“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.
February 12, 2002 - MPR’s Art Hughes reports on proposed budget cuts by Minneapolis Mayor and City Council. Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and City Council leaders delivered a list of proposed cuts to reach the five-million-dollar budget reduction imposed by the council two months ago. The police and fire departments will see reductions, but their functions are protected. Many smaller operations in city hall aren't as lucky, including Office of Cultural Affairs, Civilian Review Authority (CRA), and Truth and Sale of Housing program, amongst others.
March 25, 2002 - MPR’s Art Hughes reports on push for bill focused on addressing mental health crisis incidents. The mayor of Minneapolis joined state lawmakers and mental health advocates at the Capitol to support a bill to make it easier for police officers to commit someone having a mental health crisis. They say the bill will help prevent tragedies. Two weeks ago, an apparently delusional Minneapolis man was shot and killed after confronting police with a machete. Some in the mental health field say with funds dwindling, there's no place to bring people in crisis. Report includes comments from Mindy Greiling, state representative and author of bill; R.T. Rybak, mayor of Minneapolis; Greg Hestness, Minneapolis deputy police chief; John Trepp, member of Friends of Barbara Schneider; and Sue Aberholden, executive director of National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).
March 25, 2002 - The mayor of Minneapolis joined state lawmakers and mental health advocates at the Capitol today to support a bill to make it easier for police officers to commit someone having a mental health crisis. They say the bill will help prevent tragedies. Two weeks ago, an apparently delusional Minneapolis man was shot and killed after confronting police with a machete. But some in the mental health field say with funds dwindling, there's no place to bring people in crisis. MPR’s Art Hughes presents this report on gathering.
March 29, 2002 - MPR’s Cathy Wurzer interviews students on who will be meeting with R.T. Rybak about community issues. A group of students from South High School in Minneapolis want to solve the social problems they see around them, and they'll get a chance to share their ideas with mayor R.T. Rybak. The students were asked what they'd like to change about their community. Ryan Peterson and Nora Williams are two students who will meet with the mayor. Peterson says the students first identified the issues that affected their community the most. One planned topic of discussion is police profiling.
April 2, 2002 - Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak delivered his first State of the City speech, exactly ninety days after taking the political helm at City Hall. Rybak emphasized four issues that he says need special attention in the months ahead. He says Minneapolis needs to manage its money better, build more affordable housing and protect the environment. He also wants the city to be more welcoming to its various cultural groups. William Wilcoxen’s report also includes commentary about mayor’s speech from community activists and Minneapolis police chief.
April 2, 2002 - MPR’s Cathy Wurzer interviews Steve Minn, former Minneapolis City Council member, about R.T. Rybak’s upcoming first State of the City address. It’s been three months since Rybak took office. After campaigning on issues like affordable housing, and restoring trust in City Hall, Rybak has had to handle a series of high-profile events, in addition to focusing on his stated agenda.
April 16, 2002 - MPR’s Steven John interviews Paul Ostrow, president of the Minneapolis City Council, about status of Minneapolis police chief. There are reports this morning that Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak is planning to replace Police Chief Robert Olson. Rybak and Olson have not confirmed those reports, but Rybak has said he is concerned about the relationship between the police department and the community. The police have been criticized in recent weeks for shooting a mentally ill Somali man, and using aggressive tactics against people celebrating the University of Minnesota's men's hockey championship. If Olson does not leave voluntarily, the City Council would have to buy out the remaining two years of his contract.
April 16, 2002 - MPR’s Art Hughes reports on mayor of Minneapolis view on police chief. R.T. Rybak, mayor of Minneapolis, says any public discussion right now about Robert Olson's future as police chief is inappropriate. Rybak's statement came amid reports he has told Olson to find another job. Rybak makes it clear Olson is not living up to the new administration's expectations in terms of what Rybak calls community relations. Report also includes comments from City Council members Scott Benson, Paul Ostrow, and Joe Biernat.
April 18, 2002 - MPR’s Cathy Wurzer interviews Tony Bouza, former Minneapolis Police Chief, about possible leadership change in Minneapolis Police department. Last night, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak confirmed that he has asked Police Chief Robert Olson to resign. Rybak says he asked the chief to step down two weeks ago in his words "for the good of the community." Olson has not commented on those reports. Fifth Precinct Inspector Lucy Gerold is reportedly being considered for the job of interim chief.
April 18, 2002 - MPR’s Brandt Williams reports on Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak’s statements that it is time for Police Chief Robert Olson to go. Mayor Rybak says the chief hasn't done enough to foster public trust in the Minneapolis Police Department. Rybak will need the City Council's approval to buy out the remainder of the chief's contract. However, the council appears split on the issue, with some council members saying constituents don't believe a new chief will necessarily bring better relations between police and the community. Reports includes comments from Keith Ellison, attorney and community activist; Mathea Little-Smith, DFL activist; and Robert Lilligren, Minneapolis city council member.