NYRA Freedom

ISSN 1933-5229
Volume 9, Issue 8
November 9, 2009
Editors: Lexi Johnson and Harry Lambrianou

Table of Contents

– Introduction
– Calendar
– SEFL’s Lawsuit Moves Ahead
– Youth Candidate Barred From Running
– New Development Director Finishes First Month
– NYRA Sponsors First National Youth Rights Day
– Chapter Formation Boom
– NYRA Does Well in America’s Giving Challenge
– News from the Web
– Conclusion


Unprecedented things are happening for NYRA. As NYRA-SEFL moves ahead with their ground breaking curfew lawsuit against West Palm Beach, the organization is planning to sponsor the first ever National Youth Rights Day. Plus, NYRA has doubled our staff by hiring a development and operations director. All of this activity and more is helping get the word out about youth rights and about NYRA, as evidenced by the shocking amount of new and forming chapters. It is as important as ever, though, that NYRA members stay in touch, which is why we’ve added a calendar section to keep you up to date on the chapter chats, informal chats, and NYRA board meetings. As ever, the support and activism of members is absolutely essential to the success of NYRA’s endeavors.


November 15
Board Meeting
In the “NYRA” Chatroom on AIM
IM ‘Alex From NYRA’ for an invite to the chatroom

November 17
Informal Chat
In the “NYRA” Chatroom on AIM
IM ‘SciVille’ for an invite to the chatroom

December 7
Informal Chat
In the “NYRA” Chatroom on AIM
IM ‘SciVille’ for an invite to the chatroom

December 13
Board Meeting
In the “NYRA” Chatroom on AIM
IM ‘Alex From NYRA’ for an invite to the chatroom

SEFL’s Lawsuit Moves Ahead

One of NYRA’s most legally active chapters, NYRA Southeast Florida has continued their good works in fighting against the enforcement of an illegal curfew in the city of West Palm Beach. The lawsuit itself, their piece de resistance, is tentatively scheduled for July 2010. It is a milestone for NYRA as a whole, as it is the first lawsuit filed by a NYRA chapter. For now, they have received an order from Judge Zloch to proceed with mediation, and will do so with the aid of Boca Raton civil rights attorney Barry Silver.
This is a very strong first step, forcing the City to evaluate, in the stark light of the law, just how unfair and undignified their curfew truly is, something the administration has repeatedly refused to do despite being shown compelling evidence. Under such scrutiny, the discriminatory ordinance is unlikely to long survive. According to NYRA SEFL’s lawsuit: “lmost all conceivable actions of a minor including associating with his friends and family, speaking, traveling freely etc. are covered by the First Amendment.”
When reached for comment, NYRA President Jeff Nadel, one of NYRA SEFL’s most ardent political crusaders, said, “We’re very glad that the lawsuit is progressing as it as, as we are simply unable to sit idly by as an unjust curfew is illegally enforced and as youth are intimidated by the City. The numerous exceptions in the curfew ordinance make it so the only way the curfew can be enforced is arbitrarily and discriminatorily.”
Keep updated on the lawsuits progress here: http://www.nomorecurfew.com

Youth Candidate Barred from Running

It is not often a political candidate comes along who challenges the norm; politics in general is a fairly routine affair. Then there is Brett McClafferty. At the age of 19, he ran for mayor of the city of Streetsboro, Ohio. After the election – an election he lost by a single vote – the city, with no small amount of encouragement by the victor, passed an amendment to the city laws raising the age of candidacy to 23 for mayor and city council. NYRA has issued a press release condemning this action as both arbitrary and unconstitutional.
NYRA President Jeff Nadel said of the issue, “There are so many citizens and organizations in this country working to get young people more involved in politics. There are young people across this nation that work each day to effect positive change. Brett McClafferty, a courageous young man, ran for office because he wanted to serve the people of Streetsboro. After his one-vote defeat, the City decided that they no longer wanted young people involved in solving the issues that face us. They instituted an arbitrary minimum age for candidacy that we feel will not survive a challenge in court.”
For his own part, McClafferty is currently the city’s planning director and plans to run for mayor again. He has contracted an attorney and is in the process of filing a lawsuit in federal court, McClafferty v. Portage County Board of Elections et al, judge Sara Lioi presiding. He has also written a book based on his experiences, “The Age of Politics,” published through AuthorHouse Publishing and available at http://www.amazon.com/Age-Politics-Brett-McClafferty/dp/1434370011.

New Development Director Finishes First Month

In early October NYRA welcomed its newest staff member, David Moss, Director of Development and Operations. Thanks to the very successful Double Dollar Days for Development Director fundraiser this summer NYRA was able to hire Dave to handle fundraising for the organization. Fundraising has always been NYRA’s greatest challenge and has hindered the organization from moving to the next level. NYRA has done a tremendous amount of good work with our small budget, yet when opponents such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving have 2,000 times our budget, our ability to fully counter them is limited. Moss is the first full-time employee since Alex Koroknay-Palicz was hired as Executive Director in 2005.
“I’m honored and excited to be involved with NYRA. Over my first month I have been blown away by the abundance of committed young people involved with this truly grassroots organization,” said David Moss, “As I work towards developing our financial resources it’s comforting to know we already have an abundance of resources in the form of energetic and passionate supporters committed to youth rights. Thanks very much to our supporters for making NYRA what it is. And please, anyone interested in discussing NYRA fundraising (or anything else!) shouldn’t hesitate to contact me at dmoss@youthrights.org”;

NYRA Sponsors First National Youth Rights Day

NYRA advisor Robert Epstein and NYRA Executive Director Alex Koroknay-Palicz have created the first National Youth Rights Day. The day, the first of its kind, will take place on April 14, 2010. This ground breaking event promises to be an opportunity to come together for the movement and a chance to bring youth rights into the news. NYRA and Dr. Epstein have begun inviting other prominent youth rights organization and supporters to co-sponsor this day. While expected to be a small event this year, it is hoped by all involved that National Youth Rights Day will continue to grow in future years. April 14 is the birthday of esteemed youth rights and unschooling pioneer, John Holt. This spring Epstein’s new book, Teen 2.0, will hit shelves. It is the hope of all that the first annual National Youth Rights Day will help put the spotlight on the rights of youth and expose more people to the important arguments made in Teen 2.0. Mark your calenders because April 14, 2010 is sure to be a good day for youth rights.

Chapter Formation Boom

Chapters are the backbone of NYRA. They form a network for change on a local level that the organization could not hope to achieve on its own. Chapters have made enormous victories for youth rights and there are more to come.
Recently, there has been a boom in chapter formation intents. There are over 10 new chapter intents in cities all over the country. Currently chapters are forming in: Susanville, CA, Berkley, CA Las Vegas, Denver, St. Louis, Greenfield, IN, Lafayette, IN, Chicago, Marietta, GA, Geneseo, NY, and Warwick, RI.
In addition to these forming chapters, NYRA welcomes its newest chapter, NYRA-University of Indiana. Founded by NYRA Vice President Steve Ross and several founding members of the Zionsville Student Rights Union, NYRA-UI has been approved by NYRA and by the university to start operations. Another chapter, NYRA-DC is experiencing a period of revitalization. The chapter has held more than five meetings since the summer and is working on an official response to a hotline aimed at reporting unruly teens on the DC metro as well as video to promote a lower voting age.
With all these new chapters new things are sure to be on the way. The work they do on a local level is essential spreading the word about youth rights and removing ageist policies. NYRA already has a number of successful, hardworking chapters and there are certainly more to come.

NYRA Does Well in America’s Giving Challenge

In pursuit of the goal all non-profit organizations must share, namely enough money to continue and broaden operations, NYRA has entered the 2009 edition of America’s Giving Challenge. This is a Facebook-based competition wherein the organization that attracts the most donors will also be given a top prize of $50,000. Each day, the top organization is given a $1,000 prize.
This year NYRA teamed up with its partner and ally, Atlas Service Corps, a seasoned veteran at these kinds of giving challenges. NYRA donors made approximately 140 donations to Atlas Service Corps, helping push them to 5th place in the overall competition. Thanks to this joint effort, Atlas Service Corps won a $10,000 grant. Because of our participation about $500 of that will go to NYRA on top of around $1,500 we raised from the donations themselves. Together with about $100 NYRA raised on our drinking age cause this campaign was a great success! Thank you to everyone who donated!
While the giving challenge is over, NYRA is always in need of continued financial support. Please become a full dues-paying member of NYRA for just $10: http://www.youthrights.org/donate.php

News From the Web

Students Subject To Breathalyzers
Lower age requirement attracts new blood donors
What is the Age of Responsibility?
In 30 years without spanking, are Swedish children better behaved?
10-Year-Old El Paso Boy Gets $260 Ticket
New MacArthur policy aimed at teens
Venezuela to outlaw violent video games, toys
Devices locate kids, parents find peace of mind
A Crackdown on Bake Sales in City Schools
5-Year-Old Shoots 800-Pound Alligator
New York Mom Fights Middle School That Banned Her Bike Rides With Son
Ford MyKey
8 Teens Charged With Possession Of Child Pornography
Missouri Sets New Standard for Juvenile Detention
Feds: Call centers employed kids as young as 13
Sweet Lies About Kids and Smoking
Commentary: Drinking age of 21 saves lives
MEYER’S MUSINGS: It’s time to lower the voting age to 16
Grad student arrested for chalk drawings
Obama wants more school
Court rejects criminal side of teen curfew
East Haven Changes ‘Zero Tolerance’ Policy
Children Who Get Spanked Have Lower IQs
Mich. Rep. Proposes Baby-Sitting Bill
12-year old Girl Dies During Childbirth
Australia proposes reducing voting age to 16 years
Community group releases recommendations to thwart crime
Study: Tougher Tanning Rules Needed For Teens
Redmond wilderness school suspends operations
School dress code proves a hardship for tribe
Proposed legislation would amend outdated child labor laws
New York Launches Public School Curriculum Based on Playing Games
Proposed New Providence Measure Would Allow Police to Enter Homes to Break Up…
Letter: Curfews discriminate against teens
Iowa City closer to having juvenile curfew
Commentary: Drinking age of 21 doesn’t work
Troy’s breath tests for minors is unconstitutional, court rules
Families Say 5 Girls Strip-Searched at School
Web-monitoring software gathers data on kid chats
Editorial – Respect Your Children
Muslim teen fears for life after changing religion
Obama goes back to school
Portland teen collapses and dies during wilderness camp hike
Penn Hills Teen In Court Arguing Prom Ban Violated Rights


NYRA has a lot going on, but that’s no reason not to help out. The list of ways that you can help NYRA is long, but there are some simple things that you can do. Writing an editorial to your local newspaper, for example. You could even start a chapter of your own. And don’t forget about the fundraiser, NYRA is always in need of funds and even a small donation is helpful. With all the new and exciting things you will certainly be able to find some way to help out.