NEW YORK and WASHINGTON, May 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Living Cities today announced that municipal leader and former three-term Mayor of Minneapolis R.T. Rybak has joined its Public Sector Innovation team as Senior Advisor for Municipal Practice. Rybak will continue serving as Executive Director of Generation Next in the Twin Cities, a partnership of education, community, government and business leaders aimed at closing the achievement gap between white and minority students.
"Living Cities was a catalytic partner in our efforts when I was Mayor and I am very excited to help them open new frontiers in cities across the country," said Rybak.
As a Senior Advisor for Municipal Practice, Rybak will help to broaden Living Cities' engagement with municipal governments. His wealth of experience as a municipal leader will be instrumental to advancing Living Cities' mission of supporting city governments to become more innovative in the ways that they operate, collaborate, and align resources for results.
"R.T. Rybak is a tremendous resource for our work," said Living Cities Director of Public Sector Innovation Arthur Burris. "His depth and breadth of expertise will expand our capacity to collaborate with cities across the country to accelerate innovation and improve results for city residents."
Rybak was Mayor of Minneapolis from 2002-2013, where his legacy includes major investments to revitalize the city's east side, closing the employment gap, creating Step-Up, a program that pairs underserved kids with summer jobs and public, private and non-profit organizations, and earning national recognition for his founding of the Minneapolis Youth Violence Prevention Initiative.
As Mayor of Minneapolis, Rybak worked with The Integration Initiative, Living Cities' signature effort to support cities coming together in new ways to increase opportunities for low-income people at scale. Rybak was part of the Minneapolis-St.Paul Corridors of Opportunity Partnership focused on taking advantage of the build out of the regional transit system to improve access to opportunity and, in particular, to ensure that those with the greatest need benefited from that investment and its attendant housing and economic development.
"Through our work together in Minneapolis, we have seen R.T. Rybak's outstanding leadership first-hand," said Living Cities President and CEO Ben Hecht. "At Living Cities, he will be able to bring that knowledge and experience to municipal leaders around the country who are working to build a new type of urban practice that moves the needle on inequality of opportunity."
Among other activities at Living Cities, Rybak will serve as a key advisor to cities participating in the Project on Municipal Innovation, a collaboration with Harvard Kennedy School's Ash Center that brings together mayoral chiefs-of-staff and policy directors from 35 U.S. cities to discuss challenges facing their municipalities.
About Public Sector Innovation at Living Cities
Public Sector Innovation at Living Cities is built on the belief that, given its influence, authority, and resources, government has a critical role to play in building shared prosperity for all people. Our work is also premised on the idea that that, in order to play this role as fully as possible, government must move beyond the one-off, programmatic approaches of the past and reinvent itself more fundamentally. Local governments can drastically augment their ability to achieve ambitious results if they modernize their operations; align revenues and expenditures, and attract and leverage private and philanthropic capital, towards desired outcomes; and better collaborate across agencies, sectors, and geographies.
About Living Cities
Living Cities harnesses the collective power of 22 of the world's largest foundations and financial institutions to develop and scale new approaches for creating opportunities for low-income people and improving the cities where they live. Its investments, research, networks, and convenings catalyze fresh thinking and combine support for innovative, local approaches with real-time sharing of learning to accelerate adoption in more places.
SOURCE Living Cities