Ruby Resendez is one of three Democrats vying for the office of State Representative District 116 in the March 1 primary. She will face off against Martin Golando, former chief of staff to State Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, and Diana Arevalo, secretary of the Bexar County Democratic Party.
Resendez has been active in San Antonio’s LGBT community having served as the president of the San Antonio LGBT Chamber of Commerce and is a small business owner. Following are responses to questions we recently posed to her.
Tell us about your personal background.
I was born in Carrizo Springs, Texas a small town southwest of San Antonio to a single mother who managed and operated her own small business. I quickly learned how to take direction and work efficiently in the office where my mother worked for over 30 years. I was awarded a basketball scholarship to Incarnate Word College, becoming the second-ever woman to be offered a collegiate athletic scholarship in the history of Carrizo Springs. After graduating from college, I worked as an accounting assistant and quickly rose in the company. I took an opportunity to work in the creative world and took a job working for a local record label, which planted the seed that would eventually lead to my own small business.
With over 10 years of printing, marketing and accounting experience under my belt, I took the leap and co-founded Cilantro Creative Graphic Design Agency — a small LGBT-owned and operated business dedicated to full client success. Cilantro Creative works with local for profit and nonprofit companies. Outside of work, I am committed to working in and serving my community. I was featured in Affinity, Inc. Magazine as a Texas Chamber leader. I also won San Antonio Business Journal’s “40 under 40” award as an up-and-coming business leader. During that same year, Latino Leaders Magazine featured me as one of 20 San Antonio upcoming Latino Leaders in the San Antonio community.
My leadership skills made me an excellent candidate for Yale’s Women’s Campaign School, a program that trains women who are seeking to run for political office. I recently graduated from the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s inaugural Latina Leadership Program, a six-month course designed to build the skills, knowledge and confidence that today’s Latina leaders need to succeed when running for office. I currently serve as the Board Member of both the New Leadership Council and Texas Competes. I am the past President of the San Antonio LGBT Chamber of Commerce, where I served as a board member since 2012. I have made San Antonio my home since 1998. My partner, Dr. Sharon Nichols, is an Educational Psychology professor at UTSA and I live and work in House District 116.
What prompted you to seek this office?
I am a hardworking person who truly cares about the community. I have a long history of collaborating with different organizations and bringing people together — whether it’s in business, education or community organizing. I am NOT a career politician. I think outside the box. That means I am the only candidate who will bring fresh ideas and a new perspective to the Texas Legislature.
What do you see as the most important issues in this race?
Growing Business and Creating Jobs Locally: Local businesses are the backbone of our economy, and it is their economic strength that will determine whether our community prospers or lags behind. It’s time for us to take the lead on creating new jobs by investing in our small businesses and creating real opportunities for growth.
Public Education: Today more than ever, the job market requires workers who are educated, skilled and ready to take on the challenges ahead. That means restoring the public education budget cuts so we can reduce class sizes, equip classrooms with state-of-the-art technology, and fight to protect and keep our best teachers.
Protection for Children, Seniors and Veterans: The health and well-being of our children should not be used as a political pawn in partisan politics. Republicans have refused to access federal funds that could provide additional health care for our children. This is wrong. I will fight for those funds and expand Medicare so our seniors and veterans have the security and peace of mind that they will receive the care services needed.
Equal Opportunity for All: As our state grows so will economic opportunities. These should be available to all, no matter their age, ethnicity or gender.
Why do you think you’re the best candidate?
My strength is bringing people together to tackle the big challenges. I want to put my skills, education and experiences to work for the people of District 116. Our community deserves a fighter in the House, and I can be that. I will work diligently to ensure that your voices are heard and your issues are addressed at the State Legislature.
Do you have any words for Democratic primary voters?
I will represent District 116 with honesty, integrity and a strong work ethic. I want to bring people together to find solutions to our problems and make improvements to help make our lives better. Vote Resendez!