NYRA Freedom

ISSN 1933-5229

Volume 3, Issue 8

September 3, 2003



Board of Directors and Corporate Officers Elected
NYRA-NC Fights to Lower Age to Run for Office
Appeal for Technical Assistance
NYRA’s Curfew Site Unveiled, More Work Ahead
Web Page Expansion
Freechild Project
Appeal for Technical Assistance
NYRA-MC and the POV
News From the Web

Introduction: A Quick Glance and a Closer Look

If one were to take a quick look at the state of Youth Rights in America this past month, he would not be initially impressed. He might say “as a Young American I cannot vote. As a Young American I cannot legally drink, I cannot legally drive, leave my parents custody, or get a real job.” One might also say “I cannot make important decisions with regard to my education, but my parents can be tricked by the teen-fix-it industry and send me to a gulag school.” One might see a very dismal situation.

However if that same individual took some time, and focused his attention in the right direction, he would come to the conclusion that freedom is in the air. He would see respected politicians including the mayor of London and most recently the mayor of Baltimore support a lower voting age. He would see a movement taking place that would in substance eliminate the voting age.

He would look at the National Youth Rights Association and its allies in the greater Youth Rights community. There he would see a few dozen passionate, dedicated individuals (including what is possibly the greatest NYRA Board of Directors ever) fighting for his freedom everyday. He would see NYRA assembling the greatest online resource center for Youth Rights issues ever created. He would see activists in North Carolina fighting for the young mans right to hold elected office. He would see that an astounding 74% of those who could voted in NYRA’s general election.

He would see that if people such as himself rose from apathy to give some time or money to the movement, that Youth rights would become a reality.

Board of Directors and Corporate Officers Elected

For some months now I have been saying that it is essential for NYRA members to become involved, and one easy way to do this is to pay your dues and vote in the general election. Well, a great number of you did, and even more impressive 74% of all dues paying members cast a ballot in the election, which decides who sits on the Board of Directors. I believe that NYRA has elected the greatest Board of Directors yet to serve a term.

The nine lucky candidates are Christopher Coes, Laura Finstad, Rich Jahn, Alex Koroknay-Palicz, DeWarren K. Langley, Johnathan McClure, Kathleen Miller, and Brad White. Some of these people have served on the board before, some are new comers, but all have shown a great deal of dedication through official capacities with either NYRA or a like-minded Youth Rights organization.

On Sunday, August 31st, the board met to elect officers, appoint committee members, and come up with a schedule. Alex Koroknay-Palicz ran for President unopposed and will continue to lead the organization in the wonderful manner in which he has for the past few years. DeWarren Langley and Johnathan McClure were up for the office of Vice President. After speaking at length with both candidates and voting via secret ballot, the board elected Johnathan McClure Vice President. I am certain that he will do fantastic work during his term as Vice President. Alex Koroknay-Palicz and Laura Finstad were nominated for the office of Treasurer. After the interviews and the voting Alex Koroknay-Palicz was elected to the office of Treasurer. Yours truly, Scott Davidson, ran for Secretary unopposed. I intend to fight for Youth Rights in that capacity as well as in my capacity as editor of this publication.

After electing officers it was decided who would sit on what committees. The committees are as follows:

Executive Committee: Alex Koroknay-Palicz (chair), Johnathan McClure, Kathleen Miller
Budget Committee: Alex Koroknay-Palicz (chair), Christopher Coes, DeWarren Langley
Positions Committee: Kathleen Miller (chair), Rich Jahn, Jason Kende
Bylaws Committee: Rich Jahn (chair), Brad White, DeWarren Langley
Nominations Committee: Brad White (chair), Christopher Coes, Laura Finstad.

This recent election was a great victory of apathy over lack of care for NYRA members.

NYRA-NC Fights to Lower Age to Run for Office

A campaign has been going on for quite some time now to amend North Carolina’s State constitution. A flaw in this document makes it impossible for people under the age of twenty-one to run for elected office. NYRA is fighting to change all of this.

When Zach Medford and Jonus Nobles tried to run for office and were denied theat right based on their age, the issue was brought to many peoples attention, including the watchful eyes at NYRA-NC.

Board member DeWarren Langley and NYRA-NC chapter President Stevie Nabors are currently hard at work, fighting to reverse this ageist injustice.

NYRA firmly believes that this age restrictions are ludicrous, and that if a candidate lacks the necessary experience voters simply wont vote for that candidate.

Appeal for Technical Assistance

Have a passion for the cause? Want to help? Have a lot of technical skills? Well, then do we have a position for you! If you are a qualified person who is willing to volunteer for NYRA, please notify us.

Volunteers should know PHP, Java, some Flash, possibly CSS, and most definitely have some server side skills. Those with writing and/or graphic design experience are strongly encouraged to volunteer as well.

NYRA really needs volunteers to ease the burden of those already involved, particularly in this area. This sort of help is much needed and appreciated.

NYRA Curfew Site Unveiled, More Work Ahead

One of NYRA’s objectives is to create a comprehensive resource center for several Youth Rights issues. In addition to the already acclaimed voting age and drinking age sites, NYRA has added a curfew page.

This wonderful page features amongst other things a curfew FAQ, an analysis of curfews, and an action page.

NYRA is currently looking to expand this page by added a comprehensive listing of curfew laws throughout the United States. Also, NYRA is looking to create pages on gulag schools, student rights, and emancipation. If you think you can help, please do not hesitate to email NYRA.

Web Page Expansion

New Quotes added to Quotes section.
Membership form updated.
Links to old, archived NYRA pages added to NYRA News section.
Comprehensive Curfew Resource page added.

Freechild Project

I would like to briefly tell you all about a wonderful website, http://www.freechild.org. The website contains an enormous amount of Youth Rights materials, and I could not possibly note all of them here. Including great materials on student rights, Youth Rights history & demands, and about seventy other topics.

Freechild is an official partner of NYRA who has been very good to us in the past. I encourage you all to check out this web page and sign up for the mailing list.

NYRA-MC and the Petition of the Voices

Last year, Chris Apple of NYRA-Montgomery County, began circulating a petition. This petition, aptly named the “Petition of the Voices,” would create a student advocate position and demand greater rights for students accused of violating school rules.

So far, NYRA-MC has been very successful, and if things continue to go the way they have the campaign may spread to the rest of the country.

News From the Web

http://www.scotlandonsunday.com/international.cfm?id=960722003 – Germany Debates Babies at Ballot Box Plan.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uslatest/story/0,1282,-3070905,00.html – Kids locked in roach filled cages ‘for own protection’

http://www.press-citizen.com/news/082703water.htm – City High students fight water bottle policy

http://www.kfvs12.com/Global/story.asp?S=1420084&nav=8H3xHhs1 – School Strip Search Battle Wages On

http://washingtontimes.com/metro/20030826-104300-8335r.htm – Democrat seeks to lower voting age

http://www.wftv.com/education/2428179/detail.html – Mother Fights Son’s School Over “Mandatory” Uniforms

http://www.clarionledger.com/news/0308/22/m03.html – Slap on the Wrist for Gulag School

http://www.wisinfo.com/postcrescent/news/archive/local_11853797.shtml – Limits sought on parents buying alcohol for kids

http://www.wiretapmag.org/story.html?StoryID=16593 – Does Your School Tell You What to Think?

http://news.mysanantonio.com/story.cfm?xla=saen&xlb=180&xlc=1040954 – Students set to take the pledge

http://asia.cnet.com/newstech/personaltech/0,39001147,39139739,00.htm – Thailand: No online games past bedtime

http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2003/s923826.htm – West Australian Gov’t faces challenge over curfew laws

http://www.gulflive.com/mississippi/index.ssf?/xml/story.ssf/html_standard.xsl?/base/news/1060794987132870.xml – Four boys run from Bethel

http://www.wral.com/news/2391141/detail.html – N.C. State Student Sues to Run for Raleigh City Council

http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?BRD=1815&dept_id=516616&newsid=9884160&PAG=461&rfi=9 – Insurance agencies single out teen drivers

http://www.theitem.com/CityDesk/030620c_news.cfm – After 37-year-old kills, youth curfew sought

http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/nation/wire/sns-ap-superintendent-test,0,2869130.story?coll=sns-ap-nation-headlines – Massachusetts School Superintendent Fails Test

http://www.wral.com/news/2355078/detail.html – Siler City Teen Seeks Historic Run For Mayor

http://allafrica.com/stories/200308120262.html – Children Want Voting Age Lowered

http://www.timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?storyID=164604&category=ALBANY&BCCode=HOME&newsdate=8/28/2003 – Daytime curfew sought to cut truancy

http://www.clarionledger.com/news/0308/23/m02.html – Council to decide on fate of curfew

http://www.thewest.com.au/20030823/news/perth/tw-news-perth-home-sto109926.html – City police dump youth curfew push

http://www.hslda.org/hs/state/tx/200308190.asp – Daytime Curfew Defeated in Big Spring, Texas

http://www.enquirer.com/editions/2003/08/20/loc_daycurfew20.html – Daytime curfew targets schoolkids

http://www.pjstar.com/news/topnews/g133896a.html – Eureka curfew violations can carry a hefty $50 fine

http://sask.cbc.ca/regional/servlet/View?filename=drinking030821 – Government looks at lowering drinking age

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/saturdayspin/136287_bqltrs23.html – Readers speak out on the drinking age limit

http://www.wisinfo.com/postcrescent/news/archive/local_11853797.shtml – Limits sought on parents buying alcohol for kids

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/saturdayspin/135243_burningq16.html – Horsey’s Burning Question: Should the legal drinking age be lower?

If you would like to get your Youth Rights news on a more regular basis, and don’t want to wait for “NYRA Freedom” each month, then check out NYRA’s acclaimed website at www.youthrights.org. News links are updated almost daily. Also sign up for NYRA’s regional discussion lists by e-mailing Rich Jahn.


It occurs to me that most of the people reading this publication lead relatively privileged lives. I once read something that said in substance, if you have running water and electric lights, you are among the richest people in the world. Certainly we, who spend much of our time on the Internet reading about the Youth Rights movement, fit in to this category.

But one must remember, that people can be poor but free, as well as rich but repressed. While the Youth of America have many privileges, they are among the poorest people in the world if you measure wealth in terms of essential rights, such as the right to vote.

Too often I have heard from friends and even other Youth Rights activists that young people are not oppressed. Too often I have heard people say things like “I have food, a warm bed, and many conveniences, how am I oppressed?”

We must keep in mind that many individuals throughout the world are less fortunate than us. But we must never think that the Youth are free until age restrictions are reduced. And we must never stop fighting until that day comes.