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Ruthie Is Here For Us!

It is impossible to express how thrilled I was to find out my good friend Ruth Garcia is running for City Council in Ward Four. This is a particularly heartfelt endorsement for me because, while admittedly I have on occasion favored one candidate over the other simply because I found him or her marginally better, with Ruthie there is no comparison to anyone else. She is a woman of exceptional character, strong character, whose heart is truly with our community. Ruthie says, “ I'm here to represent everyone, whether or not he votes for me, and no matter what he thinks about me.” There are not many in politics like that.

Some are fortunate enough to have a relatively easy path in life, and due to their (publicly, at least) unblemished records are held in high esteem: but I have the greater admiration for those (including in my own family) who have overcome, or really must continue to overcome, adversity. And while Ruthie has had her share of successes – such as in home health care management, where she has been instrumental in building the operations of several companies in this region from the ground up to $10's millions in revenue, and has been behind the successful electoral campaigns of so many others – it is no secret she has suffered deep humiliations, been on the receiving end of a lot of bad stuff, for which some will always look down on her. However, I prefer to look at the strength of a person's character, regardless of circumstances, and her efforts to progress toward all she is capable of; Ruthie excels on both counts.

Also, I have a special respect for those who, notwithstanding all along having good intentions, have the courage to admit having mistakenly followed others whose actual interests, despite their purported ones for the community, are much more self-serving; who, not only that, want to work to right that wrong. Ruthie is exactly that. She is a long-time personal friend with whom I remained on opposite sides politically as recently as 2021 (when she was extremely effective for them here in Holyoke, as it happens), but whom now I am very honored to work with. Of course the very dark side to this is that such people draw the deep animosity of their former associates, and are specially targeted.

While I am pleased that Ruthie is looking at the prospect of becoming a city councilor with the greatest humility, and although some are questioning her qualifications, to me the important part is not the technical knowledge (although she has been attending a lot of meetings and learning about the council's workings), but being there for the people; being engaged with the residents, and voting as they would with the benefit of more detailed information. It is also essential for good government that councilors exercise independence (as Ruthie certainly does) rather than be rubber stamps, as a mayor might like. Because a mayor needs councilors' votes they can have influence over him to budget more cost-effectively, and place residents' priorities above his personal ones.

Ruthie is to be commended for persevering through this long campaign season; even at the local level the time commitment required to run for office requires much sacrifice from someone working an hourly job to support her family. What compounds the problem is that whereas those willing to serve other interests are provided with plenty of resources, those who want to serve the people must search for them on their own.

Even though I reside in a different ward I am doing what I can to help with Ruthie's campaign, and encourage you to do the same; good councilors benefit our entire city, whether elected from a particular ward or at-large. And of course I ask all the good people of Ward Four who believe in our community to vote for Ruthie this November 7 (or during early voting).

David Yos
Holyoke Resident & Small-Business Owner