NYRA Freedom

ISSN 1933-5229

Volume 3, Issue 9

October 6, 2003


Voting Age Press Coverage
NYRA Store Set Up
Youth Rights Case Brief Project
Member Info Database Created
Joke Site Letter Writing Campaign
Media Director Wanted
Chapter News
News from the Web


In the struggle for Youth Rights it is absolutely essential that people know about NYRA’s existence, and that they know what we stand for. It is also important that we have an internal structure that allows us to work quick and efficiently, and that all of our chapters receive adequate funding. We have come closer to all three of these goals in the month of September, the path has been partially cleared for great victories in the future.

Voting age press coverage

If NYRA is to lead the fight to lower the voting age, one of its primary goals, the general public must know about our efforts in order for us to obtain any sort of tangible success. Press coverage usually leads to a rise in the number of NYRA members, as well as a rise in our level of notoriety throughout the country. In September NYRA representatives appeared to comment on the voting age in three major media outlets.

The Boston Globe, one of the largest and most respected newspapers on the east coast, recently published an article on the voting age and the various efforts to lower it around the country. The article, which was fair and presented the movement in a favorable light, featured comments from NYRA’s own President and Executive Director Alex Koroknay-Palicz. Alex made some good points and this was great PR for NYRA.

Shortly after the Globe article, ABCNews.com interviewed both Alex Koroknay-Palicz and NYRA Director and DC chapter President Laura Finstad. Once again the article was balanced and featured insightful remarks from NYRA representatives. In a surprisingly pleasant turn of events, the article was picked up by America Online and it was the top story on their welcome screen.

Since millions of people use AOL everyday, including a great deal of young people, this is probably the best coverage NYRA has ever received. Almost 300,000 people voted in the web poll, which means millions more read the article.

A week after the ABCNews article appeared, NYRA Director and NYRA New York City chapter President, Kathleen Miller appeared on the Regional News Network to discuss a lower voting age. Kathleen did a very good job and represented the organization well. This was probably seen by a great deal of people.

NYRA Store Set Up

NYRA has created the coolest online store ever. By visiting cafepress.com/nyra, and purchasing some of our merchandise, you will both get some really cool stuff, and promote NYRA by sporting your awesome NYRA goods.

Items for sale include but are not limited to; Various types of shirts, mugs, teddy bears, mouse pads, hats, license plate frames, and even a NYRA thong. The items are reasonably priced, and a portion of the proceeds helps fund the fight against ageism. I know I am going to get some of this stuff for Christmas, and I encourage everyone to visit this store, buy stuff, and show your friends.

Youth Rights Case Brief Project

NYRA’s website is known for its impressive research section. It occurred to some people at NYRA that it would be of use to have a collection of Youth Rights case briefs for people to read. This would mean a brief for all important Youth rights cases that have reached the Supreme Court.If NYRA can do this, it would mean that any individual who really wishes to understand Youth Rights as they exist in our country’s law today, would be able to do so quite easily.

NYRA’s Keith Mandell and George Carroll are working on this. This project will be very interesting and we thank Keith and George for taking it on.

Member info database created

There are many websites on the Internet dedicated to humor. These sites, while often very funny, sometimes have disturbingly ageist disclaimers. Often a website will have something that says their material is not appropriate for individuals under the age of eighteen. Such policies are ageist and a clear violation of young peoples first amendment rights.

NYRA member Jessica Jordan decided to do something about it. She has written letters to The Onion, Landover, and Whitehouse.org, who all have the ageist disclaimers. Jessica has set up this site for individuals interested in writing similar letters http://hometown.aol.com/kjekitty14/index.html. Jessica has set up an online petition against discrimination online which can be found here: http://www.petitiononline.com/youth21/petition.html

I encourage everyone to visit Jessica’s site and write a letter that will promote free speech for young people, or at the very least, sign the petition, it is something very quick and easy you can do to help youth rights.

Media Director Wanted

Have media skills? Want to help the Youth Rights movement? Willing to give up a little bit of your time? If you answered “yes” to all of these questions, then do we have the position for you.

Become NYRA’s Media Director, an office that carries with it much prestige. If you are interested please email NYRA.

Chapter News

DeWarren Langley, of NYRA’s Chapter Formation and Advisory Office, has been hard at work helping create new chapters and improve the handbooks/info structure necessary for forming active chapters. DeWarren reports that five new chapters are in the formation stages, three of which are almost ready to become certified chapters. He also reports that over thirty-five members have joined since late August. This is very good news.


The struggle to lower the voting age in Takoma Park, MD, continues. NYRA members from this area have gathered hundreds of signatures since the last issue of “NYRA Freedom.” Support in the area has been astounding and they plan to submit their petition to the local government fairly soon.


NYRA members from the New York area met early last month to form a chapter. While not enough individuals were present to complete the necessary forms, it was decided who would hold chapter offices and much positive discussion took place. All present members thought it would be useful to use meetup.com to get people to come, and that meetings should take place on a roughly monthly basis.

News From the Web

http://www.theiowachannel.com/education/2524858/detail.html – Schools Use Fingerprints To Track Students

Like something out of “1984” compulsory education tramples on the rights of Young People in order to achieve their goals, at taxpayers expense.

http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/index.ssf?/base/news-11/1064638306231930.xml – New Jersey Creates Child Advocate Post

NJ governor recognizes youth need some form of representation

http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/s533107.htm – Teenage Mayor Swims Tide Against Voter Apathy

A young mayor proves young people can have an active role in the political process

http://www.sptimes.com/2003/09/25/Pasco/Kids_to__vote__with_p.shtml – Kids to “vote” with parents

Young in Florida are introduced to voting and democracy at an early age

http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/technology/2003-09-24-chat_x.htm – MSN cuts chat rooms for the ‘children’

As we have seen so many times before, youth rights violated online in the name of safety

http://www.wired.com/news/conflict/0,2100,60267,00.html – Teens felony case thrown out

Victory for a young person who came under fire for expressing himself and exercising his freedom of speech

http://www.recordonline.com/archive/2003/09/18/kwcurfew.htm – Residents call curfew laws racist and offensive

Local resident stands up to stupid curfew law, that is obviously racist

http://www.reason.com/sullum/091203.shtml – The campaign against underage drinking targets adults

Alcohol industry narrowly escapes ageist, authoritarian, anti-alcohol activists

http://abcnews.go.com/sections/us/Politics/youngvoters030917.html – Too young to vote?

This great article on the voting age features NYRA

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/341413.html – Israeli panel recommends more rights for minors

Politicians in Israel come out with pro-youth stance

http://www.dw-world.de/english/0,3367,1432_A_962669_1_A,00.html – Germany ponders “family vote”

German politicians see that Youth have a voice, that should somehow be reflected at the polls

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2001719311_webskirts08.html – Elma School officials ban short cheerleader skirts

School officials enact authoritarian, ageist policy infringing on freedom of expression

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2003/09/09/baltimore_teens_get_chance_to_register/ – — Baltimore teens get chance to register

This is that awesome globe article that features NYRA

http://home.businesswire.com/portal/site/google/index.jsp?epi-content=GENERIC&newsId=20030908005549&headlineSearchConfigBO=1062414000000%201063074783000%20%20groupByDate%20%201%207%201062414000000%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%201000151%20true%20true%20&newsLang=en&beanID=2055223794&viewID=news_view – Ban on minor contributions ban challenged in supreme court oral arguments

People stand up against ageist aspect of campaign finance

http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2003/9/4/1804/21832 – For Whose own good?

This is a great Youth Rights article written by NYRA President Alex Koroknay-Palicz.

http://www.rrstar.com/opinion/columnists/pat/20030904-20684.shtml – Lets give kids the right to vote

Editorial makes a good case for a lower voting age, claiming it would lead to a decrease in voter apathy

http://www.herald-mail.com/?module=displaystory&story_id=61784&format=html – Proposed changes to curfew ordinance give police much more leverage


More and more people are learning about NYRA and responding to our message. More and more people are becoming active. However, the Youth Rights movement is still small and in need of help. Please, become an active member of NYRA if you are not already. This is a small movement where with a little hard work and dedication you can become very well respected very quickly. If you want to make your mark, this is the place to do it.

Write letters to politicians and prominent ageists, become active in NYRA’s web forums, do whatever you can to help the youth rights movement.