NYRA Freedom

ISSN 1933-5229
Volume 7, Issue 8
August 16, 2007

Table of Contents

-Drinking Age Media Blitz
-Win NYRA $1,000 on Facebook with Zero Effort
-Annual Meeting a Success
-Board Election Results
-Bylaw Changes
-News from the Web


Welcome to NYRA Freedom for August 2007. We look back on a pair of major events this past month: NYRA’s annual meeting, and our Board of Directors election, and a developing event: a media blitz for NYRA?s drinking age campaign. May the election victors guide us ever onward and upward. As the months of summer wane, we have undertaken a bit of housecleaning, as well, represented by changes in the bylaws, dusting out obsolete language and procedure. NYRA Freedom’s own News From the Web column is beginning a slight format change this month, as well, separating our National news from the International news. While our focus, by necessity, remains American, the clarion-call of our campaign is sounding worldwide. May we learn to listen with new ears.
On a personal note, this month marks your last chance to replace us – Victoria Minerva and Harry Lambrianou – as your editors of this fine newsletter. If anyone wishes to step up, please have your application to our fearless leader, Alex Koroknay-Palicz, by the end of the month. If no one seeks it after this call, we are officially dropping the word “acting” from our titles, and staying on as co-editors.

Drinking Age Media Blitz

In late-breaking news, national news service MSNBC has featured a headline on a topic close to our hearts: the debate to lower the drinking age. The full article and video, including a poll, are available online at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20249460/ and include a tip of the hat to the National Youth Rights Association. Local TV and radio stations across the country have been in touch with NYRA over the last few days, giving us the opportunity to amplify our message out to millions of people across the country. Just to give you a quick run down of past, present and future coverage to show the scope of this explosion in media coverage, NYRA representatives have been interviewed on the radio in Portland, St. Louis, Reading, CA, San Diego, Seattle, Tuscon, AZ, Springfield, IL, Jacksonville, FL, Scottsdale, AZ, Hartford, CT, on TV in Jacksonville, FL, Orlando, FL, New York City, and possibly a national broadcast on Telemundo next week.
This is a surge in media coverage unprecedented in NYRA history, and the calls keep coming. This massive exposure for the organization is a sign that the tide may be turning in the battle to lower the drinking age. Even Mothers Against Drunk Driving is getting scared. They sent out a national alert yesterday in response to the surge of coverage for lowering the drinking age urging their members not to be swayed. But truth is on our side. The truth that lowering the drinking age will encourage moderate, responsible, and ultimately safer drinking in this country and respect the rights of young adults who have all the legal rights and responsibilities of adulthood at 18 but yet can?t drink.
To see video from Jacksonville, FL:
To see the MSNBC story:
To watch NYRA Board Member Yonaton Yares live on RNN tonight at 7:30 EST:

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Win NYRA $1,000 on Facebook with Zero Effort!!

Excited about all this news coverage? Ready to get the drinking age lowered? Eager to change campus alcohol policies to sensible ones that that save lives, reduce the harm alcohol causes on campus, and respects student rights? Now is your chance!
NYRA is competing for a $1,000 grant on Facebook. The proposal with the most votes by the end of the month wins $1,000, lets make sure it is NYRA! We are currently in second place and if all NYRA members and supporters vote and spread the word to all their friends, we can easily win this thing:
Just follow the link, vote for our proposal, and promote this to everyone you know. The more the word spreads about this the better. NYRA has a real chance to win this grant and put the money toward improving campus alcohol policies that are currently ineffective, poison the educational atmosphere and in many cases make the problem worse. Please follow this link and vote for NYRA:

Annual Meeting a Success

The Annual Meeting, the weekend of July 28th, went just swimmingly. According to Executive Director Alex Koroknay-Palicz, the new office was a great boon. “We always had the option of going up to the office, which was very nice, and a big improvement over previous years when we always had quite a struggle trying to find locations to make copies and get on the internet and other necessities,” said he, “The programs and workshops went splendidly. Everything ran smoothly and on time. No technical problems or disruptions or any other problems. I was quite impressed with how smoothly it was pulled off.” So smooth and glitch-free was this meeting that our technical gurus were able to allow members to call in and listen to the proceedings live via telephone, allowing the largest potential attendance of any NYRA event.
Several of the featured workshops have spawned much debate in the NYRA community, especially Chris Styskal’s presentation on the offensive nature and use of the word “minor.” Though we were unable to contact Chris himself for comments, there has been quite a buzz around this topic ever since, with members weighing in on both sides of the issue.
The Annual Meeting marks only the second time that the new Washington, DC office has been opened to the community. The first was back in March, a simple open-house to let people see what our work and their kind and generous contributions had achieved.
Behind the scenes, it was also a chance for NYRA members to meet, hang out, and generally have fun. Alex KP himself was kind enough to host several of our out-of-town members, who enjoyed both spirited Youth Rights debate and a rousing game of Monopoly.
In case you wonder what you missed, the schedule for some of the events of the weekend went like so:
9;00am – 9:30am Opening remarks by Alex Koroknay-Palicz
9:30am – 11:00am CAFETY – the Behavior Modification Industry
11:00am – 12:00pm Campaign for Youth Justice Panel – trying youth as adults
12:00pm – 1:00pm Lunch
1:00pm – 2:00pm Youth Venture – how to apply for YV funding
2:00pm – 3:00pm Stefan Muller – discussion on how to get youth interested in youth rights
3:00pm – 6:00pm Annual report, strategic planning & Voting for the board election
9:00am – 10:00am ACLU
10:00am – 11:00am Youth Policy Action Center – how to use the YPAC site and post action alerts
11:00am – 1:00pm SSDP – How to run local campaigns and organize local chapters
Pictures from the weekend are available online:

Board Election Results

These elections have been as exciting as always, and as much of a surprise as all elections are. Eleven candidates ran for nine seats in the Board of Directors this year. Incumbents Alex Koroknay-Palicz, Alex Hull-Richter, Adam King, Keith Mandell, and Katrina Moncure were all re-elected to their seats. The newly elected members of the 2007-2008 Board of Directors are Jessica Roeder, Yonathon Yares, and Adam Zarnowski. Two candidates fell short in these elections, Victoria Minerva, and Chip Sinton of NYRA-Orlando. To view the election results, you can go here: http://www.youthrights.org/forums/showthread.php?t=12172

Bylaw Changes

In addition to the board of directors? election, several bylaw changes had been proposed. These were the Gender Pronoun changes, the changes in the voting system, and regarding the changes in NYRA?s policy regarding absent board members. All of the proposals were approved. To view more information on the results of the bylaw changes, you can go here: http://www.youthrights.org/forums/showpost.php?p=266111&postcount=3

News from the Web

Boys Avoid Sex Abuse Charges
Challenge Planned Over Juveniles On Sex Offender List
Christian Boot Camp Officials Accused of Dragging Teen Behind Van
7-Year Old Battles Gunman
Nine-year-old saves dad by taking wheel of speeding big rig
Students sue school board for potty breaks
Students must remember ‘God’ in Texas pledge
Social Host Law Claims First Victim On Long Island
Judge Blocks Ban On Selling Violent Games To Kids
County Settles Lawsuit Over 2004 School Strip Searches
Citizen proposals for law change reach far
Harwich students seek to lower voting age
Richardson refunds fines for expired curfew
BYC: age not defining factor for safe driving
Driving age set to rise to cut youth death toll
Younger Voting Age Welcomed
Forced education to cause ‘mass truancy’


This month, is of the winds of new beginnings. For the first time, we have been able to hold the annual meeting, in NYRA?s own office. This year, marks the first time NYRA has its own interns. Our new board of directors is hard at work, fighting for the rights of youth. On this month, winds of new beginnings blow. To form part of that, to help the organization that stands up for the rights of our nation?s oppressed youth, you can donate to NYRA at http://www.youthrights.org/donate.php or even volunteer and form a chapter. http://www.youthrights.org/chapterform.php