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R.T. Rybak: A Great Leader for a Great City Volunteer Contribute

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Day in the Life: March 1

I just got in from a night at precinct caucuses....Great to see so many Democrats out tonight. Obviously I want to get as many as we can to support me at the convention...and early reports are we did extremely well tonight. But I was also just pleased to see some many people out regardless.....It's clear the momentum we generated in the last election has not gone away and we are ready to say united to get the change we need in the state in the next couple years. Minneapolis will continue to be the heart of the Democratic party and it's clear from tonight the energy is here. I also want to brag a bit about by family. My wife Megan spoke for me in the 13 ward...and was reportedly great.....Megan made me promise that if I ran she wouldn't have to speak.....but she's changed her mind and is doing great.....And Charlie and Grace went to the 7th Ward....and I've gotten five calls already saying they were awesome...OK I'm biased but it was great to hear....We decided to do this together, over a lot of family dinners four years ago, so it's great to see it has given them a chance to speak their views and play a role. Thanks for everyone for showing up.
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I had a lot of fun this afternoon in a rehearsal with the Minnesota Orchestra. The Orchestra got a great from the NEA to do a concert for every third grader in Minneapolis Public Schools. This will include a piece in which I perform a reading of The Tin Forest to their orchestration.....Totally new turf for me, to be reading while this amazing orchestra plays. The rehearsal went really well and tomorrow is the performance. I think the kids will love it.
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Good meeting today of the Phillips Partnership. This is the public private partnership that works together on the Phillips neighborhood. We heard about the plan to reconstruct Lake Street. Our community meetings have shown that there is a concern that the emerging businesses on Lake Street could suffer during construction so Target agreed to donate a lot of their advertising department's time to help develop a campaign to promote business there during construction. They had some great ideas and we are going to try to raise money to get it done. This is exciting work because we are getting out ahead of the curve....saying that construction projects can be successful IF they plan for helping businesses during the transition....The Phillips Partnership meeting also included updates on the Sears building, going well, and the Global Marketplace at Sears, which is attracting a lot of private contributions and so far appears to be competing well for state bonding money. We also talked about some interesting ideas for adding public art to the Midtown Greenway.
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We had our regular meeting of city department heads this morning. Steven Bosacker gave an update on the 311 system....this is the program that will eventually mean you can call a single number 311...to get a response to a city need....The city assessor also went over values in the city...property is going up in value all over town....not only homes but also commercial property, espeically on commercial streets. Good news generally, but the state's tax policy continues to harm homeowners, and the maps we saw today very clearly showed the state's policy is especially harmful to middle class and lower class neighborhoods....so we will continue to work at the state for reform.

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