At our third talk we heard from Svante Myrick the Mayor of Ithaca NY, about how his city is addressing everything from housing affordability to decaying infrastructure to panhandling. Adopting form-based code, investing in the revitalization of the downtown commons, and creating innovative incentives has led to economic growth, thriving public spaces, and lower individual tax rates.
WATCH SVANTE'S TALK:
ABOUT MAYOR MYRICK
Svante L. Myrick was sworn into office in January 2012 and became, at 24, the City of Ithaca’s youngest Mayor and first Mayor of color. Svante was first elected to the Common Council at the age of 20 while still a junior at Cornell.
His first budget included a radical overhaul of City government that merged departments, streamlined processes and was able to successfully close a $ 3 million deficit – all while delivering the lowest tax increase in the City of Ithaca since the year 2000.
His active advocacy in Albany and in Washington D.C. has resulted in over $20 million of grants and awards from the State and Federal government.
Svante has changed the way people in Ithaca view public space by turning his dedicated mayoral parking space into a public park. After years without them he’s brought fireworks back to the City on the 4th of July and he’s moved Ithaca into the 21st century by embracing social media and overhauling the City’s web presence.
His 2015 accomplishments include sorely needed revisions to the City of Ithaca’s sidewalk policy, an overhaul of storm water utility legislation, successful implementation and completion of the total rehabilitation of the Commons, Ithaca’s downtown pedestrian mall, and making changes within the Ithaca Police Department in an effort to improve police and community relations.
He ran and won to serve another four year term as Mayor of the City of Ithaca leading with a commanding 89% of the vote in 2015. In February 2016 Mayor Myrick released the Ithaca Plan: a Public Health and Safety Approach to Drugs and Drug Policy that garnered international attention for its forward thinking. Mayor Myrick has also gained some accolades for strengthening Ithaca’s Sanctuary City status for refugees.