Minneapolis’ 2025 Vision: More People, More Jobs; Every Person, Every Place
In his 12th and final State of the City address, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak today looked ahead 12 years to the Minneapolis of 2025: a growing, vibrant and connected city with more people and more jobs — for every person and every place.
Speaking at the Walker Art Center, Mayor Rybak delivered much of the speech in character — in the role of mayor of Minneapolis in 2025, delivering the 2025 State of the City address.
The text of Mayor Rybak’s address as prepared for delivery is available here.
In character during the first part of the speech as mayor of Minneapolis in 2025, Mayor Rybak opened with the “controversy” of the time: where and how quickly to build a third Northside high school, because Patrick Henry and North High were “bursting at the seams” due to their top academic rankings and the Northside “population explosion.”
From there, Mayor Rybak’s in-character tour of Minneapolis in 2025 highlighted:
The Nicollet–Central streetcar line that connects the “Shoreham Yards Brewery District” in Northeast Minneapolis through “Nicollet Green” (once known as Nicollet Mall), down Eat Street and across Lake Street, through the back of what used to be K-Mart.
The Northern Greenway, a bike connection across the river between 26th Avenue North and 18th Avenue Northeast that “dramatically reshaped the northern half of Minneapolis, just as the Midtown Greenway reshaped South Minneapolis.”
Nicollet Green, once known as Nicollet Mall, “now widely admired as one of the world’s great urban boulevards,” the centerpiece of a green downtown of pocket parks, trees and mobile pop-up green zones.
Armory Yard, the area between the stadium and City Hall, which includes a skate park, rope courses, a soccer and lacrosse field, a croquet pitch, a dog park and other four-season features.
Minneapolis’ economic dominance in the high-tech, green-chemistry and green-building-materials sectors.
The growth of Minneapolis’ population to 450,000, accomplished “without putting a single additional car on the street” because of the explosion of transit options and growth along transit corridors.
The “Era of Stable Budgets” that began in 2013 when the Legislature finally made Local Government Aid sustainable, and which is supported in 2025 by population growth, a building boom and rising property values.
The STEP-UP Generation, “the first wave of youth of color that we brought into the workforce through America’s most successful and longest-running summer-jobs program” who “have stepped up into leadership of every company, nonprofit and government office in our city.”
Stepping out of character as mayor in 2025 and back into the present as mayor in 2013, Mayor Rybak drew attention to work that will and must happen in 2013 to move this vision of Minneapolis in 2025 forward. In 2013, Mayor Rybak and the City will, among other things:
Continue to fund employment and training efforts, and continue to support small-business development and common-sense deregulation.
Help intentionally focus growth along transit corridors.
“Do everything possible” to deliver a plan for funding a system of modern streetcars.
Push to implement a complete Bus Rapid Transit system on 35W, and keep moving toward implementing the Lake Street access project.
Create several new bike connections across the river, and keep pushing to allow bikes to cross the rail bridge just north of Broadway.
Mayor Rybak also highlighted efforts to close racial disparities.
In the effort to end disparities in employment, Mayor Rybak pointed to the City’s aggressive goals for hiring people of color and contracting with minority-owned firms on upcoming stadium construction and Target Center renovation.
In the effort to end disparities in business ownership, he highlighted the City’s new Small Business Technical Assistance Program, which will serve 650 current and future business owners and entrepreneurs in 2013, a great number of whom will be people of color.
In the effort to end disparities in housing, Mayor Rybak highlighted the first 13 of 100 Green Homes North that are being built this year in North Minneapolis. He also reiterated the City’s support for the Homeowner Bill of Rights currently at the Legislature.
The ability to make this vision a reality rests on the foundation of running the city well. Mayor Rybak highlighted that since 2002, the City has paid down $241 million in debt, cut spending by 16 percent after inflation, avoided a $20-million property-tax hit by reforming the broken closed-pension system, and lifted $5 million annually off the backs of taxpayers by passing the new stadium and Target Center. As a result of this work, property taxes are 35 percent lower in 2013 than they would have been.
Turning the 2025 vision into reality also depends on keeping levels of crime low. The last two years have seen the lowest levels of violent crime in almost three decades. In addition, Mayor Rybak expressed his support of Police Chief Janeé Harteau’s plan to get more officers out of cars and onto streets, and ongoing efforts to recruit officers who better reflect the diversity of Minneapolis’ population.
Mayor Rybak also announced two new initiatives:
“Grow North,” an expanded toolbox of business resources designed to attract new anchor employers to North Minneapolis who will add 75 or more new jobs, hire significant numbers of North Minneapolis residents, and build or operate their business sustainably.
A senior housing initiative to meet the expected doubling of Minneapolis’ senior-citizen population in the next 20 years, by building one senior housing project per city ward in each of the next 15 years.
In addition, Mayor Rybak issued several calls for action.
He called on the Minnesota Legislature to set up Minneapolis and cities across Minnesota for success, by passing Governor Dayton’s proposal to reform and stabilize Local Government Aid, as well as the Governor’s proposal to build a metro-wide transit system through a metro-area sales tax, which competitor cities like Dallas, Denver, Portland and Seattle have used effectively.
Mayor Rybak called on Congress and the Legislature to pass universal background checks for gun purchases. Attending the State of the City speech were John Souter, the only wounded survivor of the September 27, 2012 mass shooting at Accent Signage, as well as Shereen and Sami Rahamim, wife and son of Accent Signage founder Reuven Rahamim, who lost his life the same day.
- He called for support for Minneapolis Public Schools’ Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson’s efforts to academic achievement gap by ensuring that high-quality teachers and principals are in every school building, and that students — especially those who are struggling — have more high-quality instructional and out-of-school time.
Mayor Rybak again highlighted the success of the STEP-UP summer-jobs program in closing gaps: STEP-UP youth are 86 percent people of color, 50 percent from immigrant households and 93 percent from families living in poverty. “STEP-UP is a key strategy for closing both our racial economic gaps and our racial achievement gaps,” he said.
To stress the critical importance of STEP-UP and youth of color to Minneapolis’ future, Mayor Rybak concluded his speech by stepping back into character as mayor of Minneapolis in 2025. In that role, he named the candidates in the 2025 race to succeed him as he retires as mayor — all of whom were once STEP-UP interns in his office.
Published Apr. 10, 2013