State of the City address focuses on north Minneapolis’ successes, challenges and opportunities
Six years after delivering a State of the City address at the Capri Theater, Mayor R.T. Rybak returned to this north Minneapolis venue to deliver his 2012 State of the City address. The 2012 address updated the community on the results of the City’s focus on the North Side and outlined plans to continue addressing the area’s challenges.
The mayor also used the opportunity to make several announcements, including securing funding needed to renovate the former North Branch Library into a nonprofit, technology-center workforce development center, and planning for a new program called Green Homes North to build 100 green and sustainable homes on City-owned North Side lots.
The mayor also took time to thank City staff members and community partners for their tireless efforts to help north Minneapolis recover from the tornado that struck last May. Noting the long time that it will take for the many recently planted trees to recreate the green canopy over North Side streets, the mayor also announced that an anonymous donor has given $50,000 that will enable North Side homeowners to plant ornamental flowering trees on their property.
A major theme of the mayor’s speech focused on transit and the need to reconnect the North Side to other parts of Minneapolis, the Mississippi River and Wirth Park. The mayor noted that the future Van White Bridge, on which construction will begin this year, will reconnect north and south Minneapolis by spanning I-394 from Heritage Park to the Dunwoody/Walker Art Center area.
The mayor used the annual speech to laud the efforts of the Police Department, community partners and neighborhood groups in lowering crime. The mayor pointed out that since 2006, violent crime is down by 45 percent and Part I crime is down by 27 percent in North Minneapolis. Despite these impressive successes, the mayor told the audience that the City will continue to take a clear-eyed look at crime and keep public safety as the City’s top priority for north Minneapolis.
Mayor Rybak’s speech also touched upon the City’s successes in addressing foreclosures, creating home ownership opportunities for North Side residents, providing job training opportunities for adults and offering internship opportunities for teens.
To read the Mayor’s State of the City speech, visit Mayor R.T. Rybak’s website.
Published Apr. 12, 2012