PHILADELPHIA, NY – Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick is currently in Philadelphia for the Democratic National Convention as a delegate for Hillary Clinton.

There, he’s been meeting celebrities, enjoying performances, giving speecheswinning awards and celebrating on his Democractic heroes including his “mentor and role model” New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, both President and Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, civil rights hero and Congressman John Lewis and yes, Vermont Senator and Ithaca-favorite Bernie Sanders.

In a Wednesday interview with Time Warner Cable News, Myrick reflected on President Barack Obama’s legacy, his “passing the torch” to Hillary Clinton and being a Clinton supporter in a Sanders town.

Just before Obama’s keynote address on Wednesday, Myrick told TWC News about the impact that Obama had had on him, exactly twelve years ago. Obama, then a State Senator from Illinois, gave a speech during that year’s Democratic convention that many believe paved the way for his presidential run four years later.

“I was sixteen or seventeen years old, I watched it with my grandma and she bought me his book the next day. I read it cover to cover and just fell in love with him,” Myrick said in the interview. “I think [that speech] began what has been one of the most political runs in American history.”

Elaborating on the personal impact, Myrick added: “Here you’ve got a mixed race kid with an unusual name… and a story about being raised by a single white mother… until that point I thought the only people who could run for president were people were names like George Herbert Walker Bush or William Jefferson Clinton. It showed me and a lot of other people that you don’t have to look a certain way or come from a certain family or look a certain way to run for office.”

The hardest conversations

Myrick also talked about being a Clinton supporter in “Bernie Country.”

“A lot of my friends didn’t understand it and were very unhappy with me, still are very unhappy with me,” Myrick said in the interview. “I think these are the hardest conversations, conversations within your own family on how to get where you want to go.

“What I would tell [disillusioned Sanders supporters] is that, if they believe in a revolution, if they believe that we can be better than we are now, then its their responsibility to continue to vote… pay attention to the next 101 days, watch what each of these candidates do, watch what they talk about, watch as you find out who they are, then vote your conscience.”

As for Clinton, Myrick said that she was doing something very special — by being the woman who really made people there could be a female president in our lifetime, and now being within striking distance of that goal.

“It’s very unusual for the first person to pioneer to also be the first one to also cross that threshold. To be the reason we all take for granted that a woman could be in the Oval Office is no small accomplishment,” Myrick said.

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(Featured photo courtesy of Svante Myrick’s Twitter)

Michael Smith

Michael Smith reports on politics and local news for the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached via email at msmith@ithacavoice.com, by cell at (607) 229-0885, or via Google Voice at (518) 650-3639.