March 29, 2011

Svante Myrick ’09 Enters 2011 Race For Mayor of Ithaca

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Ithaca City Council member Svante Myrick ’09 (D-4th Ward) officially declared his candidacy for mayor of Ithaca on Tuesday.

“I love this city and believe my service as mayor will make a difference,” Myrick said in a statement. “I have a record of bringing together the many perspectives of Ithaca to maximize our strengths as a city.”

Myrick will face Tompkins County Legislator Pam Mackesey ’89, who announced her intention to run on Sunday, and possibly other opponents.

In the statement, Myrick touted endorsements from City Council members Daniel Cogan ’96 (D-5th Ward), Deborah Mohlenhoff (D-5th Ward) and Eddie Rooker  ’10 (D-4th Ward).

“Some people may be worried that [Myrick] is too young, but having served in city hall for 10 years and with Svante for three-and-a-half, I can say without hesitation he will make an excellent mayor,” Cogan stated in Myrick’s press release.

Myrick will begin the campaign with $10,000 in campaign contributions, according to the press release. Myrick said he has also received endorsements from Tompkins County Legislators Jim Dennis (D-15th District) and Nathan Shinagawa ’05 (D-4th District).

In 2007, Myrick “became one of the youngest elected officials in the country” when he ran for Common Council unopposed at the age of 20, according to the press release.

“I ran on a platform of youth engagement, and in our first year I chaired a committee to create a youth council that focuses on young people on every level of government,” Myrick said.

Myrick, who was homeless as a youth, has been involved in several outreach organizations, including the Greater Ithaca Activities Center and the Cornell Cooperative Extension, that are related to improving the lives of youths.

While on Common Council, Myrick also worked toward “improving the public and private investment in Collegetown’s infrastructure,” he said.

As chairperson of the Collegetown Vision Implementation Committee, Myrick helped create the Collegetown master plan, which Myrick said “protects surrounding neighborhoods from student housing sprawl and promotes greener transportation.”

He added that the plan would promote “more housing in the core of Collegetown, as well as dozens of real, actionable improvements.”

Myrick also said that, of the city council, he was the “loudest, most persistent voice in pushing for a smoke-free Commons.”

“Being a leader of the city at a time like this means having a consistent vision, strong management, moral clarity. Those are the things that will make a strong leader,” Myrick said.

The election will be held on Nov. 8.

Original Author: Jeff Stein