“R.T.” Raymond Thomas Rybak is an American Democrat politician, journalist and community activist who served as the 46th Mayor of Minneapolis.
Born November 12th, 1955 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Rybak was a journalist for Minneapolis Tribune and headed local publications before being elected as mayor of Minneapolis in 2001. He served multiple terms, spanning 2002 to 2014. His tenure was noted for crime reduction, job creation, affordable housing, and balanced city budget. Rybak has been honored with a rare “non-musician” star on the outside mural of the Minneapolis nightclub First Avenue.
November 7, 2001 - Minneapolis Mayor-elect R.T. Rybak got started on his move to City Hall, a day after trouncing incumbent Mayor Sharon Sayles Belton. Rybak announced the first two people who will head his administration's transition team, with an initial focus of affordable housing.
November 7, 2001 - MPR’s Cathy Wurzer interview Wy Spano, co-editor of the newsletter Politics in Minnesota, about recent Minneapolis elections, and the big changes it represents. Minneapolis and St. Paul have both elected a new mayor. State Senator Randy Kelly apparently won the St. Paul mayor's race by about 400 votes. Unofficial results from all 119 precincts show Kelly beating St. Paul City Council member Jay Benanav. In Minneapolis, internet consultant R.T. Rybak overwhelmingly defeated Sayles Belton, even though the incumbent outspent her challenger three-to-one. In a surprise upset, one of Sayles Belton's staunchest allies on the city council, Jackie Cherryhomes, was also defeated. In total, when the city council meets in January, it will have seven new members.
November 7, 2001 - MPR’s Art Hughes reports on how Minneapolis voters overwhelmingly picked challenger R.T. Rybak for mayor of Minneapolis. Rybak beat two-term incumbent Sharon Sayles Belton in mayoral election with 65 percent of the vote. He leads a pack of new faces on the city council that signals a significant change of direction. Hughes summarizes the two campaigns and outcome.
December 18, 2001 - MPR’s Tasya Rosenfeld talks with David Fey about affordable housing in Minneapolis. Mayor-elect R.T. Rybak today introduced his 90-day plan to increase affordable housing in Minneapolis. Rybak says he wants to change development codes and regulations to encourage renovation. He also hopes to use four million dollars of Neighborhood Redevelopment funds to pay for more housing. Rybak has chosen David Fey, a long-time affordable housing advocate to be his deputy mayor. Fey was the vice chairman of a task force which recommended in 1999 that the city council spend fifty million dollars to create more affordable housing. Fey says one of Rybak's approaches to the housing crisis is to reduce the existing sea of red tape.
January 1, 2002 - R.T. Rybak talks about how St. Paul and Minneapolis needs to come together and put aside the jokes, housing in Minneapolis, and how things need to change at City Hall.
January 2, 2002 - MPR’s Art Hughes reports on R.T. Rybak’s first day as mayor. A mix of optimism and harsh economic reality greet the new Minneapolis mayor and city councilmembers who are to be sworn in. R.T. Rybak's first day in office promises to be filled with ceremony, reflection and celebration. But his administration is also confronted with the urgent task of eliminating five million dollars’ worth of city services while the possibility of even greater cuts looms.
January 2, 2002 - MPR’s Art Hughes reports on R.T. Rybak taking oath as new Minneapolis Mayor. A Minneapolis City Hall ceremony installed the new mayor and a city council with more newcomers than veterans. Mayor Rybak promises an era of new openness and cooperation in city government. The day also included surprises as the council's elected its new leadership.
January 15, 2002 - R.T. Rybak, Mayor of Minneapolis, used the term "difficult" to describe the next three months. Rybak is trying to get the Minneapolis budget back on track as he begins his term as mayor.
February 1, 2002 - MPR’s Art Hughes reports on Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak’s effort to organize his office staff, and the opposition move is encountering on the City Council. The council votes on the plan that would see a sixty-thousand-dollar reduction in salaries in the mayor's office. But some council members complain the cuts are at the expense of those who are paid the least.
February 6, 2002 - MPR’s Michael Khoo reports on potential downtown ballpark site discussions. Alabama businessman Donald Watkins was in Minneapolis to assess potential ballpark sites. Watkins is exploring a possible purchase of the Minnesota Twins and has pledged to build a new stadium entirely with private dollars if he's able to acquire the team. Meanwhile, Governor Jesse Ventura says he hasn't changed his stance on a ballpark, despite a willingness to call a special session if lawmakers can't address the issue in the regular course of business.