NYRA Freedom

ISSN 1933-5229
Volume 8, Issue 8
September 5, 2008
Editors: Lexi Johnson and Justin Graham

Table of Contents

– Introduction
– College Presidents Push for Drinking Age Debate
– NYRA Gets the Word Out
– NYRA Unveils 21K to End 21 Fundraiser
– Make NYRA Famous Ad Contest Wrapping Up
– News from the Web
– Conclusion


Things are looking great for NYRA, especially for our prospects for lowering the drinking age. With the Amethyst Initiative garnering front page headlines and an astounding media buzz, lowering the drinking age is becoming a very hot topic nationwide. We need to take advantage of this and speak out to advocate a lower drinking age, write letters, or donate to the 21K to End 21 fundraiser. We can’t let this great opportunity to advance the cause of youth rights pass us by.

College Presidents Push for Drinking Age Debate

NYRA has campaigned to lower the legal drinking age to 18 for years, and progress has been made. But the prospect of a lower drinking age came one step closer to reality in the past month with the emergence of the Amethyst Initiative, a group of over 120 college presidents calling for a reconsideration of the drinking age.
NYRA ally Choose Responsibility, an organization which advocates for a lower drinking age, and its director Dr. John McCardell, recently created the Amethyst Initiative to bring the issue of the minimum drinking age to the forefront of the national consciousness, and they’ve generated an impressive amount of media attention in the past few weeks. The Initiative’s call for public debate on alcohol policy change has been covered prominently by major news sources, such as CNN, Fox News, the Washington Post, the New York Times, NBC, AOL, the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Baltimore Sun, Newsday, and many major websites and blogs. In a promising sign, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, a large pro-21 organization, is taking this very seriously, recently devoting 100% of the main page of their website to countering our drinking age arguments. The momentum is swinging in our favor, and our opponents are scrambling to compensate.
This is a major development on the drinking age front. Expect more good news as NYRA capitalizes on this opportunity to push our drinking age advocacy forward.

NYRA Gets the Word Out

NYRA has already gotten media publicity on the drinking age in the past month since the creation of the Amethyst Initiative. Vice President Stefan Muller did a radio interview in San Francisco on August 19 and Executive Director Alex Koroknay-Palicz made radio appearances in Pittsburgh on August 19 and Raleigh, NC on August 20. During Koroknay-Palicz’s interview on Pittsburgh radio, a significant majority of those who called into the show were on our side, which is both amazing and inspiring. NYRA Media Communications Director Yonaton Yares also did interviews with the Philadelphia Inquirer and a newspaper in New Jersey.
On other issues, NYRA President Chip Sinton did a 30-minute radio interview with a youth-run radio station in Lawrence, KS on August 23. NYRA-Southeast Florida has generated a few press articles about lowering the voting age, and we’ve had several articles nationally about youth mall curfews. Additionally, NYRA has made several appearances at Warped Tour over the past few weeks, tabling in Cleveland, Detroit, Cincinnati and Washington, DC, recruiting over 250 new members.

NYRA Unveils 21K to End 21 Fundraiser

A new NYRA fundraiser is underway on our Lower the Drinking Age cause on Facebook. The fundraiser aims for $21,000 to lower the drinking age. The money raised will be put towards debates, training workshops for chapters, spreading information about responsible drinking, providing money for college chapters, and advertising. The 21K to End 21 fundraiser will go on until December 5, the 75th anniversary of the ratification of the 21st Amendment to the United States Constitution, which ended alcohol Prohibition. Everyone is encouraged to donate whatever they can, and to spread the word far and wide. If everyone pitches in this goal can definitely be reached! To donate, make sure you’re logged into Facebook, and go to:

Make NYRA Famous Ad Contest Wrapping Up

Our Make NYRA Famous ad contest has been underway for several weeks now, and the response has been encouraging. The purpose of the contest is to create a quality TV ad for NYRA, emphasizing the voting age, which will air on major TV stations in October, ahead of the presidential election. However, the deadline is Friday, September 5, so if you’re still working on your entry, now’s the time to wrap it up and send it in. The winner of the contest will recieve a $100 prize and their ad will be chosen to air in Washington, DC on major TV stations. If you have any questions, contact NYRA Director Keith Mandell at kmandell2000 at yahoo.com or on his AOL Instant Messenger screen name, teenvote. Make sure your entries get sent in!
If you haven’t created your own entry, though, you can still help. NYRA will need donations from our members to move this project forward and get the winning ad on TV. Please consider making a donation (even a small amount such as $5 or $10 is very helpful) at http://www.youthrights.org/donate.php.

News from the Web

— NYRA-Related News —
Sixth Circuit ruling on Confederate flag ban is an attack on students’ rights
Old Enough to Fight, Old Enough to Drink
Teen wants to lower voting age in Florida
Boca teens fight to lower voting age

— Other News —
A lower legal drinking age? Health experts, college presidents debate
College Presidents Stand Up for Common Sense? I’ll Drink to That
Gore Finally Gets It
AMC Entertainment to pay $141,570 fine
Hundreds of Seagoville students suspended for wearing the wrong belt
Should school teachers wear uniforms?
Neb. ‘safe-haven’ law allows abandonment of teens
Want to Lower the Drinking Age? Hope You Like Spam
Discourse on lowering drinking age not bad idea
School To Put Students In ‘Prison’ Jumpsuits As Punishment
Texas truant students to be tracked by GPS anklets
Universities try to control students off campus
Lower Drinking Age Is Criticized
School speaker berates students over ‘slutty’ pictures
Drinking games
Bid to Reconsider Drinking Age Taps Unlikely Supporters
Principal’s outing of gay student roils Fla. town
On Campus, Legal Drinking Age Is Flunking the Reality Test
Study finds minorities more likely to be paddled
College presidents want drinking age lowered to 18
College chiefs urge new debate on drinking age
Michigan law would ban some from buying energy drinks
Online student-teacher friendships can be tricky
Village at Sandhills plans curfews for some teens


The past month has seen a major development in our quest to lower the drinking age, with the advent of the Amethyst Initiative and the staggering media coverage that it has achieved. NYRA has taken advantage of this opportunity and generated media coverage of our own on the issue, taking our message to the people. In addition, NYRA representatives have made appearances on other media outlets and at Warped Tour, and, with the help of many dedicated members creating their Make NYRA Famous entries and donating towards this important project, we’re about to air our very first TV ad.
We need your help to ensure that we continue to make concrete progress for youth rights. Please donate to our advertising campaign, or to our 21K to End 21 fundraiser on Facebook. Write pro-youth letters to the editor of your local newspaper or to local and state policymakers. Spread the word about youth rights in your community, or, even better, start a NYRA chapter to fight for your rights (go to http://www.youthrights.org/chapters.php to find out how). Together, we can make our vision a reality.