Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak’s last a...

Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak’s last act: West Bank walkway

Posted in the Minneapolis Forum

Alfie Rickin

Englewood, CO

#1 Dec 30, 2013
Good. Now Minneapolis will be connected to Africa.

A stretch of 5th Street South that sweeps travelers from Interstate 94 into Minneapolis will be redesigned into a walkway that connects downtown with the heavily East African West Bank, Mayor R.T. Rybak said Monday in the last announcement of his 12-year tenure.

The city will name the area after Hussein Samatar, a former school board member who was the first Somali-American to win election in Minneapolis in 2010. He died of complications from leukemia over the summer.

Rybak told a crowd in the City Hall rotunda that while the West Bank has been home to immigrants for generations — first from Norway, Sweden and Germany and later from Southeast Asia and Somalia — it has become disconnected from other parts of Minneapolis.

“The West Bank, which is our Ellis Island, became an island separate from the rest of the city,” he lamented.“What we will do now is we will be reconnecting that island

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