letters to the candidates who are not accepting young people’s contributions, supports the efforts to lower the voting age, donates what ever money they can to NYRA, and fights ageism in their everyday lives, that we will succeed. Slowly but surely, the Youth Rights movement is gaining momentum.

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