Ricki Ruiz

State Representative, House District 50, Gresham/East Portland

Ricki Ruiz is a proud lifetime resident of Gresham, Oregon and he is running to be the next State Representative in House District 50.

He studied in the Reynolds School District from kindergarten through high school, and eventually became the first in his family to receive a high school diploma in 2012. Ricki was then awarded a full ride scholarship to attend Portland Community College and Warner Pacific University, where he graduated with a B.S. in Social Entrepreneurship in 2016.

Getting to that point wasn’t easy. Money was tight in the Ruiz household, and Ricki’s parents had to spend long days working in the fields earning less than minimum wage. They would often work 12-hour long shifts, seven days a week. Their limited income had to stretch to cover rent, utilities, and food, and making the numbers add up was a daily stressor. Things became even harder when Ricki’s dad had to retire early due to health complications, and his mom was laid off because of her immigration status. But the community came through for Ricki’s family and programs like El Programa Hispano, Community Alliance of Tenants, and SnowCap Charities along with the Reynolds School District, helped them avoid eviction. They also ensured that Ricki could stay in school, by providing him with food and clothes.

Despite the challenges they faced, Ricki’s family instilled in him values of hard work, service, and education. They encouraged him to learn English well, which led to him helping out as their apartment complex’s de-facto interpreter. Any time a neighborhood family had to get something translated or needed an in-person interpreter, Ricki’s family landline would ring asking him for help. Ricki’s upbringing
has helped him realize the impact that community support can have on families that are going through rough times. That’s why today, Ricki works as the Community Services Coordinator for the City of Gresham and oversees programs like the Gresham Neighborhood Ready, Youth Recreation, and Youth Advisory Council.

Ricki’s commitment to education and service helped get him elected to serve on the Reynolds School Board in 2017, and again in 2019. During his time on the Board, Ricki made it his mission to get to know the schools, teachers, students, and parents on a personal level, and has prioritized putting their voices first. He believes that by working together, we can address the challenges that our students are facing and help craft more success stories for all our students.

Ricki has an array of experiences, ranging from providing one-on-one and group support to students, planning and developing equitable policies, finding resources to implement and improve recreation amenities across Gresham, and advocating for family rights in things like immigration, safety, housing, healthcare and education. He looks forward to using his experience, together with the voices of House District 50 communities, to help guide meaningful work in the state legislature. To learn more about Ricki’s campaign, please visit www.ricki4oregon.com

View Ricki's response to the Candidate-Platform Alignment Questionnaire:

Candidate comments (optional)

Basic Rights: I believe and will be a fighter to ensure that every Oregonian (Including our undocumented residents) have full access to healthcare. We must expand and improve Medicare and continue an expansion of Medicaid. In addition, we must continue to fight for affordable housing and continue to expand on building more affordable units and expand the housing voucher program across the state of Oregon.

Natural Resources Protections & Recovery: I support economy-wide reduction of Oregon’s Greenhouse Gas emissions to net zero by 2050 and at least 50% reduction by 2035. I want Oregon to move to fully protect our natural & forest areas and make sure we protect our wildlife. We must develop and pass a Forest Protection and Restoration Act that will help address the many concerns and toxic practices that are damaging our natural areas across Oregon.

Education: We must protect the Student Success Act and make sure we do not delay or suspend this much needed resource for our public schools. Our large corporations and million dollar businesses need to pay their fair share and contribute back to our education system. I believe that our education system needs to restore all programs (music, art, and more), sports, and much needed wrap around services that include mental health, addiction, housing, transportation, and food services.

Equity: We must honor and fight for equal pay & equal opportunity for all. Introduction and full implementation of educational community programs for our law enforcement personnel and for all local, city, county, and state government staff. It is important that we build community between law enforcement/government and our communities of color.

Anti-Blackness: We must address the major differences in arrests and punishments issued to black residents compared to white residents. I fully support a full careful review of how charges are being made to black communities . A criminal justice reform is needed now. We must call out and fine businesses and corporations who are racially profiling and must act on racist cases that are specially targeting our black communities.

Economy: Especially now, with COVID-19, we must be ready to support our economy and make sure our state is well recovered and protected.

Labor and Workers Rights: I fully believe in the right to organize and will fight to protect our labor and workers. No group should fear their employer in efforts of organizing. We must repeal Taft-Hartley Act, the “hot cargo” provision of the Landrum-Griffin Act, and all “Right to Work” laws, which restricts the activities of labor unions.

Immigration: All families belong to stay together. I believe and will do my part to fully explore the avenue of protecting our DACA individuals and introduce a pathway to residency & citizenship. The pathway to citizenship should also be expandable to our undocumented immigrant workers. Upon detention of a family member, every person and family deserve the right to an attorney without having to worry about potential high expenses.

I. Basic Rights
We call on our state legislators to pursue universal publicly funded health care for the state of Oregon.
We call for all members of Oregon’s Congressional Delegation to co-sponsor and actively work for the passage of expanded and improved Medicare.
We support the continuation and expansion of Medicaid.
We recognize that there is a housing crisis in our local communities and across the state. We direct Multnomah County and the City of Portland to develop affordable housing for individuals and families with zero to moderate incomes. Agree
We strongly support women’s rights to reproductive freedom of choice including unfettered access to reproductive health care services regardless of their ability to pay.
We oppose any legislation that would defund Planned Parenthood.
Comments (optional)
II: Natural Resources Protection and Recovery
We support passage of state legislation to change our goals for economy-wide reduction of Oregon’s Greenhouse Gas emissions to net zero by 2050 and at least 50% reduction by 2035. Agree
We support the development and passage of legislation to provide mandates and incentives to:

• Expand public transportation systems; Advance an early transition to electric and zero-emission vehicles;
• Advance weatherization and structural improvements in existing buildings; Support implementation of solar energy production;
• Advance new net-zero-energy buildings and methane-free new construction; Incentivize energy efficiency in Oregon’s industries;
• Improve tree canopy and rooftop plantings where possible in all urban areas to reduce heat island effect;
• Require that electricity be produced entirely by renewable sources by 2040 and require net zero carbon building codes by 2030.

We support the development and passage of a Forest Protection and Restoration Act that will:

• Eliminate clear-cut forestry on all publicly held and managed lands and maximize climate resilient management;
• Eliminate all tax incentives to industrial forests not employing climate resilient management practices that re-establish multi-species and multi-aged forests, including protecting riparian areas that will lower stream temperature for fish habitat, restore intact functioning watershed areas, reduce landslides, protect municipal water supplies, and restore floodplain functioning to Oregon’s rivers and streams;
• Maintain incentives and subsidize independent landholders who engage in these practices;
• Reduce roads in forests; Develop and implement treatments to restore healthy forest soils;
• Accelerate programs to reduce and eventually eliminate forest stream passage barriers in Oregon;
• And re-evaluate the property tax structure for Oregon’s commercial forests.

We support a ban for any new fossil fuel infrastructure. Agree
Comments (optional)
III: Education
We call for legislation compelling large corporations to pay their fair share of taxes toward full funding to ensure the future of Oregon education Agree
We support public funding of a full-day, full-year, universal public preschool program for children age 3 to 4 in Multnomah County that is high quality, playbased, culturally responsive, and developmentally appropriate for young children. Agree
We recognize that poverty is a systemic problem embedded in society at large and believe that schools can be responsive in addressing poverty-related traumas, including the effects on highly mobile students. Therefore, we recommend that funding be invested in PreK-12 wrap-around services including mentoring, after-school programs, counselors, culturally relevant curriculum and instruction, and critical race theory initiatives, and other programs that have been proven effective in assuring student success. Agree
Comments (optional)
IV: Equity
We call for proactive educational programs for all law enforcement personnel and for all local, city, county, and state government personnel to safeguard black and brown lives and protect them from race-based law enforcement actions that far too often end in death. Agree
We demand equal pay for equal work for women from all employers in Multnomah County. Agree
Black Lives Matter. We call for legislation that provides meaningful protection for African Americans at all levels of the justice system Agree
Comments (optional)
V: Tribal Sovereignty
We call for universal, publicly funded health care to close health disparities exacerbated by Congress chronically under-funding Indian Health Service. Agree
We demand compliance with treaties between the United States and Tribal nations and hold the federal government to their trust responsibility. Agree
We support legislation that fully funds teams of investigators to work in consultation with Tribal authorities to respond to each murder and disappearance of Native American persons anywhere in Oregon. Agree
Comments (optional)
VI. Historical and Ongoing Anti-Blackness in Oregon
We call on the Oregon State Legislature to immediately assess the Black correctional populations at the county, city, and state levels.
We also demand that there be review of punishments (bail amounts, sentence lengths, amount of time served before parole) being levied at unfairly high levels on Black Oregonians. This is particularly important for disparities based on gender and race for similar crimes to other racial/ethnic groups.
We demand there be significant Criminal Justice reform in the form of investment into counseling, alternative sentencing, job training, and rehabilitation for Oregon’s over-incarcerated Black population.
We call on the Oregon State Legislature to authorize bank audits to expose patterns of racial discrimination in lending and require these banks to extend loans to Black businesses and Black institutions. Wells Fargo and Umpqua received bailout from taxpayers and owe a debt to all taxpayers regardless of race. Additionally, Wells Fargo has a long and storied history of using predatory schemes to extract wealth from Black communities. Increasing SBA loans to Black businesses would be an excellent way for banks to begin to redress the past harms they have inflicted on Black communities. Agree
The Oregon State Legislature must create a law that mandates public schools in the state teach students about America’s original sin of slavery and the Jim Crow era that followed, with an emphasis on the state of Oregon.
The legislation should also incentivize the training, hiring, and retention of Black American teachers to teach the aforementioned subject matters. This will help address the Black teacher shortage in Oregon.
Comments (optional)
VII. Justice
We call for the repeal of all mandatory minimum sentencing in Oregon, substituting Guidelines in its place, and allowing a judge to have discretion in all cases. Agree
We call on the State Legislature to pass pay equity legislation for Public Defenders and Prosecutors and their staffs. Agree
The Oregon Legislature should do away with cash bail, which discriminates against poor people, who are disproportionally people of color. Agree
We believe that the voters of Oregon should abolish the Death Penalty and life without parole sentencing. Agree
Comments (optional)
VIII. Election Integrity and Legislative Alignment
We demand campaign finance reform.
We demand that the state Attorney General challenge corporate personhood, and that state and federal legislators pass laws and a constitutional amendment clarifying that corporations are not people and money is not speech
We encourage voters to pass an Oregon constitutional amendment to allow the state to regulate political contributions and expenditures.
We call for Oregon state legislation to set limits on contributions by individuals, PACS, corporations, and unions to candidates, candidate committees, political party committees and any other political committee
We support legislation that requires voter-verifiable paper ballots in all elections, and tabulation software that is open source, non-proprietary, and available for public scrutiny and analysis with source code that is verified using a public method by qualified third parties independent of any political party or vendor, and that guarantees secure chains of custody so there can be no modifications after certification. Agree
Comments (optional)
IX. Media
We support a comprehensive net neutral public utility to provide state of the art internet access to serve all end users. Agree
We support the full funding of Public Broadcasting stations and networks, possibly supplemented by small donations from the public, to eliminate the inhibition of investigative reporting of sponsoring entities.
We support the development of ways to assure stable funding well-protected from political interference.
We support corporate responsibility with the management of our personal data. We demand internet media companies pay individuals for use of their personal data, and if there is a data breach to pay for all damages. Agree
Comments (optional)
X. Economy
We support breaking up monopolies, starting with barring Internet common carriers (i.e. Google, Facebook) from competing with businesses that use them. Agree
We support the creation of a public bank in Portland/Oregon Agree
We support the creation of either a cap-and-trade program or a carbon tax with dividend to recognize the need to eliminate fossil fuel use as one means to fight global warming. Agree
Comments (optional)
XI. Labor and Workers’ Rights
We call for the decriminalization of paid sexual acts between consenting adults and legislation allowing sex workers to organize. Agree
We oppose all legislation that diminishes workers’ rights to organize. Agree
We support legislation requiring retraining of displaced workers. We call for state and federal legislation to provide transition plans as technology and innovation change the workplace Agree
Comments (optional)
XII. Immigration
We call on the Federal Government to never take immigrant children away from their detained parents and to reunite families that have already been separated. Agree
We call on every member of the Oregon Congressional delegation to cosponsor and actively work for the passage of the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM Act). Agree
We call on the State and local governments of Oregon to adopt policies that protect immigrants from unlawful enforcement of immigration laws. In addition, we call on the institutions to not participate in the enforcement of Federal immigration laws Agree
Comments (optional)
XIII. Infrastructure
We support legislation to promote and implement high-speed rail or other high-speed technology, including monorail, within Oregon and along the West Coast. Agree
We support construction of renewable energy facilities or facilities that include carbon sequestration technology. Agree
We support public funding for electric vehicle infrastructure throughout Oregon. Agree
Comments (optional)
XIV. Abuse of Power
We support efforts to stipulate that corporations are not people, and money is not speech. Agree
We call for responding to drug addiction with treatment not imprisonment. Agree
We support legislation holding law enforcement personnel liable for inflicting harm through the use of excessive force. Agree
Comments (optional)