NYRA Freedom

ISSN 1933-5229
Volume 8, Issue 2
March 6, 2008
Editors: Lexi Johnson and Justin Graham

Table of Contents

– Introduction
– New York City Meet-Up Only Days Away
– 2008 Annual Meeting Date Announced
– Movement to Lower the Voting Age Spreads to Washington and Illinois
– Get Your Voice Heard for Youth Rights! Join the Letter Writing Group!
– Vermont to Study Lowering the Drinking Age
– Recent NYRA Blog Entries
– News from the Web
– Conclusion


There are many things currently going on for youth rights. There is a meet-up in NYC, movements to lower voting age in two states,the letter writing group and protests in Louisiana. This a wonderful time to join the cause and let the world know what you think of ageist restrictions! So don’t hesitate as there is no time like the present! Meet up in NYC, speak out in support of the lower voting age, join the letter writing group, grab a picket sign, form a chapter! Take advantage of these wonderful oppurtunities to do something for youth rights or create an oppurtunity of your own!

New York City Meet-Up Only Days Away

The Youth Rights Meet-Up in New York City is just days away, and all NYRA members in the NYC metro area are strongly encouraged to attend. The Meet-Up will be held on Monday, March 10 at 5:15 P.M., at the Whole Foods on the corner of Houston and Bowery. NYRA advisor and Freechild.org founder Adam Fletcher will be in attendance, as will Kathryn Whitehead, the executive director of the Community Alliance For the Ethical Treatment of Youth, NYRA executive director Alex Koroknay-Palicz, and many local youth and student rights activists. On the agenda will be student rights, the voting age, the drinking age, freedom of speech, economic rights, and more. This Meet-Up is an excellent opportunity for local youth rights supporters to network, discuss strategy, and work together towards a common cause. More information can be found here:

2008 Annual Meeting Date Announced

At the conclusion of this year’s election for the NYRA board of directors, NYRA will hold its Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. The meeting will be held Saturday, August 2. Annual Meetings are a lot of fun, with youth rights workshops and informational presentations on a variety of issues. In addition, those in attendance will be the first to hear the election results, and will get to hear our executive director deliver the annual report. Everyone is invited to participate. Voting for the election will begin July 2. If you are not yet a member and would like to vote in the election please visit:
If you are a member and are interested in running for the board of directors, please throw your hat in the ring by sending us an e-mail to: nyra@youthrights.org

Movement to Lower the Voting Age Spreads to Washington and Illinois

On the heels of the introduction of a bill in the Arizona state legislature to lower the voting age in that state to 16, legislators in two more states have proposed a lower voting age. In Washington state, representatives Tami Green, Dave Upthegrove, and Marko Liias have introduced bills to amend the state constitution (HJR 4226) and state law (HB 2662) to lower the voting age to 16 statewide. And in Illinois, a House committee passed by a vote of 5-3 a state constitutional amendment (HJRCA29), sponsored by representative Lou Lang, that would lower the voting age for local and state elections throughout that state to 17. The amendment now goes to the full House. NYRA members in Washington state and Illinois are strongly encouraged to contact their representatives in state government and express their support for these bills. More information can be found here:

Get Your Voice Heard for Youth Rights! Join the Letter Writing Group!

If you would like to take a stand for youth rights join the Letter Writing Group. The Letter Writing Group is the brainchild of NYRA president Stefan Muller. Quite a few people have already volunteered and the group is very close to being up and running. The group aims to write polite letters of dissent to businesses, schools, local governments, and other places that have been in the news for anti-youth or ageist policies and actions. So what are you waiting for? Join the group, write a letter, make a change! Interested people should contact Stefan Muller either by posting in the “Letter Writing Group” thread on the forums or by email at smuller@youthrights.org.

Vermont to Study Lowering the Drinking Age

Vermont has become the latest state to seriously consider lowering the drinking age from 21. A Vermont Senate committee has passed a bill, authored by state senator Hinda Miller, to create a task force that will study the issue, weigh the pros and cons, and make a recommendation to the state legislature by early 2009. In 2005, NYRA campaigned aggressively for a lower drinking age in Vermont, and the drinking age issue has gained increasing traction nationwide over the past several months.
“Our laws aren’t working,” Sen. Miller told the AP. “They’re not preventing underage drinking. What they’re doing is putting it outside the public eye. So you have a lot of kids binge drinking. They get sick, they get scared and they get into trouble and they can’t call because they know it’s illegal.”
NYRA welcomes the support of Sen. Miller, and NYRA members in Vermont are encouraged to contact their state senators to express their support for this bill, and for a lower drinking age. More information can be found here:

Recent NYRA Blog Entries

Are Women Inferior to Men?
Board of Education
Youth Rights Hits National Op-Ed Pages
Final Words from Susan and Youth Truth
What We’re Up Against
Youth Rights as a Political Issue

News from the Web

Spare the Rod?
Fewer Youths Jump Behind the Wheel
Why we should sterilise teenage girls…temorarily at least
Cruel and Gratuitous
Sherriff Wants to Lower Age for Learner’s Permit
Get ‘Em (Voting) While They’re Young
Lawmaker’s amentment would lower voting age to 17
New Law: Parent’s Permission Required for Myspace/Facebook Account
UE and USI Have Developed Programs to Steer Students Away from Heavy Drinking
Campaign ’08 Not Just for Adults – Kids Love It
Homeless Youth Bill Clears Panel
Is 18 Really the Age of Adulthood? / Proposed Redution From 20 seen having widespread impact on daily life
Students Searched by Teachers Over Missing $5
Kindergartner Suspended for Mohawk Haircut
How Teenage Rebellion Has Become A Mental Illness
Mom’s Mall Meltdown: ‘I had to hit him’
Vermont Latest to Eye Lower Drinking Age
Bill to lower voting age to 17 goes to House floor for debate
AP: 13,000 Abuse Claims in Juvie Centers


This is an exciting time for NYRA. Perhaps for the first time, a lower voting age is truly within our grasp. More and more people, including politicians responsible for setting public policy, are understanding the injustice of the 21 drinking age. NYRA and our causes are receiving increasing publicity in both local and national press, and the traction that youth rights is currently enjoying is certain to continue over the next months. And you can help.
Join NYRA, if you’re not already a member. Start a chapter in your area or join a current chapter. If you’re in the New York metro area, attend the NYC Youth Rights Meet-Up. Network with other youth rights supporters. Contact your representatives in local, state, and federal government, and write letters to the editor of your local newspaper. Donate to NYRA. The momentum is building, but NYRA needs your help to continue moving forward.