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NYRA Freedom Volume 4, Issue 9

Written by NYRA Mar 29, 2011

NYRA Freedom

ISSN 1933-5229

Volume 4, Issue 9

September 7, 2004

Contents:

Introduction
General Meeting Held, New Board Elected
NYRA Forums Upgraded
Child Abuser Immunity Act Passes Ohio State House
Voting Age Bill Fails in California
New Board Holds First Meeting
NYRA in the News
News From the Web
Conclusion

Introduction

It has been another promising month. NYRA’s new board is already getting things done, and NYRA members are in the news more and more often. This month also reminded us how far we must come. The voting age bill failed in California, and a bill might pass in Ohio that condones the physical abuse of young people in schools.

General Meeting Held, New Board Elected

After a month of voting, the 2004 NYRA Election has come to a close. At the General Meeting on Saturday, August 14 in New York City, NYRA members received a copy of the Annual Report (read it here: http://www.youthrights.org/docs/AnnualReport2004.pdf) and heard the report delivered by President Alex Koroknay-Palicz. Great discussion was sparked by the individuals in attendance regarding the year just past and the year to come. It was agreed 2005 promises to be NYRA’s best year yet. After a year of internal difficulties, the theme of the meeting was one of renewal, and to symbolize this was held across the street from the World Trade Center site. The meeting was in the Winter Garden, the first building to be fully restored after the attack on 9/11. Also at the meeting the final votes were cast in the 2004 Board election and the final tally was made. With 38 votes cast out of a potential 65 the turnout rate was lower than last year, but many more total votes were made. The 2004-2005 Board of Directors include Scott Davidson, Rich Jahn, and Alex Koroknay-Palicz who were reelected for another term, and newcomers Jackie Fuller, Robert Reynolds, Kevin Keenan, Scarlett Swerdlow, Keith Mandell, and Arpan Patel. Read the Board’s profiles here: http://www.youthrights.org/bod.shtml Congrats to all those who made it on the Board.

NYRA Forums Upgraded

After five years of continuous operation of our archaic 5.38a UBB forums, the good folks at NYRA have shelled out the cash and purchased a license for brand new vBulletin forums, version 3.0.3. The new forums have many more features than the old ones, and are a great leap forward for NYRA’s increasingly active online community. In addition to lacking many needed features and perks that are now standard for online message boards, NYRA’s old, UBB forums were never transferred from the organization’s original host on ecg.net. This upgrade completes the switch, moving all of NYRAnia to YouthRights.org. The new address for NYRA’s forums is all members and visitors are encouraged to check them out.

Child Abuser Immunity Act Passes Ohio State House

A bill recently passed the Ohio State House, which would protect schools and their employees from liability resulting from injuring students, providing that injury does not cause permanent damage. Obviously, NYRA opposes this bill which sets aside the rights of young people in order to protect the rights of those who are intent on oppressing them and abusing them physically. If it passes the senate, any adults working for the school, not just teachers, will essentially have a free pass to abuse students. The bill is in direct conflict with Tinker Vs. Des Moines, and with the notion that students deserve to be treated as human beings. NYRA members are encouraged to write letters to the editors of Ohio newspapers and to contact the Ohio Senate. If you wish to get involved in the campaign please visit the Campaign HQ (http://www.youthrights.org/forums/showthread.php?t=640) with more information and tools to help us defeat this bill.

Voting Age Bill Fails in California

California State Senator John Vasconcellos recently abandoned his proposal to lower the voting age in California. NYRA President Alex Koroknay-Palicz, NYRA-Berkley chapter President Robert Reynolds, and NYRA advisor Mike Males had all gone to Sacramento to testify on behalf of the bill, which passed two committees before being amended and eventually abandoned. The bill, which originally would have given one half of a vote to sixteen and seventeen year olds, and one quarter of a vote to fourteen and fifteen year olds, was recently amended to simply lower the voting age to sixteen. People felt that the initial proposal was too complicated, and too much like the three fifths compromise. While NYRA regrets this bill being abandoned, we feel that overall the experience was a positive one. The debate surrounding the bill got a lot of people talking about youth rights issues, and generated a lot of press for NYRA. NYRA advised Senator Vaconcellos’s office about the bill, and NYRA members testified before important law makers. Therefore, it should still be viewed as a victory.

New Board Holds First Meeting

NYRA’s new board of directors held its first meeting on Sunday, August 29th. The meeting was well attended and productive. The first item on the agenda was officer elections. Alex Koroknay-Palicz was reelected in his capacities as Treasurer and President, Robert Reynolds was elected Vice President, and Scott Davidson will serve another term as Secretary. Later it was determined who would sit on which committees, and the board agreed on a schedule. Towards the end of the meeting, the board began to discuss strategic planning, and it was agreed that the discussion would continue on the board of directors mailing list. Read minutes here: (http://www.youthrights.org/minutes/8-29-04.pdf)

NYRA in the News

In the past month, NYRA has continued to appear in the media with stunning frequency. NYRA Vice-President Robert Reynolds was quoted in the San Jose Mercury News, in an article concerning California’s failed voting age bill. NYRA Secretary Scott Davidson was quoted in the Detroit Free Press, in an editorial written in favor of lowering the voting age. Not long after those articles came out, NYRA President Alex Koroknay-Palicz was on statewide radio in Kentucky. Earlier in the month Alex had appeared in the Macon Telegraph, and many other newspapers who picked up the Knight-Ridder news wire. Perhaps most impressively, former NYRA Director Laura Finstad was featured prominently in a voting age piece that appeared in “Parade.” Parade is a national publication, and this piece was probably read by many hundreds of thousands of people. Links to the articles can be found in the “news from the web” section.

NYRA From The Web

Texas cupcake ban crumbles

http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/front/2771973

Teens battle mouse in pizza fight; Company’s age policy angers under-18 set

http://www.thetimesherald.com/news/stories/20040825/localnews/1112807.html

“At 16, You Should Be Able To Vote”

(Parade Article Featuring NYRA)

http://archive.parade.com/2004/0815/0815_freshvoices.html

YOUNG VOICES: Teenagers have adult reasons to vote

(Detroit Free Press Article Featuring NYRA)

http://www.freep.com/voices/columnists/esmith23_20040823.htm

Fake IDs must-haves for hundreds of underage college students

(Knight-Ridder wire Article Featuring NYRA)

http://www.macon.com/mld/macon/news/nation/9354898.htm

Conclusion

As I implied in the introduction, this month has been a mix of good and bad. I feel we are at a crossroads. If we stand aside and nothing is done, there will be more bills granting immunity to those who abuse young people in schools, and there will be more and more ageist legislation in general. On the other hand, if everyone who cares about youth rights contributes just a little bit to the cause, maybe young people in this country won’t be bombarded by so much discrimination and oppression.

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