|Mayor of Ithaca, New York|
January 1, 2012
|Preceded by||Carolyn K. Peterson|
March 15, 1987 |
Earlville, New York
|Residence||Ithaca, New York|
|Alma mater||Cornell University|
Svante Myrick (born March 15, 1987) is mayor of Ithaca, New York, the county seat of Tompkins County and host city to Cornell University and Ithaca College. Myrick is a member of the Democratic Party. In September 2011, he won a contested primary election for the Democratic Party nomination for Mayor of the City of Ithaca. On November 8, 2011 he won the general election with 54.9% of the electorate, defeating three other candidates (two independents and one Republican). In January 2012 he became the city’s youngest mayor and its first Mayor of African-American heritage to hold the office. Myrick was born and raised in the small town of Earlville, New York. First elected at age of 20, to the office of Alderperson upon Ithaca's Common Council, Myrick was one of the youngest elected African-Americans in US history. At 26, he is one of the youngest mayors in US history and one of the few to be popularly elected by city-wide vote.
Early life and education
Svante Myrick is the third of four children, raised in Earlville, New York, by his single mother and his grandparents. Through his childhood, he was in-and-out of homelessness; his family struggled to get by. He attended public schools and graduated from Sherburne-Earlville High School in 2005. Myrick then studied communication at Cornell University, where he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon and a leader of the Interfraternity Council and Quill and Dagger society. He began his public-service career though volunteer activities while a student, including working with the REACH program. Myrick graduated in 2009.
In January 2008, at the age of 20, Myrick became the youngest alderperson for the City of Ithaca and one of the youngest elected African-Americans in U.S. history. While serving as a councilman, Myrick’s principal contributions included forwarding a successful effort to create a “tobacco-free zone” on the Ithaca Commons, promoting youth involvement in city government through overseeing the creation of the Ithaca Youth Council, and playing a role in master planning and zoning changes in Ithaca’s dense, student-dominated Collegetown neighborhood.
On March 29, 2011 Myrick declared his intent to pursue the office of Mayor of Ithaca as a Democrat. In the Primary election, he faced Alderperson J.R. Claiborne, and County Legislator Pamela Mackesey. As the Democratic Party nominee, Myrick faced concerns about his age, experience, connection to the community and capability. Myrick earned 54.9% of votes cast in the November general election (a 28.5% margin from the nearest candidate), winning all city voting districts. Myrick defeated Janis Kelly (Republican Party candidate), J.R. Clairborne (Independence Party candidate), and Wade Wykstra (Independent).
Accomplishments as Mayor
When Mayor Myrick assumed office in January 2012, he inherited an anticipated $3 million to $3.5 million budget deficit in the City of Ithaca. Mayor Myrick's first budget, FY13, concentrated upon maintaining city services while streamlining City Hall through merging departments, reducing management and adopting new technology systems to reduce city inefficiencies. While reducing financial obligations and increasing efficiency for the City of Ithaca, Myrick's first budget also prioritized increasing the wages of the City's lowest paid employees. On October 1, 2013 the City of Ithaca became a Certified Living Wage Employer. By the end of Myrick's 2nd year in office, half his term, the Mayor's adopted FY14 budget had successfully closed the budget deficit inheritted in 2012, and brought about the lowest tax levy increase in over a decade.   
In the Media
The New York Times: Colleges Help Ithaca Thrive in a Region of Struggles. (August 4, 2013): The city's young and dynamic Mayor discusses the private and public investments which are seeding economic growth and the lowest unemployment rate in New York State.
New York State Supportive Housing Conference (June 6, 2013): Svante delivers the keynote address and provides evidence that support structures are necessary to bring out individual potentials and success.
Ora TV with Larry King (October 11, 2012): Svante discusses expectations in the vice Presidential Debate preshow.
C-SPAN2: Future of American Democracy. (October 4, 2012): Mayors Alex Morse (Holyoke, Massachusetts) and Svante Myrick (Ithaca, New York) talked about important questions from their perspective as two of the youngest elected officials in the United States.
Ora TV with Larry King (August 30, 2012): Svante discusses the Republican Presidential campaign platform.
Rock Center with Brian Williams (February 29, 2012): "24-year-old mayor's personal life story guides political career".
- Weaver, Teri (November 20, 2011). "Svante Myrick: How a child of modest means became Ithaca's youngest mayor-elect". Syracuse Post-Standard.
- Lawyer, Liz (September 14, 2011). "Myrick wins mayoral primary in Ithaca". The Ithaca Journal.