Statement on the Repeal of Net Neutrality

Youth Caucus of America is deeply disappointed to see that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has repealed net neutrality regulations, initially implemented in 2015. The FCC voted 3-2 on Thursday to reverse the agency’s decision during the Obama administration. These regulations were made to ensure ISPs treated all web traffic equally.

Before net neutrality regulations, Internet Service Providers (ISP) were able to restrict customer access to certain content providers. This happened in 2012 when AT&T blocked access to Apple FaceTime unless customers were willing to pay for a different internet plan, quoting concerns that FaceTime would overstress their mobile networks. The recent vote to repeal net neutrality will allow ISPs to deliver different content at different speeds and potentially charge content providers or consumers more for faster delivery speeds, a concept called paid prioritization. If ISPs begin to charge consumers for accessing content at reasonable speeds, it could hurt small businesses and low income communities that cannot afford these charges. And although the 2010 FCC Open Internet Order still prevents ISPs from blocking or discriminating lawful content, this repeal could hurt all Americans because it has the ability to limit a truly open and free internet.

The net neutrality repeal isn’t scheduled to take effect until some time next year. The issue will likely see legal action, and Congress may step in via the Congressional Review Act or alternative legislation. We encourage all readers to contact your officials and share your thoughts on this repeal.

Written by: Karen Orona


YCA Partners with Nothing But Nets to Fight Malaria

Youth Caucus of America is proud to announce its partnership with Nothing But Nets to raise awareness for the prevention of malaria. Nothing But Nets is an international grassroots campaign of the United Nations Foundation dedicated to promoting continued funding, awareness, and support of efforts to prevent the spread and transmission of malaria. Since its founding in 2006, Nothing But Nets has raised over $65 million to provide families in need with 12 million bed nets, as well as intervention support through diagnostics, treatment, and the training of healthcare workers.

Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease caused by a parasite. Although malaria has been virtually eradicated from many developed countries, over half of the world’s population is still at risk of contracting malaria. While the disease is preventable and treatable, malaria causes nearly 429,000 deaths per year in sub-Saharan Africa. Children remain one of the most vulnerable groups to the disease, with one child dying of malaria every two minutes. Malaria poses an existential threat to developing countries as the disease disproportionately affects children who represent the future of these countries.

Youth Caucus of America and Nothing But Nets will be working closely together to ensure that the United States government continues to fund research and prevention efforts through programs such as the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) and the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. In the eyes of Youth Caucus of America and Nothing But Nets, it is important that this disease is eradicated so the futures of children around the world and those of the countries afflicted by the disease are secured. Youth Caucus of America looks forward to our partnership with Nothing But Nets and joining the fight against malaria.


Statement Regarding Sinai Mosque Attack

Youth Caucus of America is devastated and disturbed by the brutal attack of an al-Rawda mosque in the town of Bir al-Abed in Egypt’s Northern Sinai province. The attack, according to witnesses, took place during Friday prayers at the Mosque. The mosque was bombed and parishioners were attacked by assailants armed with guns. The current number of casualties at the time of this press release is 235. At the time of writing, no militant group in Egypt has claimed responsibility for the attacks. There is still much uncertainty and we caution those from speculating on the identities of those responsible for this barbaric acts and the motives behind the attacks.

The thoughts and prayers of Youth Caucus of America are with those affected by this attack.


Statement Regarding the #MeToo Movement

For decades, sexual harassment and assault were considered taboo, secretive topics. However, one hashtag aims to change that. The #MeToo movement was started by a simple tweet from actress Alyssa Milano to bring awareness to the often ignored issue of harassment and/or assault. The impact was profound. In the last 24 hours, the hashtag had been tweeted nearly half a million times, a spokesperson from Twitter confirmed. #MeToo not only brought people from around the world together, but it shed light on previously skimmed sexual predation issues, such as that of Weinstein and Cosby. It showed the magnitude of victims, and that there is a lot of work to be done.


Endorsement of Tay Anderson for Denver School Board District 4 Representative

Youth Caucus of America, Inc. is proud to say “We Stand With Tay!” YCA believes that Tay Anderson would be an effective advocate for public education. As a recent graduate of the Denver public school system and his expansive knowledge on education and student issues that face the Colorado public school system today; Anderson will bring a new in depth perspective to the school board. Anderson seeks to renew Denver Public School’s lunch program, fight for comprehensive preventative programs for unaccompanied youth, and invest in our educators to create a dynamic and rich learning environment. Anderson’s stances are very much in alignment with the goals of Youth Caucus of America’s Education Policy Committee which believes in investing in educators for a more sound learning environment and improving quality lunch programs. By standing with Tay, students in the Denver school system will receive the support and educational tools that they need to be successful, something YCA believes every student deserves the opportunity to have. For these reasons, YCA endorses Tay Anderson for Denver School Board District 4 representative.


Our Youth Deserve a Second Chance

On behalf of Youth Caucus of America, I urge you to contact your representatives and urge them to cosponsor the Renew Act, H.R. 2617, introduced by Reps. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) and Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.). The bill would expand the qualifying age for expungement of a simple possession conviction for nonviolent, low-level, first-time drug offenders. The Renew Act would increase age eligibility to allow qualifying offenders under the age of 25 to seek an expungement order.

A criminal record is often a barrier for those who are seeking a second chance to become productive, taxpaying citizens. One bad decision can prevent an individual from obtaining a decent paying job or financial aid for college to advance their education. It can even make it difficult for a first-time offender to put a roof over his or her head.

Under current law, 18 U.S. Code § 3607(c), offenders under the age of 21 can apply for and receive an expungement order for a first-time, nonviolent offense. The National Conference of State Legislatures Neurobiological Development Research states, that the brain is not fully developed until around the age of 25, affecting decision-making and risk assessment abilities. Generally, the parietal lobes of the brain fully develop by age 16, but the temporal lobes are still developing and the frontal lobe continues to develop into the early 20s.

The Renew Act would increase age eligibility to allow qualifying offenders under the age of 25 to seek an expungement order. The criminal record of an eligible individual would still be available to the Department of Justice if necessary for future proceedings.
The Renew Act allows for opportunities for young people who have made a mistake to move on with their lives and become productive, taxpaying citizens.
For these reasons, I urge you to contact your representatives and urge them to cosponsor the Renew Act, H.R. 2617.

Coby J. Owens
Chief Executive Officer
Youth Caucus of America


Statement Regarding the Las Vegas Shooting

Youth Caucus of America joins the nation in expressing its horror, shock, and grief regarding the events that occurred in at the Route 91 music festival and the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas. The Las Vegas Police Department has confirmed that there were at least 59 dead and 527 injured. Many hotels on the Las Vegas strip close to the scene were placed on police lockdown and parts of Las Vegas Boulevard were shut. While the gunman has been identified, the Las Vegas Police Department has not established a motive for the attack.

The thoughts and prayers of Youth Caucus of America are with those who were affected by the tragedy.


Statement Regarding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

Youth Caucus of America reaffirms its support for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. The legislation addresses the issue of undocumented children under the age of 16, “Dreamers” by incentivizing the legal declaration of their status, provided that they have no criminal record and have earned a high school diploma. Under DACA, these people are allowed a social security number, a driver’s license, and are given authorization to work — as well having relief from the fear of being deported. DACA is not a path to permanent citizenship, but it grants a temporary but renewable opportunity for undocumented youth to pursue life. Its repeal would counter national interests by removing productive workers from our economy, as well as costing the US government billions of dollars in lost future tax revenues. These educated youth are, by definition, products of the US education system, and their deportation would be a waste of tremendous national investment. We should treat these driven, educated, and English-speaking young people not as a burden, but as a resource.  

With enthusiasm, Youth Caucus of America proudly reaffirms its support for DACA, and welcomes the acceptance of educated, yet undocumented youth, provided that they meet the criteria established in this legislation.


Rekha Iyer

Policy Chair, Education Committee

Statement Regarding Department of Education’s Title IX Rollback

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced that the Department of Education would begin the process of rolling back provisions within Title IX that protected survivors of sexual assault on college campuses in the United States on Thursday September 7th.

The provisions in Title IX were first implemented under the Obama administration.

Youth Caucus of America is shocked and appalled by Secretary DeVos’ announcement and by the callous new approach that the Department of Education is seeking to take in regards to helping survivors achieve justice. We strongly believes in a survivor-centered approach to resolving sexual assault on campuses around the United States, and do not think that this administration’s restructuring of Title IX provisions will have the needs of survivors as a priority. Rather, we are concerned that Secretary DeVos’ plans will lead to more assailants and rapists walking free, more fear amongst survivors, and a harder system to contend with in order to achieve justice.

Coby Owens, CEO of Youth Caucus of America, commented:

“No system is perfect, but I would find it difficult to pinpoint one that is. The culture which permits campus sexual assault must come to an end in order to make our spaces for learning genuinely habitable, and the Title IX guidelines have done a considerable amount to flip the script.

If the President and his administration really wanted to “make America great again,” they would begin by making our schools habitable incubators for learning and growth, not the opposite. Our education system is the birthplace of hope. It’s the point at which curiosities are nourished, creativity is discovered, and entire universes within us transform from black-and-white to technicolor.”

As a part of our #TakeNoForAnAnswer campaign, Youth Caucus of America has previously expressed our support for S. 856/H.R. 1949, the Campus Accountability and Safety Act, which intends to implement increased support services and campus resources for students alleging sexual assault, enforce new reporting requirements, and encourage coordination with law enforcement. Now, more than ever, we are calling upon legislators and students alike to champion legislation and action that will help survivors of sexual assault achieve justice through the channels set up by institutions of higher education.


Press Release: Youth Caucus of America Partners with the March for Racial Justice

YCA is proud to announce our official partnership with the March for Racial Justice, which is occurring on September 30 in Washington, D.C.. As an organization dedicated to advancing the rights of young Americans, we believe it is vital to stand up for the rights of minority youth. By working towards eliminating racism, we can ensure that the next generation of Americans lives in a society in which everyone has the ability to reach their fullest potential, regardless of race.


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