- Youth Leadership
- Millennial Engagement
- Racial Justice
Svante Myrick, 29, is the youngest-ever mayor of Ithaca, New York and the director of People For the American Way Foundation’s youth leadership programs. A longtime member of the Young Elected Officials (YEO) Network, he now oversees the YEO Network, which consists of 1,000+ progressives elected officials under the age of 35+ at the local, state, and national level, along with its sister program, Young People For.
In addition, Svante serves as director of young candidate engagement for People For the American Way. In that role, he recruits candidates participating in PFAW’s Next Up Victory Fund, and helps promote the initiative, which is aimed at building the bench of progressive leaders.
Raised by his mother, Myrick and his family faced homelessness throughout their lives and relied on school lunch programs and other critical public services. After attending Cornell University, Myrick served as assistant director of student and young alumni programs at the college and tutored Ithaca youth. These experiences shape his leadership in Ithaca, where he’s put progressive values into action to improve the lives of the people in his community. As mayor, Myrick’s innovative leadership has, for example, included putting forth a plan to address the heroin epidemic through supervised injection sites, prevention, treatment, and law enforcement.
Myrick is the recipient of the John F. Kennedy Frontier Award, YEO’s Barbara Jordan Leadership Award, named this year by Rolling Stone “Hot Do-Gooder” public servant to watch, and most recently again in Forbes Magazine’s “30 under 30.” Myrick has been interviewed by local and national TV, radio, and print outlets including CNN, USA Today, and the New York Times on issues such as progressive leadership, racial justice, and millennial civic engagement.