NYRA Freedom

ISSN 1933-5229

Volume 3, Issue 11

December 4, 2003


NYRA’s Need for Funding
NYRA Plugged on NPR
DeWarren Langley Resigns, Davidson Appointed
Alex Koroknay-Palicz Speaks at Prestigious Conference
News From The Web
Additions to Website


NYRA has, for a number of years, been the foremost organization in the vital yet drastically under-funded and under-developed Youth Rights movement. NYRA is being represented all over the media, and our website is widely acclaimed as one of the best in the Youth Rights community. As wonderful as things have been in the recent past, NYRA wants to bring things to the next level. With your support we can have a paid staff and significant budget. With your continued support, we can liberate America’s Youth from the chains of ageism.

NYRA’s Need for Fundraising

In the past NYRA has operated on a budget of a couple thousand dollars a year. In order to gain more influence, we simply need more. For an organization to accomplish such drastic goals as NYRA deems essential to protecting the civil and human liberties of young people, tens of thousands of dollars need to be readily available. A full time paid staff needs to replace our current system of a few dedicated volunteers who simply can not run a successful movement with day jobs and lack of experience running non profits.

NYRA had originally hoped to gain 501c3 tax status, which would open the door for huge tax deductible grants from various foundations. Unfortunately, the Internal Revenue Service cited that we had done too much lobbying in the past (notably the Maine voting age letter writing campaign) to gain this status. The executive committee, with board approval, opted to try for the next best thing, 501c4. NYRA is confident that our 501c4 status will be approved, as the IRS themselves suggested we apply for this.

Since we will probably not be receiving the large grants we had hoped for, we must raise our own funds. NYRA thinks that a benefit concert will generate enough revenue to propel NYRA from a start-up, volunteer organization to a well know, well funded group of professionals working full time to achieve Youth Rights.

But we need to start somewhere. In a recent letter to the membership, NYRA Vice President and board member Johnathan McClure stated that NYRA will need a whopping $50,000 dollars to pay for the fundraiser, which we hope will generate $150,000 dollars in funds. This “$50,000 dollar question” as it is being called, is the difference between Youth Rights in our lifetime, or another five years of obscurity, difficulty, and oppression of Youth.

This money needs to come from none other than us, the members. In an inspirational email, NYRA member Ellen Scott Grable was pledged to ask for donations as Christmas presents and donate much of her savings to NYRA, and she challenges the rest of us to do the same. If you have a few bucks you want to donate, great, every bit helps, if you have several thousand dollars, that’s great too. NYRA is also accepting loans. I know that it is a little tacky hitting you all up for money, especially around the holidays, but this is absolutely vital to our success, I can not over state the importance of this $50,000.

NYRA Plugged on NPR

On November 9th, NYRA-DC chapter President and NYRA Director Laura Finstad appeared on National Public Radio’s “That Democracy Show” in Washington. The show featured young people discussing the benefits of working outside of the system versus working within the system. NYRA believes that a balance should be struck between the two. Laura managed to get in an insightful and well articulated comment pertaining to NYRA-DC and the voting age. Later on someone called in and mentioned NYRA, shortly after that a second caller, unaffiliated with NYRA, called and spoke about the voting age. A lot of people, most of whom are probably young and political conscious, were listening to the program. A new member joined shortly after Laura’s comments aired and NYRA assumes that this is a direct result of Laura’s appearance on the show. This can be seen as a great success.

DeWarren Langley Resigns, Davidson Appointed

On November 13th, DeWarren Kiajuan Langley resigned from both the NYRA Board of Directors, and from his position as the director of the Office of Chapter Formation and Advisory. DeWarren resigned due to differences of opinion, stemming from his very literal view of NYRA’s mission statement and his strong opinions with regard to the best possible structuring of the OCFA.

DeWarren’s abrupt resignation left NYRA without one of its most active members, and we will miss his many positive qualities that were so often reflected in his work. A board member since the beginning of this term, and an active member for some years, DeWarren was very active, and someone who brought some impressive credentials to NYRA. We wish him the best of luck with the organization he is currently President of, the Society for the Advancement of Management.

At a November 23rd meeting, the NYRA Board of Directors voted to appoint yours truly, Scott Davidson, to the Board of Directors. As a Director, I hope to continue to serve this organization to the best of my abilities as I have been striving to do as both Secretary and “NYRA Freedom” Editor.

Alex Koroknay-Palicz Speaks at Prestigious Conference

On November 22nd-23rd, the Center for Voting and Democracy held a conference entitled “Claiming Democracy” at a brand new convention center in Washington, DC. The event was focused on exercising the right to vote, and among the issues discussed was the voting age.

The speakers included Ralph Nader, Jessie Jackson, Jr., and perhaps most importantly, NYRA President and Executive Director Alex Koroknay-Palicz, who sat on a panel regarding the voting age. Alex did a good job at the event, and received a very positive response from those who heard what he had to say.

One young professional approached Alex afterwards and said he would like to become more involved in Youth Rights. This is exactly the kind of networking that NYRA needs to be doing in such crucial times.

News From the Web

http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/northfulton/1003/24diary.html – Student’s Expulsion Rescinded

http://www.nj.com/search/index.ssf?/base/news-1/1068545111171463.xml?times?nxt – W. Windsor Council adopts drinking age law

http://www.iht.com/articles/117662.html2 – Boy in skirt tests limits of school dress code

http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/311/stratford.shtml – South Carolina: High School Drug Raid Sparks Incredulity, Outrage

http://pewforum.org/news/display.php?NewsID=2827 – Muslim Student Sues School District Over Headscarf Ban

http://www.gazette.net/200341/burtonsville/news/181488-1.html – Careful—your neighborhood liquor store clerk might be a police officer

http://abcnews.go.com/sections/us/DailyNews/cwalk020614.html – The New Forbidden Dance

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=35392 – Government mandates on toddlers

http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/news/local/6990579.htm – Updating law to support an Amish custom

http://www.youthrights.org/articles/stratfordraid.html Gun Wielding Police, Drug Dogs Storm Hallways

Website Additions

Links Page Added
New section to view and download NYRA flyers added
Youth Rights poetry page added
“Understanding Adultism” by John Bell added to the research section


I feel, that if thing go the way they should, these coming months will go down in history as some of the most glorious months the Youth Rights movement will ever see. If every single person who reads this does whatever they can to make this fundraiser a success, NYRA will become a household acronym, comparable to the ACLU or the AARP. Hit up your relatives and friends for money, ask for donations as Christmas presents, do whatever needs to be done to make this thing happen. If every single one of you donates a few dollars, we will see Youth Rights at last become as much of a widely accepted concept as Women’s Rights and Civil Rights.