Rybak joins mayors in Obama confab on youth violence
August 27, 2013 — 5:46pm
Minneapolis Mayor and R.T. Rybak joined more than a dozen other mayors at the White House Tuesday to strategize with President Obama about youth violence.
The mayors and police representatives, including Minneapolis Assistant Police Chief Matt Clark, also met later with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and other White House and Justice Department officials.
The point was not to shop any new programs, Rybak said, but to improve existing strategies without spending more public funds, which are in short supply in Washington.
Minneapolis is part of a Justice Department initiative to combat youth violence, and the mayor has met with the president before on the topic, notably after the Newtown school massacre last December.
“Protecting kids in our streets is something really personal to this president,” Rybak said. “Even when it’s not in the headlines.”
Democrats' efforts this year to ban certain assault-style semi-automatic weapons and expand background checks have not been successful in Congress. But according to a White House readout of the meeting, Obama "reiterated that government alone can never fill the void that causes a child to turn to violence, but that we all have a responsibility to do our part to create safe communities and save lives."
The president also "vowed to continue doing everything in his power to combat gun violence through executive action and to press Congress to pass common-sense reforms like expanding the background check system and cracking down on gun trafficking.”
GOP Party Chairman Keith Downey released a letter to a party committee questioning the judgment and competency of Deputy Chairman Chris Fields just days ahead of the election for party officers in St. Cloud Saturday.