The Minnesota governors race is heating up. This is the DFL’s best chance to at long last elect a governor. The last time that happened was 1986, over 20 years ago. And we can elect a progressive governor who will do us proud and bring a strong campaign to voters in 2010. I believe this candidate is Minneapolis’s Mayor R.T. Rybak. That’s why I’m helping organize the Draft Rybak grassroots movement. Let me explain why for a bit and invite you to our kickoff.
He can win: The latest poll of the race showed Rybak as the strongest candidate, leading Norm Coleman and with the best favorability rating of all DFL candidates. A earlier poll showed him as the second strongest candidate behind Mark Dayton. Obviously polls do not mean much this far out. But Rybak has shown he is a tough campaigner, good debater and can effectively communicate a clear and effective message to the public. He can bring that statewide, he’s already campaigned around the state for Barack Obama and other DFL candidates. He is the strongest candidate on our side running for governor. He can win. And he should win beacuse he’s great on the issues.
He Should Win:
Rybak has a clear record standing up and doing the right thing on the issues that matter the most. A clear record that stands in stark contrast to the failed Pawlenty Era.
Leading the creation of a new green economy:
This is personally the issue that matters most to me. Rybak has been very active in pushing for investments in the new green economy to spur sustainable growth in our country and in our state. Here are some of the most notable efforts he’s been involved in.
-Promoting Renewable Energy: The city has installed solar panels on three of it’s buildings and Rybak has been working with state leaders who have more authority on the issue to promoting renewable energy with great results already. The ambition of state polices put in place over the next few years is going to determine which states become the leaders in the America’s green economy (as will the federal polices in determining if America is a leader in the world’s green economy). If Minnesota acts now and acts boldly it can be the economic engine that keeps our state great and produces thousands of living wage jobs. Minnesota is already forth in the nation in wind power installed and we have one of the highest potentials in the nation. We should aim to be number one in the nation. And although Minnesota is not seen as a prime location for solar we have better solar potential than Germany which has more solar than any other country.
-A new vision for transit: Rybak presided over the opening of Minnesota’s first light rail line and has been working hard to expand light rail to connect with St Cloud and St Paul. He was one of the first mayors to sign onto Transportation for America’s visionary campaign. He’s also developed a plan to begin development of a new streetcar system and his efforts to make biking easier has resulted in Minneapolis being named one of the best places to bike in the world, only Portland has a higher percentage of citizens who bike to work.
–Homegrown Minneapolis: A initiative to help promote local food which boosts the local economy in addition to reducing emissions.
In short, Minnesota has the environmental attitude, the spirit of innovation and potential to lead the new energy economy. But we need a leader who provides strong leadership to get us there with bold action. He’s already made Minneapolis one of the greenest cities in the country, we need him to help transform Minnesota.
2006 Mayor Rybak made a commitment to Minneapolis students – the Minneapolis Promise – which says to our youth that if they stay in school and focus on where they want to go Minneapolis will help them get there. To achieve that he’s focused on three areas.
-Achieve! Career and College Initiative: Through this initiative Minneapolis has opened AchieveMpls Career and College Centers in all of Minneapolis’s schools. It helps ensure that the youth can transition from high school to higher education and work.
–STEP-UP, a summer job program for youth to help them find employment and train them so they have the skills in life to find a job and earn a living. The best way to combat poverty, crime and save the government money in the long term is by giving youth education and the skills to have a good job. This is a extremely important program that should be expanded statewide.
–The Power of YOU provides financial assistance to pay for up to two years at Metro State or MCTC if you’ve graduated from highschool in Minneapolis. It’s hard to find a long term job unless you have a degree. This program helps many of those who couldn’t afford it otherwise get that degree and get that upward mobility in life.
Juvenile crime in Minneapolis has dropped 42% over the last two years exactly beacuse of investments like that in our youth. That is part of a overall record on public safety that again shows what R.T.’s leadership can do. In every precinct in Minneapolis crime has decreased over his tenure. He’s shown a better model for public safety, investing in our youth, investing in our people, that’s what will really reduce crime in the long term.
Minneapolis has successfully balanced it’s budget without cruel cuts to basic human services despite Pawlenty’s destruction of LGA. As Mayor Rybak says
I put Minneapolis’ fiscal prudence up against the State’s any day
The budget problem is not going away in 2011. We need someone who can make the tough and responsible choices as governor, not someone who uses gimmicks and lies to hide his failed fiscal leadership beacuse he’s sworn loyalty to the extremist anti-tax teabaggers.
R.T. has also shown exceptional judgment. He opposed the Iraq War from the start, he was involved in the “Draft Obama” movement and was the first mayor to endorse Obama when he announced and while John Kerry was campaigning against gay marriage, Rybak was standing up for equal rights for ALL Americans.
Those are just a few of the reasons why I am for R.T. Rybak running for governor. And to get him to run for governor we need to Draft Rybak. If we are going to Draft Rybak we need your help. Go to our site and sign up to get involved. Follow us on Twitter, join our Facebook group. And if you want to get involved or learn more we’ve got our first organizational meeting tomorow. On Facebook you can check out the details and RSVP, it will be a great event.
We are just getting started. We need a governor who will provide bold leadership after years of failed conservative polices. We need RT Rybak to run for governor in 2010.