Elected to the House of Representatives in 1981, Mr. Ruiz was the youngest Hispanic legislator ever to be elected in State of Arizona, He served as a member of the Appropriations, Judiciary, Joint Legislative Tax, and Ways and Means Committees; and was also a member of the House Democratic Legislative Leadership, serving as chairman of the Democratic Policy Committee.
In 1993 Mr. Ruiz became the Executive Director of the South Phoenix YMCA and was responsible for organizing members of the business community, volunteers and parents to raise $3 million in a capital campaign to renovate and expand a Pre-school for 150 children, and to build a new 25,000 sq. ft. facility. He worked with Kevin Johnson of the Phoenix Suns NBA Basketball team to build the Kevin Johnson Gym as part of the new YMCA.
In 1995 Mr. Ruiz became an executive assistant to the Republican Governor of the State of Arizona overseeing “Neighborhood Revitalization and Community Development. Additional responsibilities also included working with state legislators to pass the first major legislative bill (The Neighborhood Preservation Act) impacting neighborhood blight, redevelopment, liquor licensing, and youth employment.
In 1997 Mr. Ruiz founded MaryTown-Espiritu Community Development Corporation to form leaders from primarily low-income communities, so they could then transform their communities. He became the Chief Executive Officer-Servant Leader and had the primary responsibility of conceptualizing, coordinating, and fund-raising to establish the National Football League – Youth Education Town Center in Phoenix, Arizona. ESPIRITU was the successful recipient and had the responsibility of facilitating the partnership with the National Football League, the Arizona Cardinals, the local business community, the City of Phoenix, volunteers and parents to raise approximately $2 million in a capital campaign.
In 1986, Ruiz made a promise to his father to continue living in the neighborhood that represents the culture they are committed to serving. Today, Ruiz still lives in South Phoenix he has eleven children and is married to Monica Ruiz. Together they are raising a teenage daughter and two teenage foster sons.