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NYRA Freedom Volume 6, Issue 7

Written by NYRA Mar 29, 2011

NYRA Freedom

ISSN 1933-5229

Scott Davidson and Adam King

Volume 6, Issue 7

July 14, 2006

Contents:

Introduction
Election Started, Be Sure to Vote
Bylaw Proposals and Amendments
Teen Driving Story in USA Today Quotes NYRA
New Poll Shows Youth Support for Lowering the Voting Age
NYRAthon2006 is Over, Winners Announced
Secretary Appears on “Hardfire”
Berkeley City Council Tabled Efforts by Youth Commission
Treasurer Introduces ‘Spell NYRA’ Fundraiser
Introducing a Revamped “NYRA Freedom”
Staff Requests
Upcoming Events
News from the Web
Conclusion

Introduction

By Scott Davidson

A lot of interesting things have happened since the last issue, and a lot of interesting things are likely to occur this summer. With the election underway, NYRA members are asking candidates questions about the issues and deciding who is most qualified to lead NYRA. The organization maintains a significant presence in the media, and the Berkeley chapter continues its struggle against ageism. While our annual fundraiser could have gone better, I am confident that if everyone does their part, we will raise more money during the next term than we did over the term that is now ending.

Election Started, Be Sure to Vote

By Adam King

The 2006 board election started on July 5 and will last until August 5. Eleven NYRA members are running, the full list: Jessica Campbell, Scott Davidson (incumbent), Zach Hobesh, Alex Hull-Richter, Rich Jahn, Adam King, Alex Koroknay-Palicz (incumbent), Keith Mandell (incumbent), Katrina Moncure (incumbent), Chip Sinton, and Pamela Tatz (incumbent). All candidates have answered a questionnaire about issues facing the organization and have submitted a bio statement to provide more information to voters. Check that out and more at our election page: http://www.youthrights.org/election.shtml

At the end of the election, on August 5, the annual meeting will be held in Berkeley, Cali., where leaders and members of the organization will meet to discuss the past year’s events and the results from the election. All members and supporters are invited and encouraged to attend. If you are able to attend the annual meeting, please Register Online. Space is still available if you want free housing, but time is running out! Register here: http://berkeley.youthrights.org/

In addition to electing NYRA’s new board of directors for the next year, members will vote to approve a new policy regarding NYRA’s local and state chapters. To vote in the election, you must be a paid member of the organization. The membership fee is only $10, and it must be renewed every year. Be sure to pay your dues so you can vote: http://www.youthrights.org/donate.shtml

Bylaw Proposals and Amendments

By Scott Davidson

Each year, during NYRA’s annual election, members vote to elect the next board of directors, as well as whether to approve or reject amendments to the bylaws proposed by the previous board of directors. This year, there are several such proposed bylaw amendments.

Most importantly, the board is asking that the membership vote for NYRA’s chapter policy. These new bylaws deal with the relationship between NYRA chapters and the national office. Before they were approved by the board, NYRA had no official policy articulating the role of chapters. The policy, which has been split in to a number of separate ballot items, sets forth requirements that must be met before a chapter can be formed, and lists reasons that chapter status may be revoked. It also defines chapters as entities legally separate from the national office, and lists conditions under which new state wide chapters can be formed.

The other proposed bylaw amendments include a stricter attendance policy for directors and non-director officers and a higher quorum for board meetings. There are no new position papers this year. All of the ballot items were approved by the board unanimously or nearly unanimously.

New Poll Shows Youth Support for Lowering the Voting Age

By Alex Koroknay-Palicz

A group called Do Something has conducted a poll that went out and asked teens what they thought of the voting age. The results: “When results for a lower voting age are combined, there is a clear majority of young people who believe that the voting age should be lowered to at least 17. If the voting age were going to be lowered to either 16 or 17, young people would prefer 16.”

The survey also found that between 54% and 61% would sign a petition to lower the voting age. An interesting result of the poll found that a full 76% percent of youth think that they are responsible to vote, yet only 25-35% think others their age are responsible to vote.

The Do Something analysis is right on the mark: “It is clear that young people have a greatly diminished opinion (compared to a self-opinion) about their demographic as a whole. There is no definitive explanation for this disparity. It is possible that when teens think of their contemporaries they only envision the predominantly negative portraits published by sensational media.” Read the poll here: http://www.youthrights.org/docs/LoweringVotingAge_PollAnalysis.pdf

Teen Driving Story in USA Today Quotes NYRA

By Scott Davidson

USA Today, which is among the country’s most widely circulated publications, recently quoted NYRA’s Executive Director in an article on teen driving. Specifically, the article dealt with a report put out by the National Highway Safety Administration, which presented a biased, anti-youth interpretation of driving fatality statistics aimed at convincing states to make seventeen the age at which young people can have full driving “privileges.”

The study never looked at whether or not teen driving restrictions shift fatalities to the next demographic, which was among the findings of a study conducted by Dr. Mike Males at UC-Santa Cruz. The NHSA study merely points out the obvious, that if you keep people from driving they will be involved in fewer accidents. The study takes that fact and frames it as an argument for limiting the rights of young people. As NYRA Executive Director Alex Koroknay-Palicz said, “Our society is dependent on cars, to have driving stripped away from young people is discriminating.”

This is the second time NYRA has appeared in a USA Today related to youth driving. This quote will expose many thousands of people to our perspective. The full article is available at http://www.youthrights.org/forums/article.php?threadid=8063.

NYRAthon2006 is Over, Winners Announced

By Scott Davidson

The results from the annual NYRAthon for 2006 are in. The first place winner of the individual competition was Adam King, who donated $380. The second place winner was Keith Mandell, who donated $370, and the third place winner was Frederick Mutooni, who donated $300. King will receive $100 in award money; Mandell, $50; and Mutooni, $25.

The winner of the chapter competition was the NYRA-DC chapter which donated a total of $310. The DC chapter will receive $100 worth of NYRA merchandise, such as buttons, T-shirts, and flyers.

The total amount raised in the competition was $2,499.60. The amount raised did not exceed the amount raised in last year’s fundraiser, but it was not off by very far. Every bit of that money will help NYRA remain the prominent youth rights organization that it is.

Secretary Appears on “Hardfire”

By Adam King

NYRA’s Secretary Scott Davidson was invited to appear on “Hardfire,” a Libertarian talk show broadcast in Brooklyn, New York. “Hardfire” is hosted by Joseph Dobrian, the Chair of the Manhattan Libertarian Party, and produced by Gary Popkin, the Libertarian candidate for Brooklyn Borough President. Davidson had initially been scheduled to debate the minimum legal drinking age with Charles Barron of The New York City Council, but Barron cancelled the day of the taping.

The people at “Hardfire” arranged for Abu Abu, a former School Board Chairman, to discuss ageism and youth rights with Davidson. Abu, Davidson, and Dobrian talked about issues like the democratization of education, youth rights within the family, and the voting age for half an hour. Abu agreed with NYRA on the minimum legal drinking age, but took ageist positions on almost every other issue. At one point, Abu went so far as to praise corporal punishment as an effective educational tool. While Davidson feels that he made a few regrettable errors, most agree that the taping went well.

The discussion was not limited to one issue, and the three had a chance to explore some areas that NYRA does not often get to address in the media. Much of the discussion was very broad and theoretical, and thus not limited to any specific piece of legislation, or a specific manifestation of ageism that happens to be getting main stream media attention.

The appearance can be viewed at http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4629022687862103627.

Berkeley City Council Tabled Efforts by Youth Commission

By Adam King

On June 20, several members from NYRA-Berkeley and the Berkeley Youth Commission attended a city council meeting concerning a proposal passed by the youth commission. The proposal sought to add a survey on the ballot for the November 2006 election that would poll the registered voters if they support lowering the voting age to seventeen in school board elections in the city.

The resolution from the youth commission detailed projected expenses, the background and support for the idea. The complete document can be found here: http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/citycouncil/2006citycouncil/packet/061306/2006-06-13%20Item%2034a%20YOUTH%20Lowering%20Voting%20Age.pdf

However, Phil Kamlarz, the city manager, issued a report suggesting that no action be taken at this time. In his report, he said that city charters cannot lower the voting age for any election in the state because the voting age is specified in the California state constitution. “In any event, in the absence of a constitutional amendment to authorize a City Charter to provide for a lowered voting age for a local school board election,” he wrote in his report, “a survey of local Berkeley voter opinion on this subject would be pointless.” His complete report can be found here: http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/citycouncil/2006citycouncil/packet/061306/2006-06-13%20Item%2034b%20YOUTH-CM%20Lowering%20Voting%20Age.pdf.

About five hours into the meeting, the agenda item was tabled 4-4.

Treasurer Introduces “Spell NYRA” Fundraiser

By Adam King

NYRA’s Treasurer Katrina Moncure has a new fundraising idea. She made a big grid that spells out “NYRA” in a multitude of 50 by 10 pixel spaces. Each space is only $25, and it will make up a small part of the large NYRA picture. Moncure wants everyone to spread the word by promoting it on their own websites and on other forums that they visit. All money from this project goes to NYRA. The more competitive this becomes, the faster the spaces will fill up, and thus, the more money NYRA receives. For more information, go to www.spellnyra.org. This is a great way to promote your own website and help NYRA at the same time.

Introducing a Revamped “NYRA Freedom”

By Adam King

I would like to introduce you to some new features of our organization’s monthly publication, “NYRA Freedom.”

–To give the publication a more respectable look, a masthead has been developed. The masthead is a graphic displaying the publication title, the organization’s address and logo, and the contact information for Scott and I.

–To make the publication look more professional, an ISSN (International Standard Serial Number) has been applied for from the United States Library of Congress. Other organizations’ newsletters and publications have an ISSN, and there is no reason for the Library to deny us one. There is no charge to apply for a number, and it will make future cataloging of the publication easier. The status of the number should be known by August.

–The publication’s history has been compiled from the Youth Rights Network, and it has been expanded and updated.

–All of the past issues of the publication – at one time sent out over Yahoo – have been converted to HTML for easy reading on NYRA’s website. We no longer have to depend on an outside source to host our publication, and since we no longer use the Yahoo groups, we could have lost those issues if they hadn’t been stored on our website.

All of this and more can be found on NYRA’s website at http://www.youthrights.org/nyrafreedom.

Scott and I are still looking for people to contribute writing or letters to the editors, so feel free to contact us.

Staff Requests

By Adam King

NYRA is seeking to hire regional captains for chapter formation in the Central region. If you are interested, fill out an application here: http://www.youthrights.org/chapterformation.php or contact Adam King

Upcoming Events

July 5, 2006 – August 5, 2006 – Annual Board Election

July 18, 2006, 8:00 p.m. EST – NYRA Chat in the AIM chatroom, “NYRA”

August 5, 2006 – Annual Meeting in Berkeley, California

News from the Web

Teen Fights for Right to Pick Cancer Treatment
http://youthrights.org/forums/article.php?threadid=8136

17-year-olds now can vote in major political contests
http://www.youthrights.org/forums/article.php?threadid=7859

MySpace Sued After Alleged Sexual Assault
http://www.youthrights.org/forums/article.php?threadid=7959

Kicked Out of Graduation for Wave
http://www.youthrights.org/forums/article.php?threadid=7869

MySpace plans new restrictions for youths
http://www.youthrights.org/forums/article.php?threadid=7966

Students regularly wronged on rights
http://www.youthrights.org/forums/article.php?threadid=7955

A Ring Tone Meant to Fall on Deaf Ears
http://www.youthrights.org/forums/article.php?threadid=7907

Cell phone bill would hang up on N.C.’s teenage drivers
http://www.youthrights.org/forums/article.php?threadid=7885

Restrictions cut teen driving deaths
http://www.youthrights.org/forums/article.php?threadid=8063

Conclusion

By Adam King

It’s hard for me to believe, but the year is almost over once again. It’s that time again for the election and for the new board members to replace the old. Time seems to fly by so fast. It seems like it was only yesterday when I started writing for the “Freedom,” but in reality, this is my seventh issue. It seems like it was only a couple of weeks ago when I joined NYRA. Now, before the Latin phrase (and my name on the forums (“Tempus Fugit”)) can continue to hold true, it is time for all of us to step up to the plate. There are quite a few of us, myself included, who cannot vote in political elections in the fall of every year, but there is one thing we all can do – and that is voting in the NYRA board elections every August. There is certainly no age requirement to vote, and in fact, the only thing necessary is a $10 annual membership fee. As a supporter or member of this organization, it is your duty to vote. Exercise your right. Be sure to vote sometime between now and August 5 – If you don’t vote, you are giving up a lot.

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