Ithaca Mayor and HWS Presidential Fellow Svante Myrick was recently named to the Forbes “30 Under 30” list for Law & Policy. Elected as mayor of Ithaca in 2011 at the age of 24, Myrick is the city’s youngest mayor and first mayor of color.
According to Forbes, less than four percent of the nominees for the Law & Policy category were accepted onto the list. Forbes highlights Myrick’s work to close the $3 million deficit he inherited, while also lowering taxes, adding new infrastructure and housing, and revitalizing public transportation.
In his first year of office, his advocacy in Albany and in Washington, D.C., resulted in more than $20 million of grants and awards from state and federal governments. By the end of Myrick’s second year in office, his budget had successfully closed the deficit and in 2015, the city saw its first operating surplus since 2008.
In November 2015, he was reelected to a second four-year term as mayor with 89 percent of the vote. Myrick is a graduate of Cornell University, where he studied communications. He was elected to the Common Council at the age of 20 while still a junior in college.
In 2016, Myrick made national headlines for his plan to implement supervised heroin injection sites in Ithaca. He’s also been in the news recently for his efforts alongside other local mayors and officials in calling for President Barack Obama to further protect immigrants.
Appointed by HWS President Mark D. Gearan as the Colleges’ Presidential Fellow for Civic Engagement in 2014, Mryick has been a dynamic presence at HWS teaching and mentoring students.
Myrick was an HWS President’s Forum Series speaker in 2013 and 2016, and at the special 2016 Homecoming and Family Weekend President’s Forum. During the spring 2016 semester, Myrick co-taught a Reader’s College course on campaigns and elections with Gearan and Associate Professor of Political Science DeWayne Lucas. He also served as a keynote speaker at the 2016 HWS Hackathon, and has been a panelist on several politically-themed discussions on the HWS campus.