Cynthia M. Ruiz


Environmentalist and community activist Cynthia M. Ruiz has served on the City of Los Angeles Board of Public Works since 2003.

The five-member Board of Public Works, the City’s only full-time policy-making Board, serves jointly as general manager of the Department of Public Works, the City’s third largest municipal agency with more than 5,000 personnel. The Department of Public Works is responsible for construction, renovation and operation of public facilities and infrastructure ranging from curbside collection and graffiti removal to maintenance of sidewalks, bridges, sewers and streetlights, maintenance of wastewater treatment plants and design of public buildings.

As President of Public Works Commissioner sits on the Emergency Operation Board for City of LA and is the lead Commissioner for the Bureau of Sanitation. Her diverse portfolio includes representing the Mayor as his “Fashion Ambassador” and working on the restoration of the “Hollywood Walk of Fame”.

Having a passion for making the City of LA the cleanest & greenest big city in the nation, in 2007 she founded Keep Los Angeles Beautiful (KLAB), which is an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful. She currently is the chair of KLAB which received the Keep American Beautiful 2007 “Recognition Award” and 2008 “Presidents Circle award”.

She chaired the City of Los Angeles Environmental Youth Conference in 2007 and 2008 & 2009. This event brought over 6,000 students together to empower & education youth on environmental issues.

Commissioner Ruiz serves as a Board member on Project Restore and the Infrastructure Academy. She has also partnered with School Board president Monica Garcia to start Latina’s Lighting the Way (youth mentorship program). Other leadership roles include working with Girls Today Women Tomorrow (Latina leadership & mentoring program) and ATHGO (Alliance toward Harnessing Global Opportunities), a non profit organization which engages youth in issues at the United Nations and. She chairs the Infrastructure Academy’s Board of Directors.

Commissioner Ruiz received the “2006 Top Leader Award” from the American Public Works Association South California Chapter and the “2006 Inspiration Award” from the Los Angeles Fire Department Historical Society. She was also honored at the Southern California Indian Center 38th annual Pow Wow. She was highlighted in LA Weekly’s 2007 people addition in a feature entitled “Trash Talker”. She has received the Community star award from Federacion Mexico Unido in 2007 & 2008. She received the “Outstanding Leadership Award “from The City of Los Angeles Combined Charitable Campaign in 2007. California Apparel News listed her as one of the most influential people in California’s fashion industry 2008. In 2010 she was honored as a “Women of Distinction” by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and Watershed Warrior by the Friends of Ballona Wetlands.

Commissioner Ruiz is a graduate of California State University, Los Angeles, where she earned a Bachelor of Science & Masters degree in counseling. In 2009 she completed a Leadership class at Harvard – Kennedy School of Executive Education. She also holds a certificate in Federal Mediation.