ITHACA, N.Y. — Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick is adding a new line to his resume, taking over a leadership position at liberal think-tank People for the American Way.

Myrick is taking over as Director of Youth Leadership Programs after being a member of the Young Elected Officials Network for nine years.

“Our goal is to be a spokesperson for young progressive elected officials in the country,” Myrick said.

He said he first started going to PFAW conferences with former Tompkins County Legislator Nate Shinagawa to learn what other people were doing to foster change in communities throughout the country.

“It feels pretty lonely,” Myrick said about being one of the youngest leaders in a room. “If you’re the youngest person there by 30 years, you start thinking that maybe you’re crazy — maybe your perspective is crazy.”

Being with other people in the same boat bolstered his resolve to stick with politics and influenced him to run for mayor.

PFAW Foundation President Michael Keegan said in a news release, “I couldn’t be more excited to welcome Svante to a new leadership role with the PFAW Foundation team…He’s been an inspiring leader for the city of Ithaca and an extremely active member of the YEO Network, and we’re thrilled that he’ll be in a position to share his passion and his creativity with young leaders all across the country.”

Myrick said that he’s gotten other job offers in the past, especially in the weeks following the election. But his heart and full-time commitment remains in Ithaca for the foreseeable future.

He said, “The older I get — and I’m going to be 30 now — the more, I guess, I really want to be remembered as a mayor that made the city of Ithaca better.”

Accepting the new part-time position will allow him to work out of Ithaca to pursue his two passions of improving the city and getting young people involved in politics.

“I believe in it. I believe that young people have energy and creativity and moral authority,” Myrick said.

Jolene Almendarez

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at jalmendarez@ithacavoice.com; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.