NYRA Freedom

ISSN 1933-5229

Volume 3, Issue 4

May 7, 2003


Voting age in Texas
NYRA Elections Coming Up
Voting Age Campaign in Maine
NYRA Protests Ageist 7-11
NYRA To Launch Voting Age Campaign in Maryland
Mobilizing America’s Youth Conference
NYRA President speaks at important political event
Recent Recruiting
Chapter News
News From the Web


A lot of interesting things concerning youth rights are going on right now. Voting Age Campaigns are taking place in all corners of the country. The idea of age discrimination as being wrong is becoming more and more apparent to the larger youth community. Perhaps most importantly, the movement’s leading organization (NYRA), is holding elections soon. Anyone reading this has some interest in youth rights, I am urging all of you to take that interest and turn it into action. One of the easiest ways to do this is pay your dues and vote in the NYRA elections.

Texas Bill

In Texas, a bill has been proposed that will lower the voting age in that state to sixteen. A collation of pro-youth individuals and organizations has been assembled to testify in favor of this bill. In previous civil rights movements, the vote has been a key that opened the door of equality, and we should all be glad to see that door opening in Texas, as well as Maine, DC and North Dakota.

Justin Webb is representing NYRA and has done a tremendous amount of work lobbying, gathering witnesses and so fourth, and that work is greatly appreciated. The people in his area have given him, and the oppressed youth of Texas, a tremendous amount of support, in fact he has only received a bit of opposition, from the Republican party of Texas. Also on our side, The South West Voter Registration Education Project, and the William C Velasquez Institute.

We were expecting a vote on this bill on April Twenty-third.

Unfortunately, not enough committee members were present for a vote to take place. While the people working for this bill were upset, this gives them an opportunity to do more lobbying.

NYRA Elections

NYRA is holding elections from July 9th to August 9th. All who are reading this probably have some interest in Youth Rights. NYRA is one of the foremost Youth Rights organizations and its leadership has a tremendous capacity to determine the direction of the movement.

To vote in the elections, as well as run for the board of directors, members must do one of these things. The easiest way to gain full voting rights is to make a donation of ten dollars, although more money is always welcome, and become a standard member. Not only will you get full NYRA voting rights, but you will get a spiffy membership card. This money will be used to aid the movement, and you can think of it as money towards the civil liberties of a future generation of youth. If you can’t pay the money, or you think you can serve the organization some other way, apply for service membership or sponsored membership.

NYRA would like a larger portion of its membership to take an active role in the internal politics of the organization so all are urged to pay their dues, vote, and run if they please.

Voting Age Campaign in Maine

For some time now, NYRA has been leading a voting age campaign in Maine. If successful, the voting age would be lowered to seventeen, a common goal of voting age campaigns. Unfortunately the bill was withdrawn.

Representative Glenn Cummings, who graciously sponsored the bill, realized that it would not have the support necessary to pass, so unfortunately it was withdrawn. Cummings plans to propose other Youth Rights related voting legislation next year. While this is by no means good news, we now know that Youth Rights has the support of an important lawmaker, and we are grateful of that. Also, our voices were heard, the letters written by NYRA members did a great deal to support this bill and really made a difference. We were going to have interviews on the radio before the bill was withdrawn.

NYRA Protests Ageist 7-11

Stores, are among the most ageist places in the country. Just as African Americans were barred from stores years ago, young people are barred from, or discriminated against in stores today.

A Seven Eleven in the Washington area had a policy that no more than two young people could be in their store at the same time.

The NYRA picketed this store, and those who participated had fun. People of all ages protested, and passers by were supportive. Laura Finstad organized the protest and hopes this will become a monthly event. Aside from hostility from the store manager and a police officer, the event was quite successful.

Read the Indymedia article about this event at: http://www.dc.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=66752

NYRA To Launch Voting Age Campaign in Maryland

Takoma Park, Maryland will be the second city in the United States to lower its voting age below 18. This bold statement sums up the resolve and determination of NYRA-DC to make this goal happen. Taking its lead from the success in Cambridge, MA and the many other campaigns attempting to lower the voting age around the world NYRA is starting a campaign of its own to lower the voting age in Takoma Park, Maryland to 16.

On May 17 at 3pm on the steps of the Takoma Park city hall NYRA members will kick off their campaign with a rally. Focusing their efforts like never before the DC chapter is intent on making this campaign a success. All NYRA members in the DC area are strongly encouraged to attend this rally and to help with the campaign however possible. This campaign will take lots of work, but it will succeed. NYRA will soon make history. For more information please contact Laura Finstad at youthrightsdc@…

Mobilizing America’s Youth Conference

At the Mobilizing America’s youth conference, many presentations were given. NYRA member Ben O’Meara presented a workshop on Lowering the Voting Age, and NYRA President Alex Koroknay-Palicz presented a workshop on Ageism and Youth Rights. This is a sign that we are getting the attention of people outside what we would consider the Youth Rights movement, who are concerned with youth.

The NYRA presentations were great and sparked the interest of many of those who attended.

Conference goers were asked to pick a few issues that would be the focus of the million youth march. While age discrimination was not picked, it was seriously considered, a sign that people are listening. People can visit Mobilizing America’s Youth at this address, www.m-a-y.org.

NYRA President Speaks at Important Political Event

Alex Koroknay-Palicz spoke at the Maryland Libertarian party’s annual convention. The Libertarian party once had a strong youth rights agenda, w hich has since vanished. Alex gave a speech about Youth Rights and how it relates to the Ideals behind libertarianism. The audience was intrigued. Those working for Youth Rights desperately need more people on their side, and Americas third largest political party, which once had a strong youth rights agenda seems like a natural place to start.

Recent Recruiting

Recruiting went well in the month of April, particularly the twelfth. NYRA has an especially strong DC chapter, which had enough volunteer support to recruit at three separate events on one day. They recruited at the MAY conference in Virginia, A Gay pride rally in DC, as well as an anti war protest at the Washington monument. The recruiting went very well, and we would like to thank all those who volunteered for getting the word out.

Chapter News

Anyone wishing to start a local chapter is encouraged to do so. If you would like to do this please e-mail DeWarren Langley at DLangley@…

NYRA DC and NYRA High Point have great meeting with great attendance. The meetings are productive and fun and any reader in that area is encouraged to attend. NYRA DC is organizing their voting age campaign and is most likely going to have a rally on the seventeenth in Takoma Park Maryland. NYRA DC meets at 3 PM at the Cleveland Park library in DC on the first Saturday of every month.

News From the Web

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/storyprint.cfm?storyID=3450926 – Burger Ban Urged For Children

http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewNation.asp?Page=Nationarchive200304NAT20030425c.html – NJ Mulls Hiking Legal Smoking Age to Sixteen

http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/11.05/view_pr.html – High Score Education

http://www.dc.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=66752 – Anti-Ageism Activists Protest 7-11 Injustice

http://www.eagleforum.org/column/2003/apr03/03-04-23.shtml – Zero Tolerance or Zero Common Sense?

http://www.canada.com/edmonton/edmontonjournal/story.asp?id=F293A4EA-C805-4A22-8DDF-B5F43A4E3D48 – Youth Appealing Ruling That Keeps Voting Age Eighteen

http://www.nypost.com/news/regionalnews/73882.htm – Girl Sues NY to be Grad at 14

http://www.phillyburbs.com/pb-dyn/news/29-04212003-77067.html – Supreme Court to Look at Age Bias Case

http://juneauempire.com/stories/041803/sta_bill.shtml – Bill Drops Teenage Wages

http://www.inform.umd.edu/News/Diamondback/archives/2003/04/04/news4.html – Free Speech Zones Lawsuit May Delay Student Rights Bill

http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=7641444&BRD=988&PAG=461&dept_id=141265&rfi=6 – ACLU sides with Censored Student Journalist

http://www.ccchronicle.com/back/2003-04-07/opinions1.html – Student Award Revoked for Speaking Out

http://www.wmtw.com/Global/story.asp?S=1254989 – Referendum on Voting Age Bill Held Off For a Year

http://icsouthlondon.icnetwork.co.uk/0100news/0200southlondonheadlines/page.cfm?objectid=12877194&method=full&siteid=50100 – Plea to Give Sixteen Year Olds the Vote

http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=97463&d=815&h=817&f=816&dateformat=%25B%20%25e,%20%25Y – Fifteen Year Old Taxpayer Tries To change Law in Florida

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/broward/sfl-sckidvote16apr16,0,2397603.story?coll=sfla-news-broward – Teenager on a Campaign to Lower Voting Age in State

http://www.ohio.com/mld/beaconjournal/living/5591879.htm – Major Cruise Lines Lower Age for Drinking, Gambling


All in all this has been another productive month in a very productive year for Youth Rights. Please, become a full member, vote, get involved, and when your children don’t grow up under an ageist regime, you can tell them to thank you.