Raymond Thomas "R. T." Rybak, Jr. (born November 12, 1955) is the 46th and current Mayor of the city of Minneapolis, Minnesota. In the 2001 election Rybak defeated incumbent Sharon Sayles Belton by a margin of 65% to 35%; the widest margin in city history for a challenge to an incumbent. He took office in January 2002, and won a second term in November 2005 and a third in November 2009. In late December, 2012, he announced he would not run for another term and was going to be concentrating on his family. Rybak called being mayor his "dream job."
Before being elected mayor Rybak worked in journalism, business and activism. The first mayor of a large U.S. city to endorse Barack Obama's 2008 campaign for President, Rybak is one of five Vice Chairs of the Democratic National Committee.
Rybak grew up in Minneapolis, the son of Lorraine Ann (née Palmer) and Raymond Thomas Rybak, a pharmacist. He is of part Czech descent. He graduated from Breck School in 1974 and from Boston College in 1978. In the 1970s and '80s he worked as a journalist for the Minneapolis Tribune, then went on to run the Twin Cities Reader, where he also launched Q Monthly, a local gay and lesbian newspaper. For a few years, he headed Internet Broadcasting Systems, which started as an online division of Minneapolis television station WCCO and runs websites for many stations across the United States. Following his job there, Rybak did consulting work as an Internet strategist, and assisted some projects with Minnesota Public Radio and Public Radio International.
During this time, Rybak also worked as a community and political activist. In 1994, he was campaign manager for Tony Bouza, the former Minneapolis chief of police who unsuccessfully sought the DFL nomination for Governor of Minnesota. Rybak was an early member of the group ROAR ("Residents Opposed to Airport Racket"), which campaigned for noise mitigation projects in neighborhoods around the Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport. The group staged a memorable "pajama protest," where area residents wore their nighttime clothes at the airport to show that they were losing sleep because of airplane noise.
Rybak also serves on the Board of Directors of Nice Ride Minnesota, a public bicycle sharing program.