Ira Ruskin

Ira Ruskin

Ira Ruskin (born November 12, 1943) is a Democratic California State Assemblyman and former Redwood City, California Council member. He represents the 21st Assembly District, which includes Redwood City, Atherton, Menlo Park, Palo Alto, Los Altos, Los Gatos, Los Altos Hills and the Almaden Valley neighborhood of San Jose.

Family

*Ira and his wife Cheryl (a licensed landscape designer) reside in the Redwood City, California. They have no children.

Education

*University of California, Berkeley, B.A. History, 1968
*Stanford University, M.A. Communications (emphasis on filmmaking), 1983

Political career

From 1995 to 2004, Ruskin was a member of the Redwood City Council. For three of those years (1999 - 2001) he was the Mayor of Redwood City.

In 2004, Ruskin was elected to the California Assembly. He defeated Republican Steve Poizner. The Assemby race was an uphill battleFact|date=September 2008 as Ruskin had local government experience but initially lacked major campaign funding. The Assembly race heated up when Poizner donated $6 million to his campaign. Ruskin began a major fundraising and grassroots effort, which attracted attention from around California. With the assistance of several of California's public employee unions and massive grassroots support from people throughout the community, Ruskin was able to win the race. [http://www.stanford.edu/class/comm273/Fall2004/rlowe1/Ruskin.html] .

In November 2006 Ruskin was re-elected to the California State Assembly by a wide margin of 75,388 votes, 67.4% to his challenger Virginia Chang Kiraly (Rep) 36,628 votes, 32.6% [http://vote.ss.ca.gov/Returns/stasm/2100.htm] .

Ruskin has served on the Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency (as Chair), the San Francisco Bay Area Regional Water System Financing Authority, the CalFED ABAG Task Force (as Chair), the Water Management Subcommittee, the Organization of Chinese Americans, the San Mateo County Advisory Board, the Redwood City Education Foundation, the San Mateo County Transportation Authority, San Mateo County Criminal Justice Council, the San Mateo County Joint Powers Authority (for emergency medical response), and the San Mateo County Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Advisory Board.

Elder Protection Policy

Ruskin introduced the policy in Redwood City of requiring nursing homes to admit visiting community police officers to help prevent elder abuse in nursing homes. The "San Jose Mercury News called this "a bold step" and "a first for a California city." [San Jose Mercury News, (May 2, 2003)]

Awards

Ruskin was the recipient of the first-ever award from DAWN (a Democratic feminist organization) to a man for "excellent work performed on behalf of freedom and equality for women." He helped bring attention to the plight of the Bosnian Muslim women in a public forum which included the live trans-Atlantic interview of rape camp survivors. Ruskin became involved in public policy and politics after working on rape as a genocidal weapon in Bosnia.

References

External links

* [http://democrats.assembly.ca.gov/members/a21/ Official Site]
* [http://www.joincalifornia.com/candidate/6158 Ira Ruskin Political History]
* [http://www.smartvoter.org/2004/11/02/ca/state/vote/ruskin_i/] Smart Voter
* [http://www2.smartvoter.org/2004/11/02/ca/state/vote/ruskin_i/bio.html] Smart Voter Biography
* [http://latc.com/2004/11/10/news/news3.print.html] Poizner finally concedes to Ruskin
* [http://www.stanford.edu/class/comm273/Fall2004/rlowe1/Ruskin.html] Ruskin, 1; $4 Million, Nov., 3rd 2004
* [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Stanford_University_people#Political_leaders] List of Stanford University people
* [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_University_of_California%2C_Berkeley_alumni#Legislators] List of University of California, Berkeley alumni


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