Rybak to deliver State of City Address March 19

Mayor R.T. Rybak is scheduled to deliver his annual State of the City Address on the University of Minnesota campus March 19.

Rybak's speech will begin at 11 a.m. at the McNamara Alumni Center Memorial Hall, 200 Oak St. SE. It is open to the public.

&#8220The main focus of the speech will be about the importance of and how to build strong, stable, middle-class neighborhoods in Minneapolis,” mayoral spokesman Jeremy Hanson said.

As part of that discussion, Hanson said the mayor plans to talk about public safety, economic development, education and core city services.

Last year the mayor delivered his annual address from the stage of the Capri Theater in North Minneapolis, which set the tone for a speech focused largely on revitalizing that area of the city and increasing the presence of police to combat rising crime. That State of the City Address laid the groundwork for the budget address that Rybak delivered in August, which focused heavily on public safety by proposing the addition of 43 cops to the streets of Minneapolis and a $2 million investment in public safety technology over two years.

Hanson said public safety and unifying the city behind a common vision - the two issues that dominated last year's State of the City Address - will again this year be a key element to the address.

&#8220The focus of his speech last year was to talk about the plans for those two areas. This year he will talk about the progress that's been made,” Hanson said.

Rybak will deliver this year's State of the City Address a month earlier than he did last year. It will be held at the University of Minnesota as a way to highlight the role the university plays in creating middle-class families through its partnerships with the city and its work in preparing young people for the future, Hanson said.

One of the issues Rybak will touch on is a proposed consolidation of the Minneapolis and Hennepin County library systems, Hanson said.