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NYRA Freedom Volume 5, Issue 7

Written by NYRA Mar 29, 2011

NYRA Freedom

ISSN 1933-5229

Volume 5, Issue 7

July 8, 2005

Contents:

Introduction
NYRA Election Begins
NYRA Hires Alex Koroknay-Palicz Full Time
Fox News Appearance
Berkeley Voting Rights Update
NYRA Hires “Research and Education Director”
Northeast Regional Captain Hired
New NYRA Chapters
News from the Web
Conclusion

Introduction

A lot has happened in June. Members continue to form new chapters, and old chapters are as active as ever. A slate of exciting, qualified candidates stands before the membership in NYRA’s annual election. No matter how the election turns out, the membership will elect one of the best boards in NYRA’s history. Perhaps most excitingly, NYRA is now paying its Executive Director full time. This is the first time in a long while that someone has been paid to be a full time youth rights activist.

NYRA Election Begins

Every year NYRA members vote to elect a new board of directors. The board of directors is the highest governing body within NYRA. The board elects officers, approves budgets, and directs policy for NYRA. The candidates for the 2005-2006 NYRA board of directors are Robert Reynolds (incumbent), Keith Mandell (incumbent), Alex Koroknay-Palicz (incumbent), Scott Davidson (incumbent), Katrina Moncure, Rio Bauce, Svend la Rose, Pam Tatz, Chris Howell, Adam King, Jess Caralize, Jeff Odgis, Rory Stolzenberg, and Jay Leff. All of these candidates have at least some experience in the youth rights movement, and no matter what happens the board will have some excellent members. Candidates submitted bio statements and answered questionnaires that will be available to voters. Members also approve or disapprove bylaw changes and new positions adopted by the board over the past year. The ballot includes several bylaw amendments as well as positions on education and behavior modification.

This year the election began on July 6th, and will end on August 6th at the general meeting in New York City. NYRA currently has about 150 members who may vote in this election, which is around twice the number we had this time last year. All members are encouraged to participate in the election. If you have not paid your $10 membership dues, please do so. Members who have not paid their dues are not permitted to vote in the election. Also be sure to check out the NYRA Forums for more information.

NYRA Hires Alex Koroknay-Palicz Full Time

Alex Koroknay-Palicz has been serving as NYRA’s President and Executive Director since the summer of 2000. He has been largely responsible for much of NYRA’s success over these past five years. He has presided over the National Youth Rights Association as it grew from a small organization that carried out most of its business on the internet to a larger organization capable of effecting real change. Due to the success of NYRA’s recent fund raising contest, the board decided NYRA had enough money to pay Alex full time.

Keith Mandell, the Chairman of the Compensation Committee, prepared a contract that hires Alex as an independent contractor for a three month period. The Committee approved the contract, and after slight revisions were made, the contract was approved by the full board on June 19th. Everyone in attendance understood the significance of what they had voted on; there have been no paid, full time youth rights activists in the United States since at least the mid 1990’s. This is a historic moment for NYRA. We are now successful enough to pay the head of our staff. NYRA will likely do many more great things now that Alex can devote more of his time to the movement. “NYRA’s hiring of Koroknay-Palicz is because for the first time ever, NYRA is able to hire an individual who can devote the necessary time to perform needed NYRA services,” noted Keith Mandell, implying that we are only hiring Alex full time because we have an increased capacity to do such things.

NYRA Appears on Fox News

After NYRA member Alexis Grant appeared in USA Today to argue against raising the driving age, Alex Koroknay-Palicz was invited to appear on Fox News to discuss teen driving issues. The appearance, which was covered in last month’s issue of NYRA Freedom, was an overwhelming success by all accounts.

On the heels of that appearance, Alex was invited back to discuss teenage drivers and cell phones. He pointed out that NYRA is not necessarily against legislation aimed at curbing the use of cell phones while driving, but that we are against laws that target youth specifically. He also brought up the fact that even while using cell phones, teen drivers’ reaction times are about equivalent to those of senior citizens. Alex always presents a persuasive argument, but these last two appearances were especially convincing. It is likely that many tens of thousands of people watched the segment. It is also likely that some percentage of those people visited our website and came over to our way of thinking. A video of the segment can be viewed at Alex’s blog, One and Four.

NYRA Berkeley Update

NYRA’s Berkeley Chapter remains an active, vital part of the organization. Most recently they have been lobbying for ACA17, a bill that will allow seventeen year olds to vote in primaries if they will be eighteen by the time of the election. The chapter has been urging local government bodies in the Bay Area to officially recommend the state pass ACA17. So far they have convinced the Berkeley City Council and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to pass such recommendations. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors however, has postponed voting on recommending a bill that will give cities the choice to set their own voting ages. The chapter has meetings scheduled with the Oakland City Council, the El Cerrito City Council, and the Alameda County Board of Supervisors. They hope that they will be able to get more official recommendations to the State regarding ACA17. The chapter has also been talking about holding a rally in the area. If you are interested in attending such an event, please email Chris Howell.

NYRA Hires “Research and Education Director”

Svend La Rose has been one of the most active NYRA officials for the past several months. He has been serving as NYRA’s Western Regional Captain. In that capacity he has helped bring about the formation of a couple new chapters, and secured the acquisition of NYRA’s Olympia Chapter, which ranks among out most active. NYRA recently promoted Svend to a position that he feels better suits his interests. Svend La Rose will now work as NYRA’s Research and Education Director. The Research and Education Department will be responsible for research, publishing, and education. As the head of this new department, Svend will need some help. If you are interested in becoming The Assistant Research and Education Director, or a Project Manager in that department, please visit this link.

Northeast Regional Captain Hired

NYRA has hired Matt Andrews to serve as its Regional Captain in the Northeast. Matt will be responsible for developing chapters in the area. If you are interested in forming a chapter in the north east part of the country, or you need some help with the chapter formation process, please send Matt an email. NYRA still needs regional captains for the West, Mid West, and Central Regions. If you are interested in filling any of these positions, or becoming NYRA’s South Regional Public Outreach Director, please email Alex.

New NYRA Chapters

Recently, new NYRA chapters having been appearing throughout the country. An especially large number of chapters have appeared since the last issue of this publication. NYRA-Tri-Cities (Kingsport, Bristol, and Johnson City) in Tennessee is already established and active. Founded by Andrew Gibbons, the chapter has already held a meeting and recruited several members. If you live in the area and would like to become involved, please contact Andrew for more information.

NYRA-Albany was founded after members learned that a local mall was instituting an ageist policy of discrimination. They are looking in to ways that their chapter might be able to resist such a policy. If you live in or around Albany, send an email to Eli Gottlieb.

NYRA-Patterson is the newest NYRA chapter in New Jersey. If you live in or around Patterson, contact Frederick Mutooni.

There are chapters forming in Alaska, Orange County (CA) and Seattle Washington. If you wish to become involved with any of these chapters contact Svend La Rose. Email Adam King for more information on a NYRA chapter forming in Northern Virginia, and Matt Andrews for information regarding the emerging NYRA chapter in Maine.

News From the Web

Lowering the Voting Age: A Tough Sell
New York Eyes Lowering the Voting Age
www.oneandfour.org (Scroll down for video)
Some proposed amendments (Includes info on a Florida voting age proposal)
Should 16-Year Old’s Be Able To Vote In City Elections?

Conclusion

NYRA is growing and expanding in exciting new ways. Our increased size, influence, and visibility have created the need for more staff positions. I would like to remind members that we still need Regional Captains for the Central, Mid Western, and Western Regions. If you are interested in filling one of these positions, please send an email to us. If you are interested in working in NYRA’s department of Research and Education, please email Svend la Rose. The list of candidates assures me that NYRA will have a competent and active board for the 2005-2006 term. If you have not already done so, please visit www.youthrights.org to pay your dues and vote in the election.

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