NYRA Freedom

ISSN 1933-5229
Volume 8, Issue 9
October 9, 2008
Editors: Justin Graham and Lexi Johnson

Table of Contents

– Introduction
– Voting Age Ad to Air Soon; Your Help Needed
– Several Chapters to Protest the Voting Age on Election Day
– NYRA’s Anti Age Discrimination Campaign Making Waves
– NYRA Unveils New Youth Rights Facebook Application
– New Director and Officers Jump In
– This Year’s Interns Off to a Running Start
– Website Hacking Prompts Move to New Server
– New Chapters Get Their Feet Wet
– Recent NYRA Blog Entries
– News from the Web
– Conclusion


NYRA is on the verge of perhaps its greatest publicity ever with our first television ad about to be aired on several major cable TV stations in Washington, DC. Our coming voting age protests across the country, combined with the ad, are sure to grab attention. NYRA is also making waves on other fronts, winning victories against age discrimination in several businesses over the past few weeks, rolling out an awesome new Facebook app, and continuing great chapter activity.

Voting Age Ad to Air Soon; Your Help Needed

The airing of NYRA’s very first television ad, just in time to celebrate our 10th anniversary, is less than two weeks away! The advertisement, produced by NYRA of Southeast Florida and focusing on our support for lowering the voting age, will air on Washington, DC cable the week of October 20 on several major channels such as CNN, Comedy Central, MTV and more. This ad will introduce thousands of young people and others in our nation’s capital to NYRA and to our goal of lowering the voting age to 16.
The ad campaign is already generating some significant attention in the blogosphere, before the first spot has even aired, and already has over 1,300 views on YouTube. To air the ad as many times as we’d like on all the channels we’re targeting, NYRA will need an estimated $2,396. With the generous donations we’ve received from NYRA members and supporters, we’re two-thirds of the way there, but we still need your help. You can chip in to help air the ad at the NYRA website, youthrights.org, where you can donate securely via PayPal. Just click the ChipIn link at the top of any page on the website. You can see this outstanding advertisement here:

Several Chapters to Protest the Voting Age on Election Day

Not only is an excellent TV ad advocating a lower voting age about to air in our nation’s capital, NYRA is preparing a round of voting age protests on election day to further drive home the point that the voting age needs to be lowered now. Chapters in DC, New York City, Orlando and Southeast Florida will be at the polls protesting come election day, and you can help too. An election day voting age protest is the perfect opportunity for your chapter to bring attention to this issue. If you don’t have a chapter, you can gather a few friends to protest with you. If your state allows early voting, you can also garner public and media attention by protesting at polling places before election day. Don’t miss this opportunity to make your voice heard loud and clear and to let your community and the nation know that you want the right to vote now!

NYRA’s Anti Age Discrimination Campaign Making Waves

NYRA has renewed its campaign to end age discrimination in businesses, with several victories already in the past few weeks. The primary focus of the campaign so far has been in Maryland, though efforts are also underway in Michigan and Florida. In the area of age discrimination in business, Maryland state law is clearly on our side, prohibiting age discrimination with no lower age limit. Simply by opening a dialogue with businesses and reminding them of the state law, NYRA has succeeded in removing discriminatory policies in several businesses, including 15 Party City locations throughout the state, a Comfort Inn hotel, a Dollar Store, and more. A business in Michigan has also ended a discriminatory policy because of NYRA’s efforts, and NYRA of Southeast Florida may soon be jumping into the fray as well, taking on an ageist policy at a store in Boca Raton. Tackling age discrimination in businesses is an excellent way for NYRA members to make a positive difference for youth in their communities. Help us locate ageist businesses around the country, participate in this project here:

NYRA Unveils New Youth Rights Facebook Application

NYRA’s vice president, Stefan Muller, has been working all summer on a youth rights Facebook app, and it’s finally ready to be rolled out to the public. This new app will allow youth rights activists throughout the country to network with each other via Facebook, collaborating on youth rights projects that will have a real impact for youth across the nation. Help make concrete change for the youth rights movement here:

New Director and Officers Jump In

In addition to all the other exciting things going on within NYRA and the world of youth rights, NYRA has gained a new member of its Board of Directors, and new officers have been appointed by the board. Yonaton Yares, Director of Media Communications for NYRA, has resigned from the Board of Directors, and former NYRA intern Jacqueline Trumbull has been appointed to replace him. As an intern last year, Jacqueline has a proven history of being effective and getting things done, and will doubtless be an asset on the board.
Also, Chip Sinton, who was Vice President last year, has been appointed by the board as President, and Stefan Muller is the new Vice President. Former NYRA Director Pamela Tatz is replacing Yonaton as Treasurer, and Jessica Roeder, who was on the board last year, has been appointed to replace longtime NYRA member and Director Katrina Moncure as Secretary. The addition of these talented and dedicated individuals in our Board of Directors and officerships will enable us to get more done for youth rights in the year ahead.

This Year’s Interns Off to a Running Start

NYRA has three interns this year, our biggest batch yet. Zach Bushey, Rachel Birnbaum and Rowell Concepcion are our new interns, and they’re already hard at work for youth rights. Zach is doing chapter formation work for NYRA, Rachel is engaged in some very proactive outreach for us, and Rowell is working on policy research, among other things.
Rowell is a psychology and public policy double major at the University of California, Riverside. He heard about NYRA in a public policy seminar. “Working at NYRA has been and continues to be a great experience,” he said. Zach is happy to be working for NYRA this year as an intern, helping chapter intents create their chapters. Said Zach: “I get to be in contact with some passionate, intelligent people from all over the nation.” Rachel is also excited to be a part of the team. “It is great knowing that I can be making a difference,” Rachel said.

Website Hacking Prompts Move to New Server

NYRA has had a few server problems over the past several months, and was recently the victim of hacking which temporarily disabled the website. But no amount of hacking can keep us down; we’ve moved to a new server, which we anticipate will be more stable for us and will ensure that our website is a reliably available resource for youth rights activists across the country. Please bear with us as we work on fixing our forums and transfering to the new server.

New Chapters Get Their Feet Wet

A new NYRA chapter has been formed in Miami, Florida. NYRA-Miami aims to lower the drinking age in that state. They plan to achieve this by talking with state representatives and by informing people about the downsides of the minimum drinking age of 21. Ado Stimamiglio, the chapter president, says that NYRA-Miami is currently working on getting the word out by sending out press releases. In addition, the chapter will be working with NYRA of Southest Florida in the future, and will be a good compliment to the Southeast Florida chapter’s voting age work.
New chapters are also springing up in Cibolo, TX and Timonium, MD.

Recent NYRA Blog Entries

Is Temporary Injustice OK?
The Human Animal?

News from the Web

— NYRA-Related News —
Local Teens Want To Lower Voting Age to 16
Boca Raton teen creates group to push for lower voting age
Gold medal injustice
Let’s at least talk about it

— Other News —
Study: Lowering Drinking Age is ‘Bad Public Policy’
Ford feature will let parents set limits for teens
Senate wants FCC to conduct “advanced blocking” study
Dos Palos students protest after school forces sophomore to remove American flag shirt
Youth group calls for voting age to be lowered ahead of European elections
Austria opens the polls to 16-year-olds
MP wants cabinet to reduce voting age to 16
Vote at 16: Austria gets them while they’re young
Secretary of State opposed to increasing driving age
5th Grader Suspended For Anti-Obama Shirt
Students vehemently disagree with S-burg dress code, protest outside high school
Some NJ Schools Ban Students From Wearing Hoodies
Fla. judge rules saggy pants law unconstitutional
NAACP calls for 9 p.m. curfew in Macon
Don’t raise driving age
Salem coalition fights to keep drinking age 21
Obama against lowering legal drinking age, McCain avoids comment
Boy, 13, bullied after losing his hair is banned from wearing a baseball cap to school
10yo suspended for broken pencil sharpener
Parental notification measure taps passions on both sides of abortion debate
Drinking age change gets icy reception
Guadalupe City Council to introduce new curfew for those under 18
Auto safety group: States should raise driving age
Drinking by college kids is good for the Constitution
MADD pans initiative to lower drinking age to 18
Colleges Take On Drinking Age
Bristol’s Body, Sarah’s Choice
The Drinking Age Myth
Back-to-school, but how? Some parents fear letting kids walk, take bus alone


While much has happened in the past month, with our new Facebook app, changes on the Board of Directors and officerships, our anti age discrimination campaign achieving success, and more, a more exciting time is to come. NYRA’s very first TV ad will air in Washington, DC in less than two weeks, and we are now less than a month away from election day, when NYRA members and youth rights supporters across the country will make their voices heard for youth suffrage.
We need your help to maximize our impact over the next month. One of the easiest and most concrete ways of contributing to the cause is to chip in towards our ad campaign by clicking the ChipIn button at the top of any page on the NYRA website, youthrights.org. You can also use the new Facebook app to network with other youth rights activists for real change, make your own contribution to the fight against ageism in your community by participating in our anti age discrimination campaign, or start a chapter to work for progress on the youth rights issues that are most important to young people in your community. Everyone has the power to make this movement a success.