NYRA Freedom

ISSN 1933-5229
Volume 10, Issue 7
July 15, 2010
Editors: James Holl, Myah Coleman and Lu Wang
Publisher: David Moss


– Introduction
– DC Chapter Speaks Out at City Council Hearing
– You are invited to 2010 NYRA’s Annual Meeting Next Month
– Vote in the 2010 Board of Directors Election
– Bill To Curtail Residential Treatment Abuse Needs Help!
– Crazy Ray’s Subpoena
– NYRA Tables the 2010 Vans Warped Tour
– NYRA Blog Updates
– News From the Web
– Conclusion


As NYRA staffers struggle through the hottest summer in D.C. history, many of our campaigns are heating up as well. We may finally be turning a corner in our ongoing battle with Crazy Ray’s Junkyard in Baltimore, NYRA-DC is becoming a vocal voice for youth, NYRA is spreading the word at Warped Tour and we are now at the organizationally most important month in our calendar year – the NYRA election and our annual meeting. It has been twelve months since the last time NYRA members from around the country gathered in one place to share a weekend of fun and activism. On August 7 the 2010 annual meeting will begin, and all youth rights supporters are invited to participate. If you’ve never been before, or if you’ve gone every year, this is one event you don’t want to miss. What better way to spend a weekend in August than getting plugged in to our dynamic network of youth rights advocates. If you can’t make it, no problem, you can still vote and be heard in our election. Please become a dues paying member and be heard. Finally, one more issue that needs you to speak up about is HR 911, a bill to regulate abusive teen behavior modification camps that is currently stalled in the Senate. Please take action by calling your Senator about the bill. The heat is beating down on many of us outside, and now is the time to turn the heat up on the members of the Senate HELP committee.

DC Chapter Speaks Out at City Council Hearing

On July 10, members from NYRA-DC attended a youth hearing held by the DC City Council and brought important youth rights issues to the attention of the council and the city. NYRA-DC President Larry Pretlow II spoke to the council about reforming the Youth Advisory Council so that it would provide an effective, meaningful voice for the youth of DC. City staff were very impressed with the testimony and described it as very bold yet “a breath of fresh air”. City officials present at the hearing pledged to work closely with the chapter on implementing these policy suggestions. Larry Pretlow’s testimony can be read here: http://blog.youthrights.org/2010/07/15/reforming-the-youth-advisory-council-testimony/
NYRA-DC Treasurer, Usi Phoenix, testified in opposition to the DC curfew law, an issue the chapter has attracted some press on of late. (see below) Present at the hearing were Chairman Vincent Gray and Councilmember Harry Thomas, Jr., two of the councilmembers who voted against a recent proposal to make the DC curfew law stricter for the summer. The chapter was pleased to hear Councilman Thomas reiterate his opposition to the curfew. NYRA-DC Director of Political Affairs and founder of the US Youth Chamber of Commerce, Connell Wise, spoke on the issue of lowering the voting age to the council. Wise laid out a solid case for lowering the voting age that sparked an interesting discussion on the issue both during and after the hearing.
DC members, both those who did and didn’t testify, spoke to other youth advocates present and discussed how they could work together. Several people were very interested in NYRA-DC. Also, NYRA-DC has filled out and notarized their paperwork for incorporation. Soon the form will be submitted and NYRA-DC will be an official non-profit corporation in Washington, DC. The chapter is off to a great start and is expected to accomplish great things. If you are in the DC area, please join their Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/NYRA-DC/111741705541820

You are invited to 2010 NYRA’s Annual Meeting Next Month

Who: You
What: 2010 NYRA Annual Meeting
When: August 7 & 8
Where: 1601 Connecticut Avenue, Washington, DC 20009
In less than a month, NYRA’s 2010 Annual Meeting will take place in Washington, DC. This is the event where dozens of the nation?s most active youth rights advocates will gather together to hone their skills, learn more about youth rights, and meet other NYRA supporters face to face.
The event is totally free! We have scheduled a full range of workshops and trainings for Annual Meeting attendees. “Non-Profit Tricks of the Trade Workshop”, “Guide to Emancipation”, “10 Rules for Dealing with Police”, “Fundraising Tips and Guidance” and “How to Start and Run Student Groups”, these are just a glimpse of the activities of the event. Breakfast will be provided on both days and all attendees are invited to a NYRA BBQ on Saturday night after the meeting. You can get more information here: http://www.youthrights.org/annualmeeting2010.php.
So come and join us for informative workshops, discussions, movies, meet with our own chapter leaders and members. It is a great chance to learn more about youth rights and how to help advance the youth rights movement. Bring a friend, and make new friends at the meeting.
This has been an annual tradition since NYRA was founded, and each year the event gets bigger and better. Not only is the annual meeting an important chance to grow in your understanding of youth rights, build your skills and connect with other NYRA members, it is quite a lot of fun!
We need to know who’s coming! If you are at all planning to attend, please RSVP here: http://www.youthrights.org/annualmeeting2010.php.
The meeting is free for all attendees, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t cost us a lot of manpower and money to put on. Please help keep the meeting free by making a donation to support the organization: http://www.youthrights.org/donate.php

Vote in the 2010 Board of Directors Election

This year we have 14 candidates running for NYRA’s 2010 Board of Directors, including seven incumbents. Our seven incumbents include Jackie Ferro, Alex Koroknay-Palicz, Hal Levy, Keith Mandell, Katrina Moncure, Stefan Muller, and Jeffrey Nadel. Challengers vying for a spot on the board include Lindsay Coley, Julian Gutierrez, Chris Hardy, Jenny Harkin, Max Harmony, Nigel Jones, and Usiel Phoenix.
Before you vote, you can check out candidates’ bio statements http://www.youthrights.org/election/statements.php, talk to them http://www.youthrights.org/forums/forumdisplay.php?38-2010-NYRA-Election, look up their attendance record http://www.youthrights.org/election/attendance.php and get information on the Annual Meeting on August 7 & 8 in Washington, D.C.!
The election began on July 7 and ends on August 7 at 3 pm. Voting will take place both online and at the annual meeting in Washington, DC. Only full NYRA members can vote, and anyone can be a full NYRA member. Just go here http://www.youthrights.org/donate.php and pay $10 annual dues. What are you waiting for? You still have time to be a full member and vote! Also, if you are really having trouble coming up with $10 for dues, NYRA Secretary Katrina Moncure has offered to pay the dues of anyone who makes 50 posts in the NYRA forums by the end of the month. Please contact Katrina and let her know you are interested: kmoncure@youthrights.org
Vote here: http://www.youthrights.org/election/2010ballot.php

Bill To Curtail Residential Treatment Abuse Needs Help!

HR 911, known as the Stop Child Abuse in Residential Treatment Programs act, is a bill that could potentially protect thousands of abused kids, ensure that the abusers are punished… and is currently stalled in the Senate. First introduced on February 9, 2009, the bill is designed to revise the current system of behavior modification centers for youth. The bill passed in the House last year on Feb. 23 without amendment by a margin of 295-102-35. After a year and a half however, the Senate has not taken up the bill. It is up to us to put pressure on them to do so.
With a patchwork of state laws that have been ineffective at protecting young people, this bill is the best chance to put a stop to (or at least lessen) the terrible abuse that occurs in teen behavior modification camps. While it defies reason that these practices weren’t already banned, the legislation would prohibit programs from physically, mentally, or sexually abusing children and prohibit them from denying youth essential food, water, clothing, shelter, or medical care. The bill would increase transparency for parents and make it harder for them to be lied to or deceived by programs claiming to offer treatment.
In addition to NYRA, a chief proponent of this bill is the Community Alliance for the Ethical Treatment of Youth, a former NYRA project and close ally. NYRA members are strongly encouraged to help CAFETY get this bill introduced and passed in the Senate, please take action here: http://cafety.org/involvement/132-take-action/781-ask-you-senator-to-support-hr-911.

Crazy Ray’s Subpoenaed

As many of you know, NYRA has been involved in an anti-discrimination campaign against Joe Duff of Crazy Ray’s Junkyard in Maryland. Crazy Ray’s has a policy, stated clearly on their website and at their store locations that they do not allow anyone under 18 to enter. In fact, at the Crazy Ray’s website “You must be over 18 to enter, no children.” is the first thing listed under “9 things every Crazy Ray’s Customer Should Know.” Mr. Duff has been informed repeatedly that this policy is a violation Maryland Article 49B which protects people from discrimination in public accommodations. Despite being fully aware that he is violating the law, Mr. Duff persists and the policy continues to be enforced. Over a year ago, we filed a complaint with the Maryland Commission on Human Relations and that complaint has been slowly moving forward. Last month, after refusing to comply with requests from the Commission, Mr. Duff received a subpoena and is now legally required to justify his po licies. NYRA staff members have brought the issue to the attention of Mr. Henry Ford, the executive director of the MCHR and we are in preliminary discussions about creating some sort of official public-private partnership with the commission in order to expedite these claims in the future. We are confident that our hard work and persistence will pay off and that the Crazy Ray’s case will be a model for us to emulate for years to come.

NYRA Tables the 2010 Vans Warped Tour

NYRA Executive Director Alex Koroknay-Palicz and Development Intern Myah Coleman will host a table for the 2010 Vans Warped Tour stop at the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland all day on July 20, 2010. And NYRA President Jeffrey Nadel will be tabling at the West Palm Beach stop on the tour. Since its creation, the Vans Warped Tour has been instrumental in supporting various charities and non-profit organizations. NYRA will be in good company along with other non-profits such as MusiCares, Invisible Children and Action for Animals. Last year, tabling at the Vans Warped Tour proved to be a successful venture for NYRA with about 250 new members recruited and profits raised. This year, NYRA hopes to break its previous membership and donation records. We will focus on promoting awareness of the organization along with issues of age discrimination. If you will be attending the Vans Warped Tour or have friends who are planning to attend then please stop by the NYRA table and have your friends sign up!
Warped Tour: http://www.vanswarpedtour.com


July 7 – August 7 NYRA Board Election Only dues paying members can vote, please renew here: http://www.youthrights.org/donate.php Visit the election page here: http://www.youthrights.org/election
July 16 – #16tovote on the 16th All Day Post voting age related tweets on Twitter and include the hashtag #16tovote Info here: http://forums.youthrights.org/showthread.php?20369
July 18 – Board Meeting 8 pm Eastern In the NYRA chatroom on AIM IM Alex From NYRA if you need an invite
July 20 – Informal Chat 8 pm – 12 am Eastern In the NYRA chatroom on AIM IM Alex From NYRA if you need an invite
August 2 – Informal Chat 8 pm – 12 am Eastern In the NYRA chatroom on AIM IM Alex From NYRA if you need an invite
August 7-8 – 2010 NYRA Annual Meeting Washington D.C. For more details please visit: http://www.youthrights.org/annualmeeting2010.php


Reforming the Youth Advisory Council Testimony


NYRA Related
KARE 11 Extra: Curbing teen driving deaths in Minnesota
Are DC Curfew Laws Effective?
D.C. Police Warn Kids About Summer Curfew

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