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Vermont Drinking Age Campaign

Written by NYRA Jun 15, 2011

One of NYRA’s most intensive campaigns took place in March & April of 2005. Rep. Richard Marron introduced a bill in the Vermont legislature to lower the state’s drinking age to eighteen. The bill had widespread support and Vermont was an ideal state to push the issue. NYRA-Vermont mobilized in support of it and invited NYRA members from around the country to help them spread the word about the bill to all corners of the state.

A “horde” of volunteers, including NYRA-Executive Director Alex Koroknay-Palicz, Dave Varney, Matthew Mallone, Alexis Grant, and Rio Samise, traveled to Vermont to aid the chapter in their efforts. The horde has been working in unison with the core members of NYRA-Vermont: Ken Boring, Hardy Machia, Jay Leff, Heavenly Ryan, Jeremy Ryan, Kevin Ryan, and others to recruit help on every college campus in the state. Hundreds of post cards were signed by students showing their support for lowering the drinking age.

Alex Koroknay-Palicz spoke at several local schools, the chapter held a successful press conference at the state house, and NYRA officials were able to discuss the issue with the governor, secretary of state and many state lawmakers. On Tuesday, April 5th, NYRA played a key role in a drinking age debate at the State House in Montpellier. Alex Koroknay-Palicz, along with Rep. Richard Marron, represented the side in favor of lowering the drinking age. For two hours they debated Public Safety Commissioner Kerry Sleeper and Rep. Loren Shaw, who were against the idea of a lower drinking age. By all accounts Alex and Richard did very well. Over forty people were in attendance, many of whom supported NYRA’s position.

In addition to speaking to thousands of people across the state the campaign attracted significant local and national press coverage. See pictures from the campaign below:

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