NYRA Freedom

ISSN 1933-5229
Volume 9, Issue 1
January 15, 2009
Editors: Lexi Johnson and Justin Graham

Table of Contents

– Introduction
– New Action Teams a Great Way to Help NYRA
– Vote for Lowering the Voting Age!
– SE Florida Chapter Stands Against Youth Curfew
– Member of the Month & Earn Facebook Points
– Steady Youth Rights Progress in Indiana
– Recent NYRA Blog Entries
– News from the Web
– Conclusion


Happy New Year to all! The new year is a time for hope, resolutions and change. People everywhere are making resolutions to change something in their lives. Some may want to lose weight, others aim to save more money, and still others want to treat people more kindly. This year, make a resolution to help out NYRA. With the new action teams, benefiting NYRA and the cause of youth is easier than ever! In addition, you can make your voice heard for a lower voting age with the click of a mouse. Help advance youth rights and make the coming year a wonderful year for NYRA and for youth across the nation!

New Action Teams a Great Way to Help NYRA

If you’ve been looking for a simple way that you can help NYRA progress the cause of youth, here’s your chance. NYRA has rolled out six new action teams, each focused on a distinct, simple task that can be completed once per month and will help the organization and the cause. You can join as many or as few as you’d like; the teams are an excellent way to utilize your strengths to advance youth rights. The teams are:
– Fundraising Team: This task is simple; just raise $10 per month for NYRA. Ten dollars isn’t much money, so it’s not too difficult to raise, but with many people raising just $10 per month, NYRA will have a significant pool of funds for its youth rights initiatives. To raise money, you can talk with your friends and family about NYRA and encourage them to donate (and to get involved in other ways), put back a little money each week yourself, or hold a more organized fundraiser.
Join the Fundraising Team here:
– Research Team: One of NYRA’s projects is the Youth Rights Network, a youth-led effort to gather and provide information about youth rights issues. You can help NYRA and the movement by making at least three substantive contributions to the Youth Rights Network per month. Whether it be researching laws and legal issues which affect youth and listing them in the youth rights law library, documenting the history of the youth rights movement, or gathering information on other issues related to youth rights, there are many ways that you can contribute.
Join the Research Team here:
– Recruiting Team: If you’re a people person and have a passion for youth rights, recruiting for NYRA is a great way to help out. All that’s needed is to recruit two new NYRA supporters each month. Encourage your friends to sign up. Talk to people at school about NYRA. You can even table for NYRA at an event attended by many youth. Recruiting potential is limited only by the time and effort you’re able to put into it.
Join the Recruiting Team here:
– Blog Team: For those with a talent for writing who have a lot to say about youth rights, contributing to NYRA’s blog, Age of Reason, is an excellent way to help NYRA. One of the reasons that we need a youth rights movement in the first place is that people often don’t listen to youth. Here’s your chance to make your voice heard. The blog is a great way to share with the world your youth rights victories, struggles with ageism or insights into youth rights-related issues in the news. Keep in mind, though, that Age of Reason is NYRA’s official blog, so keep your entries on-topic and ensure that they don’t contradict NYRA’s official positions.
Join the Blog Team here:
– Video Team: We as youth rights activists need to use every available medium to communicate our message, and YouTube is one of the best ways to reach large numbers of people. You can help NYRA utilize our YouTube channel to spread the youth rights message by submitting at least one video per month to be posted to YouTube. There are lots of ways of putting together a persuasive video; be creative! Attract people’s attention, be funny, be persuasive, and promote NYRA. You can submit your videos directly to us, and we’ll post them to YouTube ourselves.
Join the Video Team here:
– Letter Writing Team: One reason that youth so often go unheard is because we do not make ourselves heard. This is your opportunity to change that. When politicians pass anti-youth laws without consulting the very youth that the law affects, when businesses disrespect and discriminate against their customers because they’re young, when the media portrays all youth as thugs and dangerous criminals, or as mindless, helpless children, too often no one contradicts them, no one speaks truth to power and informs them of the error of their ways. You can help the cause of youth by participating in letter-writing campaigns, one per month, to let people know that we are watching and that youth expect to be treated with respect. Letters can be to complain about an ageist law or policy, or to thank people and organizations that are respectful of youth. Remember, though, that you are representing the cause in your letters, so be polite and professional. When you e-mail a letter, be sure to BCC e-mails to: letters (at) youthrights (dot) org to receive credit.
Join the Letter Writing Team here:
Whether your strengths include working with people, writing, doing research, or a combination, NYRA’s new action teams provide a simple way for everyone to get involved and help out the organization and the cause. Get started today!
Keep track of teams activity on the NYRA Forums here:
Report your contributions on NYRA’s Facebook Application here:
Get more info on the teams here:

Vote for Lowering the Voting Age!

Lowering the voting age is one of our top youth rights priorities, and we have the opportunity to bring youth suffrage much closer to reality with Change.org’s “Ideas for Change in America” contest. Change.org, a nonprofit website, is spearheading a project to identify and advance the ten best ideas for how the incoming presidential administration and the new Congress can change America. In two rounds of voting, the public will identify the ten most popular ideas, and Change.org will present them to the new administration. Lowering the voting age to 16 was one of the top ideas in the first round of voting, and is now competing with 89 other ideas to make it into the top ten and to get President-elect Obama’s ear.
You can help make a lower voting age a reality by voting for the idea on Change.org and by sharing this opportunity with everyone you know. Post it to your favorite social networking sites, write about it on your blog or website, or share it with your friends and family. This is a unique opportunity to make ourselves heard in the highest levels of government and let the Obama administration know that youth deserve the right to vote. If you have not yet registered with Change.org, you’ll need to do so before you can vote, but registration is free and only takes a minute. Please vote now (you don’t have to be 18 in this election) and encourage everyone you know to do the same.
Vote for lowering the voting age here:

SE Florida Chapter Stands Against Youth Curfew

NYRA-Southeast Florida, one of NYRA’s powerhouse chapters, is making great progress in its campaign to abolish a curfew against youth in the city of West Palm Beach. The curfew ordinance prohibits youth from being outside in the downtown area after 10 PM on weekdays and after 11 PM on weekends. However, many exceptions are written into the ordinance, including an exception for any activity protected by the First Amendment.
Chapter leaders have met with the city attorney, bringing with them, in the words of chapter president Jeff Nadel, “an abundance of case law” demonstrating that freedom of speech, freedom of association and freedom of assembly are protected by the First Amendment for all Americans, both adults and legal minors. According to Nadel, the city attorney is mostly in agreement that the curfew ordinance is useless and plans to recommend the repeal of the ordinance. Once that happens, West Palm Beach will be one more example of an unconstitutional curfew law brought down by youth rights activists.

Member of the Month & Earn Facebook Points

New this year, NYRA is announcing a “Member of the Month” program in association with our new Facebook Application (apps.facebook.com/youthrights). Every month, the member who has earned the most points on the application is named Member of the Month. This worthy member will be recognized on the NYRA website and will receive a small gift in honor of his or her achievement. Board members, officers and staff members are not eligible, but good luck to all others! Also new this month on the Facebook application is the ability to spend your hard-earned points on great items like free NYRA membership and youth rights merchandise. With two new reasons to get involved completing important projects for NYRA, this is a great time to make use of our application.
Get started on NYRA’s Facebook Application here:

Steady Youth Rights Progress in Indiana

The Zionsville Student Rights Union continues to lead the way for youth rights in central Indiana. The ZSRU has been working with John Loflin, senior fellow of education and youth issues at the Black & Latino Policy Institute and member of the Democratic Education Consortium, and the Student Alliance for Education, an organization of urban Indianapolis students committed to greater youth voice in education, to give Indiana students a greater say in their own education. NYRA’s national organization officially endorsed the Black & Latino Policy Institute’s recommendations to increase student participation and student voice in their schools last month. Strategy discussions have been productive, and the organizations plan to increasingly work with the Indiana Department of Education and the state general assembly in the months ahead.
More NYRA chapters in Indiana are also in the works. Student Alliance for Education leader Mathew Davis is currently in the process of forming NYRA-Indianapolis, which will cover the entire Indianapolis metropolitan area. The ZSRU is also working with a forming chapter at Indiana University in Bloomington. Once a fourth chapter is formed at Purdue University in West Lafayette, plans are to create NYRA-Central Indiana as an umbrella organization of all the chapters in the region, to be headed by ZSRU founder Steve Ross.
The ZSRU is also working with the administration of their school, Zionsville Community High School, on finalizing a new final exams structure, and they’re also forming a plan of succession to ensure the Union is able to continue to fight for the rights of youth for years to come.

Recent NYRA Blog Entries

Are children property?
Drug Control or Teen Control?

News from the Web

— NYRA-Related News —
Nanuet teens work to lower the voting age to 15

— Other News —
9-Year-Old Boy Hero in Pit Bull Attack
Shaping good health as teens outgrow pediatrician
9 Year Old Saves Dad
Pervert fears cast doubt on plans to lower voting age
Study: Parental supervision curbs abusive behavior
Campus push to lower drinking age opposed
Small broadcaster heads for Obama’s inauguration
Website age ratings ‘an option’
Boy-killing Egypt teacher jailed
9-year-old TN girl cracks Microsoft exam
Libraries use video games to reach out to youths
Some kids’ cold medicine overdoses deliberate
Children forced into cell-like school seclusion rooms
Girl Handing Out Cough Drops Accused Of Selling Drugs At School
College Dry – Drinking age debate
Teen’s tattoo leads to criminal charges
Safe-Driving Contract Puts Onus On Teens


Much progress is being made for the cause of youth rights by NYRA chapters and youth rights activists across the country. The Zionsville Student Rights Union continues to expand their operations in Indiana; look for big things from them. NYRA’s Southeast Florida chapter is also working tirelessly for the region’s youth. There are many ways that you can help. You can join a local chapter or start your own. That’s the best way to have a concrete impact for youth in your area. If you are not part of a NYRA chapter, and even if you are, then you can help out by joining an action team. If you’ve always wanted to volunteer, but weren’t sure how, this is your chance. It is a simple and fun way to help NYRA! Don’t forget to vote for lowering the voting age at Change.org! With your help NYRA will go into the new year full steam ahead.