Albrecht honored by Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities

The Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities has honored Bemidji Mayor Rita Albrecht with an award for her service to the outstate advocacy organization. Albrecht has been an elected city official since she won the Bemidji Ward 4 seat in 2010 and has been mayor since 2012.

Rita Albrecht
Rita Albrecht

BEMIDJI -- The Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities announced Wednesday that Bemidji Mayor Rita Albrecht has been honored with an award for her work with the organization.

According to a release, the Jack Murray Award is given to city officials who demonstrate knowledge, leadership and active participation in coalition program areas over their public service career. The award is named after Jack Murray, the former mayor of International Falls who was instrumental in forming the CGMC.

"I appreciate being recognized with the award," Albrecht told the Pioneer on Thursday. "The service I've had with the CGMC has been rewarding and helped me to be a better mayor."

Albrecht has been an active and involved leader for the CGMC, the release said. She has served on the organization's board of directors for several years and volunteered for other special committees and assignments.

In particular, the release cited Albrecht's work on issues such as water quality regulations, infrastructure funding and Local Government Aid.


"Mayor Albrecht is passionate about public services," said Greg Zylka, mayor of Little Falls and CGMC president. "She cares deeply about her city and our state, and she has consistently demonstrated that passion through her work as mayor over these past few years. Our organization has benefited tremendously from her leadership and guidance."

The CGMC is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization representing more than 100 cities outside of the state's metro area.

"I think the important thing about the coalition is that it brings together elected officials from all across the state, where we share our ideas and our issues," Albrecht said. "The networking we were able to do was really important."

Now retired from the role of northwest regional director for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Albrecht is completing her fourth term as mayor . Before winning the mayoral position in 2012, she was first elected to city government when she won the Ward 4 seat on the Bemidji City Council.

In 2020, Albrecht chose not to seek another mayoral term, and instead ran for Minnesota Senate District 5 on the DFL ticket. She was defeated by incumbent Sen. Justin Eichorn, R-Grand Rapids by a 25,139-16,687 margin.

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