March 9, 2012

Mr. Minneapolis

i've never been into politics. even having two college roommates who were politcal science majors did not sway my interest. i rarely vote. (but definitely planning on it this year.) i've only recently started paying attention to what politicians say and do, and i am much more interested in those who are closer to home than DC and beyond.

all this to say, i've never been able to say i actually like a politician, until now. i first became aware of Minneapolis mayor RT Rybak in 2007, at the May Day Parade. the parade is a crazy conglomeration of freaks marching down South Minneapolis to celebrate the coming of spring with a bizarre puppetry performance in Powderhorn Park. it is one of my favorite things. i used to march in the parade at my old job, and 5 years ago Mayor Rybak joined our ramshackle float-thing to drum on a djembe and dance with us down Bloomington Ave. it was a delightful surprise for me to see an elected official even present, let alone joining in on the madness. but had i known anything at all about Mayor Rybak, i would not have been surprised. this guy gets our city. he understands who lives here. what we value, what we need, and what we want. i really feel like he is "one of us."

Hanging out in North Mpls with Bike Cops for Kids, using a NiceRideMN bike (2 of my favorite local initiatives). love the rubber band.

this year celebrates his 10 year anniversary as mayor, and there are some great articles commemorating the milestone (with some healthy critique as well):
Rybak years redefine Minneapolis (Star Tribune)
How Minneapolis fares after 10 years with Mayor R.T. Rybak (MPR)
The Real R.T. Rybak (CityPages)
Shoring up the Foundation (Twin Cities Business)

talking with residents immediately after the 2011 North Mpls tornado

if you live in Minneapolis, i highly encourage you to follow him on Twitter, "like" him on Facebook, and put his blog in whatever RSS feed reader you use. he is a great example of an elected official successfully using social media to get his points and (what is increasingly more important) his personality across to his constituents.

riding with Dykes on Bikes at the 2011 Pride Festival (all photos swiped from his Facebook page)

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