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NYRA Freedom Volume 6, Issue 4

Written by NYRA Mar 29, 2011

NYRA Freedom

ISSN 1933-5229

Scott Davidson and Adam King

Volume 6, Issue 4

April 10, 2006

Contents:

Introduction
NYRAthon Underway, More Support Needed
NYRA Member Seeks Student Representation on School Board
Study Shows Teen Driving Relatively Safe
NYRA-OC Fights California Voting Age
NYRA-Cottage Grove
NYRA-NYC Update
NYRA Seeks Ad Revenue
Feature: Former NYRA Board Member has a Story to Tell
Staff Changes and Requests
Upcoming Events
News from the Web
Conclusion

Introduction

By Scott Davidson

A number of interesting things have happened over the past month. NYRA-OC continues its admirable efforts to get the California Democratic Party to take on the voting age, while NYRA’s New York chapter seems ready to take action on their own voting age campaign. Author and sociologist, Mike Males did a wonderful study combating many of the myths about teen driving, and with any luck NYRA will be able to get the study some media attention. NYRA may be on the verge of finding a steady source of income, but this remains uncertain, and donations are not coming in at the rate they were this time last year. In North Carolina, Adam King is leading a campaign to give students more than just a tokenized voice in the school community.

NYRAthon Underway, More Donations Needed

By Scott Davidson

Last year’s NYRAthon was an overwhelming success. Chapters and individuals engaged in friendly competition to see who could raise the most money, which resulted in a relatively significant influx of money. This money was what allowed NYRA to hire its Executive Director to work full time. If NYRA is ever to become the viable organization that we want it to be, we need enough money for a full time staff.

Unfortunately, this year’s NYRAthon has not been as successful. The contest, which runs until June 7, will award prizes to the three individuals who raise the most money for NYRA. There will also be a prize for the chapter that raises the most money. The administration cannot overstate the importance of this kind of fundraising. Even if members don’t have a lot of money, every little bit helps. With too few active members and the recent loss of our physical office, it is especially important that we keep our Executive Director working full time, and possibly expand our staff in the coming years.

To make a donation, please send a check or cash to –
1703 Farragut Ave, Rockville MD, 20851.

Or donate online by going to –
http://www.youthrights.org/donate.shtml

All donations are tax deductable.

NYRA Member Seeks Student Representation on School Board

By Adam King

As reported in the last issue of the Freedom, Adam King has been actively working to create a position on his local school board for students. King was expecting to speak at the March board meeting, but he was informed a few days before the meeting that it had been postponed until the meeting on Monday, April 3, 2006.

On April 3, King spoke to the Buncombe County Board of Education during the public comment session. The board’s chair commended him for his activism and involvement, but he thought it was an issue that would have to be decided by the state level of government. Unfortunately, no members from the media were present.

King contacted the North Carolina State Board of Education, and he spoke to Betsy West, the assistant executive director for the board. She believed that the issue is a local level decision, but she referred King to the state board’s legal advisor, Harry Wilson. Wilson confirmed that it is indeed a decision that can be made by local boards of education in North Carolina.

King has been interviewed by the Asheville Citizen-Times about the latest stage in his endeavor. He plans to report his new findings to the Buncombe County Board of Education at its next meeting in May.

Study Shows Teen Driving Relatively Safe

By Scott Davidson

NYRA Advisor Dr. Mike Males, who is the author of Scapegoat Generation and Framing Youth, has come out with a new study on teen driving. The study, which looks at the statistics from all fatal car accidents in California between 1995 and 2004, seems to refute several misconceptions about teen drivers.

Most importantly, the Males study shows that poverty, not age, is the reason that young people are involved in fatal accidents to a disproportionate degree. Males contents that young people are three times more likely than adults to live in poverty, and that when the poverty factor is equalized young people aren’t much more dangerous on the road than adults. Groups like the AAA and the ageist media have been portraying young drivers as reckless, irresponsible, and deadly. It is becoming increasingly clear that this is not the case. As Males proves, there is a stronger relationship between poverty and deadly accidents than age and deadly accidents.

The Males study also shows that ageist restrictions placed on young drivers in 1999 have not been as effective as some people think. While there were indeed fewer fatal accidents among young drivers after the restrictions went in to place, the problem merely shifted to the next age group. There was a corresponding increase in fatalities among slightly older drivers a couple of years later. NYRA is grateful that Males conducted this wonderful study. The full study can be read at http://www.youthrights.org/docs/teendriving.pdf

NYRA-OC Fights California Voting Age

By Scott Davidson

NYRA-Orange County is engaged in a campaign to get both political parties to support a lower voting age. They are starting with the California Democratic Party (CDP), where they have several contacts. As of April 6, the chapter was planning to attend the CDP’s convention in Sacramento in order to make lowering the voting age a part of the party platform. The chapter needs to get three hundred delegate signatures for the platform amendment to be considered, which will be rather difficult. NYRA-OC has been contacting media and other young people to let them know about the voting age efforts. The chapter plans to march to the capitol after the convention. If you live in the Orange County area and you would like to become involved with NYRA-OC, please visit http://www.orangecounty.youthrights.org/

NYRA-Cottage Grove

By Adam King

The newest chapter of the National Youth Rights Association is the chapter in Cottage Grove, Oregon. The chapter filed its application earlier this year, but due to a problem the president was having with Paypal, the $30 application fee was delayed. In March 2006, Adam King agreed to sponsor this fee for the chapter.

Currently, the chapter is working on many projects, and it has been received very well at its school. The president of Cottage Grove is Jessica Campbell, and the vice president is Aaron Opela. There are about eight active members who attend regularly.

Although Campbell and Opela are both seniors, Campbell believes that the chapter will remain in good hands.

For more information, visit the chapter’s website at http://www.cottagegrove.youthrights.org/

NYRA-NYC Update

By Scott Davidson

NYRA-NYC recently met to discuss the voting age campaign. The meeting was very productive. A number of ideas were brought up, including the possibility of a forum on the voting age featuring youth rights activists and elected officials who support efforts to lower the voting age. Those present also agreed that the chapter needs to work on flyer content and recruiting. Some area members have also been in touch with members of the state legislature, discussing ways that the state law might be amended to make it easier for municipalities to lower their voting ages.

NYRA Seeks Ad Revenue

By Scott Davidson

In addition to writing grant applications and soliciting donations from supporters, NYRA seeks funding from advertising on our website. A number of months ago, NYRA introduced advertisements on its widely used web forums. While some people were initially skeptical of the idea, it quickly became clear that the ads were not intrusive and that NYRA could block any ads that it felt contradicted its principles.

The money from the ads has been a significant help, and NYRA thinks there is a chance that it may see even more money from these ads in the future.

Feature: Former NYRA Board Member has a Story to Tell

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Dustin Manuel, one of NYRA’s former board directors from the 2000-2001 term.

Manuel recently had a story he written many years ago about youth rights published in a collection of stories he wrote. Manuel wrote the story during the fall of his junior year in 2001 while he was in theatre class. His story is now featured among his other stories in a book called “Musings.” His book is on sale at http://www.lulu.com/content/98543 for only $10. Manuel told me he has only sold 15 copies, and he only receives $4 for each sale. I have read the story, and I encourage everyone to buy a copy.

Manuel who is a junior in college in San Francisco, Cali. wants to eventually be a film or broadway composer. His hobbies include writing, photography, politics, and astronomy.

Before a month ago, Manuel had not been involved with NYRA for a few years, and when he noticed the changes in the organization, his response was, “NYRA was small… it’s amazing how fast it’s grown in the past few years.”

Staff Changes and Requests

By Adam King

Chris Batchelor was promoted to moderator on the NYRA forums, but there are no other staff changes to report.

NYRA is seeking to hire regional captains for chapter formation in the midwest and central regions. If you are interested, fill out an application here: http://www.youthrightsorg/chapterformation.php or contact Adam King.

Upcoming Events

April 18, 2006, 8:00 p.m. EST – Youth Rights Chat in NYRA Chatroom at www.youthrights.org/forums/chat/

April 23, 2006, 7:30 p.m. EST – Board Meeting in NYRA Chatroom.

April 28-30, 2006, California Democratic Party Convention

May 1, 2006, 8:00 p.m. EST – Youth Rights Chat in NYRA Chatroom at www.youthrights.org/forums/chat/

TBA – Online Chapter Informational Update Meeting

News From the Web

Sleep Deprivation, oh boy!
http://www.youthrights.org/forums/showthread.php?t=7181

Abortion Initiative on Alerting Parents Moves Forward
http://www.youthrights.org/forums/showthread.php?t=7180

Black-Oriented TV Claimed to Cause Obesity in Black Children
http://www.youthrights.org/forums/showthread.php?t=7246

Schools Must Inform Students of NCLB Rights
http://www.youthrights.org/forums/showthread.php?t=7278

French Students Protest Ageist Working Laws
http://www.youthrights.org/forums/showthread.php?t=7051

5-year-old Calls 911 and Operator Thinks it is a Prank Call,Mother Dies
http://www.youthrights.org/forums/showthread.php?t=7293

Boy Turns in Knife, May Be Expelled
http://www.youthrights.org/forums/showthread.php?t=7283

Conclusion

By Adam King

As NYRA’s annual fundraiser is just getting started, it is important for everyone to do his or her part in helping the organization and the larger cause – youth rights. Proceeds have not been impressive, and I challenge everyone who hasn’t made a donation yet to do so today. Instead of buying a soda or a candy bar for a week, use that money instead to donate to NYRA. If you cannot possibly donate money, there are other options such as volunteering in chapter formation, running a local chapter, or many other things. Giving up one drink a day for a week is much more preferable than not donating anything at all to NYRA. Think of all that could be accomplished if all 6,275 supporters of NYRA gave up a drink for one week and donated that money to NYRA. That would be well over $40,000.

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