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About Ruth Garcia


I was a youth counselor for the Salvation Army for years; also with the YMCA. I worked and volunteered as an AA mental health, drug, and alcohol counselor in a women's halfway house for eleven years; helped them through their recovery, and even brought them to AA meetings during my spare time.

I practiced political activism with a group in Holyoke, participating in campaigns such as those for extra sick days and a $15/hr. Minimum wage, affordable housing, and Jobs not Jails. I volunteer my time without telling everyone because I don't feel I have to publicize it; and most folks don't like that.

I've walked and campaigned for most of the candidates here, and in Springfield and Chicopee, from local offices to state reps. and senators.

I advocated for free school lunches for all kids (which just became state law) because I care for all. Food insecurity is real; I volunteered in a local food distribution center to bring food to people's homes, especially single-parents that had COVID-19; also distributed food to the elderly housing on Chestnut Street.

Some years back I volunteered in the soup kitchen at the Salvation Army, where I introduced women in recovery, especially victims of violence, to art as a form of therapy. I continue to advocate for the elderly that have little or nothing. And I have connected regular residents to jobs when I had the opportunity.

Also, I have management experience, having built six health care businesses from the ground up to $10's of millions; bringing revenue to not only the city, but entire region. Trained staff to deliver quality service while in compliance with state laws and regulations. Knew how to apply the laws within the work environment in a way that was most effective for company growth. experience,

Never kept blessings to myself, but shared them.

I used to collaborate with the music industry in Africa, and have been there too.

My table is open for everyone, not just for some. My family is multicultural and multi-faith, from Christians to Buddhists. I have walked with purpose since a long time ago.

As for having the knowledge to be a City Councilor, I have attended many Council meetings, and am very familiar with its workings. More importantly, a Councilor's job is to be for the people, to advocate for the people, and that is what I will do. I can network all day, but I would rather be physically present than just a picture in a book.

Have testified before state legislative committees.

I care about what strikes a chord for the good of the people.

Advocated for Bridge Program: recovery and work training in jail, potentially reducing sentences.

Graduated from the Clemente course at the Care Center; not in the conventional sense, because I did not meet the faculty's standards, but it nonetheless awarded me a diploma because of my perseverance – I was finally admitted after an unprecedented five interviews, and then I kept coming back after being told to leave – and the honesty and integrity of my writing.

Ruth working on environmental cleanup:
Here I worked through Complete Labor & Staffing in Worcester driving cars for ADESSA Boston . I was part off the environmental management project that did the clean up of the Southbridge Cassella landfill and also helped to collect toxic soil specimens to see which bacteria was reactive, being the only woman in a twelve men crew besides the person in charge of that project.. I was told not to even apply for the job because it was brutal. Then I grabbed the slip and said, "let's go!". The people in charge told me that was not for me..I replied, "I'm trying.." and I did for the days that were left. Brutal for sure, but I can say I did very interesting work" Did collection in a canal like the ones they build on the highway carrying and loading hay stacks, too. I worked at the DCUu center putting dance stages 40 pounds pieces together like a puzzle. One good thing about growing up in a farm is the ability to adapt to hard work. I'm grateful!

My biggest influences: my grandmother and late grandfather:
They raised me. My grandfather was originally a farm boy, very poor but with big ambitions. He went into the military and became a Chemical Engineer for the crude oil industry and also became a pastor, amongst other things. He went from extreme poverty to being able to pay for his twelve brothers' and sisters' college careers. He rebuilt his parents home and then built a home for my grandmother. He was stationed in Germany. Some of my influences came from what he taught me about the place: classical music, opera, art and even a strong attitude.
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He was a community leader. Everywhere in the island, where he was born in Jayuya Puerto Rico, Taino Indigenous land and up top in the mountains. He Loved to cook and have family gatherings, growing everything on their land in sector coabey Jayuya Puerto Rico. His name was Fernando Gonzalez with a Spaniard last name. Very humble strong minded never still with a untamable spirit and sharp iron character. He always been my hero he took me everywhere with him until he moved to the States.

He came here under a contract given by the Salvation army from USA to come to New York and serve in churches and missions after completing his training at DRC. He helped revamp many Salvation Army facilities in Cleveland, OH, Tarrytown NY and Holyoke, MA, amongst others. My grandparents opened the Salvation Army soup kitchen in Holyoke, MA. Meanwhile I already joined Salvation Army in Ponce Puerto Rico corp as a soldier.

My Grandfather's last place was Dobbs Ferry, NY. His last love project was Tarrytown, NY corp where later I joined my grandmother when I came from the island to help her life transition and finish his contract. We carried on his legacy until end of the contract, that's how I end up in the States. He was a visionary man always sharing all he had with everyone he saw. 🔥❤️.

My grandmother was originally from La Parguera Puerto Rico. She was a fisherman..yes, a fisherman! She took care of her father's fisherman duties due to his cancer. She became the "man" of the family. I heard stories of her swimming with the sharks, literally, and not being afraid. Her name is Mirna R. Gonzalez Camacho. She was very young when she got married. Her parents in-law helped with the upbringing of her kids and they took her to the farm or country side. Then she became a farm lady and military wife. The Air force is big in my family. Nursing, too. My grandmother has only a fourth grade education but her committed willingness to make things work has allowed her to open doors everywhere. She retired from the Salvation Army as a Major. She made it farther than my grandfather could ever imagined because of her faith in God. The Salvation Army asked her for her final wish and she had always dreamt of going to Canada again and everywhere that Jesus went. Weeks later they called her to take a trip. They took her to Israel amongst other places that Jesus went. She is still involved in this community, is very resilient, loves gardening and being active. The lady of my life.
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