Administrative Clerk, LA Fire & Police Pensions
The first time Wendy Ruiz attended a Local 3090 meeting, she made it a point to say thank you.
“It was like, ‘Hi, my name is Wendy, I am a part of the LA Local Hire program, and I just wanted to say thank you, thank you guys, because it’s changed my life,’” she recalled.
Ruiz said the reason she has her current job – an administrative clerk for Los Angeles Fire and Police Pensions – is because of the program that was created in 2017 thanks to an agreement between Los Angeles and the Coalition of City Unions.
Being able to help the sworn officers of Los Angeles is her dream job.
“We get to see people that have dedicated their careers to service,” Ruiz said. “It’s so impactful to meet an officer that has served their city and their own neighborhood, who grew up and said, ‘I want to contribute.’”
As soon as she had the chance, Ruiz joined Local 3090, partly for the same reason that she serves as a delegate to the California Democratic Party: she sees her participation as a civic duty to society.
“We take a lot of time to say what’s wrong, but we don’t show up to say ‘I want to be a part of what is right,’” she said. “Me showing up is to say I want to be a part of the solution.”
Ruiz is cognizant of the labor movement’s positive place in history; on Labor Day, she talked to her daughters about some of the appalling conditions that children once legally worked in.
“Thank goodness you guys never have to go through what some of these children have gone through,” Ruiz recalled telling them. “They were shocked that kids had to work.”
But, Ruiz continued, labor leaders knew the situation was unacceptable, and fought for more humane working conditions, especially for children. And the results are evident.
“I didn’t have to work like that, and my children don’t have to,” she said. “Because people stood up and said, this isn’t OK, this shouldn’t continue, and they have protected us.”