Alex Koroknay-Palicz

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Alex Koroknay-Palicz
Born (1981-07-02) July 2, 1981 (age 42)
Occupation(s)Executive Director, NYRA

Alex Koroknay-Palicz (born July 2, 1981) is an American activist in Washington, D.C. He is the former executive director of the National Youth Rights Association serving in that post from 2000 till 2012.[1]


Koroknay-Palicz was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and grew up in Holland, Michigan. By high school, he began to articulate that inequality in terms of ageism and wrote articles for his school newspaper on the subject. Senior year at Holland High School, Koroknay-Palicz discovered several local businesses with policies limiting the number of students allowed inside at any one time. Recognizing these policies as ageism, he decided to do something about it. After much research he learned these policies were illegal under Michigan's Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act. Koroknay-Palicz demanded the city to enforce this law at a speech before a Holland city council meeting. The matter was referred to Al Serrano in the city's Human Rights Department, who succeeded in overturning the policies at all the stores in question.[2]

In 1999 Koroknay-Palicz began attending American University in Washington, D.C. He quickly became involved in the youth rights movement, chiefly as the executive director of the National Youth Rights Association from 2000 to 2012. Koroknay-Palicz became a major figure in all aspects of the youth rights movement and made fighting ageism his chief purpose.[2] Koroknay-Palicz serves on the board of advisors for the Freechild Project. His writing appears in several publications and websites. In 2006 Koroknay-Palicz joined the Board of Directors of CAFETY.[3]

Koroknay-Palicz and Robert Epstein co-founded the First Annual National Youth Rights Day which occurred on April 14, 2010[4] Epstein wrote The Young Person's Bill of Rights for this event.[5]

Koroknay-Palicz currently lives in Takoma Park, Maryland and served on the city's voting rights taskforce after Takoma Park became the first city in the United States to lower its voting age to 16. Testified in support of successful 16-year-old voting age bills in Takoma Park and Hyattsville, Maryland. He currently works for the National Association of Counties and in October 2014 married Tricia Gonwa. In 2015 he resumed his involvement in the National Youth Rights Association after a three-year absence. He currently serves on NYRA's board of directors and is organizing the #16tovote Coalition in support of the 16-year-old voting age bill in Washington, D.C.


As spokesman for the National Youth Rights Association, Koroknay-Palicz's first major media citation dates to 2000 when interviewed him.[6] Since then he has appeared on several television and radio networks, including two appearances on CNN[7][8] and Fox News[9][10]

Koroknay-Palicz has been quoted by several nationally recognized publications on a variety of topics related to youth rights. They include the subject of student rights in The Christian Science Monitor;[11] youth suffrage in The Boston Globe[12] and the Los Angeles Times;[13] the legal drinking age in The New York Times;[14] internet censorship in the Chicago Tribune;[15] curfews in the Jackson Free Press,[16] and; the minimum driving age in USA Today[17] and the Associated Press.[18] He has also been cited in international publications such as The Guardian.[19]

He has also been cited on the topics of ageism in the Olympics,[20] graduated driver licensing,[18] civics education[21] public schools,[22] the Bong Hits 4 Jesus trial,[23] youth criminalization,[24] and several other issues.[25][26]

He has also been noted for his opposition to the drinking age limit policies of Mothers Against Drunk Driving who want to keep it at age 21.[27][28][29][30]


  • Koroknay-Palicz, A. (2003) "Youth Demand a Voice and a Vote", Wiretap Magazine.
  • Koroknay-Palicz, A. "Youth Rights," in Beale, S. and Abdalla, A. (2003) Millennial Manifesto. InstantPublisher.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Corporate officers and staff" Archived 2008-09-20 at the Wayback Machine, National Youth Rights Association, Retrieved 9/8/08.
  2. ^ a b Weeks, L. (2007) "Age Is Just a Number: Youth Rights Advocate Tries to Break Down Barriers to Adulthood", The Washington Post. November 27. Retrieved 9/7/08.
  3. ^ "Board of Directors and Advisors" Archived 2008-06-12 at the Wayback Machine, Community Alliance for the Ethical Treatment of Youth. Retrieved 9/8/08.
  4. ^ National Youth Rights Day. Official website.
  5. ^ The Young Person's Bill of Rights. Robert Epstein in celebration of the First Annual National Youth Rights Day on April 14, 2010.
  6. ^ Noah, T. (2000) "Should the Voting Age Be Lowered?" November 7. Retrieved 9/7/08.
  7. ^ Blitzer, W. (2007) "Michigan Primary Dropouts; Fight Over Kids' Health Care; Terrorists Tipped Off", The Situation Room on October 9. Retrieved 9/7/08
  8. ^ Frazier, S. (2001) "Should the U.S. Drinking Age be Lowered?", July 29. Retrieved 9/7/08.
  9. ^ (2008) "Drinking age debate: Seven states now considering lowering the voting age", Fox News. April 3. Retrieved 9/7/08.
  10. ^ Bernhart, M. (2005) "Is 16 Too Young to Get a Driver's License?" Archived 2011-07-11 at the Wayback Machine, Fox News. June 19. Retrieved 8/7/08.
  11. ^ Jonnson, P. (2003) "Before you suspend me, can I call a lawyer?" Christian Science Monitor. March 04. Retrieved 9/7/08.
  12. ^ Calvan, B.C. (2004) "Californians consider granting 14-year-olds the right to vote", The Boston Globe. April 25, 2004. Retrieved 9/7/08.
  13. ^ Bailey, E. (2004) "Giving New Meaning to 'Youth Vote'", Los Angeles Times. March 9. Retrieved 9/7/08.
  14. ^ Belluck, P. and Zezima, K. (2005) "Vermont Considers Lowering Drinking Age to 18." The New York Times. April 13. Page 13, Column 1. Retrieved 9/7/08.
  15. ^ Wang, A.L. (2006) "District takes aim at teens' web posts: Schools Say MySpace Within Their Space Too "], Chicago Tribune. 26 May.
  16. ^ Ladd, D. (2002) Dogging Youth: Is Metrocenter Mall's New Policy Good for Business?" Archived 2007-09-28 at the Wayback Machine, Jackson Free Press. November 2. Retrieved 9/7/08.
  17. ^ O'Donnell, J. (2006) "Restrictions cut teen driving deaths", USA Today. July 2. Retrieved 9/7/08.
  18. ^ a b Hill, M. (2008) "Driving limits are roadmap to teen frustration" Archived 2008-12-02 at the Wayback Machine, Associated Press. August 6. Retrieved 9/7/08.
  19. ^ Capriccioso, R. (2007) "Leave the kids alone", The Guardian (UK). August 28. Retrieved 9/7/08.
  20. ^ Cohen, A.R. (2008) "Gold medal injustice: Minimum ages are wrong in the Olympics and in the rest of life" Archived 2012-07-28 at, Cavalier Daily. August 26. Retrieved 9/7/08.
  21. ^ Maher, S. (2008) "Report: Poor civics education hurts youth: Lower-income schools' students less likely to vote, researcher finds" Archived 2008-08-27 at the Wayback Machine, Oakland Tribune. March 5. Retrieved 9/7/08.
  22. ^ McCluskey, N. (2007)"Why We Fight: How Public Schools Cause Social Conflict." Policy Analysis. 587. Retrieved 9/7/08.
  23. ^ Kita, P. (2007) Supreme Court Takes on 'Bong Hits' Case. infoZine. March 20. Retrieved 9/7/08.
  24. ^ Komp, C. (2007) "GPS Surveillance Creeps into Daily Life", The New Standard. April 28. Retrieved 9/7/08.
  25. ^ Reynolds, D. (2006) "Detention for a High School Blog Entry? School District Votes to Discipline Teens for Bad Behavior on the Web", ABC News. May 23. Retrieved 9/7/08.
  26. ^ Newitz, A. (2001) "The Kids Are Alright: Regulating Minors' Access to the Internet Can Backfire", San Francisco Chronicle. August 30. Retrieved 9/7/08.
  27. ^ Beckerman, M. (2008) "Sound and Fury: MADD Founder Hates Troops Almost As Much As She Hates Alcohol" Archived 2008-06-15 at the Wayback Machine, Fresh Intelligence. April 10. Retrieved 9/7/08.
  28. ^ Ury, F. and Segal, A. (2007) "Groups spar over lowering the drinking age" Archived 2007-10-14 at the Wayback Machine, Medill Reports. October 9. Retrieved 9/7/08.
  29. ^ (2005) "Drinking age should stay a 'respectful' 21"[permanent dead link], Kennebeck Journal. April 4. Retrieved 9/7/08.
  30. ^ Rooney, K. (2004) "Students protest drinking age" Archived 2008-10-09 at the Wayback Machine, GW Hatchet. March 1. Retrieved 9/7/08.

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