Mayor R T Rybak, Minneapolis, USA




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The 2010 results
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The 2008 results
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The World Mayor Award
Helen Zille thanks supporters
Mayors of Melbourne and Cape Town exchange letters



The 2006 results
Methodology
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The World Mayor Award
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The 2005 results
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Mayor Rama writes - Mayor Bakoyannis replies



The 2004 contest
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Edi Rama wins 2004 award
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Testimonials for
R T Ryback
Mayor of Minneapolis (USA)

The winner and runner-ups of World Mayor 2012 will be chosen based on the number of nominations in relation to the size of their cities and, more importantly, on the persuasiveness and conviction of testimonials received during this year's World Mayor Project. Below we publish a selection of comments received to date about WM nominee R T Ryback, Mayor of Minneapolis, USA.

Testimonials:
Comment: Mayor Ryback is an advocate for everyone in our city and our state, particularly the disadvantaged. He works tirelessly and can be seen frequently around Minneapolis. He has a great sense of humor and enough humility to laugh at himself. (By Sarah R S, Minneapolis)

Comment: Mayor Rybak has been an important part of Minnesota for many years. His presence has been felt at many events, tragedies and celebrations throughout the state, but especially in Minneapolis. He was one of the earliest supporters of President Obama's campaign. He has worked tirelessly for the interests of his city, state and country. (By Serena, USA)

Comment: Mayor Rybak is visionary and creative as well as being concerned with the cultural and financial health of the city and the people who live in it. (By J Scott A, Minneapolis)

Comment: Mayor Rybak is an exciting and progressive mayor. He is constantly participating in the public life of Minneapolis, supporting a variety of civic activities that celebrate the diversity of our city. He has worked to bring in exciting business ventures that have revitalized our downtown area and put programs in place to make this area safer. He fought hard to reduce our property taxes and succeeded against great odds. He supports public transporation options and expanding bike trails for commuting bikers, which make our city a cleaner and healthier place to live. I can't say that I've ever felt strongly about a mayor before (good or bad), but Rybak is fantastic! Having him as mayor keeps me hopeful that our city will continue to move in a positive direction. (By Kelly H, Minneapolis)

Comment: Met him several times in the south Minneapolis neighborhood when I lived there (now live in suburb). Straightforward guy, listens, acts and reacts to issues. If not the best, close to it and a model of what you want in a mayor. MInneapolis is very fortunate. (By Deb G, Minneapolis)

Comment: R.T.Rybak has been an oustanding mayor for Minneapolis. He has positioned the city for the 21st century. For example, under his leadership, the city launched a highly innovative and successful bike-sharing program. (By Holly M, USA)

Comment: He is the most hands on mayor I've come across. I see him out all the time as a resident of Minneapolis rather than doing mayoral duties. He loves the city he leads and it shows, through his acts and the happiness of the residents of Minneapolis. (By Amber W, Minneapolis)

Comment: He's awesome, no other words needed. (By L O, Minneapolis)

Comment: Mayor Rybak is one of the most down to earth and friendly people I've met, let alone a public service official. He is very connected to his constituents and the surrounding community- I don't even live in Minneapolis but I think he's amazing. (By Mary P, USA)

Comment: Mr Rybak has engaged the local populous and has worked tirelessly to reduce crime, provide affordable housing, create local jobs, and balance the city's budget. He was/is a true leader which was exemplified in his handling of Interestate Bridge collapse that shocked the area.(By Jamie K, USA)

Comment: He has transformed Minneapolis into most bikeable city in USA (which for being frozen 6 months of year is quite the feat!), helped bring thousands of new youth into political process, Mpls miracle program helping at risk youth gain skills for employment and college, instrumental in saving MN Vikings, champion for GLBT rights, decreased crime significantly over past decade, all around great person. (By Alex F, Minneapolis)

Comment: Mayor Rybak, who grew up near where my wife spent her formative years, has demonstrated many admirable leadership qualities over the years. His recent leadership to assure the construction of a stadium for use by many young people as well as other exhibitions is to be commended. (By Tom R, Minneapolis)

Comment: RT Rybak is a remarkable mayor. To quote the City Pages: "Since 2001, the city has paid down $183 million in debt. Homicides and violent crime have dropped to levels not seen since the '80s. The city's image with accolades for everything from bike friendliness to tech savvy has gotten a significant boost."

But more notiable - he is a man that is amongst the people in every sense. He goes to the hositpal to visit the unfortnately boy fatally wounded from gang violence. He actually bikes around the city and attends PRIDE & Special Olymics events - showing that not only does he support gay rights, green initiatives, developmentally disabled, the poor . . . he lives his life by these standards. He is one of the first people you will see when a tragic or joyful event that occurs in the city.
By doing these things, his love for Minneapolis is evident. He is a man that I actually believe in and am proud to associate with my city; which is rare in our world consumed with crooked and deceitful politians. (By Shinano, Minneapolis)

Comment: Mayor Rybak is wonderful! Perhaps my very most favorite thing about him is how engaged he is with the sizable Somali community in Minneapolis. (By Susan M, Minneapolis)

Comment: When he was elected, I was concerned about whether R.T. Rybak had the pragmatism required to successfully lead the city into a future of balanced development. After nearly ten years in office, he continues to surprise me with his resourcefulness and wisdom. He's the type of mayor who understands that the job is about getting things done for the residents of his city, not about political posturing. During his tenure, Minneapolis has boomed. (By A J M, Minneapolis)

Comment: I have run into RT at multiple times throughout the years and he always takes the time to chat. He's dedicated to his city and the people of his city. (By Shea L, Minneapolis)

Comment: Mayor Rybak has demonstrated effective leadership by successfully guiding Minneapolis through difficult financial times. He has also been willing to make the hard, unpopular decisions and take responsibility for them when he believes that it is the right thing to do. I wish that we had more leaders like RT! (By Paul M, Minneapolis)

Comment: R.T. is innovative, energizing and inspiring. (By Andrew L, Minneapolis)

Comment: Mayor RT Rybak can been seen throughout the city of Minneapolis riding his bike from farmer's markets, to art fairs, to parades, to his work, and back home. He has done great work improving the city for all residents and he truly loves the city he works for, you can just see it when you meet him. (By Jolien R, Minneapolis)

Comment: RT supports clean energy initiatives and we NEED MORE OF THEM! (By Ryan S, Minneapolis)

Comment: Mayor Ryback is accessible, inclusive, expanded the integration of bicycles into the greater metro area. Kept the Vikings local. Was a wonderful mayor when I lived there. (By DSG, USA)

Comment: RT is the best - he has helped revitalize our city and keeps his priorities in check. (By Mary S, Minneapolis)

Comment: RT has always listened to his constituents over his party and really has our city's best interests at heart. He's never fallen to the bickering and power games that most politicians do. (By JNB, Minneapolis)

Comment: I am continuously impressed by Mr. Ryback. Not only by the way he runs the city but also from the joy he seems to derive form it. Plus he has good taste in beer and music. I saw him crowd surfing at a concert! (By Tim S, Minneapolis)


Critical comments:
Comment: It would be a cruel joke to name Rybak a world mayor or give him any award at all. He has corrupted the city charter by ignoring it (on amount of money spent on stadiums -- passed by overwhelming majority of voters only to have him beg state legislature to allow him to ignore it), put taxpayers into severe debt for pro sports projects, brought cynism and VOTER TURNOUT to an all-time low here, ignored all financial realities by gambling away our childrens' future for two pro sports facilities, participated in secret meetings on the largest taxpayer bailout in state history, sanctioned the DRE drug program, ignored the city's largest polluted and blighted spots, foisted polluting industry upon us, done away with our world-renowned, award-winning citizen engagement program (won an award from the U.N.), continued an abusive police department, played cronyism to the hilt, spent too much time out of the city, ignoring our issues as he ran for governor (unsuccessfully).

We have one of the nation's widest, if not the widest, achievement gaps between black/non-black, and poorest levels of employment among people of color. You can't be serious by even nominating him for this, can you? On what basis?

P.S. He actually is not eligible for this award since he will not be able to abide by your Code of Ethics. This man is the most unethical politician I've ever encountered in my five decades of life! (By Ann G, Minneapolis)








The winner and other results of World Mayor 2012 were announced on 8 January 2013


Introducing
World Mayor

The City Mayors Foundation, the international think tank for local government, organises the World Mayor Project and awards the World Mayor Prize. The Prize, which has been given since 2004, honours mayors with the vision, passion and skills to make their cities incredible places to live in, work in and visit. The World Mayor Project aims to show what outstanding mayors can achieve and raise their profiles nationally and internationally.

The organisers of the World Mayor Project are looking for city leaders who excel in qualities like: honesty, leadership and vision, management abilities and integrity, social and economic awareness, ability to provide security and to protect the environment as well as the will and ability to foster good relations between communities from different cultural, racial and social backgrounds. The winner receives the artistically acclaimed World Mayor trophy, while the two runner-ups are given the World Mayor Commendation.

Mayors wishing to be considered for the World Mayor Prize will be asked to sign up to the City Mayors' Code of Ethics

Timetable
Nominations were accepted until the 17 May 2012. A shortlist of 25 nominees was published on 18 June. Voting took place until 20 October . The winner of the 2012 World Mayor Prize and other results of the World Mayor Project were announced on 8 January 2013.

Winners and runners-up
2004 to 2012

In 2004: Winner: Edi Rama (Tirana, Albania); Runner-up: Andrés Manuel López Obrador (Mexico City, Mexico); In third place: Walter Veltroni (Rome, Italy)
In 2005: Winner: Dora Bakoyannis (Athens, Greece); Runner-up: Hazel McCallion (Mississauga, Canada); In third place: Alvaro Arzú (Guatemala City, Guatemala)
In 2006: Winner: John So (Melbourne, Australia); Runner up: Job Cohen (Amsterdam, Netherland); In third place: Stephen Reed (Harrisburg, USA)
In 2008: Winner: Helen Zille (Cape Town, South Africa); Runner up: Elmar Ledergerber (Zurich, Switzerland); In third place: Leopoldo López (Chacao, Venezuela)
In 2010: Winner: Marcelo Ebrard (Mexico City, Mexico); Runner-up: Mick Cornett (Oklahoma City, USA); In third place: Domenico Lucano (Riace, Italy)
In 2012: Winner:
Iñaki Azkuna (Bilbao, Spain); Runner-up: Lisa Scaffidi (Perth, Australia); In third place: Joko Widodo (Surakarta, Indonesia)