The “Hall of Justice” has just two rules: A nightly game of beer pong, and a ban on talking politics after 8 p.m. The seven-bedroom house in upstate New York was home to a motley crew of government nerds–county legislators, city-council members, Ph.D. students and one big guy called “the Mayor.” Svante Myrick got the nickname because he was always bigfooting decisions and hogging the remote control. But also because in 2011, at 24, he became the youngest-ever mayor of Ithaca, N.Y.
“The youngest generation is pretty sure that we can do it better than the folks that have been doing it for a long time,” says Myrick, who was re-elected in 2015 with 89% of the vote. “And the folks that have been doing it for a long time are pretty sure that the youngest generation has no idea what we’re doing.”
Young people have always rolled their eyes at the received wisdom of the olds, but now they’ve got numbers on their side. Millennials–born between 1980 and 2000–overtook baby boomers as…