“Respect, Love and Commitment for Community Service”
Wife, mother, responsible citizen; politician committed to public service. Sandra Ruiz has a strong personality. Intelligent and outspoken, she has profound knowledge of the city and the community she has served before and is willing to continue serving in the upcoming years as Councilwoman. Her eyes sparkle at with the idea of having the opportunity to move forward with the projects and ideas she has for the city she calls home: Doral.
By Devorah Sasha and Maria Alejandra Pulgar
Doing the right thing
Sandra Ruiz is always committed to doing the right thing, to being fair in all aspects of her life whether it is with her family, in church or community service. Righteousness and fairness are the fundamental values that define her personality. She is very formal and polite; Soft-spoken but firm when expressing her ideas.
She was born in Tijuana, Mexico but grew up in San Diego, California. Her fondest memories as a child are of Saturdays in the afternoon when her dad used to bring all his children together in the backyard. “He would buy this huge watermelon, put it in a cooler all day long and at the end of the day he would cut it off in pieces and we would share it. It was beautiful spending a lot of time with my parents”.
Ruiz has spent her entire life in the United States. She attended South Western College in California and became an American citizen at age 20. She relocated with her husband Aldo and their family to Miami 22 years ago, after he was discharged from the Navy. Given the choice, they decided to come to Miami and have never regretted that decision. They have a 24 year old daughter and a 14 year old son. Compassionate and committed to her family needs, Sandra Ruiz also takes care of her mother-in-law, who is 86 years old and has Alzheimer’s. “It is a very cruel disease. We do everything possible to keep her comfortable in her home, well taken care of”.
Faith plays a huge role in their family life. Sandra Ruiz is a woman of great faith. She met her husband in Church and they have been married for 25 years. “Faith has got us through many difficult times”. Her greatest personal achievement has been raising a family with strong values and getting where she wants to be in life by fulfilling her desire of serving the community they call home.
Experience on Public Service: A proven track record
Sandra Ruiz got involved in public service because when she moved to Doral she saw the need to improve her neighborhood from a homeowner’s perspective. She started working with the developer, and realized the need for taking care of issues that affected the whole community, far beyond her neighborhood. “I started participating in the zoning meetings. From there, community activism was a natural course to follow. There was a great group of people working together back then, all of us with the same purpose; it was easy to participate and serve my community”.
She was the only woman in the city Council for 8 years. As a woman she tends to be more nurturing, more understanding and extremely detail oriented. It added much value to her work as Councilwoman. “I am able to immediately see better how certain things are going to affect all the community”. Now Sandra wants to make her talents available once again to serve her city and to reach out to more people to participate. “There are committees for cultural affairs, parks and recreation, police, finance, audit committee, environment. There is enough room for everyone to participate and get involved”.
Ruiz is not shy to truly believe that she did a phenomenal job when she served in the Council. They created a whole city operation from scratch. “We took it from that to setting policies, hiring the right charter members, and eventually evolving into hiring staff, creating departments and so forth; I believe that we did a very good work”. She felt that her decisions in the City Council were always fair, never based on personal interest “I have been tested”, said Ruiz. She did it then and looks forward to doing it again now, with more experience and knowledge.
“I understand the projects and the costs associated with them; I know how long the plans are going to take. For example, we need another large public school, and we definitely need a big cultural center. So I would love to come back to serve well because I know for sure every step that has to be taken. I know how the city functions and how to function with the city. Our community is for a fabulous community; I have walked around it in more than one occasion, and the families have the desire to live better. I would love the opportunity to show the rest of the nation the great city that we have, the great city we are and the great city we will continue to be. I will move the city forward. We have grown. We have a great sense of entrepreneurship, and many families are business owners; they want to strive and they want to succeed. They have the enthusiasm and desire to just achieve a better life here”.
“The best for Doral is yet to come” and Sandra Ruiz, hopes to count with the support of the people who see her proven track record and decide to allow her to serve again in the City Council.