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Rybak among mayors offering input to Obama and his economic team

Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak was one of the mayors who met today met with President-elect Barack Obama and members of his economic team in Washington, D.C., before Obama’s speech on the urgent need for a national economic recovery package.

Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak was one of the mayors who met today met with President-elect Barack Obama and members of his economic team in Washington, D.C., before Obama’s speech on the urgent need for a national economic recovery package.

Rybak was part of a delegation of mayors invited to hear about and give feedback on the economic plan.

Others in the group included mayors from Akron, Charleston, S.C., Columbia, S.C., Columbus, Ohio, Louisville, Miami, Philadelphia, Providence, R.I, Salt Lake City, Trenton, N.J., and 
Washington, D.C.

“Obama’s message to us was that help is on the way for cities and states like ours that are struggling during this economic and financial turmoil,” Rybak said in a statement. “Even before taking office, President-elect Obama clearly understands the need to invest immediately to limit job loss and spur economic recovery.”

Rybak was a very early member of the Obama forCchange movement and seems to be parlaying that early adapter status to plenty of face time with the president-elect.

He said he used today’s meeting with Obama’s team to reinforce that he believes economic investments should be used to promote transit and sustainability, as well as help build the new green economy.

“An immediate economic stimulus must also set us up for strong long-term growth,” Rybak said. “Because President-elect Obama is pushing for transit investments and green jobs as part of this plan, not only can we re-build our nation’s crippling transportation infrastructure, we can also build a new green economy and get off our addiction to oil. In Minneapolis, we were able to rebuild the collapsed I-35W Bridge quickly, while also insisting on creating capacity for a future transit line on it. We showed how to act fast, and act responsibly for the long term.”