NYRA Freedom

ISSN 1933-5229
Volume 7, Issue 7
July 18, 2007


-Annual Meeting this month!
-Board Election underway
-NYRA Testifies before the District of Columbia City Council
-New chapters!
-A Solid Beginning for NYRA Marion!
-News From the web


Welcome to this month’s issue of NYRA Freedom. Allow us – that is, Victoria Minerva and Harry Lambrianou, your acting co-editors – to begin by apologizing for the erratic scheduling of this newsletter. As things heat up down at NYRA headquarters, our fearless leader (Alex Koroknay-Palicz, of course) is still searching for a permanent successor for Scott Davidson, former editor of NYRA Freedom, though time grows ever tighter.
This month is not a month of bad news. No, this is a month of construction. Reconstruction. Growth. This is a very proud month for us. We welcome among us three new chapters. We celebrate the continued efforts of our friends and colleagues at Watkins Glen. We look forward to our annual meeting at the end of this month. We look forward to the results of our Board of Directors election. Most importantly of all, now as always, we continue to look forward.

Annual Meeting this month!

NYRA members from all over the country are marking in their calendars the days of July 28 to 29. The Annual Meeting is coming closer and closer. This promises to be the biggest, and most exciting annual meeting yet! For the first time, we will have a full range of workshops and trainings for Annual Meeting attendees. The full schedule will be announced soon.
Also, as always, it will feature the presentation of NYRA?s Annual Report, strategy discussion for the year ahead, and the final voting for the election. Annual Meeting attendees get to be the first in the country to hear the election results! Since most of our members are scattered around the country this is the best chance to reconnect face-to-face with all the people you’ve worked with and talked with online. Lots of people have RSVPed so far, this annual meeting promises to be the best attended one in NYRA?s history. Don?t miss it!
RSVP Here: http://www.youthrights.org/annualmeeting2007.php

Board Election Under Way!

This month sees us well into the process of electing our Board of Directors, and looking forward to the announcement of the winners at the Annual Meeting.
Incumbents Alex Koroknay-Palicz, Katrina Moncure, Alex Hull-Richter, Adam King, and Keith Mandell are met this year by newcomers Stefan Muller, Yonaton Yares, Chip Sinton, Adam Zarnowski, Jessica Roeder, and NYRA Freedom?s own Victoria Minerva Rodr?guez Rold?n.
You can read a bit about each candidate?s background on the page below. Get a feel for where these candidates are coming from, and where each one intends for us to be going. http://www.youthrights.org/election/statements.php
For a more detailed, focused look at the issues, look at how our candidates answer an interview here: http://www.youthrights.org/election/questionnaire.php
Announcements will be made, but if you want to hear it all first, join us at the Annual Meeting in Washington.

NYRA Testifies before the DC Council

For the second time in two weeks our Executive Director, Alex Koroknay-Palicz was in the Washington DC City Hall testifying on a new bill that would trample upon the rights of the District?s youth.
The bill introduced by Councilmember Tommy Wells of Ward 6, seeks the same result as the previously defeated curfew bill, but uses a different approach. This bill aims to hold parents responsible for child neglect if their children under the age of 14 are outside after 10 PM unsupervised. It should be noted that Councilmember Wells was among the cosponsors of the previous bill to extend the curfew down to 10 PM which was recently defeated, making this a second attempt at the same objective, which according to many credible and sensible voices will be an even heavier burden for poor families.
Most of the people who testified were against the bill, and NYRA was no exception in standing up against this trampling of rights upon the District?s youth. Our Executive Director, Alex Koroknay-Palicz testified before the committee. The full text of the testimony can be found on the NYRA blog: http://blog.youthrights.org/2007/07/05/nyras-testimony-before-dc-human-services-committee/
The National Youth Rights Association has a long history of opposing the DC curfew and organized large protests against the curfew when it first began in 1999. This is an important issue for NYRA, and for DC?s youth. If you live in the DC area and are interested in organizing a chapter to fight the existing curfew law and be on guard for future bills that infringe on youth rights please contact us at http://www.youthrights.org/contact.php

New Chapters

As of June 2007, Chip Sinton announced a new chapter in Orlando, FL. We look forward to hearing more from NYRA Orlando once they begin official activities in August, and in the mean time wish Chip luck in the elections and in all of his Youth Rights endeavors.
Another new chapter is NYRA ? Oakland County, just north of Detroit, MI. This spring, chapter president, Shivam Patel, registered the chapter as an official club at his high school. Not much has yet been done; Patel is currently on vacation and will return in a month to get things organized in preparation for the next school year. The chapter intends to work on lowering the voting age and addressing the state?s ?minor in association? law that punishes young people who are merely around underage drinking. Patel believes this law deters designated drivers and actually encourages young people to drink as they get in trouble whether they drink or not.
Established on the 3rd of July, we welcome Jess Roeder?s chapter at Marion, OH. Once again, we wish our intrepid founder good luck in the elections. Harry, was granted the honor of an interview with Ms. Roeder, to which I will dedicate the next section.
One of our most promising chapters is NYRA-Twin Cities, based in St. Paul & Minneapolis, Minnesota. Led by chapter president Ray Lynn Prokasky and joined by active NYRA members in the area Rich Jahn, Lynsey Moseman, Becky Drewo and Jesse Hunter this chapter has already met twice since they were founded on July 2. Taking the initiative and setting up a MySpace page for her chapter is Becky from NYRA Twin Cities. Celebrate the Youth Rights geekery with us here: http://www.myspace.com/twinyouth_action

A Solid Beginning for NYRA Marion

Founded on July 3rd, 2007 by Board of Directors candidate Jessica Roeder, comes the Marion, OH chapter of NYRA. To celebrate this illustrious ? if rough ? beginning, I asked for and was granted a brief interview with Ms. Roeder.
HL: Who are your officers?
JR: Since I made the rather unwise choice of setting my first meeting the day before a major holiday, many people who were interested in forming the group were unable to come, so we decided not to choose officers at our first meeting. Our next meeting will likely be whenever I can get most of the other members to be able to come.
HL: What are your chapters’ pet issues, if any? What are you going to be devoting your time to working on at the local level?
JR: We would like to attempt to repeal our city’s curfew. We chose this as our local mission because it’s a goal that a lot of youth in our town can get behind, and because it’s always good to have a short-term goal that people can relate to.
Our general plan is to appear before the City Council and ask them to vote on repealing the ordinance that contains the city’s curfew. If we are unsuccessful, our next plan will probably be a protest. We would love to have success in our city, but even if we’re laughed out of City Council, we will still continue to advance our causes in the best ways we can.
HL: What are your plans for the near future?
JR: So far, all the members are from my school, and I’d like to get the work out to other Marion-area people. That’s going to be one of my chapter goals that I’ll work on.
We look forward to more from Marion, and I have hope for another interview as the summer months wane, once schools are back in session and Ms. Roeder has been able to act on her plan to spread the word beyond her own high school into the schools and communities around her.

News from the Web

Quiet night at the mall gets teens talking
Teen starts website campaign against Valley View rule
Proposal would let some age 17 vote
Voting: Citizenship commission to look at votes at 16
‘I love Alex’ earns girl 4-month suspension
RI Prosecutes 17-Year-Olds to Save Money
Video Games Don’t Make Kids Violent, Study Says
California Judge Strikes School Dress Code That Banned Winnie-the-Pooh Socks
Romney, Torture, and Teens:The former governor’s connections to abusive “tough love”
School Leaving Age Article
Student loses ruling over “Bong Hits 4 Jesus”


In this month we see challenges and triumphs at the same time. The Annual Meeting and the election to the board make this the most important month of the year for NYRA. Much can be done, and a lot has been done. However, there is far more left to be done. NYRA is the cure to the injustices and to the destruction and ills that ageism causes.
But this cannot be done on our own. We need you. Start a chapter. Donate. Pay your membership dues. Vote in the election. Go to the Annual Meeting. Apply for the position of editor. The ways you can help NYRA are endless. And with your help and support, we will finally be able to one day bring us to a world that is free of the evils of ageism and discrimination.