October 4, 2012
The Future of American Politics: A Discussion with Millennial Mayors
Watch the event on C-SPAN.
As the country looks toward the November election and what comes after, many are asking: What is right and wrong with American democracy? How can we improve it? How can young people make a difference?
Mayors Svante Myrick (Ithaca, New York) and Alex Morse (Holyoke, Massachusetts) discussed these important questions from their perspective as two of the youngest elected officials in the United States. Also participating in the discussion were two Millennial Values Fellows: Mohammad Usman (DePauw University) and Rachel Stanley (Elon College). The Berkley Center's Erin Taylor served as the moderator.
The discussion is part of the Millennial Values Symposium
that brought student leaders to Washington, D.C. from around the country for a series of conversations about values and the future of American democracy. The day featured discussions with elected officials and media leaders, as well as the launch of the second Millennial Values Survey
that explores how 18-25 year-olds view values, politics, and the 2012 election.
Alex Morse, mayor of Holyoke, Massachusetts, is the youngest mayor in the city's history and the second youngest in state history. He was sworn into office on January 3, 2012. Morse's main areas of focus for the community are early childhood literacy, building a local economy around art, innovation, and technology, supporting community policing initiatives, and marketing Holyoke as a great place to live and work. Morse graduated from Brown University in 2011 with a degree in Urban Studies. During his time at Brown, he worked as a youth career counselor at CareerPoint in Holyoke, and was mentored by former Providence mayor and current Congressman David Cicilline. He also served on the governor's LGBT commission.
Svante L. Myrick, mayor of Ithaca, New York, is the city's youngest mayor and first mayor of color. At age 24, Myrick won a four-way mayoral race—sweeping 18 out of 18 election districts. Before being sworn into office on January 1, 2012, he represented the fourth ward on the city's Common Council. In addition, Myrick chaired the committee that created the Ithaca Youth Council. He also chaired the Collegetown Vision Implementation Committee, which led to the creation and endorsement of a master plan for promoting development while still preserving neighborhoods in Collegetown. Myrick is a graduate of Cornell University, where he studied Communication. He served as a REACH (Raising Education Attainment Challenge) board member for three years, and tutored under-served young people in Ithaca for eight semesters.
Majoring in International Studies with minors in Political Science, Non-Violence Studies, and French, Rachel Stanley is a junior at Elon University in North Carolina who comes from Snellville, Georgia. She is completing a thesis on French...
Erin Taylor is director of communications at the Berkley Center, a position she has held since March 2012. Previously, Erin served as deputy director of communications at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. She has also worked for the...
Mohammad Usman is a senior at DePauw University majoring in Urban Policy and Conflict Studies, with a minor in Religious Studies. During summer 2012 he studied bioethics and completed a medical research project at Yale University; he has been...