R.T. Rybak was elected mayor of Minneapolis in 2001 in his first run for public office and was overwhelmingly re-elected in 2005 and 2009.
Mayor Rybak, a lifelong Minneapolis resident, took office facing a post-9/11 budget crisis and deep state and federal budget cuts. He responded by implementing innovative fiscal reforms that saved taxpayers millions by reducing $80 million of inherited debt, reigning in government spending, and producing six balanced budgets in four years.
Rybak’s other accomplishments include recruiting Allina and the Global Market to the Midtown Exchange, closing the Minneapolis’s employment gap, creating 2,500 new housing units in three years with the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, growing the police department by 100 officers in the past two years, and launching the innovative Minneapolis 311 phone system.
During his tenure, Mayor Rybak led efforts to revitalize north Minneapolis, attack juvenile crime, make Minneapolis a wireless city, end homelessness in 10 years, and significantly reduce the city’s energy consumption to combat global climate change.
He has been a DNC vice chair since September 2011. In her nomination letter, DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz wrote: "Mayor Rybak was the first mayor of a large U.S. city to endorse President Obama's presidential campaign in early 2007. He is a strong voice for mayors within the party, an an incredible surrogate for the President and Democrats."