Wells College announces that Svante L. Myrick, mayor of the City of Ithaca, N.Y., will give a talk on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018 as part of the 2018–19 Democracy and Leadership Series. His talk will take place from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in the College's chapel, located on the first floor of Main Building at Wells College.
Myrick's lecture will be followed by a reception in the Faculty Parlors lounge, which is just outside the chapel's main entrance, from 1:30 to 2:00 p.m. Both the lecture and reception are free and open to the public; please note, however, that seating will be extremely limited.
Myrick, who at 24 became the youngest-ever mayor of Ithaca when he took office in early 2012, will speak about his rise from humble beginnings to becoming a prominent presence on the local, regional and national political scene. He was first elected to the city's Common Council at age 20, while still a student at Cornell University.
Since he took office, he has worked to overhaul the city government's functions, merging departments, streamlining processes, and closing a $3 million deficit — all while delivering the lowest tax increase in the City of Ithaca since the year 2000. In addition, his advocacy work in Albany and in Washington, D.C. has resulted in over $20 million worth of grants and awards to the region from the state and federal governments.
Myrick has changed the way people in Ithaca view public space by turning his dedicated mayoral parking space into a public park; bringing the Fourth of July fireworks back to the city after years without them; and helping to move Ithaca into the digital age by embracing social media and overhauling the city's online presence.
In February 2016, Mayor Myrick released the "Ithaca Plan: A Public Health and Safety Approach to Drugs and Drug Policy," which garnered international attention for its "harm reduction" methods regarding the opioid epidemic. Earlier this year, he wrote to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo requesting approval from the state's Department of Health for a supervised drug-injection pilot program in Ithaca; such sites have been controversial and would require significant revision to state and federal laws.
Svante Myrick's visit is sponsored by the Wells College Democracy and Leadership Series, a cross-campus partnership between the political science program, the Sullivan Center for Business and Entrepreneurship, and the Office of Student Activities and Leadership. The series brings students together with local, regional, national and international figures to learn about their leadership path, examine the characteristics of successful leaders, and share possible ways for students and others to take a leadership role in our democracy.
Additional support for this event was provided by the Wells College Social Science Speaker Series, the Office of the President, and the Office of Communications and Marketing.