Jason Ben Nathan / Sun Senior Staff Photographer

CPU has announced that Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick '09 will be the speaker for its spring debate.

April 6, 2017

CPU to Host Debate With Mayor Myrick ’09 on Controversial Drug Plan

Print More

Cornell Political Union has announced that they are hosting Mayor Svante Myrick ’09 to discuss his Ithaca Plan 一 a controversial anti-drug policy proposal 一 for CPU’s spring debate.

At the event, the mayor will address the question: “Can supervised injection site help combat the heroin epidemic?” Following Myrick’s presentation, audience members will then debate the proposal and ultimately will vote whether they agree or disagree with the mayor’s position, per CPU’s debate style.

The union chose Myrick for their spring debate because of the attention drawn to his “forward thinking” drug policy, according to a press release from CPU.

“The union entertains various policy discussions ranging from the environmental protection to international affairs,” Jackson Cherner ’19, vice president of CPU, told The Sun. “Mayor Myrick’s recent proposals on Ithaca’s drug policies made him the perfect candidate for our discussion of drug epidemics.”

Although the Ithaca Plan has four pillars 一 prevention, treatment, harm reduction and law-enforcement 一 it is most known for authorizing and establishing supervised heroin injection facilities, which, if implemented, would be the first in the nation.

These people are going to die, while you continue to try something which you know doesn’t work,” Myrick previously told The Sun about his plan. “So I ran out of patience. We have to stop waiting for the federal and state government, we’ll do it ourselves.”

The mayor’s proposal has been met by heated opposition. Even within the Cornell community, Myrick’s proposal stirred uncertainty and controversy. Prof. William Jacobson, law, called the proposed site a “government-run heroin shooting gallery.”

The union, a newly formed organization, has been notable for bringing controversial speakers to campus. In its most recent event in February, CPU hosted a debate with Tea Party co-founder Michael Johns.

Facing potential security threats and concerns, CPU made the event private to avoid paying $2,000 in security fees, Troy LeCaire ’17, president of CPU, previously told The Sun.

However, CPU does not expect a confrontational atmosphere for Myrick’s debate.

“Mayor Myrick is well-respected in the Cornell and Ithaca Communities, so we don’t see any issues,” Cherner said. “We have not paid for security for the event, and predict we will not need to.”

The event will be held Tuesday, April 11 at 7:30 p.m. in the Rhodes-Rawlings Auditorium in Klarman Hall. Attendees must RSVP for the event via Facebook.